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Page 1

F

our planning fields for

B

ucharest,

R

omania 1996

Raul Bunschen / CHORA

Mahsa Khaki MA Architecture University of Westminster


Contents

8

Romania, Bucharest Map

10

Introduction Research through Design Chora and Dynamic Modelling

12

Body Romania, Bucharest Black Sea basin Geomorphological structures Dynamic modelling Interpretation Four elements Broader Investigations

16

Conclusion Reflection and thoughts Orthographic Drawings Research through Design

23

References


ROMANIA


Bucharest


Introduction

In this paper, my object of study and discussion will be a project by Chora based in Romania, Bucharest: which lies within the geomorphological basin of the Black sea in Romania. Chora, a research office founded in London by Raoul Bunschoten practices research through design who also created a dynamic map and cultural icon of the Black Sea, which addresses the situation of Bucharest as a whole using the fluvial system of the ocean. This is placed and explained through a larger context of a geomorphological system, which considers and relates to the political, social, physical and many other unpredictable fluctuations that have affected the city designed to be shown graphically through Chora’s map. I will be connecting this to the realms of research through design. The term “research through design” comes from Christopher Frayling (1993). He provided a descriptive framework for research in the arts as being: 1. Research into design—research into the human activity of design. 2. Research for design—research intended to advance the practice of design. 3. Research through design—a type of research practice focused on improving the world by making new things that disrupt, complicate or transform the current state of the world.

“Research into design and research for design both refer to the outcome of a research project; the type of knowledge that is produced. Research through design differs in that it is an approach to doing research. It can result in knowledge for design and into design” - Stolterman, S. (2008).


Introduction

While design has gained a strong basis in practice, it has had much growth in the research community. When we follow research through design, we begin to integrate the invisible design approaches and processes in the background that have been an ongoing investigation before the main research becomes valid. This is something I would like to title the unseen exploration. In this case, Chora’s map allows us to visually transform the way designers contribute their research, based off their strength in addressing under constrained problems to the reader. It merges research practices from social, physical and political sides in design action. “In practice, design researchers map out a problematic situation and offer ideas to improve the state of the world” (Uio.no,2018). “Critical designs force people to reconsider the world they inhabit and to notice aspects too often overlooked. The knowledge produced includes the characterization of the issue being critiqued, the approach used to draw the viewer’s attention to the under- lying issue, and the process used to arrive at the problem framing and the final artifact form”. (Uio.no, 2018)

However, as much as the advantages to research through design, many researchers have struggled to connect these two together. Voices such as Erik Stolterman that come from research community backgrounds, state that “scientific research drives towards the existing and universal, while design works in pursuit of the non-existing and in the creation of an ultimate particular” (Stolterman, 2008). Design and scientific research seem to be headed in opposite directions to certain researches. Yet, there is no reason why there cannot be a scholarly method of practice that allows all processes of research to be shown in design practice to accommodate one’s project. RtD draws on design’s strength as a reflective practice of “continually reinterpreting and reframing a problematic situation through a process of making and critiquing artefact’s that function as proposed solutions” (Rittel & Webber, 1973). In this paper I will begin to talk about the importance of design through research, and generally the more systematic and explicitly reflective process of translating and retranslating a conventional understanding of the worldof course, with the connection of Chora and the Black Sea upon how his map communicates to the reader.


Body

Bucharest is the capital and largest city of Romania. I will be focusing more precisely on the Black Sea that is a body of water and marginal sea in the Atlantic Ocean, which lies between the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Western Asia. It is supplied by a number of major rivers. About a third of Europe drains into the Black Sea, including the countries: Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine. The Black Sea basin is a large-scale geomorphological structure that has adequately diverse conditions to create a complex model about. But as a geographic entity, the Black Sea basin is divided into four fields thus giving it a thematic division of geopolitical regions. These four fields not only differ in size, but also in historical perspective. They are accordingly as followed: Russia; Central Asia and the Turkic regions; Western Europe and the European Union; the Middle East and North Africa. Accordingly, the map that Chora has produced has been ultimately split up in four layers of the Black Sea as mentioned above- these four layers are divided into the Black Sea, basin, flow and the incorporation. “Black Sea: a theoretical representation of aggregates which form its substance. By naming these aggregates, they become an entity and facilitate their recognition by the third party, which then ignores certain differences amongst them. Basin: a geological feature designated by the watershed that collects various elements together, thus increasing the change of the production of new entities. These new entities then become agents of new interactions in return and increase the complexity of the system. Flow: a movement through a network of nodes, otherwise known as processors and connectors. The pattern of this flow changes in time and reflects the global influences through their accumulations. Incorporation: a process of integrating the diverse elements into a single complex system, which itself becomes one of the building components of a larger whole; the skin of the earth� (Uio, 2018).

