Project Type: Collaborative Design Built Studio
Institution: Woodbury University, School of Architecture
Year: Fall 2012 -Spring 2013





Woodbury Canopy was produced by Maxi and his students at Woodbury on a Design-Built Studio.

Critic & Design Leader: Maxi Spina, Associate Professor
Students: Allen Allahverdian, Jeff Lenox, Juan Collantes, Gabriela Colmenares, Kristine Edinchikyan, Richard Solis, Eric Martinez, Victor Monge, Andrew Rahhal, Paul Phaisinchaiaree, Jesus Urciaga, Andre Gharakhanian, Colin Winchell, Aaron Guilford and Henry Torres.

Consultant: Sam Lugiano, Semios by Fabric Images; Roel Schierbeek, ARUP. 



2014  “Bursting Margins: Involute Assemblies and Emergent Profiles”, TxA Interactive Conference Proceedings, Edited by Kory Bieg, 58-67.

2013  TxA Interactive; Texas Society of Architects Conference in Fort Worth, TX, Nov ‘13.

Woodbury Canopy

Woodbury Canopy is a textile shading structure for the campus of the eponymous University. The project adopts an alternative attitude towards enveloping, investigating a more tense relationship between cladding and structure. Explorations on architectural envelopes have historically found their analogy in the anatomical or the biological body as models of both order and parthood. Cladding and structure have acquired in this way their conceptual status and alleged physiognomy through the analogy of skin and skeleton. This dialectic has instilled axiomatic material assumptions, in which the envelope possesses mutually exclusive roles as either load bearing, or free from structural implications and subject to fetishized tectonic detailing.

Speculating on an architectural object that assumes a more contested relationship with form and material, our project argues for a more complex part-to-whole relationship. By virtue of perching robust modular frames within loose and tensioned textile membranes, the canopy argues for changing material qualities. The approach not only forces the simultaneous consideration of rigid and soft materiality, but more importantly builds up a position for inchoate forms of material expression by exploring strong, yet transitory profiles -a byproduct of shrink-wrapping otherwise hefty frames.

The canopy’s development employs advanced techniques in fabric behavior simulation and modeling optimization, as well as advanced digital manufacturing techniques, including CNC metal bending, Fabric printing, CNC membrane cutting and mechanical re-seaming.