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DESIGN THESIS. SEMESTER 1 2016.

junhan foong

FLIRTING WITH SPACE


Special thanks to:


SHACKLE-TOWN junhan foong

STUDIO LEADER christina bozsan


acknowledgements I’d like to thank my friend Vincent Kong for his invaluable advice and tutelage this semester. Also to former tutors Mond Qu and Jannette Le who I am enternally greatful for, for being the catalysts for shaping my thinking and opening me to new possibilities, and Paul Loh and David Leggett for making me more incisive as a designer. I’d also like to thank my studio leader Christina Bozsan for her advice, guidance and understanding throughout this semester, and my fellow class mates for working hard and continuing to motivate each other as we work towards the end of our degree. Lastly, I’d like to dedicate this to my friends, both old and new, who I have had the pleasure of sharing this experience with and last but not least, my loving parents, without whom this would not be possible.


CONTENTS


01 02 03 04 05 06 07

ABSTRACT

15

FOLIE À DEUX

16

PREMIÈRE GYMNOPÉDIE

22

UTOPIC VISIONS

38

REVIVAL OF A FADED FANTASY

74

PRESTON: A PROLOGUE FOR A PROTO-CITY

86

LA VILLE EN ROSE

102

LA VILLE EN ROSE: A CITY INGRAINED IN FILM

166

FADE TO BLACK: REFLECTION

174

BIOGRAPHY

178

APPENDIX

190

CREDIT

200

REFERENCES

204


00.0

ABSTRACT ‘Shackle-town’ is a fictional moon city named after the Shackleton crater from which it shares close proximity to. Born out of an ever-growing desire and ambition to develop the next grandimage of “architectural achievement”, it represents a prototype of humankind’s attempt to develop on new landscapes as we explore the next great frontier - space. The city is manifested as an imaginary future environment in flux; a synergy of fable, architecture and press-release. Repeating towers and bridges form part of a much larger machine which can only be seen from afar - on one hand it can be seen as a sum of infrastructure modelled around an image of idealised futureliving, and on the other, the framework ripe for mass commercialisation and exploitation. As such, the project is intended to be a social commentary and a reflection of the society we live in, and to question the role of architecture in facilitating and supporting a model which is designed to appeal to investors and state department agencies seeking to spur growth and capture part of the greater global economy.


01.0

INTRODUCTION


01.1

SHACKLE-TOWN Shackle-town: part satire, part polemic, part futuristic fantasy. Named after the Shackleton crater from which it shares close proximity to, Shackle-town is promoted as a popular destination for future emigration and space tourism. The city is manifested as an imaginary future environment in flux; a synergy of fable, architecture and press-release. Repeating towers and bridges form part of a much larger machine which can only be seen from afar - a grand-image of mankind’s next iconic “architectural achievement� as we move from Earth to the next unexplored territory - our solar system. However, as with most utopic visions of society, failure is inevitable. What seemed like good intentions orgininally are often twisted to benefit the rich and an unattainable false dream is sold to appeal to the poor and middle-class. We become prisoners of commerce and the very machine we help to build.

Thus, the image of a thriving city becomes the framework ripe for mass commercialisation and exploitation - a synergy of fable, archiecture and pressrelease; a propoganda machine designed to create a manufactued image of a future version of itself, whether built or unbuilt. As such, this project is intended to be a social commentary and a reflection of the society we live in; a living parody of the generic modern day urban aesthetic we have become numb and all-accustomed to in all its disney-fied glory - same product, different packaging. While this idea may not be surprising to many, one has to question our role as architects in being indifferent and passive players in facilitating and supporting a model which is purely designed to appeal to investors and state department agencies seeking to spur growth and capture part of the greater global economy.


UTOPIA

(noun)

an imagined place or state of things in which everything is ‘perfect’. the word was first used in the book ‘utopia’ by sir thomas more. the opposite of dystopia. origin based on greek ou ‘not’ + topos ‘place’.


01.2

LEARNING FROM UTOPIA Throughout history, architects and planners dreamt of “better� and different cities - more flexible, more controllable, more defensible, more efficient, more monumental, more organic, taller, denser, sparser and greener - the list could go on and on. With every new plan, radical visions were proposed; visions that embodied, not only the desires, but also the fears and axieties of their time.

As such, the field of architecture and urbanism, utopias have always been confronted with the same complexities and paradoxes inherent in the search for the perfect world. But in recalling the avant-garde of the 20s and 30s, and the great structuralist proposals of the 1960s, we can foster a greater understanding of the scope of societal issues which made their respective designs such extreme and evocative examples of speculative and exploratory architecture today.


