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RACHEL GHINDEA

PORTFOLIO


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HEREAFTER THING THEORY US EMBASSY NOODLE SOUP FAIRY TALES ARCHITECTURE OF THE ABSURD


We are in a period of time referred to as the Anthropocene. Some authors have acknowledged that since 1945, there has been an even greater escalation in the amount and rate by which humans have altered climatic ecosystems, polluted air and water, and have turned natural resources into un-recyclable materials. Our HOME design takes seriously this condition and proposes a model for living in which we are more connected with the waste we produce, the water we use, and the air we breathe. Off-Cube is a home of three or more volumes, connected by one circulation core. This core operates as a conduit, both for resources and people. It filters rainwater for use in cleansing, or bathing and meditative volume. The core also moves wastewater to the outdoor garden for filtration and re-use, as well as fresh air down to the sleeping volume.

ARCHOUTLOUD HOME COMPETITION w/ STUDIO AMES 2019

The living space is constructed with ByBlocksÂŽ, a building material made of compressed recycled plastics; the cleansing space of glass, granting a modern relationship between interior and exterior; and the sleeping space of mass timber panels creating a pre-modern space carved from a mass and serving the purpose of sequestering carbon, cleaning the air as one sleeps. These essential elements of life (waste, water, air) utilize three specific building materials (plastic, glass, and timber) putting forth a model of living for the future - to live independently, hereafter.

HEREAFTER


plans; left to right: cross laminated timber sleeping volume, glass cleansing volume, byblock living volume


exterior rendering portraying collection of HEREAFTER modular homes


The essential elements of life (waste, water, air) utilize three specific building materials (plastic, glass, and timber), proposing a model for living in which we are more connected with the waste we produce, the water we use, and the air we breathe.


The contemporary architect is increasingly interested in a single architectural drawing or graphic image used to represent a complex project. These appear to have static narratives, contributing to the boredom plaguing the 21st century. By becoming images producers, architects are giving up their agency as space makers. Boredom, or the formation of an experience into a habit, is developed after having the same experience for 21 days in a row. To provide relief from the monotony of habitual life, we are speculating a new kind of architecture, a 21 Day“Thing” Architecture. An architecture comprised of a series of things which can be replaced periodically, suspending our expectations and disrupting our assumptions every 21 days. Similar to Hejduk’s Victims, 21 Day Thing Architecture is

SENIOR HONORS THESIS KNOWLTON SCHOOL - UG4 w/ SARAH CRONIN & ALEX OETZEL prof. SANDHYA KOCHAR 2018

a proposal which will manifest as a series of distinct characters (things) creating different spatial experiences. This architecture originates in drawings and images produced by contemporary architects. We consider these to be objects, or the easily and widely replicated and disseminated. We aim to turn these objects into things. Things are that which shed socially encoded values and are presented to us in new ways through suspension of habit. An object can become a thing through careful and thoughtful design.

THING THEORY


Questioning lifespan and permanence, these “things� counter the status quo of boredom in the 21st century. Contemporary architects create rich, complex works that need to be unpacked beyond their static narrative.

One does not have to create an entirely new project to create a new experience. Each project can become a kit of parts to address one or many or infinite different program(s) by injecting a new narrative that uses the existing information to defy expectations and suspend habits.


Pool Party by Bureau Spectacular >>> Pool Convention Center


Pool Party by Bureau Spectacular >>> Pool Con, a convention center that introduces fun (and water) to a rather banal archetype


Junkspace by NEMESTUDIO >>> Mechanical Contents


Detroit Reassembly by T+E+A+M >>> 1909 House

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Given the current relationship between the US and Mexico, this project is an investigation of the border between two countries not as something that divides, but something that enables interaction. The expected function of the border is inverted into a wrapper that collects. However, this wrapper is not a tangible thing - the box that encases the collected objects is only read where it defines the limits of the building, and its cleaving of the objects leaves behind transparent glass faces. This is not only meant to recall the fact that most borders are not physical elements, but also to indicate the increasing obsolescence of borders. The objects collected by this wrapper are forced to intersect and overlap and ultimately create space. Much like territories of one country existing within another (as the embassy is often

1ST PLACE - GUI STUDIO COMPETITION KNOWLTON SCHOOL - UG4 prof. KAREN LEWIS 2017

considered) the walls and floors begin to behave like borders while one set of offices exists on the same floor plane, they are nested within and afforded views of multiple other offices or public areas that exist on other levels. By mapping a typical office diagram to the pyramidal forms, this building maintains a vertical hierarchy of spaces but introduces opportunities for interaction between cascading nested spaces of different program.

US EMBASSY


top to bottom: elevation, formal studies, section diagrams


ground level plan

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model photographs


“It was as if the entire universe existed between two planes, and one day they suddenly came crashing together, flattening everything. What was once three dimensional space now exists within only two dimensions. We call it Nospace. We live here now, a decision no one can remember consciously making. I still remember what space was like, what depth was like. I crave the feeling of moving past something, or watching distant landscapes grow and become larger the closer I got. Now, everything is flat. It would have been impossible to imagine what this world looks like, or feels like, before the flattening, but now it looks as if this flatness is all we will ever know again.

