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of your own way of working or way of thinking. So I don’t think the process produces anything. I think the process just is a way of framing how you produce something.” “I have a hard time envisioning a processing doing something on its own accord without a human developing a

urban density into a complete void space at the exact same scale.” river reprieve reality pure “Not over esteemed or dwarfed by the scale of the city, but rather reflect and reverse the urban density into a complete void space at the exact same scale.” light experiences darkness cemetery owly becoming its opposite.” perception people mirage ground uncover town thin “As a way to speculate on site, perception, form and representation, this project obscures oppositions by looking at dualities that exist in nature, specifically through the lens of enantiodromia,

deas glass east bridges along present plaza piers future “Buildup is not only palpable in nature; but exists in the growth of ideas, thoughts, and information.” “Buildup is not only palpable in nature; but exists in the growth of ideas, thoughts, and information.” “Buildup is not only

“The space of engagement is an atmosphere, an intangible tension between it and me, the potent image and the intoxicated projections of the viewer.” “The space of engagement is an atmosphere, an intangible tension between it and me, the potent image and the intoxicated projections

ously in the realm of social rituals.” “Memory is an ambiguous thing, and forgetting is no less vague or intangible. Remembering is an act with which everyone is familiar. It is comprehensible and is practiced consciously in the realm of social rituals.” “Memory is an ambiguous thing, and

uch was transformed into an inward viewing instrument.” viewing used tub shower privacy norms health frosted constructed conceptual building barriers zoom “During the day this window functioned as an outward viewing device, but at night it became dark and reflective

nships work drawing cabin process “The presence of actions alludes to the silent implications of tacit knowledge, and those actions elicit a particular demeanor or conduct.” “The presence of actions alludes to the silent implications of tacit knowledge, and those actions elicit a particular

e potentials overlying location force dusty dry complexities traditional survival stretch small site town factory social only desert “Debris implies spatial presence, but finds significance in its temporal and tactical definition. Debris is only representative of a small part of a greater whole from which it

whole thinking part parametric modeling group varied variation unit software “The logic of assembly and variation of the unit [can] produce greater variations in the whole.” process potential investigations introductory form fabrication emergent “The logic of assembly and variation

evelop a deeper understanding about our physical environment.” assemblage common products installation photo author units objects “Touch, for example, is not separated from sight but rather a vital tool used in conjunction with sight and other senses to develop a deeper

e digital; that is, getting the design out of the computer.”orthographic operations molten molds manipulations digital three-dimensional projection “The comfort with which architects have adopted digital technology is countered by the difficulty of physically representing the digital; that is, getting the

inside—however perversely—into the intricate character of China’s textile manufacturing.” hanger folded english dress chinese western void recto-verso vellum uncanny “The observer is offered the chance to peek inside—however perversely—into the intricate character of

primary management processes design software process architectural our media effects projects platforms “Process with a capital P is dead. Facilitating its own dream killed it.” experience types techniques qualities number light examines drawings buildings boundaries across

interaction. If the architecture sees you crying and responds by crying itself,” interesting interaction idea students situation different appropriate teaching “You might be moved to tears by a piece of architecture—that’s interaction. If the architecture sees you crying and responds

eating a strong dialogue between

the two.” natural interface inside human forms “I propose a way of blurring the duality of life and death, a way of creating a strong dialogue between the two.” “I propose a way of blurring the duality of

d resources from suburbia to an

urban mode of living.” available zones typology tower system scale residents refurbishment pragmatic neighborhood “The creation of an efficient and sensible shift of people, materials, and resources from suburbia to an

mediate our every interaction, we

shall increasingly live within an invisible, responsive environment, built upon millions of accumulated, antecedent events.” accumulation time terabytes millions manifest “As the accumulation of digital data begins to

contrast.” information construct

awareness walking transitions “The person walking from the visual starkness of the sunken courtyard space into the far softer, more tactile experience of the sand room is more aware of their senses as a result of the contrast.” “The person walking