By definition an unreachable destination, criticisms on utopia have been launched since it very inception. However, while Utopian visions have usually pretained to proposals featuring alternate realities, its potency comes from ability to generate discourse. Sir Ebenzer Howard’s ‘Garden City’ (1902), Thomas More’s ‘Utopia’ (1516), and Sir Francis Bacon’s ‘New Atlantis’ (1627) are some of the most well known examples of Utopic Visions throughout history. They were intended as neither fantasies nor blueprints for reification but reflections on the societies in which they were written.

utopia - thomas more (1516)

+ Fictional island society reminiscent of life in monsteries. + It was seen as a comment or criticism of contemporary European society satire on dishonesty of the people within Europe. + Utopian socialism was use to describe the first concepts of socialism.

garden city - sir ebenezer howard (1902)

+ Method of urban planning that was initiated in 1898 in the United Kingdom. + Garden cities were intended to be planned, self-contained communities surrounded by “greenbelts”, containing proportionate areas of residences, industry and agriculture. + Emphasized the need for uban planning policies that eventually lead to the New Town Movement.

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new atlantis - sir francis bacon (1627)

+ Portrayed a vision of the future of human discovery and knowledge, expressing his own aspirations and ideals for human kind. + Depicted a land where there would be freedom of religion. + Debated whether his work influenced other reforms such, as greater rights for women, the abortion of slavery, seperation of church and state, and freedom of political expression.

While some cities were built either partly, or in one form or another, most of them remained on paper. Yet today, in one way or another, have somehow remained relevant and undeniably influenced our global landscape. Nonetheless, it is interesting to compare recent developments in China and The United Arab Emirates to historical visionary urban plans.

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++

DUBAI

masdar eco-city

T ropic of Cancer

Equator

T ropic of Capricorn


++

dongtan eco-city MACAU

+

SINGAPORE


+the palm jumeirah (25°07′05″N 55°08′00″E)

CURRENT CONTEXT

Aspects of greater Utopic Visions exist even within today’s context, with architecture facilitating competition between cities to continually create even grander visions of future cities. New cities emerging as selfcontained, branded and masterplanned rather than slow incremental organic growth become a more common occurence as architecture becomes designed towards the intent to appeal to investors and state department agencies seeking to spur growht and capture part of the greather global economy. Futhermore, rapid development in emerging superpowers have meant that cities are starting to emerge seemingly almost out of the ground overnight - this is made possible by the seemingly endless capital investment, availability in skilled labour, land and an uncompromising autocratic vision.

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+gardens by the bay (1°17 4.97 N 103°51′53.86″E)

+macau

(22°10′N 113°33′E)

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ARCHITECTURE BECOMES THE MEDIUM OR THE VESSEL THROUGH WHICH THE NARRATIVE IS EXPLAINED. THEREFORE, THE ARCHITECTURE ITSELF BECOMES A CRITICAL TOOL IN HOW WE UNDERSTAND THE NARRATIVE.


01.3

STARTING POINTS As a starting point, we were asked to produce three posters as a means of exploring initial concepts which we were interested in, and one poster which responded to selected readings from ‘The Art of Travel’ by Alain De Botton. These posters could potentially form the initial seeds of our eventual narrative or be developed in a completely different direction.


01.3 STARTING POINTS

INNOVATE OR DIE! 2.0 As large corporations such as Facebook and Google create impressive large scale campuses and high quality work spaces to act as ‘homes away from homes’, this new typology starts to blur the lines between home and work, as spaces start to fulfil basic everyday needs in addition to more flexible working hours and providing extra ‘luxuries’ for users which they may not have outside of work. But that poses the question: what lies beyond the bright colours, slides and synthetic grass surfaces? What’s hidden under the respective table tennis tables? As architects, are we designing a better work environment or creating a condition similar to that of a casino or a prison where there is little to no escape?

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01.3 STARTING POINTS

HOME POST-2035 After the first successful mission to Mars, large corporations have quickly moved in to sponsor new housing and plans for urban settlements to accomodate for the ‘next big move’ in housing realestate - a “neosuburban sprawl”. Airbnb has proved that any middle class individual finds itself comfortable in any middle class home anywhere on the surface of the globe, and by extension, in space. Someone can cross oceans, languages and borders to enjoy the same dishwasher, same monogamous double bed, and the same conception of property relations - and use the same social media to talk to the same people. With a platform which allows anyone with a house to easily reach a base of clients, and why wouldn’t you should do it? While at the present moment the ideology is mostly mobilising the aesthetics of the nice, the fun, the cute and the quirky, a new typology and set of rules could emerge from this style of living. Is this, in a sense, the dawn of a neo-nomadic lifestyle? New types of rooms with their own sets of rules and degrees of intimacy should merge within the house. A space with a view, a space with a bed and jacuzzi, a cinema with an office and a garden - it could be the rise of some sort of perverse suburban exoticism, grafted within a radical new city and completely referenced online.

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01.3 STARTING POINTS

GARDENS FOR THE DEAD: NEW BURIAL GROUNDS Population increase, poor planning and lack of space left on Earth has forced humans to look for new ways to ways to bury the dead. Furthermore, increasing pressure for land from the agricultural sector has meant that new strategies need to be enforced -the deceased are sent to outer space in pods to remote facilities and new burial grounds as means to germinate and populate nearby fertile planets with biomass growth to create new “memorial parks� for the dead. New rituals are formed creating new pilgrimages through space, and eventually, to paradise.

