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not so familiar a confrontation with routine

hana leah bittner m.arch thesis | spring 2013 1


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a fantastical investigation or a commentary on reality as an alternative to convention1, which entirely

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not so familiar.

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is always an objective to shelter the human body, to create a shift from one condition to another through

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We are, hopefully, always in the pursuit of designing space – this may be through different lenses, but there

the articulation of surface and volume. These conditions, usually “in” and “out” are often mediated by

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escapes the routine of the ordinary, rendering it extra-ordinary. But what is regarded as ordinary is actually

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Rarely is there courage to confront the everyday; what is typically viewed as mundane gets turned into

apertures – windows, skylights, doors, etc – and generally, I would argue, the windows are in a constant conversation with the process of schematic design, as natural light is a preferential “tool” for creating a desirable experience in buildings. Doors, by contrast, do not have such a potent presence in this process. They are punctures in plans through walls made to connect highly articulated spaces, but these pauses are not articulate in and of themselves. They are the quintessential symbol for triviality in our current design practice but they are a substantial piece of the experience of a space. They create the conditions of “in” and “out” by making possible a way to pass through each – without them, they would be two separate worlds, but with them, these worlds are interdependent.

This thesis is not suggesting that every door, at every threshold becomes an extravagant detail in the built form, as Carlo Scarpa’s pulley details in the Brion Cemetery, it is suggesting that there can be beauty in the ordinary if due attention is paid to these events in architecture. That craft is not a nostalgic cry to a time that has long since passed, but a careful and cohesive understanding of what architecture is and how we make and experience it. And that there is value to beginning a design process at the same point that we first experience a space – it is the point of arrival to an architecture and a valuable point of departure in an architectural design process.

1 Robin Evans, “Figures, Doors, Passages,” Architectural Design 4 (1978): 267-78, reprinted in Evans, Translations from Drawing to Building (Cambridge, MA, 1997).


thesis

the practice of architecture can be strengthened if its current conventional process is turned on its head. we can redefine space and that which envelopes it if we begin from square one

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a conceptual history of craft and the affect that technology has had on the act of making

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how making and thinking, simultaneously, influenced the develeopment of this thesis

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the programmatic lens of the investigation


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the site of investigation

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an attempt to assess our decisions and values in design by meticulously studying and drawing our interactions with the built world.

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For millions of years, the human race has been progressively isolating itself from other forms of life on our

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planet.1 However before the scientific revolution, when developments in mathematics and science caused

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the mind-body split

logic to challenge traditional views of our culture and environment, our bodies were our references for many

these traditional units in reference to our body in everyday use: for example “tailors measured cloth using

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things. In measurement, the human body was a point of orientation – James Corner describes some of

‘arms’ along its length, and ‘hands’ across its width… similarly, a place a ‘stone’s throw away’ was equal to one that was at ‘shouting distance”2. These allusions recognize the human form as the locus by which we define our world; they personalize our experience within our individual environments; they localize our body within space by catering to our scale and our senses. But when a universal measure was applied, when the “natural” world and humankind were disengaged, these expressions were replaced by numerics. This shift has had injurious consequences on the built world and how we situate ourselves within it – ration, reason and the transformation of our habitats into mass produced machines, has severed our intimate bonds with our dwellings. shift in significance This state is worsened when our sense of touch is taken for granted – “freshly born or creased with time, our skin is our original medium of communication, our most primary contact with the world”3 and, as we continue to live in a generation of intellectual invention, we are cast away from our raw materials and connection to the world we inhabit aside from that which we experience visually. Children download coloring books on their iPads eliminating all tactile experience; the waxy texture of crayon, the splotchy character of a inky marker or the coarse sound of a colored pencil waving back and forth against the grain of the paper are all replaced by the monotonous touch of a finger on a cold glass screen, filling empty pixels in empty drawings. In the 1980s, there was a belief that this shift in focus must occur, that children must prepare for the high-tech future and new virtual revolution4. At this point, the concept of the radical movement “forward” towards faster and more efficient means of living was not new – “futurism’, as it has been termed, had been in full force for many years (ie. the industrial revolution), giving us some of the most important products ever created. However, there was a difference in the most recent transformation - the shift of our global culture into a purely information based and intellectualized economic lifestyle was unprecedented.5 The conversion to this neoteric paradigm of “knowledge workers” sent thousands of tools onto online auction sites and left shop teachers all over America unemployed. “The disappearance of tools from our common education is the first step toward a wider ignorance of the world of artifacts we inhabit”6...”without the opportunity to

