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Matthew Okazaki

Intensive Extensive

The project focuses on the relationship of form, matter, and energy in both abstract and concrete ways through a study of the intensive and extensive properties of architecture. What is at stake is a question of causality. Architects suggest order while they amplify the orders suggested by matter/energy in the formation of buildings. This recursive causality is the focus of this project.

To elaborate this question of causality in architecture, the project considers both the extensive and intensive properties of architecture. An intensive property is one that does not depend on the system size or the amount of material in the system, like temperature or density. An extensive property, such as mass or volume, changes when the size of the system changes. The fundamental aim in considering the intensive and extensive properties of architecture is the development of an agenda for matter, energy, and form. It is a way of thinking thermodynamically about architecture and architecturally about thermodynamics.

Initially, a geometric armature was provided to develop two base states depicting an intensive property. In this project, the material density of concrete—and its reciprocal property of material aeration—was chosen. From there, an extensive translation was developed. This tectonic translation was then mapped back onto the initial intensive states to produce the final forms. After this, circulation and program were given freedom to push back against this system, which added another layer of development onto the original intensive property map.

About The Designer

Matthew Okazaki is currently an M.Arch candidate at the Harvard GSD. Previously, he worked as a design strategist at MKThink, a multidisciplinary architecture and design firm located in San Francisco. Matt received his B.S. degree in Applied Mathematics at the University of California Los Angeles.