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01.3 STARTING POINTS

TERRA NOVA II It has been exactly 50 years since the first group of humans colonised Terra Nova II, or “Mundus Novus”, otherwise known as “The New World”. Previously a forlorn paradise, extremely beautiful, but empty and desolate and bereft of any purpose, it has been developed into an open-world resort and safari of ‘indigenous’ peoples and experienced, hastened by the advancement of budget space travel and triggered by humans’ romantic desire for nostalgia and a return to a much simpler time. As such, actors are hired to play villagers to fuel visitors’ thirst for the “authentic”. However, such performances are based on the only knowledge we have left of man-kind, floating around in space as wreckages, lost artefacts and seemingly incomplete archives of dead websites we had left of the old world. But does it really matter anymore? After all, in this new society of excess visual consumption and ‘appreciation’ which used to only exist within the digital realm, social hierarchy and power is determined by the people - “likes” and “views” are the new currency and anything that gets gains popularity online is key.te archives of dead websites we had left of the old world. But does it really matter anymore? After all, in this new society of excess visual consumption and ‘appreciation’ which used to only exist within the digital realm, social hierarchy and power is determined by the people - “likes” and “views” are the new currency and anything that gets gains popularity online is key.

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STORY-TELLING IS KING.

what? what topics interest you? within realm of architectural discourse; social, economic, political and environmental issues, etc.

how?

found?

how have existing designers already approached this topic/issue?

what have you found from your research?

interesting ways of design communication and representation, written, other forms of representation etc.

how can you add, modify or oppose existing views and methods, how will this affect how you will approach the topic?

CONTINUALLY INTERCHANGEABLE

SUMMARY OF DESIGN APPROACH

design? what will you design? diagrams, programs, translation into built structure, etc.

EXTERNAL INFLUENCES: film, art, pop-culture, political views, etc. INTERNAL INFLUENCES:

ITERATION, ITERATION, ITERATION! revision of structure, architectural details and articulation, revision of process and narrative, revision of method of representation.

personal agenda, personality/ “flair”, satire, hobbies, etc.


reflection Upon reflecting on my positive feedback towards my posters, as well as looking back at my previous projects, I decided to diagram how I normally design my projects as a means of formally articulating and understanding my design process. I have deduced that I tend to be more narritive-driven, especially when it comes to revealing politically or socially-charged issues in driving concepts for my projects, and tend to design my architecture and narritive towards this goal. Thus architecture for me is not always a solution to problems, but it can also be a medium and a tool for commentary, critcism and further discourse.


02.0

ENVIRONMENT & CONTEXT


02.1

CHOOSING SITE As the Earth’s closest celestial body, the Moon provides an attractive potential site for settlement outside of Earth. One method of making the Moon stuitable for human habitisation is through terraforming - a process by which climate and surface is changed to make large areas of the enviornment hostpitable to humans. However, current theories of terraforming involve sending nuclear missles or diverting asteroids directly to, these celestial bodies to create enough impact that it would generate enough atmosphere to sustain human life. This is not only dangerous but also extremely unsustainable Paraterraforming provides a means of creation of an Earth-like enviornment that could include not only farms but also parks, forests, and lakes, all enclosed to maintain adequate air pressure.

Paraterraforming sections of The Moon with a sample of Earth’s biosphere inside pressure domes, caves and underground caverns is something that we could achieve within years of arrival of the first equipment. Moving beyond paraterraforming, engineering the planet enough to support humans and other Earth life without domes and other enclosed structures, is a more ambitious goal that could reqiure centuries following a process of full-scale terraforming. Terraforming would require that the atmosphere be thickened and enriched with nitrogen and oxygen while the average temperature of the planet must be increased substantially.


earth to moon 384,000 km

moon minimum 6 month journey 490 million km

mars

earth


+ Closest celestial body to Earth - can be travelled to in a matter of days versus months (Mars). + Rapid resupply from Earth - Huge logistical advantage for an initial and intermediate colony. + Greater potential for solar energy (compared to Mars) - although most places are in complete darkness most of the time, we can initiate settlement on or nearer to the lunar poles. + Near-Earth orbital colonies (such as on the Moon) can service Earth’s tourist, energy and materials markets. Supplying Earth with valuagle goods and services will be critical to paying for colonisation (assuming capitalist investment) + Launching materials which come from the Moon (or near-earth objects) will be easier as the gravitational forces are much less, there is no atmosphere, and there is no biosphere to damage.


02.2

SITE CHARACTERISTICS Since our project revolves around designing architectural space in outer-earth conditions, it means the choice of site becomes a very critical and pragmatic decision. In this case resources such as water and sunlight (for solar energy) become main priorities in order to sustain any form of life. As a result, sites on The Moon’s lunar poles attract the most promise and provide greatest chance for Human survival. A site on the Lunar South Pole, near The Shackleton crater was chosen for futher investigation.

QUICK FACTS +Gravity 1.62519 m/s2, about 16.6% that on Earth’s surface or 0.16g +Geology Presence of a surface layer blanketed on top of The Moon’s crust called regolith. Regolith can be used to create solid structural material if heated and compressed and finer regolith can be turned into glass, due to the high presence of silica. +Water Existence of water and oxygen is understood to exist in vast amounts in deep craters in the Lunar poles.


