Contents 1.0.004 Introduction 1.1.005 Corbusierâ€™s Five Stages of Spatial Procession 1.2.007 Schematic Fields + Nominal Time 2.0.008 The Acquisition of Phenomena 2.1.010 Sensation 2.2.013 Perception 2.3.014 Conception 2.4.015 Imagination 2.5.016 Representation 2.6.017 Collective Experience 3.0.018 Commodity of Images 3.1.020 The Spectacle + Situationism 3.2.022 The Flaneur + the Art of Walking 3.3.024 The Flaneur as Narrator 3.4.024 The Flaneur as Poet 3.5.025 The Flaneur as Detective 3.6.026 Cultural Landscapes
6.0.080 Situations of Washington D.C. 6.1.082 Contextual Interactions 6.2.084 Situation of Biased Interpretation 6.3.085 Situation of Redirected Leisure 6.4.086 Situation of Self Accumulation 6.5.087 Situation of Privatized Transport 6.6.088 Situation of Recollected Infrastructure 6.7.089 Situation of Assigned Representation 6.8.090 Situation of Nominal Time 6.9.091 Situational Promenade 7.0.092 Promenade Implementation 7.1.093 Promenade sites 7.2.100 Promenade of Recollected Prerogative 7.3.110 Promenade of Imposed Cognition 7.4.120 Promenade Biased Interpretation 7.5.132 Projected Promenade 8.0.134
4.0.028 Promenade Precedents 4.1.029 The Acropolis of Athens 4.2.034 Igualada Cemetery 4.3.041 Park Kalkriese + Varusschlacht Museum 4.4.046 Parc de la Villette 5.0.052 Washington D.C. 5.1.054 District of Columbia History 5.2.060 Contemporary District of Columbia 5.3.062 Psychographic Mapping of D.C. 5.4.065 D.C. Zoning + Industrial Core 5.5.066 D.C. Analysis 5.6.070 The City Metro 5.7.072 Metropolitan Branch Trail 5.8.078 The Flaneur as Cyclist
Introduction When most people think of promenade, they imagine an objective field containing fixed beginning and end points as well as interstitial points of interest. Many architects who have studied the theme of promenade and incorporated it into their understanding of architecture have attempted to establish other such points of interest or spatial milestones along a spatial procession as if it were a timeline, marked with events and times that are ridged in their constraints. The major quandary lies in the fact that a promenade is actually projected onto the architectural reality through the consciousness of the Subject traversing it, and not purely existing as a strict linear progression. Le Corbusier would suggest that promenade can be synthesized as a “series of successive volumes, acting on our sensitive being, provoking physical, physiological sensations.”1 What he is suggesting here is that space acts upon the individual in an intrinsic manner.
The promenade does not solely exist in the world until explicitly derived by the Subject at hand, distorting the notion of an objective field into a more schematic field. This notion can be described as the calculated reciprocity between Subject and architectural landscape. The points of interest along this version of promenade are more fluid in their relation to space-time and respond accordingly to a Subjective presence. The way these spaces reveal themselves of themselves largely reflects the thought processes of the individual in question. Phenomenological acquisition of the Subject derives the cultural representation embedded in the schematic field and shapes his intentionality of circulation. Modern society’s preference of image however has placed a distracting filter on this mode of representationthat Guy Debord terms, the spectacle. The objective of the spatial series now becomes to make aware the spectacle to a Subject’s projection of consciousness, in order to understand how the filter has changed the schematic field’s original meaning. This study will illustrate the many cognitive effects of the
[1.1] _Corbusier’s Five Stages of Spatial Procession Many people assume that a promenade is much like a novel in the sense that the reader always progresses in a forward fashion. Narratives abide by certain rules of self-organization that cannot be easily broken to ensure its apparent progression. These regulations enable a narrative to be broken down into Gustav Freytag’s five basic stages of a unified drama, and include an exposition, development, climax, resolution, and denouement.2 They are set up in this fashion to build the interest of the reader into the literature and to retain their consciousness within it. Le Corbusier applies this ideal to architecture, by determining the qualities of their spatial objectives. He utilizes threshold, disorientation (sensitizing), questioning, reorientation, and culmination to set up the sequence of any given spatial sequence in a similar methodology used in the unified drama engagement. By applying these terms with the intention of choreographing specific objective alignments, Le Corbusier is able to express significant points or spatial intersection along a promenades path. This assumes however, that the projected promenade of the Subject is linear in space-time with a distinct beginning and end. Corbusier regards the threshold as the apparent “transition between two realities.”3 He establishes this space as “a point of focus after the mental silence” of the arrival condition. Essentially, the idea of threshold as a notion rather than as a space yields the full appreciation of a Subject to subsequent spatial events. Providing strategic points of sensory retardation along a spatial series can adversely affect a Subject’s understanding of the whole. It composes the true contrast between spaces opposing those containing meekly blurred boundaries. This contrast between the darker threshold and the space beyond creates a tension between “the physical world of the present and the spiritual world of the future.”4 In a given stream of consciousness, threshold marks the barrier between two distinct thought processes; one withstanding current phenomenon, while another responds to that which has not yet occurred.
and to participate” both consciously and unconsciously.5 The interaction of the human body and space plays a vital role connection back to the sensitizing vestibule at other points of space and time within the projected promenade. The Subject’s memory stores information about light conditions, textures, and other environmental stimuli that he is confronted with in order to be utilized later as if by strategic necessity. Just as threshold reorganizes the Subject’s consciousness in order to prepare for what is to come, the sensitizing vestibule begins to load it with information as the precursor to what is to come. Within a projected promenade exists numerous points at which “various options are examined and questions are asked.”6 Le Corbusier describes this conscious articulation of spatial possibilities as a moment of questioning. It normally corresponds to highly free formed spaces containing less restricting broader scale gestures and thought processes. “It contains within it, numerous routes and sub-destinations,” and places for multiple possible programmatic activities defined by the Subject.7 An individual in this sense is forced to utilize his perception to its fullest in order to make distinction of space and time and make decisions of occupancy or circulation. It is about the “engagement with the body, and pleasures of the flesh” often as a “distraction from the main promenade.”8 Questioning becomes the proof that the projected promenade is not linear in fashion. At this point, the Subject’s consciousness is being pulled too many different sources of stimuli of the present environment, as well as in time. A person here will tap their temporal memory to compare and contrast the sensitizing vestibule as well as heighten their anticipation for future events. It is not possible to control the actions of said Subject in a moment of questioning.However, it is important when designing a spatial procession to allow for these influxes of conscious will. Opening up the kinetic landscape and offeringvarious spatial opportunities allows for the decision making process to occur.
The Sensitizing vestibule corresponds to what engrosses the Subject in his surroundings.This notion sets the scene for what is to come and corresponds to the haptic nature of a Subject. Corbusier denotes the sensitizing vestibule’s ability to force the Subject to “engage, to focus 5
The notion of reorientation identifies a tendency for individuals to be “attracted towards the centre of gravity” of a particular environment.9 Gravity here is referring to external stimuli that are pulling on the attention of a human beingand not to the cosmic force that pulls large objects together.At the center of gravity, the Subject is inclined to continue onward from the moment of questioning or otherwise occupational volume into a kinetic state of exploration. The person in question might become intrigued about a distanced visual experience or event that urges haptic investigation. They too, may want to understand the zones of space that are not currently available to their perception. A change in sectional elevation can also draw the Subject in and allows him to proceed. There might be a reminder of their own initial processional intention that lay forgotten at the previous threshold, breaking preconceptions of what is to come while still indicating the original spatial objective set up by the itinerary. Reorientation responds both to the physical realm of objectivity that fixes the conscious attention of the Subject to be directed in a particular manner, and to the cultural meaning embedded within the promenade that recaptures the subconscious imagination of the Subject. Specific points along the projected promenade allow for the Subject’s conscious apprehension to his current position in space and time. Culmination then occurs when an individual is given the opportunity to experience the larger fields and zones of the context in which he is situated. Framing of the landscape removes the Subject’s consciousness from the current experience of the promenade and donates it to the environment. It also denotes the means to accept the cultural imperative of place that one is traveling through. The Subject’s awareness that his current promenade is situated in an even vaster contextual territory allows the sky to become an important feature of culmination. Le Corbusier suggests that in a moment of culmination, “the Subject is greeted with an ecstatic view of the sun or moon as the case may be.”10 It should remain clear that although Le Corbusier defines all the termed components of a promenade as separate spaces within his architecture, that they can start to shift and overlap with each other. In a projected promenade, they do not necessarily have to appear in that 6
particular order which Le Corbusier set up. For instance, a threshold space can lead to a space of culmination directly; or the culmination space could overlap with the space meant for questioning, ect. Also (and most importantly) these spaces can repeat themselves in a given spatial series. A projected promenade may consist of multiple small scale promenades where one leads into another through means of spatial hierarchy. A projected promenade can utilize multiple moments of threshold to link spaces, or several instances of culmination where the Subject begins to understand his current position in space and time in reference to the rest of the projected promenade.
[1.2] _Schematic fields and Nominal Time The projected promenade exists in the fourth dimension of spacetime. At any given moment in a promenade the Subject experiences the current, remembers where they have been, and even anticipates its future spatial events. What results is the Subject’s comforted recognition of their own projected consciousness onto the current architectural landscape, empowering them to make spatial decisions about circulation. Another byproduct of the collective experience is the creation of the ever-changing schematic field. The Subject’s presence impacts the field as much so as the field impacts them. The schematic field constantly contorts their passage through space, and in turn, the individual folds the architectural landscape around their own projected consciousness of it. Although temporal in its manifestation, the collective projected promenade is what ensures its progression. Through the schematic field, the Subject’s consciousness becomes the vessel for time. Not time as a constant (t), but time as a variable (C/t) where C is the embedded consciousness invested in the schematic field and t is the actual generic interval time. This form of time will be referred to as nominal time or tu. This spectacular time can be described as the “time appropriate to the consumption of images, and, in the broadest sense, as the image of the consumption of time.”11 Ergo, the more conscious thought (varying perceptions along a sense datum) exerted in a smaller amount of actual time is really what determines the nominal time that an individual’s brains perceives. Time may seem longer when we are concentrating, working, or stressed than when we are relaxing, or having fun. This explains why ‘time flies’ by’ when we are having a good time, or how time speeds up as we age. Guy Debord explains in The Society of the Spectacle that, “time manifests nothing in its effective reality aside from its exchangeability.12 This exchangeability between consciousness and time relates back to the schematic field and the relationship of consciousness and space. This now becomes a transitive methodology of relating space and time along the projected promenade. Nominal time can also can clarify how the act of movement may appear to hasten time‘s progression; whereas the process of occupation can slow it down.
Nominal time tu can be related to the occupation of or to the traversing of spaces in distinct ways. While moving, not only is the Subject spending less time within a specific volume set, but they are also more often than not moving with intention and destination with little environmental conscious thought. The contrast to kinetic mobility is stasis, where a Subject is spending sufficient amount of time in a space, engaged in activity, and attune with their consciousness of the surrounding context. Stasis here does not mean completely devoid of movement, but rather the intention is switched from moving entirely through a space to circulating around a particular space. The way to relate moments of pause and instances of travel is through the use of spatial transitioning through nominal time. Sir Isaac Newton’s first law of physics implies that a “body in motion will remain in motion until acted upon by an outside force.” In order to achieve this transitioning, this outside force must arise out of tu. The transition from a kinetic space to a static space takes place when the Subject’s unconscious recollection of Tu abruptly switches. The schematic field is thusly set up with a number of Le Corbusier’s stages of a unified spatial sequence: Completing the process in every spatial transitioning. Each stage in the process is now characterized by the Subject’s consciousness and no longer on the definition of the space they currently inhabit. What exactly can generate these folds in our deliberate conscious thought to begin again are the stages of threshold, disorientation (sensitizing), questioning, reorientation, and culmination, which arise out of the environment through phenomenological acquisition and cultural differentiation.
