MAS Context Spring Talks 2016

Kelly Bair: Tight Fade

April 26, 2016 at 6PM

Lecture by architect Kelly Bair that took place at Studio Gang Architects.


Tight Fade: On Architectural Gradation

Tight Fade: On Architectural Gradation is a collection of recent work by Central Standard Office of Design. The work originates from two rather distant points of influence: popular culture (specifically the Tight Fade haircut) and high art (specifically 2d drawing and 3d objects). In popular culture, “Tight Fade” is a term used colloquially in reference to a vintage haircut. The Tight Fade relies on a set of specific parameters that can be adjusted for various looks however the principle of the cut has remained the same over time: transition across a geometrically intricate surface with varying degrees of smoothness based on a desired effect…or style.

This collection of work looks to these techniques and others unique to both references and adapts them to produce new architectural effects, material strategies and formal sensibilities. Through drawings and objects, the work constructs relationships between opposites such as contrasting profiles (ie. pitched roofs to arched roofs) and material transitions (ie. opaque to transparent). Moving beyond color as a primary vehicle for studying gradation, the work seeks to uncover ways in which architecture engages other visual element transitions such as planar to volumetric, material to immaterial, and 2 dimensions to 3 dimensions.

Video shot and edited by Matthew Goetz of Lucid Creative Agency.

Thanks to graphic designer Larry Mayorga for the teaser. To see more of his work, please visit:

Mas event 2016 kelly bair 01

© Kelly Bair.

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© Kelly Bair.