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PEAKS OF ETERNAL LIGHT A Peak of Eternal Light (PEL) is a point which is always in sunlight, and as such is always in high altitude and on a body with very small axial tilt. PELs would be extremely advantageous for space exploration due to the ability of an electrical device to harvest solar energy regardless of the time of day or day of the year. As Lunar Poles are exposed to most sunlight, choosing a PEL within the region will maximise sunglight exposure potential.

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Three sites within proximity of The Shackleton crater are identified as Peaks of Eternal Light (Point A, B and D). Point A is chosen as the initial site for building as it covered in sunlight for 98% of the Lunar day, and due to its closer proximity to The Shackleton Crater for water and oxygen harvesting.

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ARCHITECTURE BECOMES THE MEDIUM OR THE VESSEL THROUGH WHICH THE NARRATIVE IS EXPLAINED. THEREFORE, THE ARCHITECTURE ITSELF BECOMES A CRITICAL TOOL IN HOW WE UNDERSTAND THE NARRATIVE.


02.3

SETTING THE FRAMEWORK

As this project seeks to provide a social commentary and a critical reflection of the state in which modern day cities are designed to promote consumerism and hedonistic activity, the architectural language and typology developed should also act as agents and critical tools in explaining this. While precedents such as Dubai and Macau provide easy examples and sources of inspiration of urban genericism and audacious ideas which have come to fruition, one must remember that the intent of the project is not to point fingers at obvious examples but to make an underlying and general statement that (almost) ALL architecture in today’s era is a big player in facilitating this type of behaviour in varying levels. An example of one extreme of this is Disneyland. Guised as a fantasyland, or “The Happiest Place on Earth”, it provides living examples of contradiction which form part of a winning formula for many cities aiming to capture their share of the global economy - creating a sense of fantasy, yet shares aspects which is familiar or nostalgic to visitors, over-the-top branding and sometimes subtle psychological warfare to keep you spending.

Therefore, the ‘societal issue’ becomes the program, and in parts through the aesthetic itself (generic). Program is distributed at an urban level to form a much larger picture - a ‘playground’ or ‘theme park’, similar to the iconic castle of Disneyland, comes to mind. As a formal statement, the overall composition of the city becomes a collection of different follies and problems, mostly undifferentiated from each other to drive through the idea of generic urbanism. The Disneyland references further reinforce the “same product, different packaging” idea.


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SETTING UP CONTEXT After researching the basic environmental conditions of my site I started to think about designing the soical context in which my narrative would exist in. Drawing ideas from my own experience as an expatriate child growing up and living through Dubai’s short history of rapid growth, I thought about travel and the creation of ‘place’ as a product of globalisation in today’s context, and that made me think more about space travel in a similar fashion. Lunar habitation is expected by 2030, so there is no reason why travelling to a nearby celestial body like The Moon cannot be the same as taking a flight to London or Paris. As such the reasons for travel for emigration would be the same - more money and work, better quality life.. the quest for that idea of “The American Dream” continues..

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This train of thought led me down the thought of designing a city as a commentary of our current state in society - endlessly pursuing a life of more money, motivated by greed, psychologically brainwashed by clever advertisement campaigns, and most of all, ignorant or passive about the true cost of our hedonism. I then thought about how highlighting specific issues would translate into program, and how this would work as a city. I devised a city around a standard ‘Live-workplay’ idea and planned to twist it to help illustrate ideas.

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03.3 CREATING CONCEPTS

THE APARTMENT BOOM With Melbourne’s population expected to double by 2040, the number of high-rise apartments in the CBD (whose borders are expected to extend even further) have also exponentially grown to cash in on this. Cookie-cutter apartments are pumped out as if on a factory conveyor belt, and sold as ‘luxury apartments’ with “amazing views to the city” located in “the World’s most livable City”. We criticise ridiculous developments in China and The Middle East, many of which are built assuming there will be buyers only to be left unfinished when investors pull-out last minute. Who is to say that could be one path Melbourne could head down? Building for the sake of building.. the generic city continues to grow like a tumor.

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03.3 CREATING CONCEPTS

FOOD It is no wonder we don’t know what food is going in our bodies or where our food comes from. Large companies such as Monsanto, who genetically modify crops and sell seedlings to farmers, indirectly control most of the agricultural market by controlling a few select crops such as corn. Traces of corn can be found in almost every product we use, from food to even household cleaners. Furthermore, cloning facilities are set up in China to keep up with growing demands for beef - of course this would cause global outrage if it ever left China’s borders, but then why is cloned meat any worse than the fast food that we all love?

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03.3 CREATING CONCEPTS

LAVISH LIFESTYLES One main ingredient of a ‘successful’ global city is its promotion of a lavish lifestyle. For the past few decades we have been continually sold an idea of ‘the bright lights’ - endless spending and entertainment front, left and right. But what is the cost of the pursuit of the idea of this lifestyle? It is an idea sold to those who can afford it, yet it comes at the cost of those who will never be able to experience a fraction of it. Poor construction practices, informal living camps and inhumane living conditions come to mind.. yet we continue to support this in the pursuit “of something better”.

