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“Only when human sorrows are turned into a toy with glaring colors will baby people become interested - for a while at least. The people are a very fickle baby that must have new toys everyday” – Emma Goldman


“Censorship has been described as the antithesis of propaganda and its necessary adjunct..”

“Propaganda may be overt or covert, black or white, truthful or mendacious, serious or humorous, rational or emotional. Propagandists assess the context and the audience and use whatever methods and means they consider most appropriate and effective. If we can widen our terms of reference and divest propaganda of its pejorative associations, its significance as an intrinsic part of the political process in the twentieth century will be revealed. One contemporary writer has even suggested that we need more propaganda, not less, to influence opinions and stimulate active participation in the democratic process.”

– from “Propaganda and mass persuasion: a historical encyclopedia, 1500 to the present” by Nicolas John Cull, David Holbrook Culbert, David Welch. both from the introduction, pg. Xx

pro-pa-gan-da noun :the spreading of ideas, information, or rumor for the purpose of helping or injuring an institution, a cause, or a person; :ideas, facts, or allegations spread deliberately to further one’s cause or to damage an opposing cause; also :a public action having such an effect – from merriam-webster.com/dictionary/propaganda?show=0&t=1301605366


the Institute Museum of Propaganda, Portland caitlyn cartlidge

overview site

process finals

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imp. pdx zeitgeist context culture duality subversion interaction challenge transformation ambiguity An architectural thesis project with metaphor rooted in the zeitgeist of the site and of Portland as a whole. Highlighting the dynamic, transitory relationship between the existing and the new, built space interacts with users to catalyze question, challenge and change of established norms.


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overview

Institution as Propaganda: [Behind the Brand]

Institute, museum and propaganda have an atypical relationship, being at once institutional and controversial in nature. The duality of the name reflects the ambiguity of the space, the provocational nature of the program and could bring a wide and potentially opposing array of users onto the site.

[Propaganda]

Propaganda is peculiar to human culture and is a big idea in skate culture and other subcultures; an extension of the ‘peoples republic of portland’ activist brand and the mindset that goes along with it. The site of this project is located off the Burnside bridge at 230 East Burnside in an industrial area of Portland. In it’s way, it reuses the 1929 brick warehouse. The industrial area supports creative functions and the site is directly adjacent to the Burnside skate park. It is very important that the program pay attention to and take direction from the physical and cultural context of the site, the site pairs well with the subcultural aspect of a program centering around propaganda. The building acts as a contextually-mutable object of propaganda, reacting and interacting with the issues which influence culture in real time and interacting with it’s human inhabitants to initiate questioning. The collective modern, Portland-based interpretations of this deals with the ecological and sustainable side of politics. Ambiguity of the transition between interior, conditioned space and exterior, unconditioned space reflects modern environmental issues which confronting the inhabitants’ influenced notions about comfort and modern built space.


overview

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[Interaction]

As the building acts as propaganda and a local hub for all types of cultural interaction, the building is the catalyst which causes human interaction with their environment.

[Bio-]

Ultimately, I’m looking at the educational and artistic institution of propaganda as having a program centering around the betterment of human culture. I feel a program like this one is truly considering the human to be part of the biosphere, something that modern culture as a whole should feel urgency to save. At the core of this program is a dedication to the resilient human spirit and it’s yearning for an amiable environment. This project will center around a dynamic and adaptable program speaking to subculture, human energy and industrial action, and the interaction between them. The program will acknowledge both the underlying current of change and the communities of subcultures in the area. My interpretation of this is a program that uses creativity and all types of the interactive arts to catalyze action. The characteristics of interdependence and interactivity will help shape the program’s form. The program and neighborhood will be interdependent as well: the industrial neighborhood will rely on the organic nature of the program to enliven it and the controversial program will rely on the pragmatism of the area to ground it and help catalyze change.

[Program]

Screening room and Stage, Dynamic Exhibition, Interactive Exhibition, Meeting / Discussion / Multi-function, Production Studios, Garden, Kitchen / Tables, Coffee / Bar, Classroom / Lecture, Collection, Reception, Public Outreach, Open Offices, Mechanical, Restrooms


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[Background]

The site I’ve chosen, the R.J. Templeton Building at 230 E. Burnside Street, was once the Frigidaire Building built in 1929. It has been used for various functions, including a program focusing on assisting homeless people. It now partially houses Disjecta, a non-profit arts organization. My thesis site also includes parking lots sited north of the Burnside Bridge and the skatepark located directly beneath. From Skateoregon.com: “Built without permission by skateboarders and later sanctioned by the city, Burnside is the preeminent example of action. Burnside’s unique growth and evolution - through the sweat and blood of a handful of dedicated individuals - have matured into one of the best skateparks in the world. Burnside and its creators are true pioneers, setting the stage for community built skateparks across the country.”