1  Robinson, Sarah. Nesting: body dwelling mind. Richmond, CA: William Stout Publishers. 2011. Pg 12. 2  Corner, James. Taking Measure Across the Traditional Landscape. New Haven and London: Yale Press University. 1996. Pg 27 3  Robinson, Sarah. Nesting: body dwelling mind. Richmond, CA: William Stout Publishers. 2011. Pg 23. 4  Crawford, Matthew B. Shop Class as a Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. New York, NY: Penguin Books. 2009. Pg 3. 5 Ibid. 6 Ibid.


Nino, Galimberti. Craftsmanship. Photo. <www.galimberti.it/en/artigianalita/ artigianalita.aspx>

“We have a generation of students that can answer questions on standardized tests, but they can’t DO anything.” Jim Aschwanden

learn through the hands, the world remains abstract and distant, and the passion for learning will not be engaged”.7 As architects, it is important to understand the things we make but our education is primarily based in 3D modeling programs, simulating spaces that we know very little about – we design without knowledge of how the process of building affects buildings and their builders.

Because emphasis is placed on visual representation and architectural imagery in contemporary education and practice, our understanding of how the body relates to a piece of architecture is lessened to an optical association of the whole, rather than a tactile union with its components. The role the hand plays in the mediation between the mind and the body is crucial – as our rational western culture moves forward at lightning speed, the separation between the mind and body becomes ever more present as the jobs deemed most successful are the ones that are the most far removed from physical labor, valuing the mind at a higher prestige than the body. It seems that the more you use your hands in your work, the lesser the reputation of your occupation which gives false impressions of just how important the body is in its “role as the very ground of embodied existence and knowledge as the full understanding of the human condition”.8 Specifically in architecture, the role of the body is extremely undervalued in the recent popularity of pseudo-intellectualisms and half-baked validations of our work – it is important to understand that “architecture is a product of the knowing hand”.9 Many architects started as craftsmen at young ages; Peter

7  Crawford, Matthew B. Shop Class as a Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. New York, NY: Penguin Books. 2009. 8  Pallassmaa, Juhani. The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Arch. UK: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 2009. 9 Ibid.

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adequate knowledge about building with wood within his local environment.10 Some would even venture to call

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his buildings “giant cabinets” due to the craft of the construction of space and educated use of materials. Carlo

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Zumthor became an apprentice to a cabinet maker when he was a teenager and worked where he could attain

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creation of their architectural works - they knew their trades intimately and allowed a haptic

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Scarpa was also a noted glass and furniture designer. The hands-on knowledge of materials was influential in the

sensibility to inform their masterpieces from concept to

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design, from construction to experience.

Peter Zumthor, Swiss Pavilion, EXPO 2000, Hanover Germany Photograph: www.wanderinthemist.blogspot.pt

Unfortunately in contemporary practice, it is common for designers to lack any skill of making and/or fixing them themselves. Manual competency is an illimitable concept - before modernization and mass production were a way of life, most people knew the objects they interfaced with intimately. But, as stated before, this do-it-yourself mentality and/or ability is glanced over in present day culture - today it is more important to know your way around a computer screen than to get your hands dirty fixing a transmission. According to the 2006 Wall Street Journal, there were chronic labor shortages in construction work and this problem has yet to fix itself.11 When the market crashed, many skilled construction workers left the field for new careers or retirement due to the lack of work in the industry – now, even though the wounds are beginning to heal, the United States has “grown” into an information and service based economy, training youth to work in cubicles in offices rather than a construction site. In architecture, there is a big problem with this mentality, as our work is situated in the built environment - we cannot escape our hands, nor should we try to. The more we isolate ourselves from our bodies, the more separated we become from our collective society and our work. “Technology has taken over mental functions that were once filled in a tangible way.” Sarah Robinson12

