Thursday, March 10, 2011
â€œâ€Ś the only really transitory aspects of life are the potentialities; but as soon as they are actualized, they are rendered realities at that very momentâ€? Victor Frankl This project will explore the tangential nature of meaning / purpose / significance. It accepts the premise that there is a spectrum of potential, and that universal truth is incidental. Meaning is instead unique at each moment to each individual, and it is something fluid and transformative. As this spectrum is traversed by individuals, a path is laid and narratives are formed. The result is the character of a person and the stories of their lives. The stories are imbued with meaning. These stories may be spoken, written, or illustrated, and this thesis will explore the architectural expression of narration. Throughout history, architecture has lent itself to storytelling by providing a permanent material surface to inscribe or sculpt a narrative. The frieze of the Parthenon was carved in stone and forever told its story (however interpreted) to the world. Christian churches continued this stone storytelling tradition, and the sculptures were often detailed and precise to teach bible stories to the illiterate. The monoliths at Stonehenge confused historians and archeologists for centuries, but the significance was revealed to relate to the movements of the sun and earth. This thesis will explore the architectural expression of narrative. This will negotiate between the use of allegory and symbolism and the implications of form and materiality. The search for connections and expression will result in small scale constructions which act as a center for the self, whoever the self may come to be. The scale between furniture and architecture, or half scale space, provides unique moments and gaps for the human body and reveals positions and movements that are both strange and familiar. The constructions will tell individual stories and will link to each other within the realm of an existing, designed space. Together, they will tell a larger, complex story. Meaning is present through the application of myth and story, but will be further explored as the individual constructions are separated. Site, to a single construction, is about a landscape of mythology and allegory. Collectively, they will need to be housed as an exhibition in an existing space. They will be separated from this space and from each other after a period of time, and sent to different places. These new sites will lend a new layer of meaning.
STORY TELLING ARCHITECTURE
URBAN SCALE: BUS TOPS
BUILDING SCALE : ROOM SCALE FRANK HAVERMANS
BUILDING SCALE : HALF SCALE sou fujimoto
Half-ness is scaled for humans, and half-ness is an indifferent space.
A gap between clothing and person. The gap itself constitutes a figure. It becomes a form.
BUILDING SCALE : HALF SCALE Terunobu fujimori
DETAIL SCALE : UNIVERSAL DESIGN RICHARD SCHINDLER
“the house [is] an organism in which every detail, including furniture is related to the whole and to the idea which is its source”
DETAIL SCALE : NARRATIVE chartres cathedral
Now this has been standing here for centuries. The premier work of man perhaps in the whole western world and it’s without a signature: Chartres. A celebration to God’s glory and to the dignity of man. All that’s left most artists seem to feel these days, is man. Naked, poor, forked, radish. There aren’t any celebrations. Ours, the scientists keep telling us, is a universe, which is disposable. You know it might be just this one anonymous glory of all things, this rich stone forest, this epic chant, this gaiety, this grand choiring shout of affirmation, which we choose when all our cities are dust, to stand intact, to mark where we have been, to testify to what we had it in us, to accomplish. Our works in stone, in paint, in print are spared, some of them for a few decades, or a millennium or two, but everything must finally fall in war or wear away into the ultimate and universal ash. The triumphs and the frauds, the treasures and the fakes. A fact of life. We’re going to die. “Be of good heart,” cry the dead artists out of the living past. Our songs will all be silenced – but what of it? Go on singing. Maybe a man’s name doesn’t matter all that much. F for Fake, Orson Welles
DETAIL SCALE : FURNITURE andrea zittel
I first heard about this book several years ago from my dad, who said he found the book significant. I never got around to reading it. As I continued my research this quarter I spontaneously felt drawn to this book, or more specifically the title, and the sudden need to read it. I finished it in a day. The most important part for me was the idea of tangential meaning, or rather, the idea that an overall purpose or meaning is in reality a non-issue. It is, to Frankl, about finding meaning and purpose at different points in time, and never losing your own perspective. If there is no universal truth, and meaning exists uniquely at each moment to each individual, then this project will explore the architectural consequences of that idea. I was reminded, while reading, of an Ancient Civilization class I took in undergrad on Greek and Roman Mythology. Stories can be traced back to significant origins, whether it is mapping the stars or something of geographical significance. But there is no solid state to a myth. It is something fluid which changes with each culture that touches it. They each leave an imprint of their meanings and moments in time. And so myths transform and are handed down, but they are imbued with meaning which extends beyond their original definitions. I think that architecture can similarly be imbued with meaning through the forces of individuals and their purposes at different moments in time. And that can result in highly expressive structures which exist as a center for the self.