The Aquisition of Phenomena
Phenomenology is a tool that can be used to describe the interaction between the human body and objects within its current reference frame of circulation. The term can be broken up into two Ancient Greek words, phainomenon and logos.13 Phenomenon embodies that which is given in the cosmos and allows for multiple interpretations. It corresponds to the tangible environmental stimuli that can be grasped by human consciousness and is described by Heidegger as “that which shows itself as it is in itself.”14 Phenomenon also relates to that which is intangible to human consciousness, but still exists as meaning in the spatial environment. Heidegger describes this as “that which appears as other than it is in itself.” Thusly, phenomenon delineates all observable information in nature able to be extracted by an individual. The term logos on the other hand, refers to the subjective and objective logical judgment of the Subject.15 It involves the explicit disclosing or “bringing to light of something as it shows itself of itself.”16 The acquisition and interpretation of the observable information of phenomenon becomes Logos. Acquisition refers to the Subject’s method of obtaining environmental stimuli through: Sensation, perception, conception, imagination, and representation.17 These stages of aquisition become the basis for the decision making process that goes into the self-formulation of an individual’s projected promenade. Acquisition of environmental stimuli through a spatial series entails the further investigation of a Subject in order to proceed. Each component of the experiential process directly informs the next. The cultural landscape that shapes the representation of the local contextual situation not only affects the Subject’s process of phenomenal acquisition, but is also influenced by it as well. The Subject’s experience enables him to act on the landscape, therefore changing its dynamic meaning. The fact that culture can influence the stages of acquisition raises to question whether the projected promenade may result from a biased and predetermined interpretation that prevents the Subject from projecting their own consciousness onto the landscape.
[2.1] _Sensation A study of phenomenological events to Architectural motivesevokes the knowledge of a work of art as the “absent object” in which the perceptual moment becomes a “function of stimuli into an experience.”18 The object is replaced by traces of its existence through remnants left to the environment to be acquired by the Subject through sensation. In other words, sensation is essential in the attainment of spatial stimuli that can later be processed as portion of a spatial event. Michael Conan correlates phenomena to sensation as materials of creation just ascolor is to painting, sound is to music, and marble, bronze, and wood are to a sculptor. He therefore suggests that spatial meaning takes on its existence through various forms of human interaction with free flowing environmental stimuli.19 This process utilizes the stimulation of every human sense. The human body is adept with picking up external stimuli through dissimilar means of observation that can be described as the senses. At any given moment, an individual utilizes sight, smell, taste, touch, sound, and many other senses to initiate the formalized process of phenomenal acquisition. Architectural theorist Juhani Pallasmaa suggests that sight’s “immateriality of knowing” is what motivates the intellect most intrinsically.20 Objective images are always apprehended visually differently dependent on the location in space and time of the receiver. Sight, then allows the participant to stich multiple images together to form the perception of the same object in question. Because sight requires more steps to process environmental stimuli and appears to be instantaneous, it is often regarded with the utmost significance in today’s society. Sight is the most abstract of the senses and therefore the most easily deceived, which makes it “naturally the most readily adaptable to society’s generalized abstractions.”21 Pallasmaa explains that vision has become the “only sense that is fast enough to keep pace with the astounding increase of speed in the technological world.”22 He urges that “the world of the eye”creates a dependence on image as a generation of meaning and forces people to live increasingly in a perpetual present. “Temporalisation of space and a spatialisation of time” have disabled a person’s ability to access spatial memories and intentions.23
Promenade cannot however, rely solely on visual properties alone. Image is important only in what information it provides our consciousness with. Experience is generated through our unbiased sensory memory. Visual experiences distance us from the tactile nature of an object by “dematerializing them into an artistic expression.”25
These experiences lend themselves to visual cues that do not rely on the haptic nature of the object in order to retain its meaning. Tactile experiences, on the other hand use the senses to lead us to anticipate the haptic qualities of objects in our operative field.26 Situated in the immediate context of the Subject, these experiences can be sensed sufficiently as to gain a qualitative understanding of said objects. Touch provides sensations of “solidity, resistance, and protrusion,” and also enables a person to sense the “weight, resistance, and threedimensional shape” of material bodies in space.27
It is possible to know from a distance, what a tree might feel like, or what it might sound like as it brushes in the wind, or what it might smell like, based on the conscious memory of similar objects. It is important to allow a Subject to attain as much sensory information about objects as they canwhile traversing a spatial series. All the senses, even the distantly visual, “can be regarded as extensions of the sense of touch.”29 They embody a memory of our skin and physical relationship with the spatial environment. George Berkely assumes that “visual apprehension of materiality, distance, and spatial depth” would not be possible at all without the cooperation of touch and vision to the haptic memory.”30
These memories will become of use later when our shifting perception defines meaning in the image of distant events. The Subject and the physical environment also have a didactic acoustical relationship. The human body is just as capable of afflicting the environment with sound as he is able to respond to it. The Subject has power over the space he inhabits, because he is capable of creating his own vibrations in the air.“ The centring action of sound affects man’s sense of the cosmos.”31 Unlike light, sound waves radiate outwards in a multidirectional correlation from the source. Distance from objects in space then becomes more important than one’s specific positioning. Due to the fact that sound waves do not travel instantaneously, a Subject can measure a given distance or volume of space through sound. A wall will visually appear unchanged as perceived from many distances, whereas sounds reflecting off of the wall will seem altered depending a person’s physical distance from the source. The Subject holds power over his own perception of space because he can measure the sounds which he has embedded within it. One then becomes and his own acoustical artist, by articulating proportion and meaning within space.Acoustics also converts the Subject into a detective, testing sound waves against materials in order to gain an essential understanding of their composition. The same wall mentioned earlier could filigree or solid, rough or smooth, light or heavy. Sound enables the Subject to understand at a distance its physical properties, confirming what the eye understands and touch imagines. In addition to the five fundamental senses that human’s employ, there exists countless others that allow for the interaction with external environments. The recognition of light is a sensitive feature to the human senses and is a separate component from sight. Humans possess the ability to distinguish different lighting conditions even with their eyes closed.Modifying the qualities of light along a spatial procession augments the sensual significance beyond the visual. Deep shadows and
darkness dim the sharpness of vision, and “make depth and distance ambiguous”, and procure the use haptic invention with the aim of filling in the details.32 Large amounts of natural light create high contrast on objective surfaces and reveal their tactile natures. A spatial series that contains multiple lighting methodologies ensures a Subjects sustained interest through variable acquisition techniques. The process of distinguishing temperature is a sense similar to that of touch. However, the skin in this sense is interacting with infrared light waves and not matter. The flow of heat to or from a body is a much different process from that of pressure which the sense of touch operates with. Recognition of heat not onlydetermines our physical comfort in a space, but also delivers a sense deliberate motion. The balance of heat and cold (depending on environmental conditions) will determine the spatial activity of an individual. Will a body inhabit a cool shady spot on a hot day, or move through the sun on a brisk morning? Even the body’s internal recognition of its position in space can be considered a human sense. By knowing exactly where one’s own body is situated in the local contextual grid, a person is able interact instinctively with the environment. For instance, an individual is capable of walking freely through space without looking down.The Subject’s body is both an “object among objects” as well as “that which sees and touches them.”33 Just as one is able to touch their own facial features without acknowledgement of doing so, one is also able then to unconsciously lift appendages to hapticly engage objects situated within the schematic field. This sense embodies the longing to do so by most human beings: The sense of urgent interactions with objects. After utilizing all the senses at his disposal to observe the specific content stimuli within the environment, the Subject is then able to distil the information assumed to him and combine them into one fundamental idea.
[2.2] _Perception The way the Subject combines sensual informational stimuli of the environment in relationship to nominal time is by means of spatial perception. Perception utilizes the reference point of the Subject in a particular moment in time, relative to the “spatiotemporal location of the relevant instantiation is specified.”34 The phenomenology of a conceptual perspective series of information is acquired and interpreted by the Subject at hand. In order to form an interpretation of a phenomenal experience of the environment, the Subject must locate the “sense datum” in the operative field. This becomes the tool in perspective for measuring the relation of the Subject to the object in question in
three-dimensional space “with varying degrees of specificity.” Because the Subject is always oriented to an object from a particular orientation, he can “never achieve more than one perception of an object at multiple points of observation or awareness at one moment in time.”35 Time is an ever-changingvariable of perception. Perceptions cannot be repeated because they occupy a different place in the order of time and space. No matter how similar, all perceptions vary to some degree in the perspective it yields to the Subject.36
[2.3] _Conception Perspective is created out of the intention of experience where the Subject at a “certain viewpoint along the sense datum” registers the “abstract aspects of our environmental interpretation.” Our perspective shifts when a “phenomenologically conspicuous feature of the visual field” captures our attention along the less determinate and vivid periphery of our current reference frame.39 The arrangement of continuous perceptions along the sense datum creates an experiential conceptual event of the Subjects Conscious projection of the environment. The process of conception simultaneously dictates the relationships between objects along the sense datum, as well as the relationship of a particular object and the focused consciousness of the Subject. In other words, Conception becomes the conscious interpretation of the Subject’s perception of a given experience. The Subject is always reevaluating the current referential experience to their original intention of circulation of space.
[2.4] _Imagination The Subject does not always have a flawless stream of consciousness in order to create a complete experiential event. The Subject’s imagination is what fills in the succession of individual perspectives for the “continuous, uninterrupted presence of an unvarying perception.40 Imagining becomes the subjective activity of “producing the unreal onto the background of the real.”41 It lies beneath the level of explicit awareness and acts independently from our collective consciousness.42 An example of imagination involves human vision; the cones in an individual’s eyes sense color and detail and are most dense at the center of gaze (the fovea), and are very limited at our periphery.43 Although human peripheral vision lacks color and detail, the imagination fills in this missing color information by utilizing pre-determined knowledge about the object in question. The utilization of imagination to fill in the gaps of our perception yields its importance in creating human experiences, due to the fact that every imagination holds a different subset of predetermined knowledge about an experiential event (as seen in the image to the right). Juhani Pallasmaa observes that the realized quality of how one interacts with space depends fundamentally on the nature of peripheral vision, which “enfolds the subject in space.”45 He goes on stating that “the preconscious perceptual realm,”that is experienced just outside the sphere of focused vision, “seems to be just as important existentially as the focused image.” Truth, in this case is embedded in what is not entirely conceived. Imagination is what can yield to the total understanding of a spatial procession, by only understanding one portion of it at any given moment in time. In the same manner, the Subject of a spatial procession can fill in what they do not yet comprehend in the schematic field, based on what has already been conceived prior. Imagination plays part when an individual exploits a space for sitting at one moment and later recognizes a similar condition. They can tell what it might have been like to incorporate that potential spatial event into their current experience through
imagination. Imagination is what enables the Subject to donate his consciousness to the environment. A piece of the Subject becomes part of its meaning, contributing to the total culture of place. Imagination is what yields the mind’s ability to track objects across the fourth dimension. This stage of acquisition determines an object’s point of origin as well as all possible future positions within the schematic field. The Subject utilizes what they already know about the object in question’s positioning in relationship to its local context to evaluate how the unknown variables will impact the object’s location in time and space.
