ITERATIONS OF A DREAM: TRANSPOSING THE HUMAN AMBIANCES
Presented in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Bachelor of Architecture in the Department of Architecture at Rhode Island School of Design
by Bean Peeraya Suphasidh Rhode Island School of Design 2014
Examination Committee Approved by:
_____________________________________________________________________________ David Gersten, Professor, Department of Architecture, Primary Advisor
_____________________________________________________________________________ Christ Rose, Associate Professor, Department of Furniture Design, Secondary Advisor
_____________________________________________________________________________ Hansy Better, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture, Thesis Coordinator
Copyright ÂŠ 2014 by Peeraya Suphasidh All rights reserved
For my Grandparents
INDEX: Abstract 8 I. Falling 10 1. Screen of Seeds 13 II. Writing 15 III. Capturing 24 IV. Flickering 26 1. Parts 27 2. Hovering Hands 28 V. Waking 30 VI. Transposing 33 1. Mist of Dreaming 33 2. Body of Writings 35 VII. Concentrating 37 VIII. Waiting 42 1. The Body Double IX. Animating 47 1. Little Men 46 2. Waiting 48 2. Dancing 49 3. Falling 50 4. Swaying 51 5. Standing 52-53 6. Waving 54 7. Mingling 55 8. Reaching for the Stars 56 9. Closing 58 X. Stepping 61 XI. Looking 67 1. Looking Glass 67-83 2. Stilts for the Eyes 86 3. Zoetrope 91 XII. Clothing 95 XIII. Completing 99 1. Hanging Arms 99 2. Animating Bodies 112 3. Dwelling Legs 116 Epilogue
Abstract I trust in the assembly of things in space and their ability to provoke new apparatuses in lived ambiances. By meditated means of explorations, at many different levels, certain things become clearer while other fades away. Points of departures and point of pauses, all interconnected, leads to both a constructed and imaginative ends. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m interested in the process, more so of capturing its trajectories. Like millions of butterflies in mid-air at the same time, all pinned at different points in space - we look at them from different spectrums of the looking glass. Each of us looking for places to reside among them and they, too, are looking for their places to reside within us.
I am proposing a view of architecture that it should be a copy of our very being - a frail and fragile duplicate that can only be recognized when strength and care are paid to it. With these qualities of attention can it stand up straight, come back into shape, and find recognizable form. An architect must give part of herself away to her architecture to complete it. She must precisely extract from the depth of the very being that she is. To be able to distill the fragility of the human conditions is to become an architect.
I find clarity through crafting devises that duplicate the being that I am; they exist in between the scale of a building and that of myself. These constructs examine the fragility in different states of beings. Perhaps like making iterations of a dream, the process in which these constructs come into being reside within me and how I make sense of the world. In the care and sensitivity of the making lies my desire to find architecture.
I. Falling I started by looking at the seeds. The seeds are born on the trees, hung high above the ground of the earth. They hung in waiting. When the season comes the tree would let go of its seeds. The seeds then fall, turning and gliding with the air cushioning it. As they fall, the seeds catch different light of the world. Each one reflects truthfully what surrounds it. The role of duplicity is how he world finds its double in each of the falling seed. With their turning (like that of a Zoetrope), the world is â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;animatedâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; or given life to.