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03.3 CREATING CONCEPTS

PSYCHOLOGICAL WARFARE Long work hours become become accepted as a major part of our daily lives - we work endlessly for the pursuit of an Americanized dream, sold to us by faceless ad-men who try to spin our hopes and dreams of a better life to sell us more junk than we already need. Consumerism rules in today’s world, popping up in every nook and cranny like unwanted adware from our internet browser.

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03.4

SETTING THE RULES

Since the chosen site for the project is a ‘tabula rasa’ or blank slate, I decided to create simple rules and parameters which would help dictate the arrangment of my city. Due to the premise of my site being on a peak of eternal light located near sources of water, I would build my city around the premise that this city would be continually harvesting and recylcing this resource for splitting into hydrogen and oxygen, resource consumption for plant and human life - a resource necessarily for its own survival - and the survival of it inhabitants and visitors. An an overall aesthetic the city would appear as a giant machine with each building as a single standardised component - as a message it would question the extents to which we go in terms of unsustainable practice to support our lifestyle, and in context of a contemporary architectural question, a commentary on the idea of modern cities slowly growing into an endless sea of generic urbanism.


1. A radius of 400 m is established. This represents the common “5 minute walking rule�. As such, buidlings are then encouraged to grow upwards versus outwards. 2. Generic buildings are set along points within the radius. They represent the four buidling typologies I will be designing later (Office, Apartment, Casino, Farm). 3. Building program grows upwards, careful planning is needed to make sure that two of the same typology don’t exist directly on top of each other. Having them be different means that there is access to a variety of all types within close proximity in the horizontal plane. 4. Because the city is designed to promote consumerism, connecting bridges housing retail interconnect between buildings on the horizontal plane. This means that every interchange in life and between each program (Work to Apartment (Home), etc.) is designed to grab attention and promote spending - a not-so-subltle move much like the billboards on the street or the merchandise in Disneyland.


400m 1.

400m

2.

3.

4.


03.5

SHACKLE-TOWN

Cinematic urbanism, inspired by film

A film is not just the tracing of space, but rather a narrative conveyed through a montage or succession of scenes and interactions between ‘characters’ and ‘setting’. But these shots are required to be made from a real location. Using my project ‘Shackle-town’, in addition to drawing references from the film Drive (2011), this essay seeks to explore how filmic and reallife urban spatial conditions influence each other, as well as our experiences of them.

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Urban Representation of ‘The City’ The modern city has always been an object of fascination for architects, film-makers and cinema goers alike - the sensations of ‘urban experience’ replicated through the visual, aural and emotive power of cinema. As such, film as an art form unlocks and uncovers hidden potential of urban space, overlaying new meaning onto these spaces through characters and narrative. Similarly, film provides an insight into the urban social, cultural and economic conditions of a city during that time period. Noir representations in film and literature portrays the fears of lower and middle class society hit especially hard by the Depression during the 1930s. In ‘Drive’, the city (downtown Los Angeles) is depicted as a ‘labyrinth’, claustrophobic in nature and ‘noir’ in representation. In parallel, ‘Shackle-town’ is represented as an ironic lunar ‘utopia’ of human problems, and its weaving network of megastructure, inspired by the idea of a ‘post-industrial Distopia’; manifests itself as a machine which represents ‘urban development’ at no costs.

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‘There are obvious overlaps between the work of film directors and that of architects. Filmmakers and architects have the same obsession with a “sense of place”. Both need small armies of collaborators to realise their visions. Both must deal with sometimes awkward and interfering patrons. Still, a “certain modesty” is required from film-makers when they compare themselves to architects. “Buildings are very real, after all, and they really determine and condition people’s lives. Films sometimes form people’s visions and dreams, but don’t have such an immediate impact on their reality. Or am I wrong?” - Wim Wnders, Via The Independent

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The Urban Experience Our experience and perception of cities, or ‘the urban’, is often a complex and difficult idea to pin down. Physical and nonphysical experiences (such as through film) continually blur the boundaries between fantasy and reality, up to a point where both can be considered the same or equally as valid. With representations and perceptions are personal and subjective, the city created by a film maker (or ’soft’ city, where the imagery and sense of illusion, aspiration, myth or nightmare are represented) is as ‘real’ as a city which we can locate on a map. Our lived space is experienced through a combination and fusion of physical and mental space, and as such the image of the city reconstructed by our imagination is just as real as a city of concrete objects and cold-steel structures. Therefore the underlying ‘grit’ of Drive’s representation of Los Angeles, despite it being ‘the City of Angels’ and a city of ‘hope’, as well as Shackle-town’s ‘blurring of urban boundaries’, where urban sprawl and decentralisation of Melbourne’s urban spaces are both becoming increasingly common realities in today’s world.

