Students’ functional wall design selected for show by online voters

[See all suckerPUNCH contest entries and Aggie design] ( , "Bi-Polar," 7th from top of page.

"Bi-Polar," an innovative, prototype wall system created by Texas A&M environmental design students, is one of 13 projects selected by online voters for exhibition in a Kentucky gallery in September 2012.

Three of the pieces in the exhibit, scheduled at the [Land of Tomorrow Gallery] ( in Lexington, which showcases experimental work in the fields of art, design, and music, will be selected by a jury of acclaimed designers  for full-scale fabrication.

The online vote was hosted by [suckerPUNCH] ( , one of the most influential online design forums.

“Bi-Polar” is a preformative wall that collects and processes rainwater through a network of eight-inch bladders using filtration and ultraviolet sterilization to produce potable water. Additionally, the water provides insulation for heating or cooling and the filtration process produces visible light and temperature effects on the structure.

The wall, said Gabriel Esquivel, assistant professor of architecture at Texas A&M, is suitable for any building type. Designed by students Adrian Cortez, Aubrie Damron, Dale Fenton, Matt Miller and Emau Vega, the concept began as a system with different interior and exterior surface logics.

“Rather than trying to blend these conditions, the students decided to emphasize the difference, indicating two design directions,” said Esquivel. “This resulted in two polar-opposite geometries that strongly defined exteriority and interiority.”

The wall’s exterior surface is tessellated, or subdivided into sections created by a series of asymmetrical vertices, while the interior has a loose, sensual, free flowing design.

The interior appeals to one’s emotions, Esquivel said. “Its surface is created by a sensual pleated skin of silk and leather, producing ornamental and patterned nuances.”

While there are other prototypes that address different interior and exterior design directions, “Bi-Polar” embraces an emphasis on the differences, said Esquivel. “Like bi-polar disorder, this prototype is argued in two different moods, different personalities.”

posted February 14, 2012