Harrison Atelier

Tear Catcher

Tear catcher



In both Victorian and Persian commemorative rituals, the lachrymatory, or tear-catcher, was a delicate vial designed to catch tears shed for a lost loved one. Today we to mourn the imminent loss of the environment under a new political regime that revels in exploitation and extraction. 

Each Tear-catcher comprises a black skeletal framework that is light-weight, collapsible, and designed to catch and guide rainwater along the u-channels defining its roof and walls. The Tear-catcher’s decorative elements draw inspiration from Victorian mourning culture: CNC milled “coffin keys”, drawing on the form of wilting petals, become finials; 3D printed roof spouts recall glass lachrymatories; and a printed plastic “veil” protects the interior space from the elements without accruing a significant wind load. This series of four Tear-catchers produces a gesture of weeping at a landscape scale.

Team // Ariane Harrison, Seth Harrison, Matthew Bohne, Daniel Longoria, Brad Li, Victoria Ereskina

STRUCTURE: While the walls and roof of the structure reflect the spare lines of the U-channel, a number of decorative elements finish the structure. The three aluminum rods that pin roof to roof and roof to walls are terminated by a 3D printed “coffin key” whose form draws on wilting petals. 3D printed tear-catchers terminate each of the 32 roof purlins, translating the environmental scale of rain to an intimately scaled teardrop. Spouting at various heights, the Tearcatchers create a delicate and differentiated arch of rain along the sides of the structure.

Three printed plastic elements (“veils”) shield occupants from inclement weather and produce shade without accruing a significant wind load due to their attachment systems. The graphic effect produced by the veils can vary: proposed here are motifs from Victorian nature tattoos, proposing the audiences for Socrates’ Parks’s programming become marked by an understanding of the environment’s fragility.