10  Zumthor: Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award 2006. Helsinki, Finland: Rakennustieto Oy. 2006. 11  Jordan Ramis PC. Construction Labor Shortage – Myth or Reality? Jordan Ramis PC Attorney at Law. Jordan Ramis. 2013. Web. 12  Robinson, Sarah. Nesting: body dwelling mind. Richmond, CA: William Stout Publishers. 2011. Pg 23.


“An architect who cannot build is like a man without arms, almost without identity.” Alison Smithson13

Workshop of the company of Giovanni Anfodillo & Sons; Scarpa worked closely with these craftsman Photograph from Carlo Scarpa: The Craft of Architecture

It is not only important in the design process but in the experience of the architectural object: in the instance of the door, “we have to physically enact the opening of the barrier between inside and out (and thresholds within), and this action has generated a microcosmic architecture of touch and movement, a necessary marriage between body and building.”14 We are led by all of our senses, not just our retinas. Though our sight is important in locating ourselves within a place, our olfactory sense will store stronger memories for a longer period of time.15 What is a visual relationship to language for a sighted person is a tactile and auditory association to a blind individual. Children are constantly touching, tasting, smelling and looking to understand their environment - they do not discriminate against any sense, architects shouldn’t either. Though we may be less obvious than a toddler in our curiosities about the world, we are just as much so, and if you would argue against this, I would contend that maybe this is because we live in a world that gives us less to be curious about. “Our thoughts and feelings are molded by our interactions with an environment that we ourselves have fashioned… faced with the reality of our contemporary built landscape, it is quite alarming to realize that at some basic level our buildings are shaping us. They reflect our growing monoculture: one-dimensional and largely inhospitable to an authentic life.” Sarah Robinson16

13  Rattenbury, Kester.”Think of it as a Farm! Interview with Peter Smithson.” This is not Architecture. London: Routledge. 2002. 97. 14 oldwebsite.boisbuchet.org/component/option.../lang,en/ 15 Angier, Natalie. “The Nose, an Emotional Time Machine.” New York Times 5 Aug. 2008: Web. 16  Robinson, Sarah. Nesting: body dwelling mind. Richmond, CA: William Stout Publishers. 2011.

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Based on a lot of the issues that have been brought forward, one who is interested in new technologies and

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‘ground-breaking’ developments may regard this thesis as a nostaligic cry to a time long since passed, but my

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a reinterpretation of craft

interest in craft less to do with making every drawing, model and building by hand than it does with a cohesive

architecture, you must view it from its components. If you can understand the materials and tectonics of a

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understanding of our practice and profession. I do, however, believe that in order to understand a piece of

particular work, the stereotomics will become richer, as they will have indicative foundations in far more than just programmatic requirements. In a massing study, it is important to understand a building in its totality but the more we look at the details, the firmer the grasp we will have on the work as a piece of architecture, rather than just a beautiful render. “Professor Scarpa came to our workshop and explained to us what to do and which materials to use. From the very beginning, I had no doubt that he had an extraordinary understanding of our craft. He knew all materials he wanted to use,” says Saverio Anfodillo, a craftsman who worked closely with Professor Scarpa. When asked if he thought that collaboration like this would be possible in contemporary architectural practice, he states, “no, it’s a pity but I don’t think so. All our crafts will soon be extinct. Today’s architects have a different approach. Their drafts are finished, and they just want to see them executed”.17 This outlook grounds itself in the idea that architecture is a ritual act of construction, not necessarily in craftsmanship in the old-fashioned sense. Craftsmanship is the standard by which we execute our trades, it is not a movement or era in time, nor should it be a filter to identify a topic for those interested in new radical technologies to cast aside.