Screen of Seeds Fall 2010 I spend weeks gathering oak seeds; multiple trips to the same spot and spent as long as I could under the trees, picking every last broken wings. The piece was on memories - how things attained with time through the body continues to reflect upon the collected. I laid and glued each individual seeds, piecing one by one the fragmented into a flat square roughly 5 by 5 feet. This is done on a sheet of cardboard laid out across table and chairs of a double freshman dormitory room. I wrapped and shield the sheet of seeds with the corrugated cardboard and walked it downhill to our studio, trying to position my body and the kite-like item as aerodynamically as the length of my out-stretched arms allowed me to. At lunch hour of the review day, after the first half of the class had presented and headed out, I rushed my agenda of shutting all the window with black foam core and masking the sides with duct tapes. Tables, seats, the wall and everything else in the room sank and blend into one with the dark - the tiniest glimmer of light passing through the gap between few poorly placed making tapes present itself with the purest white Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d ever seen. Turning the electrical light switch on and letting the class in, I shafted pieces of paper underneath the door after them and turned off the light again. Having trained to the position of one specific foam core with has been cut and fixed with a piece of tin foil, I walked myself with a sharpened pencil in hand and poke a hole into the membrane of the foil, allowing a beam of projection into the chamber Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve created. A very faint up-side down image of the building next to our studio and its light blue backdrop appear on the suspended sheet of seeds: a camera obscura. For the next twenty minute or so, things were silent. Nobody spoke, eyes caught on the image as they adjusts to the dark and makes out what is projected. Details of the building starts to appears, soon the moving clouds and the shadow they cast. All bleached and reappearing as the sun overcasts through the envelope of the earth. So resumed the day and my first experience of transforming a space - a place, with the simple-most materials and tools, and a naive logic of creation. Four and a half year later, those memories still lingers and have influences on others emerging ones.
II. Writings: The letters and words falls from my hand onto the pages. They catch, capture, and give meaning to every glances scrolled through them. The letters animated the words which then animate meanings in oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s mind. The â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mumble of the mindâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; came about as a duplicate: the translated and the original, the transposed and the transfixed. The printed Thais carry with it traces of what was behind the pages, what was once beyond its content (a ghost print projected). The traces then become a part of the print, a print of a ghost, an original in its own right. The translated wiped clean of all those ghosts, leaving behind only the meanings of the words. Is the translated then a copy of the Thais, or the Thais a copy of the translated? (Keep in mind the role of duplicity also in how the world finds its double in each of the falling seeds and how writing has its double as the meaning it strikes in the mind.)
III. Capturing Seeds are assembled into a sheet in order to make a screen. A film of writings taken from â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;The Mumble of the Mindâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; is projected onto the screen of seeds. In this film, letters and words that once have fallen our of my hands are being caught by the screen of seeds..
IV. Flickering The self reside insides the body. The body acts as an apparatus: something that is the most intimate and at the same time something that is ultimate. The body ends with the digits, the fingers and toes. The head is something different, for it is simultaneously something outside and inside. The body contains the self yet sometimes it is the self that contains the body.
The feigner tips is the smallest part of the body that has their own bone structure. It is where one reaches out for the world. They not only send out in the form of signals but also receive in the form of touch. I am drawn to the movements of the digits from the beginning for its unique capabilities.
I built the wooden digits with the number of joints I have on my hands. They lays atop of my on hand, mimicking my movements
V. Waking How does one study, capture, and physicalize the distances between the many selves that exist among the human ambiances? Can the physical distance between the ends of one’s finger tips be quantified in the same manner as one would gauge the distance between one blink of an eye to the next? The thesis aim to explore the scope of architecture that houses the agile relationship between what is physical and what is not: to test, tease, and in the process, speculates on its capacity to relate bodies in spaces, allocate distances, unfold motions,a nd embody the continuing nature of our experiential consciousness. The notion of self is emphasized for its ambiguity. In response, the essence of architecture will be re-conceived with a similarly controlled ambiguity.
What is it to fall asleep and what is it to be in the mist of waking? The is a slight yet immense different between being behind and in front of the lid of an eye. What is it to see with one’s eyes? What is it to see with the mind’s eyes. I question the differences between the unfolding of a closed hand that is in front of my yes and the unfolding of the same closed hand that is inside of my mind. I believe that what is in front of one’s eyes is also inside of one’s mind; that architecture should also be something that not only shelter a person’s body but also the self that is in the body. To depart the body is to be completed by architecture.