Chora’s dynamic modelling of his map places this into a much larger context of the geomorphological system of Romania, in relation to the political, social, physical and other exterior events of such which have affected the city. With his unique approach to this project, he uses the fluvial system of the Black Sea as metaphor, dynamic model and cultural icon- this then considers the processes of change in how these might be connected as instruments that create operations of controlled urban change.


Body

Figure 1:Dynamic modelling- Four planning fields for Bucharest, Romania 1996 (Uio, 2018)

This idea of dynamic modelling that Chora has presented to us allows him to make visible what is not. What I would like to call, these “unrecognized forces� of the Black Sea are better shown, where extremely powerful forces for these emotive energies are made clear in his map. Mapping becomes a way of solving an issue to how we view research, as it allows us to take actions in practice and map out a difficult situation to offer new design ideas, as well as theoretical ideas to improve the state of the city. The underlying message of the geomorphology of this land is assumed to have a relationship to the organisational structures of cultural inhabitations on the surface, which is what Chora has seen to show. The fundamental geomorphology of the land is assumed to have a relationship to the organisational structures of the cultural inhabitations on the surface of the land. And in this performance, the Black Sea is a large-scale object that relates to cultural identification (Uio, 2018). Chora’s map demonstrates that these layers have been portrayed in different levels, which achieves integration and dominance in certain areas of the map. When we look at more clearly, we can take see which sections hold more hierarchy than the rest. The design creates distinct layers would come together and produce separate activities whilst being on the same page. I will thus be dividing this map up in four separate segments and speaking about the potential each one holds in my own vision and opinion.


Body

The first fragment of the map that I will be looking at is figure 2. As clearly shown, inner circle is a major shape in this section. When looking more closely, the shapes interior is divided into several lines which is cut through the centre diameter many times. This suggests a division between this specific circumference of the city that’s also seemed to be at a grounded level, given the house names. This is very interesting as it begins to give us localisation within the map, perhaps only one layer of this is considered to be in Romania, Bucharest. The second fragment (figure 3) will be focused on the dashed lines that are framed diagonally across the map. Solid lines are exquisitely rich with information. They give us a sense of track and direction. Except, in this case, it shows there to be a weaker relationship within the route due to the dashed lines that create uncertainty. The area seems to be overlapping in this map, where two spaces are divided. This is unusual and are many ways to read this; however, the two areas of land must be creating a division through the line via many of the layers that Chora was presenting, giving us a sense of solitude and independence in both areas as separate beings of the land.

Figure 2

Figure 3

The third fragmen (figure 4) will be attentive towards the crosses that are on opposite cardinal positions of the map. Crosses in mapping are a source used to pinpoint certain coordinates to indicate the reader to cite that area as more significant or higher of value than the layered surfaces shown. These areas might perhaps show us a more substantial value to the Black Sea, where the majority of attention, motion and deliverance is here- where most of the activity lies. Lastly, the fourth fragment (figure 5) is where the fullest line is drawn harshly onto the map. This thick white line is obviously showing us a clear route to the field. Even though we do not know the exact layer it is on, we can say that it holds much power over the rest of the elements in the map; eyes follow this line across the border as the names are written across it. These fragments aimlessly come together to produce a potential quality about the way Chora has designed it to drive our attention to our very own clarification about the map. Small readings such as these come together to drive questions, interpretations and movements in design.

Figure 4

Figure 5


Body

Figure 6: Four different fragments highlighted in Chora’s dynamic modelling

When we look at Chora’s map, the abstract theme to it gives us a higher sense of questioning what we’re seeing, we can really start to depict what our eyes as well as our minds are reading simultaneously. Building on Nigel Cross’ observation that knowledge resides in designers, in their practices, and in the artifacts they produce (Cross, 1999) the ability to be able to manipulate the artifact of what we’re seeing is the ability to create new forms of what our subconscious sees, as well as our consciousness. In my belief, a broader investigation that can we taken is that- to be able to reveal more prognostications on new ideas, we shouldn’t only focus on the matter of how beautiful or precise an orthographic drawing may be represented, but rather the conceptual notation of how we can reveal what we do not know yet. This is not through signifying what is reality, as this will be repeating the same lens. But as a lesson that I believe more attention should be given to is that: we must seek to achieve a higher degree of concealed and subliminal matters that are masked in our subconsciousness, and this may be through a degree of letting go in the concrete world.