[2.5] _Representation As a Subject filters physical stimuli through a pre-known understanding of the environment, they simultaneously represent the cultural topography of place. Cultural representation plays a crucial role in creating meaning of place and influencing a Subjectâ€™s projected promenade. As an individual begins to own a personal identity in a chosen cultural context, it becomes a part of their unconscious decision making process. Culture embodies the combined practices, beliefs, values, meanings, rules and regulations of a particular individual, group, or population at the dominant scale.46 The representation of culture refers to the internal matrix of â€œsocially constructed practices and ideas that mediate between location and social processes.â€?47 For example, the ability to stop at a crosswalk until the signal indicates it is safe to cross the street is a product of culture. After conceiving the objective qualities that make up the cross walk mechanism, the Subject then applies
representation of preconceived meanings to the device in relationship to other perceptions of his or her current experience that in turn inform him to stop and wait. The process of representation is often times a personal filter that the Subject applies to his objective reality. This filter is a product of memories donated to the Subject by society, government, personal experiences. It enables the Subject to utilize a loosely arranged set of vocabulary to consciously decipher meaning from an experiential event. Therefore allowing multiple meanings to be derived by different individuals, experiencing the same spatial event.
[2.6] _Collective Experience The combinations of human experiences along a predetermined path of circulation can be conceived as a promenade. A promenade is a projected representation of being that “utilizes movement as an authentic mode of respective anticipation, repetition, and momentary vision” in order to allude to a temporal understanding of the Present.48 The “objective presence” of the Subject in the environment is grounded in the movement of time in which Present breaks away from the projected past and future, and assimilates them into the existing collective consciousness of the Subject. When the Subject has a destination along a predetermined path, the collective experience at any given point along that promenade becomes the anticipated experiences in addition to experiences already encountered. This idea of temporality becomes a threefold “ecstatic horizontal structure” of time in which “beings can present themselves as beings” and open up the possibility for meaning to emerge from a sensed spatial sequence.49 Meaning in this case, is derives from the relationship of Subject and environment and influences ones Projected Promenade. The promenade enables multiple spaces to be perceived by the Subject in series as well as their combined overlapping possibilities. The contrast or differences in the spatial transitioning of these spaces is what allude to the meaning of the composition. The arrangements of architectural perception develop “while walking, moving from one place to another,” engaging a spatial experience rather than a series of images. Juhani Pallasmaa declares that authentic architectural experiences of space and time should be described as verbs rather than nouns.50 Verbs inspire the spatial actions of the Subject while nouns exhibit a space’s objective use or form as it exists of itself and not in relationship to the human body. Artist Richard Serra uses action verbs to describe the striking plates of curved metal in his instillations to form space and articulate the movement of the Subject.Establishing how a
space influences a person’s body to act on ityields to a certain meaning surrounding the objects involved in the space’s formation.Architectural theorist Henri Bergson states: “There is an inherent suggestion of action in images of architecture, the moment of active encounter, or a ‘promise of function’ and purpose. The objects that surround the body reflect its possible action upon them.”51 Verbs assist the derivation of spatial identity from objects in the schematic field within any given conscious moment of the Subject’s collective experience. The result is a constant shifting of consciousness between the five stages of Le Corbusier’s spatial procession.This perpetual cycle lends itself to leaving gaps of information in the meaning of the collective experience, where imagination would normally take place. However, due to the overabundance of Image and commoditythat society has left the process of Sensation, the Subject skips imagination entirely and loses sight of his own imbedded meaning of space. The gluttony of image contains adirect correlation to a falsity of representation and subsequent distortion of culture.
The Commodity of Images
In today’s society, images are converted into endless commodities. Pallasmaa derives the overabundance of commodity as a means of postponing boredom. Because of the inert retardation of imagination, people rely less on infusing their own consciousness into the environment. The only way to derive enjoyment from the environment consequently, is to seek out the succeeding image.Image replaces imagination. Instant gratification of images has in turn commodified humans themselves. They consume “nonchalantly without having the courage or even the possibility of confronting their very existential reality.”52 Guy Debord suggests that without man’s appropriation of his own nature, he is unable to apprehend the unfolding of the universe.53 One is not able to understand oneself without grasping the extent of reality. The focus on image creates a discontinuation of consciousness in the environment where logical processes that lead from one perception to another are broken.Image in part has becomes such a dominate form of contextual acquisition because the schematic field has been riddled with sensually shallow spaces. Without an in depth acquisition of contextual phenomenon, a Subject’s perception of nominal time is accelerated, purging a space’s ability for inhabitation.
industrial revolution. Economy has driven mass production to architecture in order to provide cheap building components. This however, has led to a loss of character and personality to a space’s inherent constituent pieces.The commodity has been fueled by a loss of artisans and master craftsmen who pour their beings into the materials and methods they use to construct the schematic field.As technology displaces the work of human hands, commodity replaces quality of space. Because the Subject has been amputated from the concerted action of the forces of production, he understands very little of its internal meaning, therefore leaving only image as commodity.54 Commodity defined by Guy Debord, is the “omnipresent celebration of a choice already made in the sphere of production”, as well as the immediate impacts of said choice.55 The Subject no longer desires to imbed his own conscious into contextual decisions, because they have already been made for him. The focus on economy as a spatial generator relies on the minimum phenomenological interaction requirement in hopes to derive function from it. The commodity serves as a justification for the conditions and aims of the existing system resolved in contentment. “The spectacle”, as termed by Debord, responds to the blanketing of social space by “stratum after stratum of commodities.”56
The bypassing of human acquisition has been implemented since the 19
[3.1] _The Spectacle and Situationism Spectacle is what denotes a Subject’s initial intentionality of spatial procession. People tend to situate themselves in a spatial progression of promenade in the state of leisure.In modern society,the attempted intention of leisure is typically correlated to thedistancing of oneself from the production of, or interaction with commodity (work).Because of the spectacle however, leisure has been replaced by a “fiction of false freedom.”57 Leisure, in the modern sense (What do I want to do today?) has beensubstituted by entertainment (What is there to see today?).58 Guy Debord advocates that the spectacle causes objective imaging to supersede objective interaction.59 As the Subject interacts less and less with the environment, the spectacle begins todelete the dividing boundary between them. Under coercion by the presence/absence of the environmental commodity, the Subject too becomes defined by it. The spectacle similarly,“erases the dividing line between true and false, repressing all directly lived truth beneath the real presence of the falsehood maintained by the organization of appearances.”60
ders modernity and urbanism (the spectacle), one would ascertain the “authentic life-force of culture” bound to a given context.64 The spectacle is the filter which all stages of acquisition transgress in order to become a representation of cultural reality. No actualized experiential eventcan become real until it is denotedby the spectacle of social life.65 Ironically, after this experiential filtration through the spectacle,the experience becomes an unreal interpretation of what actually exists. Situationism is brought about by the conscious competition of this paradox. It endeavors to establish truth where it normally would not come into being naturally.
The Spectacle is not perceivable by the naked eye, or any other sensual input. It is “by definition, immune from human activity, inaccessible to any projected review or correction.”61 It is out of reach from human perception, but impacts it never-the-less. The product of the field economy and the ideological or political-state barriers of the Subject situate the spectacle in the historical content of place. It is through history that the spectacle arises and mandates human beings’participation in the “labor and struggle which constitute history.”62 The Subject is an active contributor to an unchanging palimpsest. One does not realize that they impact social culture, just as much as it affects them. The Spectacle maintains abiased historical assessment of the present context and flattens culture as a result. Spectacular consumption preserves an outdated cultural imperative, going so far as to improveand distill its negative qualities.In this manner, culture is thought of as the “overt expression”of the spectacle’s total characterization:“the communication of the incommunicable.”63 If one were to peel away the austere veil of representation that hin20
Situationism is the conscious uprising against the spectacle in everyday life, and inspires a methodology for engaging the Subject in a projected promenade. Moments constructed as “situations” can also be considered “moments of rupture, of acceleration, and revolutions in everyday life.”67 Existing in every individual is the urge to break the rules that society has set up. It is improper for architects tocraft the rules ofa spatial series without the knowledge that people will try to break them. The illegitimate formation of rules becomes a factor in a Subject’s constant realization of the spectacle, and unconscious struggle against it. It is better then, to set up a methodology where the promenade works explicitly whether the Subject follows the rules of the spatial series or not. Design should be supplanted with multiple options of circulation and of occupation.The subject participates with the architectural matrix more so when he recognizes or perceives that his gestures are his own, and not delegated by the spectacle. Radicals of the Situationist movement examine the notion that modern“social progress does not subsume the individual” and instead, should maximize his or her freedom and potential.68 Differentiation of every individual’s spatial experience is what yields to their pleasure in deriving a unique decision making process. This process is what generates the social progress and cultural reference that Simon Sadler refers to. The Subject’s decision making process is both formed by the schematic field, as well as a contributor to its creation. The commodity breaks this reciprocity, by deterring the Subject’s investment of consciousness in the cultural imperative of society. No one detail of the schematic field deserves the Subject’s attention more than another, when all constituents of the space in question donate the same image and flattened experience to the Subject. One then decides to bypass the interaction with spatial meaning altogether.
values of capitalism and state communism.”69 Workers became “appendages to the machine rather than its masters,” while consumers became inhabitants of the machine, rather than the mode of its functional design.Situationists go against the Corbusian ideal of occupying the functional machine and instead suggest that by doing so, people sacrifice the only truly human parts of life “poetry and the dream” to the spectacle.”70 Le Corbusier’s five stages of promenade cannot possibly always appear once and in the same order for every occupant of the spatial series. Society is comprised of many different individual spatial thought processes, and therefore cannot be a product of mass produced experiences.Reciprocally, society should contribute many different possible spatial operations back to the Subject. The promenade should offer unenforced environmental interaction with the Subject. Spaces that relate to the scale of the body or those which respond to a human operation evoke a sense of habitability. That facet of the choice at hand liberates him from the given spatial paradigm, whether or not an individual chooses to interact. The conscious projection reveals itself, even if it is merely an option of possible spatial progression. Such a “theoretical consciousness of dialectical movement,” is manifested by the alteration of all the consciousfulfillmentsmaintained in earlier efforts from the spectacle.71 It is not possible to eliminate or disregard the impact the spectacle has on the Subject’s projected consciousness on the schematic field. The responsibility of situational idealism then is to incorporate the spectacle into the process of acquisition that describes reality and not as the filter that distorts it.
“Functionalism and mass production, embraced as always delivering innovative “good design” to the masses near the end of the industrial revolution, seemed to “have gradually merged with the productivity
[3.2] _The Flaneur and the Art of Walking Shortly after the industrial revolution started in Paris, many writers established themselves as flanuers when describing the city streets. Engaged in the commodity, and fully aware of the spectacle, they took note in great detail in order to catalogue an experience that might become precedent for the possible phenomenological patterns of the urban fabric. The process of walking and writing with significant modes of observation became an art that German sociologist, Franz Hessel would later call that of the “flanerie.”72 Flanerie can be said to involve a mode of sensory experience that is “bound to the processes of distraction” but overcomes this alienation through stringent phenomenological acquisition.73 It names a mode of thinking different from that of everyday circulation and activates the mind to become part of the physical environment. In her publication, “The Art of Taking a Walk,” author Anke Gleber explains that flanerie reveres “infinite investigations” of one’s physical context, while “walking along with serendipity.”74 An inhabitant in a state of flanerie wanders along without meditating on where to go next or what to observe, and does so in no particular hurry. A person in such a state of consciousness is referred to as the Flaneur. This individual is always in a state of giving oneself over, “captivated and enraptured,” with all of one’s senses and entire conscious being, to the spectacle.75 German author Ludwig Borne, “a self-proclaimed resident of Paris,” describes his surroundings “street by street, scene by scene, sign by sign, shop by shop, window by window,” and does so with the freshness of a foreigner’s first observations.76 The creation of texts succeeding his encounters, leaves a “kaleidoscope of impressions” to reflect the exact nature of the emerging flanerie. His collection of the details including “gossip, statements, and facts,” formulates a kind of journalistic rhetoricof the street.77 It defines the spatial narrative of a hypothetical Subject, traversing a particular procession, by evaluating how this person might embed his or her consciousness into the schematic field. Borne’s findings demonstrate that the projected promenade is just as much based in cultural phenomenon as it is immersed in its own geo-spatial identity.