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Film, Space and Narrative By projecting a storyline onto a space, the filmic narrative gives space meaning and emotion, which in turn, affects our experience of that space. As such, a narrative therefore not only presumes a sequence of events but a language of design and story-telling. Furthermore, the portrayal of the city through a multiplicity of different view points and perspectives, not only can alter our perception of space, but also parallel our own lived experience of city spaces. ‘Drive’, directed by Nicolas Refn, was shot in Los Angeles towards the end of 2010 portraying the city as a backdrop for an alternative world of ‘neon-noir’ - lived through the body of a nameless stunt car driver, played by Ryan Gosling. The driver, who drives for the movies by day and offers his services for heists by night, continues to follow the tradition of the typical Hollywood ‘car movie, but the film is characterised by a minimal, realist tone and aesthetic, forcing us to acknowledge that the film is staging a series of fictional events in a very real setting. Using multiple perspectives - through the window, inside a moving vehicle, through ‘the eyes of God’, on the street, and the in and out of focus of background and foreground, are all techniques which mirror or parallel our own lived experience of urban spaces and city life. In ‘Drive’, Refn’s exaggeration of perspectives and use of dark graphic tones, creates spaces of ambiguity which relates to a vision derived from a multiplicity of view points, enriching our own city experiences.

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Through ‘God’s Eyes’: Downtown Drive begins immediately with a heist in play. As the Driver makes his getaway, our viewport immediately switches for the backseat in the Driver’s silver Chevrolet Impala. Through a series of cuts and edits, space and time is compressed, and the ‘feeling’ of the city created through various combination of visual and aural stimuli fluctuating and different speeds. Changing focus in between the car’s interior and the view through the windscreen enhances the quality of depth and realism, and only reminds and highlights to us that our experience of the film and this world is mirrored through the Driver’s experiences through driving or interactions with other characters. It is only after the Driver has been made sure of his escape that we are presented a ‘God Eye View’ of Downtown LA - an aerial and overhead view presenting itself as the traditional urban representation used in film and other arts, but a technique often used to help us understand the city as a whole. In parallel, in ‘Shackle-town’ it is not until you view an aerial shot or ride the ferris wheel and get up high and see the city as a whole that you can appreciate the city as its own entity.

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Concluding Remarks Filmic representations of urban settings through film, architecture and story telling presents new ways to help uncover and create new connections and narratives through lived space. The dreamlike atmosphere which permeates throughout ‘Drive’ – a rush of bright lights, blurred vision, sudden jumps of speed, exists in parallel to architectural narratives such as that of the postindustrial setting of ‘Shackle-town’, a fairy tale land based and built on complete fantasy. Set perspective views and camera angles lends for the commentary of a city whose reality is in its mythology - The Architect is its director, and the architecture its protagonists.

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03.0

DESIGN PROGRESS


03.1 MID-SEM REVIEW

The very first idea I proposed was a factory “green-scape” modelled around the idea of Paraterraforming. In this world buildings woudl become machines which would help sustain life and man-made nature within a large glass dome which was built for human habitation. The main premise of this idea was to develop a new ecological system as a commentary on how much we disregard resources and to question the idea of “what is nature?”

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03.2 TOURISM POSTERS

I did a mock tourism poster based on my mid-semester idea and feedback. I used this exercise as a means to establishing a potential workflow in Photoshop. This would also act as an “ideas collage� which would help develop or tease further ideas or aspects I would like to add into my future design, while giving a sense of atmosphere to how the enviornment may look like. From here I also started to think about the inherent value tourism posters and tourism campaigns have as a medium of propoganda to create higher perceived values of places which would encourage people to visit and spend their money there.

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03.4 BUILDING TYPOLOGY

I used this exercise in testing out how I would represent my buildings graphically, as well as how I would illustrate the different arrangements within each typology. I plan on doing more for each building typology.

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03.5 TEST-RUN PERSPECTIVES

I used this exercise in testing out potential representation styles and also to start thinking of specific angles or images that I would need to get an overall sense of scale of the project. Because I am doing an urban scaled project, a lot of my time and resources have been spent designing at a much larger scale than one small individual building. From here I decided I few shots from afar - The “icon� shot (think Disneyland), and axonometric camera view to get a sense of the internalised environment created by the arrangement of these buildings, and maybe one view from a pedestrian point-of-view. I will still have to prioritise these drawings in arrangement of importance closer to the due date.

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REFLECTION My overall experience of during my thesis has been incredibly bittersweet. Perhaps it is still early days and I have not allowed myself the time to soak it all in, but I feel like the ultimate potential of this project hasn’t been realised in its true form. This, I believe, was due to detours and key errors I made during the semester which would have given me the time needed to communicate my project better... Alas, a designer’s work is never “finished” so I have to accept it as a pivotal point in my learning. I came into this studio wanting to do some sort of ‘statement’ or politically charged commentary project - I think I have always used architecture school to express my own perceptions or thoughts of the world, and maybe because I have always thought ‘like an artist’ versus ‘an architect’ I have always struggled to communicate on the same wave-length. I wanted to use my experience living in Dubai as an added ingredient to my project - not necessarily to fuel existing perceptions of Dubai, but to point out that every city in the world spreads the same message in varying degrees. But alas, I have also been told I am a massive pessimist.. Nonetheless, I think while I am a little frustrated that my project was not as ‘water-tight’ as I originally envisioned, I am pleased with my contribution through the semester - 12 weeks is nothing! If I were to be truly honest with myself, as a whole I am extremely pleased with my progress since joining this Masters program - I felt I have gone strength to strength each semester and improved progressively in some way or another. I may not have ended the semester with the ‘winning project’ that I had initially aimed to have, but that has been the story of my entire architecture career - I have to find aspects of value in my design which I am proud of and try to push it further in the future. It’s a bit surreal everything is done.. half of me actually wants to do all of it again. But anyway, now for some sleep, and the next exciting chapter of my life. Onwards and upwards. -JH.


