Wedge Gallery

11.05 – 12.10

Lightweight Construction Site

Lightweight Construction is an experiment in contextualizing and representing digital tectonics (simulated particles, 3D meshes, physics engines, etc). This project follows Gottfried Semper’s speculations on the core elements of architecture laid out in the seminal essay The Four Elements of Architecture. In Lightweight Construction, Semper’s speculative history of architecture’s fundamental elements provides a model for interpreting digital materials, contemporary visual effects, and printing culture. If Semper’s anecdotal lineage of carpets, for example, explains how weaving paved the way for needlepoint, which led to the emergence of the mosaic technique, today we can identify a similar relationship between pixelation, voxelization, and printing processes—what are pixels if not electric mosaic tiles? This historical lineage of mosaic techniques establishes the digital as something that not only existed before industrialization, but has perhaps always existed.

In the case of our project, Semper’s third element of architecture, the enclosure is understood as a proto-digital tectonic concept. Here, the notion of weaving as the principal material lineage of the wall finds its parallel in 3D polygonal meshes, which constitute the primary tectonics of digital architectural models. In Lightweight Construction, weaving and mosaic traditions inform the logic of the 3D mesh, which is made up of 3-dimensional particles woven together by rigid vertex-to-vertex connections. Going one step further, however, our “walls” return to their flexible origins by replacing the rigid connections between points with spring bindings, resulting in soft, pliable, surfaces. At the same time, the softening of traditional architectural materials such as plywood, MDF, metal, and brick directly recalls a level of intimacy that actual tectonics was known for. The uncanny effects of Lightweight Construction, aided by advanced high-resolution visualization tools, constitute a kind of conceptual double-take, where audiences are invited to question the role of these instruments in architectural design.

At the Wedge Gallery, the project takes the form of a Lightweight Construction Site where individuals can experience the decontextualized images of construction labor through various forms of intimacy. The project also has a web-based counterpart online at

All photography taken by Paul Emerger. 

Woodbury School of Architecture

Wedge Gallery is located on the southwest end of the Woodbury University campus. Due to the COVID-19, in person visits are by appointment only. Please email us to schedule your visit. 

7500 N Glenoaks Blvd
Burbank, CA 91504