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This guide serves as a synopsis of Atlases produced for the thesis entitled The Embassy of the Mantenhas. This project is to be viewed as an allegory : another way of speaking about architecture and another architecture of speech. This play between architecture and language runs throughout, and has been heavily influenced by one language in particular - Cape Verdean Crèole. The relationship between the spoken, colloquial language of crèole and the official, written language of Portuguese is a deeply historical and contested one. We speak of a Portuguese ‘disturbed’, ‘challenged’ or ‘completed’ by crèole, and of a crèole ‘haunted’, or ‘moderated’ by Portuguese.


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...a c c o folklo wa s s c re a t i o ff H i c r um b fro m la n di n Th e se k n ow n a n a rc a n d du o ff t h A fr i c a and gre e n

According to local folklore, once God was satisfied with His creation, He brushed off His hands and ten crumbs fell unnoticed from His fingers, landing in the sea. These crumbs are now known as Cape Verde, an archipelago of, arid and dusty brown islands off the coast of West Africa. A land of riddles and irony: neither green, nor a cape...


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Welcome to the Embassy of the Mantenhas. A love letter, an event, a kit of parts, a set of instructions, directions, a map, a description and a question. An embassy of journey and homecoming; departure and arrival. A place of ghosts and hauntings, made of rock, paper, scissor, stone, bone. A challenge to hegemony, a celebration of the dispossessed. The only place where the recollection of reality, the composition of the parts and the fragments of life can happen.

Welcome to the Embassy of the Mantenhas. A love letter, an event, a kit of parts, a set of instructions, directions, a map, a description and a question. An embassy of journey and homecoming; departure and arrival. A place of ghosts and hauntings, made of rock, paper, scissor, stone, and bone. A challenge to hegemony, a celebration of the dispossessed. The only place where the recollection of reality, the composition of the parts and the fragments of life can happen.


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Margins + Mantenhas Dismantling of sequential narrative: Each page is unpacking elements of site Gamboa Beach/Cape Verde/creole culture, with clues taken from what is exposed on that particular page’s margin. The overall story is that of the myth of Cape Verdean diaspora and simultaneously a myth about Kriolu and the people who speak it.


Footnotes + Folds Focus vs Fragmented Translatory motion/shift: sometimes the evenness and continuity becomes bent, broken or even lost along the way. Footnotes hidden in the fold, acting as another layer of understanding, accessed through movement, change and shift (unfolding)


Imagine + Remember Collecting and Preser ving memories of a place - additive/ collage technique/medium is inherent in plurality - “pieces of collage or assemblage are only ever half assumed into their context, brining with them a wealth of connoted meaning from their original time and place� CJ Lim


Connections + Gaps Writing the architecture into site Interpretation, cognition, m i s u n d e r s t a n d i n g . Recording, preserving, remembering. Exploring ideas of ‘writing’ the architecture into site using the typewriter mechanism as a tool to connect the sea and the land, through triggers, shifts and reactions. This process can be compared to the reading of a text, which has a series of gaps and connections of ideas, narratives and sequences, which in-turn leaves the reader a chance to interpret, understand or misunderstand. The reader, thus, performs a secondary creative act.


Potions, Poisons, Paints + Parasites Narrative codes meets architecture basics This series looks to reassert, or at least to wrestle with architecture’s materiality over its ideologies, to treat architecture and to theorise architecture by considering its groundedness, its textures, its plumbing, specificity and it’s everydayness in social and urban contexts. Roland Bathes identifies five codes that define a network (or a topos) that form a space of meaning that the text runs through. But, these codes and their mutual relations are not clear structures, as it would close the multi-variance of the text. Each code also appears as voices that altogether weave the text, though each of them for a while may dominate the text. These codes were analysed in terms of the site and its potential architecture


here the lines, surfaces, hatches and volumes, connect and carry human relationships and activities, with the flowers, rocks and bones.

here we have more rocks than flowers, but there is as much beauty in a rock than there is in a flower. You cant tend to rock, but neither will it die


Battle + Journey Allegorical Dialogue This series looks at the Derridean notion of binary opposites. According to Barthes, the impulse in human communication towards allegory is a mode linked to the origins of language and representation that coincides with the appearance of the ‘other.’ All allegories comprise two key patterns: the battle (opposition between two forces) and the progress (the journey, or sequence of events). The series is structured as a dialogue between two characters: embassy + mantenhas cultural conversation: kriolu + portuguese (slavecolonizer expression and instruction) home]land + sea geographical conversation: nation + state (home + away buoyancy, travel, connecting the islands and separating them at the same time, drought , diaspora) machine/paper architectural conversation: void + space (silent + spoken - dust and wind, architecture, site, people)


Visible + Notated Textual vs Graphic Understanding The space between writing and drawing, the imprecise gap between the visible and the notated is explored through a textual description as well as a graphic description, omitting the naming aspect, which is up for interpretation.


Rock, Paper, Scissors Space, Imagination, Absence Exploring the material, human and mechanical aspects of architecture, Title relates to the idea of using hand gestures and oppositional elements to communicate one meaning through two gestures, simultaneously.


Beginning, Middle + End Narrative structure - a chain of events Space can be considered as a narrative composition of elements: by definition, the three-dimensional repository of objects, events, memories, people and their reciprocal relationships. Space constitutes the inhabited realm wherein these elements, objects, relationships and memories exist, these models seek to find meaning situated somewhere between interpretation and preservation, void and space, form and fragmentation. These models investigate the ideas of the collective [performance] - stage/grandstand (festivals and soccer) storytelling, gathering space individual [intimacy] - journey/viewpoints/ enclaves (isolate/escape space) through varying degrees of control and coincidence


The Topology of Kriolu Ghost drawings A love letter, an event, a kit of parts, a set of instructions, directions, a map, a description and a question are all accompanied by enigmatic drawings. Based on ideas of geometry, mechanism, ritual, function and imagination the drawings and captions acts as triggers and reactions, spatially withdrawing creole ‘verbs’ – collaboration, differentiation, order/reason, interior/exterior and hybridity. This architecture generates objects that are simultaneously conceived, represented and realized within a process of constructing sense. An unfolding space where opposite logics coexist and where obscure meanings appear, turning interpretation into the paramount architectural experience. This series is a method for analysing spatial concepts and their relationship to behaviour, perception, observation and imagination.


embassy beach imagination referential sand waves tab water parasite distance horizon float paper songs flotsam edit void end jetsam sink swim morna buoyancy phonetics surface escape action scale audio event praia didactic african syntax dialogue rain glossary paper semantic perspective paste wind shout slang wet scissors return lost conclusion decay poison morphology concrete tectonic alphabet broken fact save sharp empty sadness abandoned myth depart type combination remember symbolic forget routine habit dust control middle structure speech tides sound paints route in-between edge music before sodade cognition longing story-telling receiver nostalgia silence culture tradition corn wolf wander texture absence rabbit copy dialect dog piece gesture play vocabulary provoke enter persuade arrangements crumbs time potion enigma haptic trigger translate interpret transform alt portuguese misinterpret gap story drought code connection shift cut battle return journey sequence delete homeland listen read other beginning site communicate meaning kriolu erase voice after footnote gamboa delete margin fragment found hybrid dislocate locate rock appendix ambiguity fiction magical construct language tempo das brisas text link dialectic trace instructions liminal backspace conversation mark memory mantenhas


Atlas guide