Congratulations to prof. Sam Johnson for winning a seed grant from the CUSE grant initiative, for his project, "Digital Forensics of 'Paper Architecture': A Case Study." Prof. Johnson tells us about this exciting project: "The project is focused on a group of unfinished architectural drawings for an experimental building designed by El Lissitzky, held in three different collections, which I linked in a 2017 paper published in Art Bulletin.
Because these drawings date from an early phase of the design process, they raise as many questions as they answer. I plan to work with Mitesh Dixit of DOMAIN Office architects, Belgrade, (formerly SU School of Arch.) to create digital facsimiles of the drawings and from there, to create a three-dimensional digital model. We’ll use 3D printing to make small-scale physical representations of certain features of the design, with the goal of understanding where the drawings run up against their limits and why the project might not have been developed further. Given the experimental nature of the design, we’ll also be looking for answers about the overall feasibility of the building: where it would have to be sited, what materials it would require, what structural challenges it would have to overcome, etc. In the longer term, we’re hoping to co-author an article or organize an exhibition of the resulting materials. Soviet architecture of the revolutionary period is full of grand unrealized projects that are known primarily through models. We’re hoping this one will join the more canonical examples by Tatlin and Leonidov."