It seems as though in most senses, contemporary culture has accepted the mind body re-union. We understand that in order for our brains to function at their fullest capacity, we must remain physically and mentally active through research about Alzheimer’s disease and many other mentally debilitating conditions. But in architecture, the breach between the body and the mind in the production of work continues to broaden. Our hands are what distinguish us from every other species on the planet. They are apparatuses for our defense against an attacker, our delicate embrace of loved one, our expression of emotion in language and in art and our number one design tool – the only device that can unite the act of designing architecture to the construction of architecture to the experience of architecture. And for this reason I find this topic everlasting in its relevance to our human condition. The more we train our hands, the stronger our bodies and minds will become.

“Aristotle erred in asserting that humans had hands because they were intelligent; Anaxagors was, perhaps more correct in stating that humans were intelligent because they had hands.” Marjorie O’Rourke Boyle18

17  Carlo Scarpa: Das Handwerk der Architektur. Ed. Peter Noever. Trans. Wolfgang Astelbauer. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany: Hatje Cantz Verlag. 2003. 18  Crawford, Matthew B. Shop Class as a Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. New York, NY: Penguin Books. 2009.


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So where did I start? I thought about making. I read books about making. I wrote about making. I talked about making. And then, finally, I made.

It probably seems obvious that in a project rooted in an understanding of the hand and its role on the design, construction and experience of architecture, you would have to make something. But what do you make? There is often much time spent worrying about the result and very little doing anything to prevent this said result from being a failure. As stated earlier, this thesis was about redefining craft and exploiting beauty in the ordinary by simply understanding a building from the perspective of the human body, furthermore, the human hand. It is suggesting that there may be value to beginning an architectural design from the first point we make tactile and visual contact with the split between in and out.

When laid out in its clearest form, it may seem like a given that where I would begin is the door, what I longwindedly explained as “the first point of contact between architecture and the body”. So that is what I started with... the door. It felt pretty terrible throughout most of the year having to explain to critical and intelligent human beings that my Master’s Thesis was about doors. I got a lot of blank stares and head shakes. But what I didn’t completely know how to explain yet was that I wasn’t so much interested in what I made, but how and why it was being made.

Gordon Matta-Clark, Open House (reconstructed at David Zwirner Gallery), 1972 Photograph by: Jane Crawford © Estate of Cosmos Andrew Sarchiapone

“I see the work as a special stage in perpetual metamorphosis, a model for peoples’ constant action on space as much as in the space that surrounds them. Buildings are fixed entities in the minds of most... people live in their space with a temerity that is frightening.” Gordon Matta-Clark19

19  Wall, Donald. Interview with Gordon Matta-Clark, ‘Gordon Matta-Clark’s Building Dissections’, Arts Magazine, May 1976.

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h e h t October 2012

introduction to turning and milling

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intro to blacksmithing


To escape the over intellectualized world I was stuck in, I enrolled in a Machine Shop class at the Crucible* in Oakland, California. I knew nothing about metal and at this point, I was interested in ‘researching” how the smallest details of a door are made to understand how a small piece of a bigger whole could affect how the entire thing operates. So I learned how to thread , turn, mill, cut, and grind steel, brass and aluminum. I learned all about the tools used to make the smallest pieces in the architecture design. I wasn’t and am still not sure how important it is that I now know how to make a screw, but I was learning from people who didn’t ask so many questions and at this point, that is all I wanted. When I had developed a general knowledge of how to make my way around a Machine Shop, I wanted to know where these little chunks of metal came from, so I enrolled in a Foundry and Blacksmithing Class. I continued to learn and understand more about the material and saw how and why it had influenced so many past architects who had previously been craftspeople. I also realized that what I was interested in was not knowing exactly how things were made in order to create a beautiful object but rather how things were made and how they influence WHY we make what we do.