03.0

END


JUNHAN FOONG Having graduated from The University of Melbourne in 2013 with a Bachelor of Environments majoring in Architecture, Junhan is currently undertaking his Master in Architecture at Melbourne School of Design. Born in Malaysia, raised in Dubai, Junhan refers to himself as a ‘third culture kid’ whose appetite for creative work is explored across multiple avenues - including graphic design, experimenting with animation, motion graphics and film making, in addition to street photography on the side of pursuing a career in architecture. Fascinated by the impacts and implications of future technologies and interfaces on future human societies, Junhan experiments with film and 3D computer generated imagery as a storytelling medium.

For more work please visit: photography instagram: @_junstagram video vimeo: https://vimeo.com/jhfoong


STUDIO 22 FUTURE NOW Master of Architecture STUDIO C. Semester 02 2014

FB HOME FB Home is a new-age phenomenon sweeping over the world. Built as a series of interconnected pneumatic structures placed in major cities all over the world, FB home is designed to be a ‘temporary global event’ - a shopping paradise open publicly 24 hours a day aiming to revolutionise and encourage consumerism. Items and services are purchased with ‘FB Coin’, a digital currency gained by social media activity, and thus are technically ‘free’. Coins earned are based on the quantity and quality of data shared, and can be ‘farmed’ or accumulated by playing internet games on gaming machines placed throughout every building. However, everything is not as it seems. FB is also gathering data through other means - hidden trackers and machines are embedded within its buildings, as well as other objects scattered in its surroundings. Information stored within its data centres are used in secret to continually life-log and archive people, sold to the highest bidder and used to push ads to the public. FB Home is a project which aims to bring light to the issue of surveillance in modern day society, exploring tactics used in information gathering in an age where privacy is almost nonexistent.

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TECTONIC GROUNDS Master of Architecture. Summer FEB 2015

ONYX Onyx is a physical birthchild of data input and user interaction; a frankenstein monster of the digital and the physical. It feeds off our digital and physical inputs and in return, it gives us various forms of digital and physical response. Our interaction with Onyx keeps it alive.

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STUDIO 17 WEARABLE SPACES Master of Architecture STUDIO D. Semester 01 2015

in:COGNITO The startling reach of surveillance capabilities in urban centres has only exponentially boomed as the wide reach of the internet continues to grow. In today’s world, ultra-modern architecture facilitates a range of security measures by design, but shrewdly conceals the full extent of its surveillance regimes. Similarly, governments and other authoritative powers use this type of technology to view or gather information from the general public, most of the time without consent. Every movement, both physically and digitally, is scrutinised and information routinely logged within a centralised database. This type of behaviour creates a false form of security, with the people never realising how trapped they are within Surveillance’s perpetual gaze. in:COGNITO (a fictional fashion label) is a project which aims to bring light to the issue of surveillance in modern day society, using fashion as a medium to create a very personal countersurveillance or disconnect-space, giving back control and power to the people under “The Authority’s” watchful eye.

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STUDIO 15 MACHINING AESTHETICS 3.0 Master of Architecture STUDIO E. Semester 02 2015

LA VILLE EN ROSE ‘La Ville En Rose (City in Pink)’ seeks to create an urban structure which is open-ended in its syntax; the nature of the structure allows users to appropriate its use, necessary additional infrastructure, envelope and shelter depending on needs ‘at the time’. Using the tale of the fictitious 3D printing company ‘Clouseau Collectif’ as its main protagonist, the experimental nature of 3D Printing as a main driving force of making is explored. In this project, a possible urban scenario is speculated, highlighting the change in technology and construction methods over a time period of 2015 to 2050. This context creates a radically different view on architecture, where the city is built as infrastructure stripped to its bare bones, an empty shell waiting to be occupied, where programmatic spaces are yet to be inserted, and events and ‘moments’ generated by the creative potential of its inhabitants.