Borne’s effort to authenticate the multitudes of modern spatial-temporalexperiences reveals an emerging visual preferencefor the acquisition of cultural phenomena.This establishes acorrelation between “economy and the display of its commodities.”78 Agreeing with Guy Debord, Borne witnesses first hand, the commodity of the image replacing what the other senses would have normally acquired naturally. He describes the “abducted gaze” of the Subject in relation to his surrounding environment. The forced realization of specific objects in space without understanding their contextual relationships leads to the misinterpretation of an architecture’s overall gesture as well as its mediating meanings in details that relate to the scale of the Subject. Urban architecture has at large become a distraction from the built environment in opposition of being at harmony with it. This harmony would allow the Subject to feel his decisions of spatial procession are justified and not forced upon him. Borne relates the multitudes of spatial-temporal phenomena of the urban paradigm byrevealing an “emerging visual predilection” that disables the Subject from forming a critical perspective of meaning acquired from the environment.79 The flaneur both revels in and struggles with these commodities that normally veilspecific contextual meanings. The fact of the matter is that the flaneur acknowledges the existence of the spectacle, and therefore is able to mildly determine and measuretheoriginal contextual information that has been lost.The flaneur embraces “surrealistic and impressionistic” susceptibilities, the “intoxication with images” of a modern existence, and the obsession of light and textures that plague urban environments.80 By means of “technological amplification, print, electricity, and rapid transit,” Georg Simmel suggests that the increase of sensory stimuli affects the Subject psychologically.81 The Subject assumes a protective stance against this myriad of contextual stimuli(that Simmel references as the blasé), in order to establish a defense against an “imposing overload of facts and contacts.” The distracting notion of the blasé is what constitutes the Subject’s otherwise psychological disengagement with the environment. The flaneur’s attention to details and ability to recognize intrinsic cultural influence keeps him from the state of indifference. Aware of his own conscious positioning within the cultural topography,
the flaneur does not fall victim to the standard blasé attitude in its “indifference towards the distinctions between things”, and “regards everything with such cultural significance.82 He is constantly aware of what it is that is defining the spectacle, and the apparent reality of his projected promenade. The flaneur’s eclectic, open approach does not collapse into a “mitigation of his attention.”83 Flaneur writers of the early twentieth century were describing an urban individual’s “fascination with the realities of modern capitalism.”84 The phenomena in question deals with the objective presence of conditions that an individual would readily strive to adapt.In order to do so, people impart their consciousness into commodities with which they seek to incorporate into their own conceptual being. These individuals also en oy being in the company of other’s who impart their being into objects. They in turn display themselves as commodities in the objective field. This perspective evokesa new relationship “between economy and the display of its commodities” by establishing the flaneur’s desire to see and be seen.85 Urban economy not only responds to interface of consciousness to objects, but also implies the constant intersections of conscious interaction between beings occupying the schematic field. The overlap of conscious thought formulates a subconscious empathy for another’s itinerary and inevitably influences a Subject’s own projected promenade.
flaneur defined by Gleber is a “member of the public who knows himself to be of the public.”87 Cultural reference to a space allows different correlations to the representation stage of phenomenological acquisition. There exist multiple lenses for which to interpret the many meanings evolved out of a spatial procession. The flaneur’s mode of representation can be identified as that of the narrator, of the poet, and of the detective. These occupational lenses transformthe flaneur’s observations of texts and images into meaning and discourse for the projected promenade’s constant renewal. It is important to note that the flaneur utilizes whichever of these representational lenses seems appropriate at a given moment in time, but does not employ them concurrently.
The Subject’s cognition of supplementary individuals in the schematic field enables him to evaluate the field economy and culture of his modern environment. Studying other victims of the spectacle enables the flaneur to pick up undetectable, yet significant traces of cultural history as well as the trappings of economy, lodged into their decisions involving the aesthetics of modernity.Whether he seeks out this information by choice is of complete disregard, for it is thrown at him against his will. The flaneur is not a solicitor of voyeurism and can be considered rather, “a figure who scavenges for sights,” and who acquires observations in order to maintain his identity“as a public witness.”86 The Subject becomes sympathetic to public viewpoint of the spectacle, because he too is engaged in such a system. First and foremost, the 23
[3.3] _The Flaneur as Narrator
[3.4] _The Flaneur as Poet
The flaneur can be expressed as the narrator of his own public experience through “incognito observation.”88 That is, the observation of which the narrator defines the meaning of what he sees as he sees it. This lens of representation allows a flanerie to generate “a perceptual inner monologue,” as an indirect form of stream-of-consciousness.89 He is the reader of a spatial narrative that is ever-evolving and ongoing. The Subject is free to define his own meanings of his local context, but only because “he accepts the spectacle of the city without challenging it.”90 Consequently, the narrator is unable to derive actual names or even the projected promenades of contextual characters in which he interacts; so he fills in the gaps of missing information by inventing their discrete possibilities. The flaneur as narrator traverses time and space by ignoring what cannot be foreseen and by commemorating the projected promenade’s “immediate freedom of will.”91 Both the figure, and the activity, of the flaneurare predicated on freedomand the existential meaning found in the spatial series of seamless transitions. The narrator reads to his own discretion, but inevitably is only able read what lays before him. The Subject’s freedomtherefore, is formulated around “dialectic of self-definition and definition from the outside.”92
Walter Benjamin’s theorizes that the flaneur acts more as an author who turns everyday perceptions into literary description than a contextual reader.94 Unlike the narrator who reads the schematic field, the poet interprets it as he wishes by collecting the poetic debris and objects of reality.” The flaneur as poet articulates his own sense of freedom through the formulation of his reality as he wills it to be. However, this does not mean that the poet is allotted the choice of his reality through willful freedom. He is compelled by existing contextual conditions, but can manipulate the sets of meanings associated with it’s spatial-temporal conditions. It is possible therefore, to reference the flaneur as a “thinking reed,” because he is aware of how fragile his consciousness really is and just how easily it can be broken or redirected.95 The flaneur as poet knows himself to be like “reeds in the winds of circumstance” that interrupt conscious flow of information.
The narrator quality of the flaneur situates him as a modern spectator of spectacular events. He does so in order to find spatial stimulito become a temporal home for his consciousness. Thusly, exclaims writer Keith Tester, the flaneur “completes his otherwise incomplete identity; satisfies his otherwise dissatisfied existence; and replaces the sense of bereavement with a sense of life.” The need for stimuli to provide a temporary source of occupation for the Subject’s consciousness becomes the narrator’s response to the increased speed and mobility of “traffic, commodities and thoughts” in the twentieth century.93 The narrator is adept to changing the speed in which he reads the cultural landscape.
Charles Baudelaire builds his interpretation of the poet as a “dialectic form of control and incompletion.”96 The flaneur writes in his spatial experiences as he wishes but is incapable of writing in future spatial events. The flaneur’sconflictas the poet is concerns the authority of self-definition in synthesis with a condition in which the process of defining oneself becomes dependent on the contingencies of the spectacle. Flanerie is no longer a question of “being” as Heidegger would suggest, but more of a matter of “doing.”97 What one does intrinsically affects in what manner they perceive their own being. If the flaneur as poet hopes to “discover the secret of the truth of being,” Baudelaire submits that “doing can never cease.”98 He therefore claims, “It is impossible to rest in the knowledge of being, since even that resting is itself a doing. The secret of being is then the actuality of doing.” Even while appreciating a moment of stasis of the spatial progression, the Subject is continually writing the experiences to the projected promenade. He is constantly contributing to his own definition of self, the cultured landscape, and the spectacle.
[3.5] _The Flaneur as Detective The Subject is only able break down his physical reality into that of a language he can recognize. An individual taps their memory for an understanding of what was, in order to relate to what is. The flaneur can be thought of as a detective, who constantly accesses his own definition of reality and formulates a comparison to his current process of acquisition.Hessel’s revelation of modernity in Berlin suggests that the flaneur’s spatialprogression uncovers“traces of the past” allowing him to read these reflections as “symptomatic of their respective time.”99 The detective searches for memories in the schematic field through an engagement with image and a recollection of the spectacle. Walter Benjamin’s interpretation of flaneur as a detective allows for the active depiction of his assignation with the environment. This ongoing “trance of continuous thoughts and steps,” guides the flaneur along the sense datum of his projected promenade, and into a past “comprised of individual and collective memories.”100 The Subject accesses this information as a form of dynamic research in hopes to derive meaning from his current situation in space and time. The flaneur’s investigations of the environment are much like an individual utilizing a library. The person searches for a book using its preconceived whereabouts, and also interacts with the books and shelves close to where his particular prize is situated. The individual might even pull the book off of the shelf to better understand the reality of his literary decision. The subject too then, utilizes touch to synthesize an understanding for the architecture that precedes him.The use of touch is stringently necessary for the flaneur as detective to decipher the cultural meaning surroundings.Where the poet uses emotion to write his projected promenade, the detective utilizes fact.
[3.6] _Cultural Landscapes No matter which lens of representation the Subject chooses to operate within at any given moment, he is still in some way, shape or form processing the schematic field. Again, this can bedefined by the way a Subject moves through the landscape.In this way, the landscape is expressed through an “abstract projection of the body upon the natural world.”102 Landscape does not always represent the natural topographyof a place, but is also corresponds to both a spatial milieu and an open form of culture. It is derived by a physical and cultural palimpsest, embedded and evoked with the imaginative and architectural realities of different societies at different times. The physical reality of landscape acts as a sort of armature that interfaces and interacts with the projected promenade in a particular way.It gives the Subject a frame of reference with which to describe and analyze what he sees and how hefeels about the environment in which he occupies.103 Landmarks of the schematic field generate this spatial referencing by means of phenomenological contrasts. Entailing that the landmark in question stands out from its immediate context. One relates to particular spatial points of interest (or landmarks) along their projected promenadein order to draw a conclusion of the holistic landscape. The Subject regularly measures his conscious connection of distances between specific landmarks and the proximities that striate them.104 The large scale and scope of landscape then serves as a
fairly understandable interpretation of the overall projected promenade that is able to instill a Subject’s recognition of multiple spatial events taking place at once. Landscape also derives a sort of cultural coordinate system to indicate precisely where the Subject situates himself in time and space.An individual evaluates his knowledge of the cultural lattice in order to gain its social and historical context.Through the process of conception,this knowledge informs the Subject about the distinct relationships between “people and land, and that time.”105 Landscape becomes then, the impetus to define the relationship of human beings to one another and to the environment.It is symbolic of a society that brought a schematic field into being and continues to inhabit it.106 History in this sense is a reoccurring force that derives and shapes the form of the cultural landscape. How a Subject recollects a site’s bygone program, greatly influences how they interpret phenomena acquired from the present context. Linking the consciousness of the Subject to the past enables the projected promenade’s discrete sensibilities.It allows him to bypass the constant driving force of future spatial events, and remain content within the present. As the Subject’s consciousness volleys between past, present, and future, the projected promenade becomes a balanced pendulum that establishes truth in a schematic
field’s meanings. Modernity exists in the specific “cultural roots” of
a place, becoming the revision and correction of traditions in hopes to provide a space that will not lose meaning over time.107 “Features and patterns in the landscape make sense to us because we share a history with them.”108
with other people (shops, cafes, and boulevards) over parks and plazas.111 The street here becomes the promenade as a place to see and be seen, whereas in Britain, the promenade has ordinarilytaken place in the public park. In both cases, people inhabit the cultural landscape with clear intentionality of procession and stasis. Taking on the role of the flaneur in the desire to see and be seen as part of the community. The promenade exists somewhere between the intensity of the street and the serenity of the park as constituent to the cultured landscape.