Conclusion

Overall, research through design is an incredible tool that allows us to really understand and empathize with the hidden societal issues that we do not entirely discover on the outcome of a piece. Research usually is seemed to describe the respective old territory of written explorations and examinations; mostly in a black and white format. But why? For multiple decades research has kept the same value on what it should achieve, but what about what it can’t achieve? And if after this, what the non-achievable can offer us in terms of intellectual thinking? Once an initial framing has been set, we can start to explore by addressing the not so obvious in the research community and continually evolve concepts, that will thus start to generate a different framing through its embodiment of a solution, as well as being part of a critique. This is more than just about stating the obvious, it affects us as individuals on a day to day basis. Life is about investigating more than just the obvious, to bring a fresh element on how we consider viewing space. An everyday exploration of life through the same monotonous lens of an identical perspective is a problem, it provides us with the same path that we were once in before which achieves nothing new. Yet, testing, evolving, and refining an idea for it to come into shape allows us to grow, not only in design through research, but as people and as individual frameworks which will begin to strand from that.


Conclusion

Much in comparison to other architectural drawings such as orthographic wise, we can identify they can be two dimensional or three-dimensional illustrations that can be used to show the overall concept and design. They often show us one formation of understanding what the architect is trying to portray. Which is already significant when we compare this to abstract drawings that can product several objectives in the image. Orthographic drawings represent design in a very standard, but detailed manner in form of lines, line thickness’s and hatches- a form of parallel projection, in which all the projection lines are a product in being orthogonal to the projection plane, resulting in every plane of the scene appearing in affine transformation on the viewing surface. However, research and design should be more dramatic than just a few pages of script. Design is not just art, or an expression that’s an addition to a research piece. It should rather be the main embodiment of an extension of a piece of research, as well as a visual construction of the mind. When we look at a map or model, each pair of eyes will receive and retrieve that information differently, this means research through design will influence the production and reproduction of architectural design for future researchbeginning to search to understand what the state of the world is and how each different person will offer a new perspective to it. Finally, where people outside of the research team can experience the design and can begin to question the world around them. After all, it is the people that make what is, and what is not.


ROMANIA


Bucharest


References

Books: - Cross, N. (1999). Design Research: A Disciplined Conversation. Design Issues, 15(2), 5. - Rittel, H. W. J., & Webber, M. M. (1973). Dilemmas in a General Theory of Planning. Policy Sciences, 4(2), 155 - Stolterman, S. (2008). The Nature of Design Practice and Implications for Interaction Design Research. International Journal of Design, 2(1), 55. - Google Books. (2019). Mappings. [online] Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=sL8jjSg4Nx [Accessed 2 Jan. 2019]. Websites: - Iffi, (2018). Black Sea: Bucharest_stepping stones. [online] Avaiblie at: http://iffi.org.uk/projects/chora/bucharest/bucharest_stepping_stones.htm [Accessed 27 Dec. 2018]. - Google Books. (2019). Mappings. [online] Available at: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=sL8jjSg4Nx [Accessed 2 Jan. 2019]. Images: - Iffi, (2018). Black Sea: Bucharest_stepping stones. [online] Avaiblie at: http://iffi.org.uk/projects/chora/bucharest/bucharest_stepping_stones.htm [Accessed 27 Dec. 2018]. - Uio.no. (2018). Research Through Design in HCI. [online] Available at: https://www.uio.no/studier/emner/matnat/ifi/ INF5591/h15/Literature/resdeszimmer.pdf [Accessed 20 Dec. 2018].


F

our planning fields for

B

ucharest,

R

omania 1996

Raul Bunschen / CHORA

Mahsa Khaki MA Architecture University of Westminster

Profile for Mahsa Khaki

Four planning fields for Bucharest, Romania 1996  

n this paper, my object of study and discussion will be a project by Chora based in Romania, Bucharest: which lies within the geomorphologic...

Four planning fields for Bucharest, Romania 1996  

n this paper, my object of study and discussion will be a project by Chora based in Romania, Bucharest: which lies within the geomorphologic...

Profile for mahsa.kh
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