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AA VISITING SCHOOL MELBOURNE Master of Architecture. Summer FEB 2016

INNOVATE OR DIE! Innovate or Die! is a satirical take on an architectural solution for Australia’s burgeoning (..lack of) innovation problem. As large ‘innovative’ corporations such as Google and Facebook lead the way in developing state-of-the-art campuses which aim towards creating a more ‘fun’ atmosphere to help foster and develop synergies across their large business practices, we question: what lies beyond the bright colours, slides and synthetic grass surfaces? What’s hidden under the respective table tennis tables? It isn’t always feasible for large companies to develop large campus-style headquarters. City localities provide many advantages and the creation of innovation hubs such as Silicone Valley provide many benefits to business. Construction can be a costly venture in major cities and there exists opportunities for existing buildings to be morphed to better suit post-occupation. Innovate or Die! aims to develop a commune for innovation within the existing, allowing it to develop to fruition which in turn, drives revenue in this information age.

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APPENDIX CONCEPT SKETCHES


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APPENDIX CONCEPT SKETCHES


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Karl Tate, 2013. Shell-Worlds: How Humanity Could Terraform Small Planets (Infographic). [online]. Available from: http://www.space.com/23082-shell-worlds-planet-terraforming-technology-infographic.html [accessed 14 March 2016] Katie Medlock, 2016. Revolutionary new graphene water filters could save millions of lives around the world. [online]. Available from: http://inhabitat.com/revolutionary-new-graphene-water-filters-could-save-millions-oflives-around-theworld/ [accessed 15 March 2016] Lacy Cooke, 2016. Here’s what the environmentally-friendly cemetery of the future could look like. [online]. Available from: http://inhabitat.com/heres-what-the-environmentally-friendly-cemetery-of-the-futurecould-look-like/ [accessed 15 March 2016] Malcolm Harris, 2014. Turn Down for What?. [online]. Available from: http://thenewinquiry.com/essays/turn-down-for-what/ [accessed 26 April 2016] Matt Pearson, 2011. Generative Art: A Practical Guide Using Processing. New York: Manning Publications Co. Matt Williams, 2016. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET TO THE MOON?. [online]. Available from: http://www.universetoday.com/13562/how-long-does-it-take-to-get-to-the-moon/ [accessed 14 March 2016] Miriam Kramer, 2013. Incredible Technology: How to Use ‘Shells’ to Terraform a Planet. [online]. Available from: http://www.space.com/23063-terraforming-planets-shell-worlds.html [accessed 14 March 2016] National Geographic, Mars: The Red Planet. [online]. Available from: http://science.nationalgeographic.com/science/space/solar-system/mars-article/ [accessed 14 March 2016] Neil Spiller, 2006. Visionary Architecture: Blueprints of the Modern Imagination. London: Thames &Hudson Ltd. Nicolai Ouroussoff, 2008. The Generic City. [online]. Available from: http://onewaystreet.typepad.com/one_way_street/2008/03/the-generic-cit.html [accessed 28 May 2016] Nola Taylor Redd, 2013. Olympus Mons: Giant Mountain of Mars. [Webpage]. Available from: http://www.space.com/20133-olympus-mons-giant-mountain-of-mars.html [accessed 11 March 2016] Ria Misra, 2016. Botanists Just Answered One of the Biggest Questions About Farming on Mars. [online]. Available from: http://gizmodo.com/botanists-just-answered-one-of-the-biggest-questions-ab-1764064521 [accessed 14 March 2016]


BIBLIOGRAPHY AND REFERENCES Richard Hollingham, 2014. Five steps to colonising Mars. [online]. Available from: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20141030-five-steps-to-colonising-mars [accessed 14 March 2016] Robert Klanten, Lukas Feireiss, Matthias Böttger, 2011. Utopia Forever: Visions of Architecture and Urbanism. Gestalten. Robert Zubrin, The Case For Mars: The Plan to Settle the Red Planet and Why We Must. [online]. Available from: http://gizmodo.com/5812255/the-case-for-mars-the-plan-to-settle-the-red-planet-andwhy-we-must [accessed 14 March 2016] Rowan Moore, 2013. Why We Build: Power and Desire in Architecture. New York: Harper Design. Sam Gennawey, 2012. No Mickey Mouse Architect: An Urban Planner’s View of Walt Disney’s Progress City. H-Urban, (April). Sarah Frazier, 2015. Real Martians: How to Protect Astronauts from Space Radiation on Mars. [online]. Available from: http://www.nasa.gov/feature/goddard/real-martians-how-to-protect-astronauts-fromspace-radiationonmars [accessed 14 March 2016] Stephen Rowley, 2011. Walt Disney, Urban Designer. [online]. Available from: http://www.sterow.com/?p=2368 [accessed 22 April 2016] Steven Shaviro, 2015. Accelerationism Without Accelerationism. [online]. Available from: https://thedisorderofthings.com/2015/11/03/accelerationism-without-accelerationism/ [accessed 26 April 2016] Tim Sharp, 2012. Mars’ Atmosphere: Composition, Climate & Weather. [online]. Available from: http://www.space.com/16903-mars-atmosphere-climate-weather.html [accessed 11 March 2016]


Profile for Junhan F

Shackle-Town  

Part satire, part polemic and part futuristic fantasy, Shackle-town is a fictional moon city manifested as an imaginary future environment i...

Shackle-Town  

Part satire, part polemic and part futuristic fantasy, Shackle-town is a fictional moon city manifested as an imaginary future environment i...

Profile for jhfoong
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