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site

[Initial Analysis]

In my opinion, this particular neighborhood is the most appropriate area in Portland for a instutition of propaganda for a number of reasons. The neighborhood is an arts and DIY (do it yourself ) subculture friendly area. Also along these same lines, an industrial area is better than a residential, commercial, or business area for this program. This program could possibly find a home in SW with the rest of the museums but this program begs for an alternative site, away from the straight-laced programs. In addition to being based in production and pragmatism (both of which are in some sense necessary for effective propaganda), industrial areas in the modern age speak more to action and subculture than established areas. Finally, the program can and should pull some of the energy from the skaters at the skatepark as this type of energy will be incredibly useful. The anti-establishment and DIY character of that energy will add richness and purpose to the progam. In the diagram below, the pink designates the skate park, the orange is the Burnside Bridge, and the green is the site itself


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[Psychogeography]

This diagram is an expression of the context of the area, north being up, south being down. At the northwest of the diagram is the building and skate park at the site. Moving towards the northeast, the area becomes more geared towards entertainment: bars, restaurants, music venues. Moving south from there, the area is increasingly industrial and has a large amount of vehicle related service industry. The southwest of the area, while still industrial, quickly becomes greener and more organic.


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site

[Metaphorical Site Model]

These are images of the artifacts I made to express my emotional reaction to the site combined with the program. I see the corrugated cardboard as expressing the industrial and pragmatic structure of the site. The newspaper, the blue and the pink represent the natural human energy that change the character of the underlying structure.

[Duality: Old and New]

-The existing interacts with the new in a way that mimics vines growing on a simple scaffold: Where the new design and subcultural energy are the vines and the industrial building is the scaffold, the vine needs the scaffold to start growing wild and the two will become one. As the vine becomes large, green, and flowered the scaffold will become weathered and slightly obscured by the energetic vine, but will still exist and be a part of the whole. The existing building should feel bare and slightly nostalgic like the scaffold and will be treated a little like a shell: the building helps to shape the footprint of the building and shelter the program functions in addition to bringing contextual material of weathered brick into the building. The new design should interact with the existing building in a similar manner to that of the vine: it should feel wild and energetically structured and will also break through the existing building to be the most immediately noticeable element, inside and out.


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[addressing the site choice]

In fact, the scaffold/vine relationship is slightly similar to the relationship between the existing site and building in their heterogeneous pairing: the existing warehouse is static and traditional, yet is placed on a site that is dynamic and full of creative and industrial energy. The exhibition spaces want to use the atypical space beneath Burnside Bridge to reference the d.i.y. nature of the Burnside skatepark which is directly adjacent to the exhibition space.

[landscaping and environmental stand]

The ambiguous transition between conditioned and unconditioned built space highlights the culturally problematic relationship between environmental stress and societal desire for built comfort. As a reaction to the stereotypical treatment of green spaces in American cities as beautiful but otherwise useless and resource-wasteful spaces, the landscape will either serve a purpose or be planted densely as a contrast to the squashed and urbanized ‘green’ which is all too common. The habitat will be planted to mimic the unmanicured nature of the original landscape. The rhythm of the building’s design in plan between conditioned space and unconditioned, dry space is reflected in the sequence of landscaped spaces. The translation between architectural space and outdoor space treats the purposed, manicured spaces as ‘conditioned’ and the spaces left largely to their own devices as ‘unconditioned’.

[nature of and relationship between structural elements]

Regarding structure specifically, the existing brick shell will be reinforced, and the structure connected to the Burnside bridge will exist to remain but most of the remaining building will be using new construction. The scaffold relationship between old and new is applicable here as well. The confrontational nature of the new construction is intended to speak to the intent of the program to incite interaction with and questioning of the urban and environment. In addition, the reading of the structure in section from south to north reveals an old/new/old/new rhythm which helps to walk the building’s inhabitants through the program.

[These old v. new relationships create ambiguous space which reflect society’s current transitory character as “pre-revolutionary” and encourages questioning as a result of being purposefully atypical. A strong point is being made while simultaneously acknowledging the fluidity of culture. Old v. New. Solid v. Fluid. Purpose v. Pulchritude]


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process

parti sketch site section sketch


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exhibition space panorama


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midterm layout section perspective


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model photos

[duality: structural elements]


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water conditioning

[duality: environment]


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finals

parti section looking west


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section perspective looking west


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night view from the burnside couplet


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over the bridge under the bridge


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interior spaces


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final layout section perspective


contact me: caitlyn.cartlidge@gmail.com


Thesis Document - Graduate  
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