January 6, 2020 - Materials & Applications - Staging Construction
e-flux Architecture
January 6, 2020
January 6, 2020

Materials & Applications

Michelle JaJa Chang, sample of scoring exercise and experimental execution, Boston, 2019.

Staging Construction
Winter 2020 exhibition and public program
January 18–April 11, 2020

Materials & Applications
M&A Storefront
1313 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026


Facebook / Instagram

Staging Construction is an exhibition and public program by Materials & Applications that explores construction as both practice and performance. Through its messy web of relations, construction practices draw architecture into the orbit of other systems, including technical procedures, bureaucratic governance, and negotiated temporalities. Staging Construction invites architects and designers with research-based practices to present new work that investigates construction as an act of building and an expression of industry. Drawing on seemingly disparate topics, including material specification, material history, aggregate sourcing, and data systems, the winter program asks how architecture’s entanglement with technical systems is evidenced in the preliminary acts of building, rather than its finished form. Staging Construction takes the form of an experimental installation by Michelle Jaja Chang, alongside electronic music performance by Neil Denari, lectures by Alex Maymind and Tommy Hill, and a participatory workshop with yyyy-mm-dd (Kate Yeh Chiu and François Sabourin). Staging Construction is curated by Jia Yi Gu, M&A Director, with support from the Contemporary Council of M&A (CCMA)

The exhibition: 

Scoring, Building
On View: Saturday, January 18-February 29, 2020 
Mackey Apartments (1137 S Cochran Ave) 

Scoring, Building is a new project by architect Michelle Chang that investigates architecture as an allographic art. The work is a temporary and durational intervention in the courtyard of the Mackey Apartments. The project proposes an architectural instantiation from the basis of a score, written by the architect, which is then translated into instructions for the construction of the installation itself. The project is action-based, slowing down and reframing the activities of conventional drywall construction to focus on-site preparation (measuring, documenting, marking); framing construction (stacking, ordering, assembling), and drywall installation (scoring, affixing, finishing), rather than material assemblage. The installation is scored in three recursive “iterations”, each one accompanied by a public program in order to unpack the ideas of the installation itself. Alongside the physical installation, the project is distributed through a live audio feed of the on-site construction, and documentary photography by Tag Cristof. Scoring, Building is commissioned by Materials & Applications as the winning project of an open call for projects in 2018. 

The installation is scored in three recursive “iterations”, each one accompanied by a public event.

Saturday, February 1, 7-9pm 
Scoring, Building Iteration I 
With a guest appearance by Neil Denari 
Mackey Apartments (1137 S Cochran Ave) 

Saturday, February 15, 7-9pm 
Scoring, Building Iteration II 
In discussion with CCMA 
Mackey Apartments (1137 S Cochran Ave) 

Saturday, February 29, 7-9pm 
Scoring, Building Iteration III
Closing Party 
Mackey Apartments (1137 S Cochran Ave) 

Related public programs: 

A Techno-aesthetic History of Shotcrete with Alex Maymind
Thursday, March 12, 6:30-8:30pm 
M&A Storefront (1313 Sunset Blvd)

The history of shotcrete's aesthetic and technical progress points to two sharply contrasting ideologies: "radical" architects working directly with the material in a handicraft mode that often necessitates extreme methods to produce the formlessness they had envisioned, what could be called a resistance to standardization; and architects who mobilized shotcrete as a technical readymade and as an infrastructural material as an unlikely means to achieve plasticity. This presentation looks at similarities and convergences between these two groups, using the material history of shotcrete as a lens through which to ask questions about construction’s durational aspects and potential effects on experimentation today. 

Building On Digital Foundations with Tommy Hill
Thursday, March 19, 6:30-8:30pm 
M&A Storefront (1313 Sunset Blvd)

Property development in the United States has long been driven by the qualitative: by rules of thumb, insider knowledge, and the gut instinct of risk-taking developers. All that is changing in the age of “big data”. Datasets relating to buildings, real estate sales, and property prices have transformed the ways by which our built environment is produced. Building On Digital Foundations presents the uses of “big data” in development and construction industries, examining the ways data drives decisions by investors, developers, construction companies and design teams. The talk surveys the emerging field of “prop-tech”: the loose network of research labs, startups, coders, and entrepreneurial academics searching for strategic uses of this new source of information.

Recycling Day with yyyy-mm-dd (Kate Yeh Chiu and François Sabourin)
Saturday, April 11 
Location TBA 

Recycling Day is an event centered on collective building and sharing. Operating in the space between a gravel pile and a building, yyyy-mm-dd presents a new instantiation of their ongoing research into textile forms that become structural when filled with loose aggregate. Sand, gravel, and small rocks account for 75% of concrete's composition, and their binding, via cement, yields 8% of total annual global carbon emissions. As the dissolution of 20th-century structures reminds us of architecture's inclination to nonetheless settle, Recycling Day proposes alternative modes of gathering through (and within) a temporary assemblage of loose matter.

About Materials & Applications
Materials & Applications (M&A) is a Los Angeles-based non-profit cultural organization dedicated to building a public culture of experimental architecture. With a focus on architectural ideas and processes, M&A curates critical exhibitions and commissions new work by under-recognized architects, designers, and artists. Our exhibitions give space to exceptional experiments across multiple disciplines while challenging the relationship between art, architecture, and public encounters. Since 2003, M&A has produced more than 25 temporary site-specific installations and over 100 programs presenting new ideas in art, architecture, and design. Our exhibitions and programs are always free and open to the public.

Special thanks to the Mak Center for Art and Architecture for their generous support and partnership of the project. Staging Construction is supported, in part, by the Graham Foundation for the Advanced Study in the Fine Arts, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, Department of Cultural Affairs, and our generous sponsors and supporters: Brooks + Scarpa, Deegan Day Design, Integrated Development, Riley Architects, Swinerton Builders, Summit Western LLC, Warren Techentin Architecture, Ball-Nogues Studio, Dake Wilson Architecture, Gensler, Kevin Daly Architects, Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Knowhow Shop, Barbara Bestor Architecture, DOSU, Johnson Fain, John Frane, Hadrian Predock Architecture, Hilary Roebuck, Neil M Denari Architects, and Rachel Allen Architecture.

Materials & Applications
Share - Staging Construction
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York