BLANK SPACE FAIRY TALES ILLUSTRATED NARRATIVE w/ WIPSTUDIO 2019

most pressing uncertainty in the minds of Nospace immigrants, is it reversible? Can we re-inflate our world and bring back the space that used to define it-define us?�

The question that plagues us is why? Why did this happen to our earth? What could have caused the complete collapse of space as we knew it? And, the

NOSPACE


“It’s almost as if we are being punished for spending more time in two dimensions than three. Buried in our screens, or at least pressed up against them, interacting with this version of the world instead of physically experiencing the space around us. Is it possible we even slowly constructed this world around us, so slowly we didn’t notice the third dimension dissipating from our world? We were too absorbed in clicking links, liking pics and sharing memes to notice. Our faces flattening into our screens until we finally came up for air and found... nothing...the space around us had flattened also, into something all too familiar. Maybe, we are actually living in what was once our screens. Nospace could simply be surface of the screen and our faces were pressed so tightly against it that we melded into it and became one with this other world. We now occupy the platform of which we were once just tourists -- clicking, liking and sharing, then returning home. Now the tourists have become the inhabitants, and this exotic world has quickly lost its charm.”


Noodle Soup is an architectural scale interface. Conceived as an interactive playscape, it is flexible enough for a range of outdoor performances, and picturesque enough to seamlessly integrate into the wooded scenery of Lake Forest. It features a set of fuzzy, fixed structures (walls) around which are soft, linear, pliable pieces of furniture (noodles). The soft elements can interact with the hard structures to serve functional purposes such as seating, but they can also act as oversized toys, freely configurable in a variety of ways. Conceptually, Noodle Soup seeks to empower the individual’s artistic agency as well as blend whimsy, playfulness, and interaction into a transformable constructed landscape with both predictable and unpredictable results . The noodles are waterproof, lightweight bean bags arranged

1ST PLACE - 2018 RAGDALE RING COMPETITION INSTALLATION - LAKE FOREST, IL w/ OFFICE CA 2018

throughout the composition. The walls are made of traditional wood framing, anchored into the ground to withstand a variety of performances or play. They are conceived as being “peeled” up from the earth to create seating and fixed points between/with which the noodles create compositions. The color of the turf asserts both an artificial and natural relationship to the surrounding Lake Forest scenery. As one makes their way around the installation, some walls recede into the greenery of the landscape, while others emerge to the foreground as geometric objects in a picturesque forest.

NOODLE SOUP


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...seeks to empower individuals’ artistic agency.” The soft elements can interact with the hard structures to serve functional purposes such as seating, but they can also act as oversized toys, freely configurable in a variety of ways. Conceptually, Noodle Soup seeks to empower the individual’s artistic agency as well as blend whimsy, playfulness, and interaction into a transformable constructed landscape with both predictable and unpredictable results.


// NOODLE SOUP RECEIVED HONORABLE MENTION IN THE 2018 ARCHITECT’S NEWSPAPER BEST OF DESIGN AWARDS, YOUNG ARCHITECT’S CATEGORY. // PHOTO CREDIT: ZANE SHAFFER


Detached from his world and unwilling to accept his reality, Albert Camus’s status as both colonizer and colonized stripped him of all notions of domesticity and home. Unsure of his true nationality, Camus is forced to navigate between a society for which he was promised a sentiment of home, and a society whose structure he rejects. As such, he is left in the abstract, caught somewhere between. Likewise, his architecture is also unidentifiable. Light and sound affect his characters through raw, visceral circumstances, however, the architecture itself remains ubiquitous; its location is anywhere, its style unidentifiable. His characters, a biographical parallel of Camus himself, are likewise exiled where abstraction is a necessity. Instances of nondescript architecture in his novels,

DISPLACEMENT & DOMESTICITY SINCE 1945 CONFERENCE - BRUSSELS, BELGIUM w/ MATTHEW TEISMANN 2019

therefore, result from a need to construct myths in an Absurd reality.

ARCHITECTURE OF THE ABSURD


“The silent city was no more than an assemblage of huge, inert cubes, between which only the mute effigies of great men, carapaced in bronze, with their blank stone or metal faces, conjured up a sorry semblance of what the man had been.� Albert Camus, The Plague, trans. M. Ward (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), 172


“The man barely took time to notice that he was in a whitewashed kitchen with a sink of red ceramic tile, an old sideboard, and a sodden calendar on the wall. Stairs finished with the same red tiles led to the second floor.” Albert Camus, The First Man, trans. D. Hapgood (New York: Vintage Books, 1996), 8-9

“The utter pointlessness of whatever I was doing there seized me by the throat, and all I wanted was to get it over with and get back to my cell to sleep.” Albert Camus, The Stranger, trans. M. Ward (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), 105

“A few days later I was put in a cell by myself, where I slept on wooden boards suspended from the wall. I had a bucket for a toilet and a tin washbasin. The prison was on heights above the town, and through a small window I could see the sea. One day as I was gripping the bars, my face straining toward the light, a guard came in and told me I had a visitor.” Albert Camus, The Stranger, trans. M. Ward (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), 72-73

“In that hall with bare walls, its floor littered with peanut shells, the smell of cresyl mingled with a strong odor of humanity” Albert Camus, The Stranger, trans. M. Ward (New York: Vintage Books, 1989), 95

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