geof bell

baarch, LEED GA

Critic: Mabel Wilson

soft_(in)terlock is a self supporting structural aggregation of a series of modules constructed from an ordinary component: the binder clip. The ordinary objects that we work with every day are highly engineered components with a great deal of design intelligence put into the single object, in terms of functional, mechanical and aesthetic considerations.

The component is aggregated into an infinitely repeatable pattern in order to test its latent material qualities. The resulting module has three primary connections which are exploited in the structure: The chrome tabs which are made to interlock in a sliding connection; The pivoting joint between the chrome and plastic pieces; And the pretensioned plastic clamps, which are fixed together in a rigid joint. These three connection types, aggregated over a field, turn the seemingly rigid component into a soft and malleable form. The rigidity of the field may be further controlled by closing or opening the clamped position for certain modules. This restricts the movement of the surrounding joint conditions, modulating the degree of malleability along the structure. In this form, other qualities become apparent, including transparencies, gradients and reflections.

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