Barrie Greenbie, a professor of landscape architecture in the mid 1980’s suggests that place is constructed from a composition of land and architecture conceived out of nature and artifact, in such a way to serve human’s socio-cultural purposes without destructively violating its genius loci. The term genius loci translates to, ‘the genius’ or spirit of a particular place.109 It recognizes the importance of context to the creation of places that provide utility and beauty. Every landscape is composed of “social, economic, geological, ecological, and climatic forces” that derive the essence of that particular place, and should be responded to accordingly.110 In terms of design, one should understand the essence of a place before seeking to change it. Culture shapes the use of open urban space and establishes the role of a landscape’s genius loci such as emotion, meaning, and phenomenology to be just as important as its main spatial issues. For example, landscape architect Jose Antonio Corraliza found that the people of Spain preferred street environments where they can actively engage
[4.1] _The Acropolis of Athens The first example of projected promenade through a cultural landscape existswithin the interplay between a shifting perspective between objects and sky. The Acropolis sanctuary is situated amidst the attic plain in Athens, Greece on the level flat top of an enormous calcareous rock, surrounded by steep cliffs on three sides.112 It can only be reached by the ascension of a narrow path to the western plateau. The play of marble buildings and bronze statues of the Acropolis forms a spatial composition that plays an intermediary role between heaven and earth, ground and sky. The interplay between these interventions is conceived through various overlapping socio-cultural fields of influence, most of which correspond to its extended history.
decorate and detail the Acropolis signified this political gesture as a display of Athenian power.The relation of religion and the State comes through in the edifices of art and culture. In ancient Greece, “religious opinion was a private and not a public matter.”117 Thusly, the projected promenade of the Acropolis (including the Parthenon’s involvement in such a spatial procession) was at the service of the individual. The relationship between the Subject, architecture, and the gods, was a personal matter to an individual in the 6th century BC. The political gesture of the Acropolis suggests however, that the space was utilized just as much for political and philosophical deliberation, as it was for personal worship. Although it exists today as a public destination, the original spatial influence of political and religious implications play a crucial role in its own subjugation of meaning. The reciprocity between the two functionalities is what keeps the Subject bound to earthly ideals while investigating the plinth of the gods.
The program of the Acropolis varies cross culturally and across time. It has often been regarded as a sanctuary, a sort of religious centre and a symbol of political power for the ancient Athenians. Today it remains a sanctuary, but rather a sanctuary of “aesthetic and historic interest.”114 The physical change of the Acropolis over time is due to the differentiation in needs of the inhabitants thatutilized its spaces.The network of structures and ruins facilitates a spatial palimpsest where buildings were added, destroyed, stripped of ornamentation, and edited in order to fixate on the ever-evolving program. It also describes its natural decay, becoming one again with the earth which formed it.Today, individuals see the Acropolis in a different fashion than their ancestors. They see the Acropolis and its buildings as a set of ruins where the remains and the natural landscape blur to create a new reading of this location. The contrast between the “rock formation of the stronghold and the marble buildings of the original temples,” ascertains a different understanding of this location.115 The religious and political implications of the site give rise to its dynamic promenade.Religious representation was embodied in the goddess Athena, true sovereign of the land of Attica whomthe city was named after. Because she was considered to be the personification of power, the Parthenon must be considered as a political move by the statesman Pericles, whoinevitably became the head of the Athenian democracy.116 The use of the best architects and artists procurable to 113
Circulating through the Acropolis, it is possible to imagine its former existence. Therefore the Subject begins to provoke his own memory and imagination to fill in the gaps of contextual information. The link between present and past is at all times existent in the projection of the Subject’s consciousness on the surroundings. The western Propylaea threshold to the Acropolis: and acts as a gateway to the gods, a space situated between “the sacred and the profane.”118 It is composed of many elements, including a step, a door, a vestibule, and a space between interior and exterior. This entrance contains five doorways of three hierarchies. This allows an individual to use any of the doors, altering the initialintentions of their spatial progression through the Acropolis. Although there are multiple different sized doors, the variance of scale suggests a primary method of entry to the Subject yet does not deny him the right to enter as he pleases. The Acropolis is always offering primary circulation methodologies, but recollects the decision making process of the Subject in order to engage him in a spatial conversation. After the point of hesitation in the space in-between the mortal world and the next, the Subject is then 30
greeted by the clear attic sky and infinite peace associated with the freedoms of choice.119 The Parthenon is shifted off axis of the Propylaea and rotated so that the length of the building could be perceivable at all points along the projected promenade. It anticipates the manifested perception of the emerging Subject through the use of parallax (that is to say, the apparent movement of the structure’s columns in relation to one other). It then reveals itself as a destination, calling out to the Subject. The long ramp that ascends to the temple platform, builds the tension of an overall gesture in order to provide the subject with adequate appreciation of its scale and detail. These constituent details associated with the Acropolis help to relate the human body to the architecture at hand, and present a certain expectation of how to proceed.The Parthenon offers points of stasis at the ends of its major axis. These porticos utilize eight Doric columns on the façade, with six columns interior to them as thresholds to the spiritual realm..121 The temples of the Acropolis provoke a spatial transition from a politically religious field to a house the gods.
A sense of rhythm is differed to the Subject by the seventeen columns that make up the longitudinal elevation, and project that constant rhythmic pace towards the Precinct of Zeus Polieus and Boukoleion near the eastern edge of the truncated mountain.122 This acts as a spatial hinge by circumventing the Subject’s varying perception past its articulated surfaces out into the landscape, and inevitably back to itself. The Subject takes note of the Erechtheum in the near background and is enticed by its ionic detailing of the columns. The Erechtheum temple orients itself towards the north and east, turning its back to the Parthenon. This suggests that it wants to be received from the spatial hinge of the Precinct of Zeus, and creates a relationship to the sea landscape and the god Poseidon.123 Remembering details of the Doric columns of the Parthenon, the Subject is able to compare and contrast it tothe Erechtheumusing the haptic memory of the massive members of impressed marble. An individual here is using memory to relate distant sight and touch, and thusly projecting his conscious into the past and to the future to influence his current proposition.The building responds to the palimpsest of the
Acropolis’ ground condition by partially incorporating the ruins of the old temple of Athena. This architectural motive enables the Subject’s understanding that he too is situated among ruins. These sometimes seemingly insignificant details act as points of culmination, and enable one’s realization of their relationship to the complete itinerarial discourse of the schematic field. One’s projected promenade of the Acropolis is aninternally variant response to its dynamic cultural landscape.
[4.2] _Igualada Cemetery
A Subject’s interface with an imprinted ground merits the second precedent study of the projected promenade onto a cultural landscape. The schematic field of the Igualada Cemetery is imprinted both by its carved nature as well as its significance as a deep-rooted quarry. The promenade in this manner, explains author Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, “explores pre-existing traces within the cultural landscape” of the hilly topography near Catalonia, Spain.125 The “visible and palpable” relationship between the sites old program of a quarry and the current cemetery evokes their commonalities of cutting into the ground. A quarry’s purpose however is the relocation of earth elsewhere, whereas a cemetery is “a place of return to it.”126 The idea of ground acts as a relationship to the precious bodies that lay to rest there. “The ground merits figuration” in the sense that the actual remains of loved ones and memories become the architecture that forms the reality of the Subject.127
Architects Enric Miralles and Carme piṅos allowed the project to exist more than just a cemetery by accentuating the promenade as a figural “acceptance of the cycle of life” in order to permit a link between the past, the present and the future.129 The Igualada Cemetery follows the concept of “a river of life as a swirly stream that eroded the smooth curves of the banks of burial niches” and creates a modern city of the dead.130 The promenade entails a spatial procession along this “river” with the appreciation of life’s fragility in mind. This itinerary follows a similar fabric to the itinerary of life, with a clear sense of commencement and termination. However, it also holds constant reference forwards and backwards through time and allows spatial moments to derail from the given path.Life’s nominal time may seem to decelerate but it never truly stops.The continual spatial flow of the Igualada Cemetery paradoxically creates a place of gratified stillness and peace.132 The promenade articulates its sectional logic in terms of its own construction embodied in the energetic geological character of this stratified terrain.133 The cross sections of this project indicate just how the body situates itself within the ground, and the body’s relationship to the
deceased. The main area of the cemetery is self-contained and lies beneath the available context in order to create an intimate relationship of the Subject to “the stony walls, tombs, and sky.”135 Here the Subject’s body seems to participate in the formation of ground, descending into the main space of the cemetery through the two concrete stairs tunneled into the earth from the second tiered level of the chapel. This suggests that the Subject’s moving body plays an active role in the formation of the promenade and the architectural reality of the schematic field.The spaces of the cemetery can be considered“full and empty at the same time,” allowing the Subject’s attention to meander across the many overlapping spatial events.136 The myriad of “real and invented traces” of meaning held by the Igualada Cemetery develop into a network of intersecting spatial conversations.137 The Subject imbeds his conscious thought into these traces of culture left behind to the landscape and interprets their spatial dialogue. The use of stairs through the hillsides opens up the earth in order to relate the
Subject’s moving body to the sectional change of the itinerary, and allow a re-entry “for the living as well as the dead.”140 The stairs and tombs, act as spatial events that draw a Subject’s perception off of the processional axis. Phenomenological differentiation determines how a Subject perceives those actions which exist perpendicular to his axis of procession as opposed tothose which are parallel. Events parallel draw the Subject along the pre-disclosed itinerary, continuing the kinetic movement. Perpendicular events disengage the Subject’s perception from the current reference axis and create a brief moment of occupation within the multiple overlaps of space and time in his current situation. These events either become incorporated into the Subject’s current axial experience or change his course, enabling that perpendicular condition, deriving the subject’s new reference axis of
movement. Controlling such perpendicular events can set a pace for how one meanders through one’s own projected promenade.
The subject has a choice of entry threshold into the cemetery through either cor-ten steel gates, slipping behind a precast concrete “screenwall,” or entering directly into the darkness of the chapel.141 Any of the choices will impact how the Subject will experience the rest of the promenade and his relationship with the deceased. The crossed steel poles (gates) distance a person entering the fields of those passed, by establishing the Subject as a visitor. Behind the screen-wall however, establishes empathy for the dead through the pattern of shadows created onto their bodies, apprehending the Subject’s consciousness momentarily in a space that “evokes the corpses within the adjacent wall.”142 The realm of the sublime plays an important role in how the body perceives his environment and urges him to proceed.143 The dark spaces of the Igualada Cemetery’s chapel derive such a sublime space. Spaces that accommodate the phenomenology of the sublime hold the power to move the emotions of the Subject, but they are not easy to inhabit. Strategic placement of direct lighting in such a space can direct a person’s intentions and rhythm in movement. The Igualada Cemetery utilizes “exaggerated scale and sharp-edged abstraction” in order to distinguish the cemetery from its surroundingsand ordinary cartesianal space.144
The dynamic forms of walls, ramps and the depressed landscape are used as an “expression of the life’s fugacity,” alienating the Subject from feeling comfortable in the space.147 The material compositions of the site, not consisting of concrete or stone express their temporality of a longer duration. “The rusting steel, the worn wood railroad ties, and vines that infiltrate the concrete screen walls,” relate the Subject to the decomposing bodies that are hidden in the earth.148 Fragments of open sequences associated with cultural meaning “fold metonyms
and metaphors into each other,” dilating and contracting them with the purpose of connecting dissimilar experiences.149 An example of one such sequence, establishes the condition of embedment across a vast hierarchy; “wooden railroad ties in a cement floor, bodies in the ground, as well as the burial chambers in the hillside.” These sequences of varying scales and schemes hold sway to the inclusive meaning determined by the Subject’s projected promenade.