ew production important terms question wall part model kind worked words work think project we process ideas design ED program PC MK KQ research format SM presentation time different studio interests students editing year successThere are all sorts of things that happen in studio that nobody ever knows about or that no one would ever know about – are those things more or less consequential than what makes it to the wall for a studio review? I would say that no

id city architecture underground through life world visitor spatial scale individual between threshold light experiences darkness cemetery below architectural above under uncertainty tunnel sensory river reprieve reality pure mental spacepure mental space sensation visceral experience urban death void “Not over esteemed or dwarfed by the scale of the city” world visitor spatial scale individual between threshold light experiences darkness cemetery below architectural

ke way out wind water underground road dry becomes time surrounding slowly pluralisms perception people mirage ground uncover town thin shifting reveal paradox narrative desert vegas site process billboards project city sand oncedesert vegas site process billboards project city sand once landscape strip lake way out wind “As a way to speculate on site, perception, form and representation, this project obscures oppositions by looking at dualities that exist in natu

anhattan facility slip pause only once ideas glass east bridges along present plaza piers future debris corner community beach water stories public space city new york moment highway site storage river overlook within FDR neighborhoodnew york moment highway site “Buildup” river overlook within FDR neighborhood manhattan facility slip pause only once ideas glass east bridges along present plaza piers future debris corner community beach water stories public “

e viewer scenes love image projections newlyweds actions moments lovers internal imagery her form atmosphere aesthetic wandering utterances time she program kiss gaze domestic architecture relationship point periphery passengeractions moments lovers internal imagery “The space of engagement is an atmosphere, an intangible tension between it and me,” periphery passenger space landscape lover between house narrative site viewer scenes love image projec

rn remembering physical own time space narrative memories knowledge dust cyclical city beginning becomes work unseen symbols solid same origins oblivion future exist creation vague universe transformations symbolic specific tombforgetting earth return remembering physical own time space narrative memories knowledge dust cyclical city beginning becomes work “Memory is an ambiguous thing, and forgetting is no less vague or intangible. Remembering is an a

oor exercise create vanity phase members club water voyeuristic viewing used tub shower privacy norms health frosted constructed conceptual building barriers zoom YMCA urban threshold swimming between glass locker space poolrepresents private floor exercise create vanity phase members club water voyeuristic viewing used tub shower privacy norms health frosted constructed conceptual building barriers zoom “During the day this window functioned as an

ite loin construction actions ideas strips story test writing trussing set section place physical part knowledge created body architecture trimming structure slices slaughter shape roasting relationships work drawing cabin process drawingsdrawings pork way time specifications site loin construction actions ideas strips story test writing trussing set section place physical part knowledge created body architecture trimming structure slices slaughter shape roasting relationshi

er socio order existence cards time system surface space size reveal presence potentials overlying location force dusty dry complexities traditional survival stretch small site town factory social only desert residents economic being debrissite town factory social only desert residents economic “Debris implies spatial presence, but finds significance in its temporal and tactical definition. “ existence cards time system surface space size reveal presence potentials overlying l

ric modeling group varied variation unit software relationships new cast tools technologies surfaces smart process potential investigations introductory form fabrication emergent digital behaviors unforeseen trial traditional textual suggestsunit software relationships new cast tools technologies surfaces smart process potential investigations introductory form fabrication emergent digital behaviors “The logic of assembly and variation” suggests strategy sequential rhinoceros

mmon products installation photo author units objects new led despite consumer viewers reading nevelson minimalist life inherent illumination effect containers beverage white supporting structural spatial light wall pet art material workscommon products installation photo author units objects new led despite consumer viewers reading nevelson minimalist life inherent illumination effect containers beverage white “Touch, for example, is not separated from sight but rath

ysical model data computer wax methods frames bronze variety sequence parallel new muybridge motion horse final familiar design applied world tracing technology technique starch space series plaster orthographic operations moltenvariety sequence parallel new muybridge motion horse final familiar design applied world tracing technology technique starch space series “The comfort with which architects have adopted digital technology is countered by the difficu

