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10.14.05 - 12.04.05 | Kappe Library
Xefirotarch: Improbabilities: Riding the SUR

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Generously sponsored by R'my Cointreau USA.

Improbabilities: Riding the SUR examined the construction and design of Los Angeles-based Xefirotarch's SUR, the winner of the MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program. A series of drawings, films and animations were used to critically autopsy the PS1 installation as well as the many processes used to translate digital form to physical form. The construction of SUR involved over 75 people working in various locations, generating construction documents and fabricating and assembling over 3000 unique parts over a three month period. The enormous amount of data produced during this process was exhibited in multiple animations on ten digital displays, two 8' x 25' sheets of wallpaper, as well as in a 3D print of the final design of SUR.

The sixth annual MoMA/ PS1 competition invited emerging architects to propose a building project for the outdoor courtyard of PS1 in Long Island City, Queens, to serve as the venue for the annual music series, Warm Up. The playful, elegant SUR installation at PS1 resembled a reconfigured skeletal form that undulated and sprawled throughout the courtyard from June through September 2005. SUR was fabricated of a red and white fiberglass and rubber composite cast base, a freestanding aluminum armature covered with latex and polyurethane-sprayed spandex, and a silver overhead canopy concealing auxiliary lighting. Benches were scattered between its undulating, fluid surfaces.

Hernan Diaz Alonso is the founding principal of Xefirotarch, an award winning design firm in Architecture, Product and Digital Motion. Diaz Alonso is SCI-Arc's thesis coordinator as well as studio design and visual studies faculty and is also a regular visiting faculty at the GSAP, Columbia University, New York. He received Architecture degrees from the National University of Rosario, Argentina, and from Columbia University's AAD Program. In 1996, he worked as a designer in the office of Enric Miralles in Barcelona and in 2000-2001 he was senior designer at Eisenman Architects in New York.

Diaz Alonso has lectured internationally and has received numerous awards, among which are the Pusan International Competition, 1st Honorable Mention; Miami + Beach International Biennale, Honorable Mention; Dublin U2 Landmark Tower International Competition, Final selection; Lexington-Fayette County, Kentucky Metro Design Plaza International Competition, First Prize. Diaz Alonso's work was included Next Generation Architecture by former SFMoMA curator Joseph Rosa and Sessions by SCI-Arc Press, as well as multiple publications such as Architectural Record, Metropolis, L'Arca, A+U, Praxis, Arquine, and the New York Times. Xefirotarch exhibitions include the 2004 Venice Biennale, Metamorphose; Archilab, Orleans France; The Naked City, Beijing Biennale; and Glamour, San Francisco MOMA. The work is part of the permanent collections of the FRAC (France architecture collection) and the San Francisco MOMA. In March 2006 Xefirotarch had solo show at the San Francisco MOMA, which was accompanied by a catalogue.