[4.3] _Park Kalkriese and Varusschlacht Museum Another example of projected promenade through a cultural landscape describes interventions along a given itinerary that act as landmarks of the schematic field. Unlike the Acropolis whose buildings more or less merge with the landscape, the interventions at Park Kalkriese in Germany contrast deliberately from the landscape in order to call attention to their cultural value. Designed by Architects Gigon / Guyer, Park Kalkriese is a dedication to an archeological site of a Roman battlefield. The meadow where the park is located was long suspected to be the site of the famous contention of Varus, where the Germanic Teuton tribes defeated the Romans in the year 9 AD. The victory marked the discontinuation of the Roman legions’ advancement into Germany and in turn had a profound effect on the “linguistic and political map of Europe.”151 More than three Roman legions and more than 10,000 people died in the battle. The historical implications of such an occurrence greatly mark the schematic field and a Subject’s modern interpretation of it. Major archeological excavations in the area started with three lead slingshots found by a British soldier and amateur archaeologist in 1988. The finding set in motion the transformation of the site into an active anthropologic compound, which would find many more artifacts dating back to the Roman battlefield. Although most of the area has been surveyed, officials decided to turn the archeological site into a park and museum and share the results of their research with the public. Developing the park, while maintaining the anthropological field and historical context required a profound understanding and reinterpretation of the “site’s brutal history” through a creative contingency of landscape.152 The cultural field of Kalkriese demonstrates a spatial linkage through history that must yield to its constant discovery.
ventions could be dismantled and moved with ease.
The park is still being used as an archeological site, and artifacts are still being found to this date. Therefore, the structures of theanthropologic compound have to be adaptable to the needs of a “swift changing brief.”154 This means that the pavilion locations are conditional based on the importance of findings unearthed by archaeologists working on the site. In order to touch the ground lightly, the buildings of the site are poised on stilts and demonstrate respect for the layers of history buried in the surrounding soil. This gives the impression that the inter156
-ventions could be dismantled and moved with ease. The completed project remainsa genuinely thoughtful composite of experiences in a field of historic influence. The site leaves a “subtle dance of forced abstraction” upon the Subject, leaving him to establish his own conclusions on the concept of warfare as well as its associated meanings.157 Located in the Southeastern pocket of the park, is the 120 foot viewing tower connected to the single story exhibition structure; together, becoming the first object the visitor to the park is greeted with. Before entering the anthropologic compound, the Subject gains background information of the sites historical significance and gets to view and learn about the artifacts found there. The materiality of the structure is corten steel to give recognition to the found metallic objects nearby. The top layer of corten steel, covered in rust is depictive of time’s natural ability to corrode metallic materials found in the earth.159 The building appears at first glance to be heavy but also temporary and delicatebecause the structure is balanced on columns that graduate in 42
length as the ground slopes upwards.The use of the tower component creates “tantalizing views” of the park, and seduces the Subject to become part of the landscape experience.160 The use of large irregularly placed iron corrugated plates is reminiscent of military shields that segregate an ancient zone of dense battlefield.161 The subject engages the undulating walls on either side and at times, between the interstitial spaces of overlapping wall conditions. The path created by the embedment of large flat stones in the ground tracks the probable route of the Roman legions westward across the field. The movement across the landscape for the Teutons however, is represented through the articulation of the ground condition with wood-chips. The paths showing the Teuton’s routes blend in with the nearby woodland, indicatingthe upper hand of home terrain that inevitably influenced the outcome of the battle. The Romans misjudgment of the landscape, as well as the Teuton understanding of that landscape is realized in the outcome of the conflict. The Subject’s choice
of path relates to the memorial bias of one army versus another, and sets up how one will interpret the rest of the projected promenade.
the aim of assisting an individual’s meaningful acquisition of the site’s phenomena.164
The once dense oak and beech forest that provided cover for the Germanic army is being replanted further south to indicate the advantage that the forested rampart gave the Teuton tribes. These ramparts were originally mounds of earth assisted with walls of natural material that served as fortification from the invading Romans. Today, metal poles called “stelae” are employed parallel to the forest line to indicate the ramparts supposed route.161 The poles are placed close together when archaeological evidence proves the rampart’s former positioning and further apart where evidence is scarce.162
The seeing pavilion does so by allowing a distorted view of the landscape by flipping the image upside down. The structure is equipped with a large camera obscura that garbles the current reference frame of the meadow by presenting the exterior view in reverse to the contrary. It establishes a reinterpretation of the Subject’s visual sensation and requires a further processing of this information in order for perception to function properly. To get an idea of the death and destruction that took place 2000 years ago, inhabitants of the seeing pavilion are forced to change their perception of the currently peaceful meadow.165 The Subject here is left to wonder what is, in hopes of beginning to fill the image of what was. The historical schematic field is witnessed then through an individual’s phenomenological imagination.
Three small pavilions are scattered around the schematic field and give the Subject a varied and individual experience of the cultural landscape. The interventions act as tools or “perceptional instruments”with
Devoid of visual stimuli, an inhabitant of the hearing pavilion picks up sounds from the park through an acoustical pipe that raises exterior to the roof. This structure engages the Subject with the surrounding context through the suspenseful auditory monitoring of the landscape. The materiality of the interior consists of timber panels,a suggestion of the Teuton tribe’s patient waiting in the forest for the unsuspecting Roman soldiers.168 The hearing pavilion contains the recorded sounds of horses and men going into battle as well as the natural amplified sounds of the present context. The echoes of marching soldiers, loud commands, cries and groans of injured men create an eerie spectacle of overlapping historical realities.169 The western edge of the park houses the questioning pavilion. Unlike the other two interventions which are about phenomenological acquisition, the questioning pavilion is about culmination and self-reflection. Within it are nine television monitors continuously playing prerecorded news broadcasts displaying current international conflicts. The past, present, and future are all encapsulated in this finalintervention, summarizing the architect’s comprehensive vision for the park.171 A caption that is printed on one of the walls says, “War is not history -- why?” This assumeswar’songoing and problematic existence in the future. “War is omnipresent,” explains Annette Gigon, and the questioning pavilion enables an individual’s comprehension of war’s negative impact on the world.172 After the questioning experience, the Subject re-circulates through the park and re-evaluates its meaning. Park Kalkriese in this case contains two projected promenades: one of departure and the other of return.
[4.4]_Parc de la Villette
Designed by Bernard Tschumi, Parc de la Villette represents the final representation of the projected promenade as an unprescribed itinerary through an urban landscape. The project situates itself in the northeast corner of Paris, France on a 125- acre site.176 When confronted by the immensity of the site, Tschumi had several options for how to initiate the design process: Either by means of composing an architectural gesture and imposing construction, or a complement that takes existing contextual information, fills in the gaps of information, and adds complementary detail to the current cultural landscape. Another option includes deconstructing the current contextual information through analytical reference of historical layering while adding layers derived elsewhere to create a palimpsest. Tschumi decided to search for some sort of intermediary between the three methodologies in order to formulate the parkâ€™s referential connections to the larger cultural imperative. This mediation is what gives the park its familiarity while simultaneously maintaining its individuality as a project. 46
Parc de la Villette operates as a cinegram, a segmented set of experiences in which â€œeach fragment maintains its own independence,â€? in order to enable a multiplicity of combinations.177 The project relates to the representation of a film. When the frames of the film are stitched together through a continuous movement they form a cinegram. The park itself then becomes superimposition of cinegrams through montage. The use of cinegraphic montage simultaneously derails and engages the Subject with the prophetic experience of his or her perception, to create a promenade that is different for every individual. The associations are formulated to allow multiple interpretations of the cultural field instead of a singular biased fact.178 Although the film sequence is linear in nature, the perception of the Subject shifts between the overlapping perspectives of any particular frame, space or movement. In Park de la Villette, each frame corresponds to a specific garden within the series, and establish a memory of the preceding frames.
The park organizes itself through the layered systems of point, line, and surface. Each layer generates a series of “calculated tensions” that reinforce the dynamic nature of the project.179 These layers are not necessarily mutually exclusive from one another but act interdependently in order to create functionality of space as well. Tschumi evaluates the “principle of heterogeneity” that enables the relationship
between multiple, dissociated and confrontational elements to disrupt the smooth rationalization that a seemingly tedious composition entails. The lack of composition enables the Subject to prescribe their own itinerary solely based on their continuously altering projected promenade.
Tschumi employs the use of a point grid system or coordinate axes system that adds a rational order to the disorder or “madness” of urban life. Michel Foucault relates this madness to architecture by suggesting that “In madness equilibrium is established, but it masks that equilibrium beneath the cloud of illusion, beneath feigned disorder; the rigor of the architecture is concealed beneath the cunning arrangement of the disordered violences.”184 The point grid attempts to reconcile these differences between the mutually exclusive systems of the real and unreal, madness and reason. It attempts to argue against the 48
functionalist doctrines by suggesting that “there is no cause-and-effect relationship between the two terms of program and architecture.”185 This allows for the points to become follies that express their own individuality of program independently from the overall park schema. The follies instead reference each other through the use of scale, tectonics, distance, and concept. The point grid follows a 120 meter interval and the individual folies conform to a basic 10 x 10 x 10 meter formality.186
The point grid system is in a constant state of conceptual oppositions: The design is for a public park, but the grid is “anti-nature.”191 The design was meant to be functional, but the grid is “anti-functional.” The design attempts to respect the cultural landscape, but the grid is “anticontextual.” The design is limited to site boundaries, however the grid is “infinite.” Because the point grid holds no bias, these seemingly contradictory sentiments allows for the dynamic insertion of political, social, and economic conceptual points of reference. Tschumi’s goal in this regard was to open up an incomplete yet infinite extension of the cultural landscape without a definite center of influence. Parc de la Villette utilizes line as a means of circulation, and responds the specific movement of the Subject. It does not attempt to establish a preconceived itinerarial experience, rigid in its constraints. Experience utilizes perception and cannot be faceted to a line in space. The path that one travels is independent from the experience governed from that particular itinerary. The project utilizes three different kinds of lines to establish objective yet subjective modes of circulation. Two coordinate axes made up of covered perpendicular galleries, set up a datum for which the rest of the project can be measured. These lines provide the quickest way to circulate the park. The second kind of line is that of the cinematic promenade that meanders around the site in order to relate the various parts of the project in a specific approach. This path interacts with the thematic gardens of the park. The third is designated by alleys of trees linking the” key activities on the site.”192 The surfaces of the park differ in their textures, scales, scopes, and programs. They relate to both the system of points and lines in a way that grounds all three to formulate the park logic. The open horizontal nature of these planes allows for the innovative use by way of the Subject. They establish the zones of influence in which the Subject can measure himself against and respond to the current contextual situation within the schematic field. Surface here is familiar to the Subject where the point grid may seem foreign: Grass, earth and gravel inspire them to connect the site to memories and situations outside the scope of the project. These memories influence their current projected promenade and give them something to ground their own decision making process.
[5.1] _District of Columbia History After the Revolutionary war, there became a need for the nation’s capital to be an independent city from any particular state.197 Secretary of Treasury Alexander Hamilton and Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson worked out an agreement whereby the debts incurred by the northern states during the Revolution would be taken over by the government, and in return the capital would be located in the south. It was George Washington who finally chose the 100 square mile site between Maryland and Virginia, and therefore had the city named after him. The city was designated to rest somewhere along the eighty miles of stretch of the Potomac River between the mouth of the Anacostia and the Connogocheague River to the north. Washington turned to Major L’ Enfant, a Frenchman who was trained as an artist that volunteered to fight in the Revolution against the British.198 General Washington met him when General Lafayette arranged for him to paint a portrait of Washington at Valley Forge. He also designed the insignia for the Society of the Cincinnati, a group of officer veterans lead by Washington. In 1788 L’ Enfant moved to New York and started practicing architecture. He planned the remodeling of New York’s city hall as the first US capitol. It was only natural that in 1789, Washington selected L’ Enfant to design the master plan of the city because of his previous experience working with him.
sary improvements were made. He suggested that instead of selling land to complete the project, the government should borrow money to finance these public improvements. Washington was forced to overrule L’Enfant in this regard for Political, economic, and legal reasons.201 L’Enfant continuously argued against the city commissioners over this issue as well as maintaining several other important visions for the city. In February of 1792, Washington was forced to remove L’Enfant as planner for further insubordination to the commissioners.202 He was afraid that people who were already against the planning of the nation’s capitol along the Potomac River in the South, would hear of the controversy as a weakness and overturn the decision of housing the capital in its current location. The government did not move to Washington until 1800, although the city remained empty of residents for many more years.203 Although several changes occurred to L’ Enfant’s original design for Washington D.C., the overall scheme and idea for grand avenues, public squares and the famous national mall, are many of the current formalities that make the city what it is today.