And this is where it all unfolded. There was no linear path. It was a complete mess. But in all of the chaos, I found it. I looked intensely into all of the components of architecture I was interested in and slowly, very slowly, it uncovered itself.

foundry fundamentals

January 2013

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figure ground studies pgs 18-19

n e g a t i v e m o l d cast negative space within the hand that grasps a handle (alluding to the position taken when approaching a door)

positive mold

cast abstractions of the hand molds to form a conception of object (how the negative becomes a positive)

n e g a t i v e m o l d cast negative space of the hand and the positive abstraction (space around entities visualized and made tactile)

The use of figure ground diagrams is often â&#x20AC;&#x153;reducedâ&#x20AC;? to site plans, contrasting what is building and what is public space; what is in and what is out. But what they are doing in a more broad and useful sense is laying out


Works of Gordon Matta Clark: starting from left - Untitled (Cut Drawing), Conical Intersect, Dayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s End Photographs: MACBA

draw movement made from implications of the form of the hand (how does the hand, body, visual field p o s i t i v e s p a c e

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move) draw speculations of how the motions and movements of the body start to interect with the surface and n e g a t i v e s p a c e

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how that makes space

draw narratives of bodies through a particular site (how people move and interact with eachother and p o s i t i v e s p a c e

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objects)

inverting the process, drawing the space surrounding the articulation rather than the entities that make it n e g a t i v e s p a c e

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two opposing forces and analyzing the spatial implications of these forces on one another, a concept that can be applied at a variety of scales. In order to understand the body and its relationship to architecture, the decision was

to begin to diagram and draw/model these two opposing forces. The first diagram was an attempt to visualize the relationship between the hand and the door, our first tactile contact with a building. Each piece was first imagined as the motion that implies the particular form of â&#x20AC;&#x153;twist, pull forward, pull down, push in, push up, etc.â&#x20AC;?. All of these motions were interpretted into their physical form. The positive form of the negative space of the hand when grasping the handle was the result. It was literally the physical model of the first point of contact with an architectural surface and/or mechanism; each of these molds would have an impact on how the body would react to the surface because they caused the hand to hold them in a manner that was unique to a movement of the hand and/or body. Slight modifications in the form would have an affect on these motions, so it was important to iterate many different pieces. All of these examples were documented and a few are presented to the right. Photographs by F. Jason Campbell

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made to use a series of figureground-like studies


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A couple of the molds were chosen to further the nature of this study. The chosen three were then

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taken through the lost-wax casting process, also a negative-postive process, in order to abstract the ergonomic

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These figure-ground drawings are moving a step forward; they take the mold formed by a particular motion and enact the movement in its relationship to a surface; what is black is the space of the door - the space of the handle, the surface and the tension between the body and the surface - what is white is the positive form of the hand and surface as a resultant of the motion. In this drawing, what is typically the ground acts as the figure and what is being carved into by the space of the bodyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s movement when it comes into contact with its surface. 21


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In music, the cadenza refers to the point in a piece of music when the orchestra stops playing allowing the soloist to take the limelight; all musicians begin playing together and as the first movement nears its end, the orchestra dies out and allows the soloist to continue on their own. It is said to be the most elaborate and exciting part in a concerto - it is the individualâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s opportunity to become an engrained part of the music by allowing the musician to respond with improvisation. This is very similar to how I view transitional spaces. It is the part of a building that constantly takes note of the individual human body, even if it just simply be being large enough for a figure to walk through. It is the point when and where something ends, and something else begins. It is a pause in architecture but a very active space of being, the cadenza of architecture.


Maya Cochrane, Mapping Ephemeral Movement - Ephemeral Architecture Photographs: http://ephemeralarchitecture.wordpress.com/research/mapping-ephemeral-movement/

September 2012

motion of hand

October 2012

motion of hand in relation to door

November 2012

motion of body in relation to door

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human body can impact space, an

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In order to understand how the

articulation of the motion of the door and the affect it has on the space surrounding it was drawn. The body interacts with the surface, sets it in motion and allows for endless possibilities of spatial configuration based on the movement of the body, and furthermore the motion of the door. This drawing maps the motion of the hands through space, as it connects to the mechanism, and the body travels past the portal. These are representations of our conversations with buildings.