The Ambiances of Waking Up is capture in the photographs. Each taken after the body has slept and awaken. The body that has left the dream has also lefts its marks on the bed and pillows.
VI. Transposing Upon waking up, we face no one. Going places, nobody sees. Could it be that this is a picture in a dream That this is a dream. We go places, Closing our eyes, to go to sleep.
We live our lives traversing between the world imagined and the world at constant. We go in and out, places after places. Some remain with us while the other disappear. The texts written in iterations try to construct the relationship between what is seen and what is remembered; what is at constant and what is being imagined. I repeatedly wrote the text, each time my hand moved differently, and displacing them form its previous position. When overlaid, the writing loses its meaning because none of the iteration perfectly match. Like us and our days lived, we continue to search for meanings among the fragments of things we remember.
Head, Neck Chest, Shoulder, Arm, Elbow, Fore Arm, Wrist, Hand Hip, Waist, Spinal Chord, Thigh, Knees, Shin, Calf, Heel, Foot The bodies constructed out of writings carries itself with words. The names of the parts are written in place of those parts. The written drawings of the bodies serve as a prose to the doubling of the body. How would the body be doubled and what relationship will the double have to the original? How will it take shape and how will it live?
VII, Concentrating Stilts are made in order for me to stand at the height above ground. In exchange for this extension of my legs, my arms must hold on to the post, my eyes must look downward and my attention is paid to how I plan to move. The stilts not only frame my body but also my mind. I made one stilt to carry the weight of myself. The second one is more structural so that it may hold the weight of somebody stronger.
IX. Waiting Through previous actions, it became clear to me that our bodies have a double in the space that contains it. The double of my body, for instant, is made with my dimensions, an offsets of my bones. It lies curled and deformed into a position in which my body cannot painlessly go into, still and motionless. Only with my strength and care can it stand up straight, coming back to shape recognizable as a body. Is it a copy of me or am I a copy of it? Is it dependent on my or am I dependent on it?
Crowd of Little Men
X. Animating The Little Men emerged from the writings. They carry the intentions of the hand to draw out meanings with its movements Little Men suspended in space and time. A frame of an animation holds a fragment of time and of movement. Only when one moves, be it us or them, do they come alive. The little figures step, dance, and repeatedly reach out for the starts. Some of them re-enact the stories written in the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Mumbles of the Mindâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, some of them live lives of their own.
LIttle Men Walking
LIttle Men Dancing
LIttle Men Falling
LIttle Men Swaying
LIttle Men Standing
LIttle Men Waving
LIttle Men Mingling
LIttle Men Reaching for the Stars 05-03-2553 The star merchant carries many many stars, he has been storing them in the sky. The cost of a star is not that high. The star merchant goes places carrying his stars in the sky for sale. Sometimes passerby stops to questions and give interest. The star merchant only works at night because he can’t see his stars during the times of day. Some lucky night when a star is sold, he is over joyed. One star does not cost much, anybody can possibly afford one. The prices of stars differ according to their classification: a comet is 5฿, a falling star is 12฿, a guiding star is 15฿, a planet is 100฿, which ever you like. The star merchant carries a sky full of stars for sale. Once in a while somebody would ask if he has any moons, the star merchant would reply, “No, I only carry stars.”
Closed Eyes: The most meaningful of all threshold is that of the lid of an eye, for it constantly covers and uncovers the world beyond the self. The eyes see and more importantly they do not see. The closing of eyes allow the self to withdraw back into darkness (where they say drawings have emerged from). It allow the space for one to think and reflect, to mentally wander between what is absent and what is present. The closing of the eye allows the self to dream and to recognize itself. The drawings of the closed eyes are reminiscent of the wings of the falling seeds; they constantly collecting and reflecting that which surrounds them.