After visiting the site along the Anacostia, L’ Enfant saw an opportunity “to run streets and prolong them on grand and far distant points of view.”199 In order to connect public buildings, civic open spaces, monuments, fountains, markets, and state squares, he designed a combined radial and grid street system. His original plans called for the radial avenues to be grand gestures, 160 feet wide with double rows of planted trees.200 The grid street system varies in its spacing throughout the city. L’ Enfant placed significant hierarchy on three of the major avenues: Pennsylvania Avenue, East Capitol Street, and Grand Avenue, that all exist in modern Washington D.C. L’ Enfant’s Grand Avenue however, is currently the National Mall. When it came time to start selling lots within the city, L’Enfant urged against doing so until many of the public buildings and other neces54
Tension with Britain over restrictions on trade and freedom of the seas began to escalate during James Madison’s Administration. The US declared war on Brittan on June 18, 1812.204 By August of 1814, British troops reached the city. On August 24, they defeated the Americans at Bladensburg and set fire to the War Department, the Treasury, the Capitol, and the White House. Luckily, a night of heavy rain prevented the city’s destruction. The altercation ended with the treaty of Ghent that was signed on February 17, 1815 in the Octagon.
civil war and the civil rights movement. Tensions rose between local slave holders and ardent abolitionists. This tension was augmented by an event in April of 1848 when 77 slaves attempted to escape the city by a small schooner on the Potomac River.206 The following night, they were captured and brought back to Washington, where they were sold at auction. This event brought the heated discussion of slavery to the city, and created much disagreement. Slavery was not abolished in Washington until 1862.
With the War’s end also came a period of renewed optimism and economic prosperity in Washington. The planning of the Chesapeake and Ohio canals took place during this time in order to connect the city to the Ohio River Valley, thusly opening up trade to the west.205 The Baltimore and Ohio railway began construction during this time. As the population grew, many hotels and boarding houses became homes to many of the nation’s Congressmen. The railway became a way of linking the city to the countryside.
From 1860 to 1864, the population of Washington D.C. had doubled, reaching 140,000 people due to thousands of northerners coming to help the war effort, and the many black people heading north to escape slavery.207 After the civil war’s end and President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination on April 14, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth, the district of Columbia fostered Higher education programs for African Americans. In 1869, Howard University was established predominately for this purpose. The $500,000 to pay for the land for the school was donated by Otis Howard, the commissioner of the Freedmen’s Bureau.
In order to understand the city’s current racial and cultural diversity, one must understand the turmoil that the city underwent during the 57
On February 21, 1871, a new territorial government was formed in order to unite Georgetown, the city of Washington, as well as the county of Washington into the District of Columbia.208 Appointed by President Ulysses S. Grant, Alexander Shepard became the governor and member of the board of public works set up much of the infrastructure the city sees today; including streetlights, sidewalks, planned parks, and an advanced sewerage system. By 1901, the turn of the century led Senator James McMillan of Michigan to head a plan to improve the city design and infrastructure called the “city beautiful” movement.209 Pierre L’Enfant original 1791 plan of the city layout was completed,
and the mall between the Washington Monument and the US capitol was laid out. The McMillan Commission plans were implemented predominantly during the first three decades of the 20th century, and continued sporadically thereafter. For nearly 100 years, a legal height limit of 160’ has preserved the broad, horizontal Baroque nature of the city, allowing light and air to reach the pedestrian level, and resulting in a picturesque skyline pierced by steeples, domes, towers and monuments.210
During the depression following the stock market crash of 1929, federal workers began to receive salary cuts, while others lost their jobs.211 In efforts to alleviate the unemployment, President Roosevelt created the “New Deal” program that paid people to do a range of tasks; from planting trees on the Mall, to completing some of the city’s edifices, such as the Supreme Court, and governmental office buildings of the Federal Triangle, as well as the National Gallery of Art. Population Washington D.C. rose tremendously during WWII when women from all over the country came to work governmental jobs left behind by men overseas. This created housing shortages within the city and a need for expansion.
[5.2] _Contemporary District of Columbia The plan of the District of Columbia has not changed all that much from Lâ€™Enfantâ€™s original design. Some key features have been added since then and include the Baltimore and Ohio railroad line that runs out of Union station at the heart of D.C., the city Metro line, as well as many monuments, museums, and memorials. The two maps above demon60
strate just how dependent the city has become on its systems of transportation and tourist centered programs. These two maps place great graphic emphasis on these functions of the city and present great bias to the modern day flaneur. The reading of contemporary D.C. is in a constant state of reciprocity between that of the tourist, and the
everyday citizen of the city. The interpretation of D.C. must therefore accommodate for both. Contemporary D.C. provides a melting pot for many different perspec-
tives on religion, politics, culture, social issues, with inhabitants native to every part of the world. This suggests that the cultural landscape is a highly dynamic and ever-changing system of logic. The individualâ€™s projected promenade is highly differential to his neighborâ€™s and will most certainly act upon it in different ways. 61
[5.3] _Psychographic Mapping of D.C. What this diverse population of tourists and residents has in common within the boundaries of the District of Columbia is the obsession with image that plagues modern society. From commercial to government run facilities, people are always searching for the next thing to see and buy in order to accumulate ideas, objects, and buildings into their collective consciousness as a means of defining themselves. The fact that Washington D.C. has so many monuments, memorials and museums leads to question if any particular one of them is actually monumentalized in comparison with the others. It is no wonder why these attractions be the central focus of contemporary maps and plans of the District of Columbia. Monumental structures are typically experienced monumentally through the use of scale, concept, and a certain isolation from the standard contextual information as something special. Monumentality here has stricken the need to infuse representation with the accumulated conscious thought of the Subject solely based on the monument’s image. When the objective image of the monument has superseded the need for objective interaction with it, its intrinsic meaning has been lost.
“The sudden change of ambiance in a street within the space of a few meters; the evident division of a city into zones of distinct psychic atmospheres; the path of least resistance which is automatically followed in aimless strolls (and which has no relation to the physical contour of the ground); the appealing or repelling character of certain places – these phenomena all seem to be neglected.”~ Guy Debord.217 Debord’s critique of Paris in the psychographic map of the Naked City demonstrates the fragmented experience of a pedestrian’s meandering through the city, where meaning is established through the art of walking and the perception of the cultural landscape. The pedestrian creates a mental organization of the cityscape instead of the city maintaining its structural imposition upon the Subject of these experiences. These fragmented experiences are due to the spectacle’s distraction of image on the cultural fabric of the city, and must be accounted for in the projected promenade.
The city of Washington D.C. not only allows for the function of buildings as monument, but also enables individuals to monumentalize themselves as commodities meant to be observed. Seeing and being seen is a large part of living, working, or visiting the District. These city inhabitants become active participants in the construction and maintenance of the Spectacle. It is ironic that by participating in the Spectacle’s production, subsequent experiences of the individual become unreal interpretations of what actually exists. The situationist plight to consciously compete against this paradox, endeavors to establish truth where it normally would not come into being naturally. It requires people to become aware of the Spectacle in order to accurately determine how much the filter distorts their projected promenade in order to adjust it accordingly so.
[5.4] _D.C. Zoning and Industrial Core
The sites of operation within the District of Columbia rest within the Industrial core, adjacent to the railway line of the historic Baltimore and Ohio railroad, Metropolitan Branch trail and City metro line. This core follows the railway lines to Union Station at the heart of the city. The program directly around it is mostly industrious in nature with several open spaces that are currently only being utilized for industrial storage containers or billboards. This vein of the city cuts the city into two, as the low density neighborhoods of the northwest, become disjointed from those of the southeast. The sites are chosen in order to engage the area with public functions and eventually revitalize the area into that of mixed use functionality. This will enable the core to become more than a severance between the two sides of the railway arterial, but in fact become a sort of corpus callosum that unites the two sides through a dialogue and exchange of information. Also denoted in the zoning plan, the central core also lacks an abundance of green space that the rest of the city seems to contain. Even Lâ€™Enfantâ€™s original ideal plan for the city involved having many public open squares. Bringing more open civic space to the heart of the city will alleviate the dependence on the National Mall for leisure and gathering activities and enable city residents to re-engage urban life. Using Union Station as a hinge, it is possible to drive the public energy of downtown to this region of the city. Many institutional, commercial, and public functionalities currently occupy the area adjacent the industrial core. The Catholic University of America, St. Paulâ€™s College, Howard University, Gallaudet University, and Langley High School all currently reside within walking distance of these sites. The young population that inhabits these sites will be drawn to public exterior spaces accompanied by mixed use building typologies.
[5.5] _D.C. Analysis
[5.6] _The City Metro The city metro opened in 1976 allowing middle class residents to commute from city suburbs to the city center. Marion Barryâ€™s sixteen years as mayor filled D.C. with economic fatigue, an outstanding deficit, as well as general dissatisfaction with city politics. This caused many to move from the city center out to less crime ridden areas of the suburbs, as commuting became easier due to the metro transit system. The election of Anthony Williams in 1998 allowed for a fresh city outlook and enabled financial stability to return to the city. The budget was operating at a surplus, unemployment was down, and much of the population returned to the city center for inhabitation. The downtown became a safe place to be once more and was no longer considered the crime capital of the United States. This encouraged many to reclaim jobs downtown, and start utilizing public spaces within the city once more. The efficient transportation system, rich cultural life, and community proud of its diversity enabled D.C. to become a major tourist destination and a cleaner, safer place for its residents. Today the city metro is utilized by thousands of individuals daily who live outside the city center and work downtown. It is also used by those who live in neighboring cities in order to travel to D.C. without the use of a vehicle. With the cityâ€™s already congested traffic concerns, the use of the Metro is a safe, and fast alternate to driving around the city. Metro stations are frequent and densely populated with pedestrian activity, and provide fine regions for further development.
[5.7] _The Metropolitan Branch Trail Since its construction in 2009, the Metropolitan Branch Trail has been used by many of the local population for leisure, exercise, errands, and commuting alike. The aim of the trail is to connect Union station at the heart of Washington D.C. to Takoma park and metro station in Silver Springs Maryland. The total seven mile proposal for the trail is currently incomplete as of 2012. However, it is still being planned, and discussed, as land acquisitions for the remainder of the trail need to be purchased from private owners. The current uninterrupted paved trail extends from Union Station, four miles to Fort Totten Park. The remainder of the temporary trail utilizes green MBT signs that denote the rest of the path to Takoma. These signs are located on light posts
or other signs at intersections where one would deviate and turn from their current path of travel. Running alongside the metro line, the Metropolitan Branch Trail cuts through the city alongside the industrial core. This greenway enables much of the biking community to commute from the northern neighborhoods of metropolitan D.C. to downtown relatively quickly by bypassing all vehicular traffic on congested streets and avenues. It is also much safer, because vehicular interaction is significantly mineralized.
To the north, the Metropolitan branch trail passes through many historic neighborhoods that add to its character. This also allows for such lo density residential areas to utilize the trail freely and efficiently. Many public schools and other public programs also line the trail to the north.