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as the site rather than a typical city or lot is

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to isolate an architectural moment and strip

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pieces of buildings we interact with every

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it down. By understanding the fundamental

day - the details, the doors - we can begin to understand how these gestures create space, mass, and ultimately form. I began with a drawing that was not about an itinerary through space â&#x20AC;&#x201C; it is about the function and mechanics of a portal and how its constraints and motions suggest what spaces on either side of it may become. But what I soon realized is that where a door is situated has a more important impact on how we interact with it than I had previously believed. It was then that I chose to pick a site, a transitional space, and to strip this site down to its

architectural elements.


Photographs from Catherine Slessor’s “Contemporary Doorways: Architectural Entrance, Transition, and Thresholds”. Published by Mitchell Beazlet in 2002.

February 2013

“Kings do not touch doors. They know nothing of this pleasure: pushing before one gently or brusquely one of those large familiar panels, then turning back to replace it—holding a door in one’s arms. …The pleasure of grabbing the midriff of one of these tall obstacles to a room by its porcelain node; that short clinch during which movement stops, the eye widens, and the whole body adjusts to its new surroundings. With a friendly hand one still holds on to it, before closing it decisively and shutting oneself in—which the click of the tight but well-oiled spring pleasantly confirms.” Francis Ponge

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Architecture is the act of creating physical space out of abstract ideas l

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By abstracting all of the components of the site and program down to their qualitative characteristics and stripping them of their quantitative assumptions, architecture is at the forefront. There are no longer constraints pushed on the design from the perspective of size in terms of square footage, but on the terms of the scale of the body.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;Nowonthefaceofit,nothingseemsmoreridiculous thanundoingabuilding.Quitethecontrary.Undoingis aterriblysignificantapproachforadvancingarchitectural thought in this point in time. Everybody, to some extent,acceptsarchitectureassomethingtolookat,to experienceasastaticobject.Fewindividualsthinkabout orbothervisualizinghowtoworkawayfromit,tomake[it] into something other than a static object.â&#x20AC;? Gordon Matta-Clark


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Program is not considered by titles and

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labels that have no real effect on a space other than the arrangement of furniture within it, but by the qualities of light and the affect materiality can have on this experience. When you

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root a buildingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meaning in its program, what you are studying is not architecture, but a commentary on a particular label of space and the constraints that push and pull at this title. Program is defined by how we use architecture, but it is not in itself so. Site is not a specific place but a quality of space. Form and function relate only in the sense that they should bring reference to the proportions of the human body in both its static and dynamic situation. Architecture is the articulation of the in between, as we only understand things in reference to other things. This makes sense. The in between is the wall [and the threshold], the surface and/or space that divides two volumes. This surface expresses form and space simultaneously, in interior and exterior realms.


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So how the body interacts with this surface is where architecture begins to emerge and define itself. In this particular site, countless interactions with the same â&#x20AC;&#x153;facadeâ&#x20AC;? were recorded, each uncovering a new piece of information about the space and surface. How the individual or group of individuals would interface with these transitional pieces was what I had become interested in. How time, light, tension between bodies and

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their movement were documented and analyzed is where this series of studies began. Each piece defined a bit more about what was important in the particular

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particular pieces of the space in the limelight. After the existing conditions

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have been drawn,

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analyzed and drawn in length, putting

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with the architecture. Each instance was

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body (or group of bodiesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;) conversation

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are drawn for each instance, challenging

stating that there is a right or a wrong way, just that there should be a careful consideration for these details in the design process as they can lead largely

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architectures.