The Stepping Hands
XI Stepping: As we traverse, we steps with our feet. We stump and stroll, we dance and march along. It is the floor that willingly bares our weight. It holds us as we pass. The floor remembers us: it bows, bents, compresses, and deforms with the bodies animated above it. Our feet constantly touche this floor and make contact with the space. Our steps make sounds, footsteps. It is in fact the digits that make sounds when they are in contact with architecture. The sound of the footsteps is elevated to the hands. Floors now hovers over the digits and catches them as they move. The flickering of the fingers then makes sounds, The moving of the fingers relates to the flickering of the eyes, and also to the falling of the seeds.
Hand at Rest
Houses and Extends
XII. Looking The eyed doubled as the looking glass. They are lenses made of blown glass, a still optical liquid. The lenses cast shadows and at the same time they distort. They continue to reinterpret what is projected upon it. We, in likeness of the lenses, are among the lenses, and are ourselves lenses.
Stilts for the Eyes The stilts once made for the body are reconstructed to hold the lenses so that they become elevated to the height of my eyes. The four legs combine to support the zoetrope.
Through the Zoetrope
Zoetrope With the Zoetrope, the turning gives life. The turning of the zoetrope mimics the turning of the falling seeds, and likes-wise, turns to animate what is inside and outside of it.
In the form of film an inside of the zoetrope, my body meets the little men and also the body of my double. Film houses bodies among bodies and suspends selves among selves. It is in the spinning of the zoetrope that I meet myself. Many pairs of hands work together to turn the zoetrope. The different lenses continue to distort while capturing the projected movie. Images align and misalign. Interpretations align and misalign.
Turning of the Zoetrope
Clothing of the Little Men
XII. Clothing The Little Men live in the physical world through their clothing. Their clothing hang in reminiscent for their bodies and anticipation of their movements. The hanging of the clothing item is how I begun to understand my second double and its relationship to my body.
XIII. Completing: Hanging Arms The seeds have dropped from the trees, the writing from my hands, and the clothing of the Little Men hung still - so does the double of my body. It rest still waiting for my body to enter. As I enter I complete the second body. My limbs moves its limbs and my motion become its motion.
Animating Body The body of the double is made our of one piece of wood that has been cut into small fragments. Like the animating bodies of the Little Men, many individual frames collect to construct the whole. The pieces hung on my body in likeness of the little men, the screen of seeds, the writings, and the flickering fingers.
Dwelling Legs The leg of the second double rest on a stilt, to be completed as my leg enters. The toes of the second double moves atop my toes as my weight is supported by the stilt.
Epilogue It is my hope that the thesis can find its place in your heart; that if today it does not manifest itself in form of â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;buildingsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;, may it still carry my sensitivity and intention as an architect. May it give strength, the strength to be kind. An architect must give a part of herself away to her architecture as to complete it. It has the very same relationship to its architect as I have with my body doubles, my writing, my screen of seeds, my little men, my miniature furniture, and my zoetrope. I needed to see the fragility extracted in order to understand. What works of architecture needs from us are our strength and care; in return, it completes us as a being and makes us whole again.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Schwartz, Hillel. The Culture of the Copy. New York: Zone Books, 1996. Print. NoĂŤ, Alva. Out of Our Heads. New York: Hill and Wang, 2009. Print Isaacson, Walter. Einstein: His Life and Universe. London: Simon & Schuster, 2007. Print Steele, Gentry D. and Bramblett, Claud A. The Anatomy and Biology of the Human Skeleton. USA: Ninth Printing, 2012. Print
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: My Family: Preyanush Suphasidh (mother) Kasob Suphasidh (father) Korawee Suphasidh (brother) Pranai Suphasidh (grandmother) My Teachers: David Gersten Laura Briggs Silvia Acosta Carl Lostritto Pari Riahi Jason Woods Kenneth Horii Lisa Young Nade Haley Sermsil Art Institute My Friends: Tippayachat Sanghiran Kuzina Cheng Sonny Lee Burรงe Karadag All Woodshop Staffs and Monitors