Holy Crypsis

Shadow ReversalCrypsis is the final study of camouflage I’m taking a closer look at. In biology crypsis is the ability for an organism to avoid observation or detection by other organisms. The strategy is often applied in either a predation or anti-predator adaptation. Crypsis in biology can be visual, formatic, or aromatic. I am going to strictly focus on the formatic and visual forms of crypsis.

Mimetic camouflage and disruptive camouflage are two types of cryptic camouflage patterns. I will be studying a project that specifically looks at creating shadows. Crypsis, via disruptive camouflage and mimetic qualities is the generative force behind the attempt to capture the ephemeral qualities of shadows. Wannemacher Jenson Architects are doing some really fascinating work studying this kind of crypsis. Disruptive camouflage in nature, and most recently in military defense tactics, aims to break up the shape and outline of a body in order to confuse a prey or enemy’s detection and recognition time. The question that Wannemacher Jenson Architects asks is that can disruptive camouflage be interpolated in the shadow form via its inverse use?

To create and test their ideas, the team designed and fabricated a full-scale light modulator from 1/4” thick white Plexiglas panels that were perforated by and automated router. One inspiration the team had driving their project was the Laszlo Moholy-Nagy series of light machines.

Light Machine Study

Light Machine Study 2

In the same spirit of the Licht-Raum-Modulator they removed the act of selective pattern making and relied on scripting the perforations that would best mimic the qualities of light and shadow found in nature such as foliage.

Shadows 1

The result as you can see about is truly amazing. We again see another way in which the art of camouflage can have an astounding effect on architecture and the way something is perceived. They light modulator the created fostered the opportunity for light and color phenomenon’s to change its surrounding space into a virtual playground of the observing eye

Final Project


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s