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the studied situation but not necessarily


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In each chosen situation, there is an increasing number of people interacting with the threshold visually and haptically. The first allows the occupant to be singled out with the mechanism. The relationship between the human hand, the surface and the space surrounding it is more obvious in this first case study than the rest of them. The body’s relationship to the door was drawn first in an axonometric,

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in section, different than the other two case studies,

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to emphasize the affect

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movement, but then drawn

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as the rest, to map time and

that the body’s relationship

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“on top of” has on the

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“next to” as opposed to

procession through a space.

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first study


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e x i s t i n g c o n d i t i o n (top: motion mapping of the hand/body, bottom: sequence/postion diagram)

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n o i t i d n o c g n i t s i x e interrogation (one) interrogation (two)

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(top: existing relationship of body to threshold, bottom: altered sections)


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altered condition


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existing condition

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second study This study is based on the relationship between bodies in transition spaces and the affect that the materiality of this surface has on the interaction and tension between the people and, in turn, on the definition of the invisible volumes of space created by

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individuals. This condition was analyzed and drawn in plan to map the relationship between real

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space made, and the space made by moving bodies.


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e x i s t i n g c o n d i t i o n (top: motion mapping of the hand/body, bottom: sequence/postion diagram)

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n o i t i d n o c g n i t s i x e interrogation (two) interrogation (one)

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altered condition


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existing condition

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third study This last documented study deals with the tension that is created by all (three) bodies when they approach the surface and move through it and past one another. The alterations are drawn in plan, mapping how small changes in the placement and form of the surface can have an affect on how the bodies approach them and, further, how space is created on either side of the threshold, not just by physical objects, but also by how the body interprets things and

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acts towards these configurations.


+++

April 2013

e x i s t i n g c o n d i t i o n (top: mapping of body, bottom: sequence)

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n o i t i d n o c g n i t s i x e interrogation (two) interrogation (one)

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plan

(top: existing relationship of bodies to each other and to threshold,


bottom: altered sections)

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s i s e h t e h t

altered condition


April 2013

existing condition

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Though there is no conclusion to this work, what I hope to do is to continue to question why and how we make the things that we do. I hope to do this always with a very strong focus on how the body, the very essence of architecture, questions, informs, and enlivens the built world. By studying these implications at two very different scales, I was able to understand how the hand can have a direct effect on what is made, simply by how the hand actually makes it. I was able to then study how the movement of the body can inform form and space making; how the motion of the hand can carve and situation itself within a surface. All of these drawings were attempts

s i

every drawing first, as a reference, rather than last, as a decoration.

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of space and surface, placing it within

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at always using the body as the maker

This study need not happen through the design of extravagant architectural details, but just by understanding how ordinary details, such as the door affect our everyday life and how

considering

these

pieces

first, rather than last, can have an incredible effect on our architecture.


May 2013

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we will never love everything we make, but we must always love making. 57