The trail also passes by many public parks that add to the beauty of the northern D.C. Fort Totten Park, Rock Creek Park, Rock Creek Cemetery, Takoma Park, and many smaller green spaces add a much needed serine atmosphere to the trail. However, park space to the south near downtown is limited along the trail.
These â€œtikiâ€? statues mark the entry and exit to a highly trafficked shopping center along the MBT. This is one of many public thresholds for the trail and enables individuals to meet at an easily sited location. These thresholds also allow individuals using the trail to derail and utilize the shopping and restaurant facilities nearby.
Public art lines a large portion of the Metropolitan Branch Trail. These projects boost the life and energy of the trail and create a good atmosphere for both cyclists and pedestrians. By painting unmarked surfaces, graffiti artists no longer feel the need to vandalize them, as social, political and ethical dilemmas are already being stated.
Planned by the Washington Area Bicyclists Association and the Met Branch Coalition, the MBT is constantly being improved, from the addition of solar powered street lamps for safety, to trash cans, to areas of shade and rest. Vegetation and amenities are always being added by the city planning committees.
The MBT runs adjacent the city metro line for several miles within the industrial core of Washington D.C. Many of these areas are simply being utilized as industrial storage space for containers and operating equipment and could be very easily turned into more park space.
Approaching the New York Avenue metro station, one can see the capitol dome in the distance. The trail acts as a sort of greenway of Lâ€™Enfantâ€™s original grand avenues that runs radially from the nationâ€™s capitol building at the center of the city. This places great emphasis on the trail as a datum in order to measure the city context.
As one passes the New York Avenue metro station, there is an opportunity to continue strait or continue on the ramp towards the street edge near the metro stop. This trail threshold is extremely important because it enables metro users to get onto the trail in an easy manner.
[5.8] _Flanuer as Cyclist The Capital Bikeshare system makes it easy for anyone who would not normally ride a bike in the District of Columbia to do so. With over 140 stations around Washington D.C. an individual can rent a bike for a short amount of time and return it to another station. This system benefits city inhabitants and tourists alike as it makes it feasible to traverse the city streets of D.C. With several stations close to the Capitol building and National Mall, individuals could rent bikes in order to experience the Metropolitan Branch Trail and Situations of D.C. first hand. The use of these bikes also enables the Subject to understand the city from a first person ground perspective instead of strictly through aerial mapping. This helps to create the modern flaneur as cyclist relate to the schematic field of Washington D.C.
The bicycle becomes the perfect mediator between that of the pedestrian flaneur and that of the one in a vehicle. The Subject on a bicycle experiences the open cultural landscape directly as a pedestrian would and is still capable of measuring himself against it. Unlike a vehicle, which removes oneself from the cultural imperative and isolates oneself from important phenomenological stimuli that would otherwise greatly influence their own projected promenade. However, the bike enables the pedestrian to cover more ground in a sprawled city where walking would be impractical. Some information is lost when cycling D.C., but it provides the mobility needed in order to make use of said information. The Capital Bikeshare system enables the transformation into any pedestrian native or foreign to D.C. and turn them into a Flaneur as cyclist.
Situations of Washington D.C.
In order to form an interpretation of a phenomenal experience of the environment, the Subject must locate the “sense datum” in the operative field. This becomes the tool in perspective for measuring the relation of the Subject to the object in question in three-dimensional space with varying degrees of specificity. Because the Subject is always oriented to an object from a particular orientation, he can never achieve more than one perception of an object at multiple points of observation or awareness at one moment in time. The Subject’s body then, is both an object among objects as well as that which interacts overtly with them. Because the flaneur’s representation of Washington D.C. is able to be made up of fragmented experiences that formulate a compounded whole, the sites of organization within the city can be spread apart from each other. Each site will influence the Subject’s understanding of the other sites as well as the city fabric. What unites the sites are the Metropolitan Branch Trail and the City metro.
The lines of influence correspond to possible objective perceptions made by a given Subject occupying the Metropolitan Branch Trail and surrounding public spaces. They give a certain credance as to why the situations are located where they are, and what conections are made to the local context and cultural field.
[6.1] _Contextual Interactions
[6.2] _Situation of Biased Interpretation Demonstrates how the media can sway ones perception of the cultural landscape. As the distinction between fact and opinion begins to blur, individuals lose the full grasp of content and meaning being presented. This spectacle will reveal that our modern society is filled with opinions that are being presented as fact. These opinions are commodified and then transcribed in how individuals perceive their environments. In turn, the recognition of this aspect of the spectacle will deter the way people move through the cultural landscape of Washington D.C.
[6.3] _Situation of Redirected Leisure Taunts the notion of lethargic recreation settings. It also attempts to reestablish the importance of people inhabiting exterior public space in order to reclaim the pedestrian domain in Washington D.C. Instead of engaging their respective urban environments, individuals often remain at home and receive their cultural influence via various two dimensional computer and television monitors. This folly will attempt to juxtapose the interior sheltered environment with an attractive open setting. Inhabitants will then question what leisure really entails.
[6.4] _Situation of Self Accumulation Challenges the discourse of conscious recognition of oneself. Socio-cultural commodities are constantly acummulated into a person’s posession and relative persona. The need for people to apear, act, think, or own objects as deemed necessary by modernity is ironically detrimental to the the cultural landcape. This pavillion asks the question “who are you really acting for?” and attempts to engage the individual in finding this answer. Allowing people to define themselves freely is not possible without conscious recognition of the spectacle’s impact on the descisions that entail self exposition. This understanding of self in relation to the cultural landscape intrinsically creates the projected promenade through conscious recollection of place.
[6.5] _Situation of Privatized Transport Displays our fascination with vehicular transport in the urban environment. Cars begin to commodify place by isolating the inhabitant from the local context. Access to visual stimuli alone further emphasizes our inclination to endorse image instead of meaning. Washington D.C. has become partially defined by the relative roads and avenues that mark and divide its surface. Traffic has been a main topic of stainability in regards to pollution and material waste. This folly encourages the further use of the trail as well as the many public transportation alternatives to the private vehicle.
[6.6] _Situation of Recollected Infrastructure Trains are often regarded as spectacles and viewed at face value with little reference of destination or place of origin, and with what deliverable contents make up this economical bond. This folie augments the cultural palimpsest of the B&O railroadâ€™s historical and current implications on Washington D.C.â€™s infrastructure. It also establishes a relationship between the metropolitan branch trail and the cultural meaning embedded in the railroad system. Although it is the railroad that has disjointed the neighborhoods of Washington D.C., it is also the railroad that allows for the existence of the MBT and possibilities of various strategic crossing points that give D.C. its sectional validity.
[6.7] _Situation of Assigned Representation The spectacle reveals itself in our need for representation through objective monumentality. The idealistic perceptions of specific ideals is summed up into a single mode of representation. The Monument itself has been commodified by image. This folly becomes a monument as a fundamental idea and not as a symbolic image. It demands that monumentality be resolved in socio-political awareness of the cultural landscape. In touristic Washington D.C., monuments act as landmarks to for individuals to gage their current frame of spatial reference, but must also endeavor to ground themselves socially and politically.
[6.8] _Situation of Nominal Time This spectacular time can be described as the â€œtime appropriate to the consumption of images, and, in the broadest sense, as the image of the consumption of time.â€? Time itself is being commodified by the spectacle, as people begin to subjectively define time by their own social agenda, personal itinerary and investments, they lose site on the many different understandings of how past present and future can be linked by the fabric of nominal time. This pavilion will indicate that time is not necessarily linear and may be driven by many different factors of conscious being within the cultural landscape.
[6.9] _Situational Promenade
[7.1] _Promenade Sites
[7.2] _Promenade of Recollected Prerogative
Does leisure become an emphatic transgression of principles when delineated from programmatic intent by means of ethical translation? The Situation of Recollected Prerogative physically responds directly to the Metropolitan Branch Trail. Its horizontal gestures integrate themselves into the tectonic ground, creating articulate surfaces to suggest an open-source programmatic use. This is determined by the Subject at hand. The site utilizes axial sequencing and interlocking open spaces that play with mask and reveal to enable the Subject to re-evaluate his/her movement and interaction with landscape. The grand scale vertical surfaces are visible to the metro and allow for the perception of the bike path below. The vertical surfaces themselves are comprised of: concrete walls that integrate themselves with the ground plane, and metal screen walls that touch the ground plane lightly. These vertical planes play audio recordings of the constitution periodically to remind the Subject of their individual freedoms.
[7.3] _Promenade of Imposed Cognition
Is the pursuit of happiness augmented by decisions, preferences, beliefs and desires foreign to the Subject in order to fill the void left by ignorance? The Situation of Imposed Cognition delineates itself perpendicularly to the Metropolitan Branch Trail, and is also bounded by two major Avenues: New York and Florida. The relationship to the public realm and metro allows this site to become an opportunity for its vertical structures to be seen from all over the District of Columbia. Isolating themselves from the tectonic ground, the structures of this situation relate to the image as a disconnect from reality. The site utilizes weaving of open spaces that allow the Subject to play with the directionality of the many advertisements from the ground plane. The three towers are themed as to what information is broadcasted as image to the Subject. The tower of consumerism is the largest and deals strictly with how objects and services come to derive ones accumulation of self. It is located at the apex of the site and is visible from the capital. The tower of ethical dilemma reaches out at an angle towards the street edge and deals with the subjectivity of social issues. The tower of sustainability is moved to the center of the park space that turns its back of the street, as a form of false oasis as the spectacle is still present. Climbing to the top of this tower allows the Subject to perceive his relationship to the rest of the Metropolitan Branch Trail and creates a moment of view and being viewed.
[7.4] _Promenade of Biased Interpretation
Can freedom exist in an environment of complacent subjectivity, or is truth self- evident only in the event of an altercation? The Situation of Biased Interpretation isolates itself from the Metropolitan Branch Trail, existing at street level while the MBT traverses at the level of the metro. The trail does allow for the opportunity to reach the site level by way of a switchback that allows the Subject to inhabit the site previously experienced at a distance. The siteâ€™s proximity to the adjacent New York Avenue Metro stop creates a high density pedestrian center where individuals can engage one another, and in turn commodity themselves. The program as a media stand enables individuals to question their own biased ideals as varied subjective responses are displayed and celebrated. As the Subject begins to question his or her own political, social, and ethical ideals, they in turn will begin to experience a means of moving where they recollect the many different perception options available to them at any given point in time and space. The pavilion embeds itself between the raised plaza behind it and the street facade where most of the public interaction takes place. This allows for a simultaneous exaggeration of the frontage of image on the consumer, while the plaza contorts a space for deliberation and confrontation of philosophies amongst individuals.
[7.5] _Projected Promenade The projected promenade exists in plan, section, and perspectival thought and encompasses the Subject’s past, present and future. it differs for every individual experiencing the same phenomenon. This study has illustrated the many cognitive effects of the spatial series on the Subject’s projected promenade, and representation of meaning in the cultured landscape of Washington D.C. The addition of public pavilions or “situations” in these specific sites of inquiry will draw public attention to the Metropolitan Branch Trail. It also will help the populace determine their own interpretation of the how the cultural field presents itself. This trail has the propensity to connect the currently disjointed
neighborhoods on either side of the railroad, allow tourists to experience the heart of Washington D.C., enable the growth of its pedestrian infrastructure, as well as raise awareness of the cityâ€™s broader cultural landscape and historical context. The project establishes the physical and conceptual connections between three distinct sites adjacent the MBT. Their abstract relationships revel in the spectacle, therefore enabling the Subject to become self aware of his or her own movement and position in time and space. The Subject now aware of how the filter of the spectacle distorts his or her current reality, can adjust the decision making process of oneâ€™s projected promenade accordingly.
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142 143 144 145 146 147 148 149 150 151 152 153 154 155 156 157 158 159 160 161 162 163 164 165 166 167 168 169 170
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