Esquivel's 3-D latticework designs festoon Hispanic scholarship gala

Intricate 3-D latticework crafted from polymer sheets and hung from the wall and ceiling of the Brazos Center ballroom provided a celebratory atmosphere for a July 14 scholarship award gala hosted by the Hispanic Forum of Bryan/College Station.

The three tessellated ornamentations — "Bubble Sky," "Fire" and "Shadows" — designed for the event by Gabriel Esquivel, assistant professor of architecture at Texas A&M, and David Hernandez, a Mexico City architect, incorporated more than 10,000 elements laser cut from polypropylene sheets. The component parts were shaped in Mexico City and assembled by students at the College of Architecture’s Digital Fabrication Facility.

"Bubble Sky," the 40’ x 60’ ceiling installation, Esquivel said, "was designed as a series of clouds created by trapped bubbles illuminated in alternating, computer-controlled patterns using LED lighting technology to produce a chandelier effect.”

Hispanic Forum guests were welcomed to the event by “Fire,” a red theatrical curtain hung in the entryway and illuminated by a light box covered with gold-colored fabric.

“Shadows,” which produced a starry night effect, adorned a room for the event’s younger attendees.

The designers generated the pieces using Rhino 5 and Grasshopper software to develop algorithms for controlling the surface shapes and conserving the amount of materials required.

Since the gala, in which $50,000 in scholarships were awarded, the three architectural installations have been exhibited at businesses and galleries around Texas. Proceeds from the sale of the artwork, Esquivel said, will benefit the Hispanic Forum of Bryan/College Station.

Esquivel and Hernandez operate Theoremas, a design office specializing in emergent technology with projects in Mexico, Spain and the U.S. Together, they led a 3-D modeling workshop at Texas A&M last fall.

posted July 31, 2012