s o u r c e s Ackerman, James S. Introduction. Conventions of Architectural Drawing: representation and misrepresentation. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University GSD, 2000, 9-36. Anette Hochberg, Jan-Henrik Hafke, and Joachim Raab. Open | Close: Windows, Doors, Gates, Loggias, Filters. Basel, Berlin, Boston: Birkhauser Verlag AG. 2010. Print. Bianca Albertini and Sandro Bagnoli. Scarpa: Architecture in Details. Great Britain: Architecture Design and Technology Press Limited. 1988. Brolin, Brent C. The designer’s eye: Problem Solving in Architecture. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. 2002. Print. Carlo Scarpa: Das Handwerk der Architektur. Ed. Peter Noever. Trans. Wolfgang Astelbauer. Ostfildern-Ruit, Germany: Hatje Cantz Verlag. 2003. Clery, Val. Doors. Middlesex, England: Penguin Books Ltd. 1978. Print. Cochrane, Maya. “Research.” Ephemeral Architecture. Wordpress. Corner, James. Taking Measure Across the Traditional Landscape. New Haven and London: Yale Press University. 1996. Crawford, Matthew B. Shop Class as a Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. New York, NY: Penguin Books. 2009. Print. David Leatherbarrow and Mohsen Mostafavi. On Weathering: The Life of Buildings in Time. Cambridge, London: The MIT Press, 1993. Print. Dickinson, Duo. Expressive Details: Materials, Selection, Use. USA: McGraw Hill. 1997. Print. Door + Window Design. Ed. Antonio Corcuera. KG Kempen: teNeues Verlag GmbH + Co. 2006. Print. Ford, Edward R. Fives House, Ten Details. New York, New York: Princeton Architectural Press. 2009. Print. Guido Guidi: Carlo Scarpa’s Tomba Brion. Ed. Antonello Frongia. Ostfildern, Germany: Hatje Cantz Verlag. 2011. Graves, Michael. “Architecture and the Lost Art of Drawing.” New York Times 1 September 2012. SR5. Jordan Ramis PC. Construction Labor Shortage – Myth or Reality? Jordan Ramis PC Attorney at Law. Jordan Ramis PC. 2013. Web. McLachlan, Gavin. “The Expression of the Entrance: 33 Examples from Port Elizabeth.” Port Elizabeth: The Department of Architecture at the University of Port Elizabeth. 1988. Ngo, Dung. Tom Kundig: Houses. New York: Princeton Architecture Press, Inc. 2006. Print. Oase #78: Sound and Architecture. Rotterdam: NAi Publishers. 2009. Print. Ouroussoff, Nicolai. “Timely Lessons From a Rebel, Who Often Created by Destroying.” New York Times 3 March 2007. Web.


Pallasmaa Juhani. The Eyes of Skin. London, England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 2005. Print. Pallasmaa, Juhani. “The Human Nest.” Preface. Nesting: body, dwelling, thinking. Richmond, CA: William Stout Publishers. 2011. Print. Pallasmaa, Juhani. The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdow in Architecture. United Kingdom: Jon Wiley & Sonds, Ltd. 2009. Print. Perez-Gomez, Alberto. Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge. Cambridge, London: The MIT Press, 2000. Print. Pierre Chareau - Maison de Verre. Vimeo.com. Rattenbury, Kester. This is not Architecture. London, England: Routledge. 2002. Robinson, Sarah. Nesting: body dwelling mind. Richmond, CA: William Stout Publishers. 2011. Rattenbury, Kester. This is not Architecture. London, England: Routledge. 2002. Risatti, Howard. A Theory of Craft: Function and Aesthetic Expression. Chapel Hil: The University of North Carolina Press. 2007. Print. Robinson, Sarah. Nesting: body dwelling mind. Richmond, CA: William Stout Publishers. 2011. Sennett, Richard. The Craftsman. New Haven + London: Yale University Press. 2008. Print. Slessor, Catherine. Contemporary Doorways: Architectural Entrances, Transitions and Thresholds. Great Britain: Octopus Publishing Group Ltd. 2002. Stoner, Jill. Toward a Minor Architecture. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press. 2012. Print. Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture: An Anthology of Architectural Theory 1965‐1995. Ed. Kate Nesbitt. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, Inc., 1996. Print. Thinking on Thresholds. Ed. Subha Mukherji. United Kingdom + USA: Anthem Press. 2011. Print. Townsend, Christopher. “On Drawing.” Art Monthly 355 April 2012. Zumthor, Peter. Thinking Architecture. Basel, Boston, Berlin: Birkhäuser, 2006. Print. Zumthor: Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award 2006. Helsinki, Finland: Rakennustieto Oy. 2006. Print.

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THANK YOU. Thank you to all of the people who listened to the crying, ranting and raving. Thank you to those who dealt with my missed deadlines and erratic production of work. Thank you to those who dropped everything to come to rescue me in times of need. Thank you to those that encouraged me to do as I thought, even if others were not convinced. I am so grateful for each and every one of you. With all of my love, Hana

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UC Berkeley Master's Thesis