cturing industrialization hanger folded english dress chinese western void recto-verso vellum uncanny translation text structuring stitched sewn scale roots revolution relationships red culture read process perversely peek paper operationsfolded english dress chinese western void recto-verso vellum uncanny translation text structuring stitched sewn scale roots revolution relationships red culture read process perversely peek paper operations newsprint “The observer is

oftware process architectural our media effects projects platforms mass built architecture technologies program production post output fabrication explore experience types techniques qualities number light examines drawings buildingsmedia effects projects platforms mass built architecture technologies program production post output fabrication explore experience types techniques “Process with a capital P” drawings buildings boundaries across standard space pri

tecture space realm technology process practice material design why response interesting interaction idea students situation different appropriate teaching electronics architects important experience clients city themes structure specificteaching electronics architects important experience clients city themes structure “You might be moved to tears by a piece of architecture—that’s interaction.” work project like architecture space realm technology process practice mat

e site living ground building re necessary manipulation folds dead conditions columbarium traversable surroundings roof relationships outside natural interface inside human forms distinction considered below western vegetated vacancydistinction considered below western vegetated vacancy unfolded “I propose a way of blurring the duality” life quarry landscape site living ground building re necessary manipulation folds dead conditions columbarium traversable surrou

urban suburban building need used residential large high process office house suburbia shift reuse residences future commercial city available zones typology tower system scale residents refurbishment pragmatic neighborhood materialsystem scale residents refurbishment pragmatic “The creation of an efficient and sensible shift of people,” urban suburban building need used residential large high process office house suburbia shift reuse residences future commerci

nformation future detroit years value thousand store size machine accumulation time terabytes millions manifest interaction environment drive creation world void valuable today thermodynamics technological surface structure scale datafuture detroit years value “As the accumulation of digital data begins to structure and mediate our every interaction,” drive creation world void valuable today thermodynamics technological surface structure scale data space salt digital

t building people world will unfamiliar two travel spaces city barcelona water order lake information construct awareness walking transitions time overload smells skin sensorial sense reflected experience space plaza images room valdradalake information construct awareness walking transitions time overload smells skin sensorial sense reflected experience “The person walking from the visual starkness of the sunken courtyard space into the far softer, more tactile experie


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Dimensions is the annual, student-produced journal of architecture at the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning that seeks to contribute to the critical discourse of architectural education by documenting the most compelling work produced by its students, fellows, and visiting lecturers. Dimensions is not a yearbook; it is not a nostalgic reminiscence or simply a documentation of this school of architecture. Dimensions is a catalyst for the future—a statement, an identity, an active voice of who we are and what we make. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without permission in writing from the University of Michigan Taubman College. ISSN: 1074-6536 Printed and bound in the United States of America. This book is a Michigan Product. Dimensions, vol. 22 Copyright © 2009 The Regents of the University of Michigan A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning 2000 Bonisteel Boulevard Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2069 USA 734.764.1300 taubmancollege.umich.edu/dimensions d22@umich.edu Dimensions Twenty-Two is printed in an edition of 1600 copies at University Lithoprinters, Ann Arbor, Michigan in CMYK on 100# Flo Dull Text paper. The cover is printed on 120# Opus Dull Cover by Sappi. Typeset in Trade Gothic, Eurostile, and Wingdings. This powerful trifecta cannot be topped...try and fail.

Dimensions Twenty-Two Editors Adrienne Buccella Lindsay Cooper Diana Khadr Katharine Lyons Christopher Neitzel Samantha Senn Mark Stanley

Faculty Advisor Christian Unverzagt

Acknowledgements Dimensions is grateful to all of our supporters past and present. We are especially thankful for the support of The Victor Gondos, Jr. Archives Fund. This fund was established as a memorial to Dr. Gondos (’25) by his widow, Dorothy Gondos Beers. Dr. Gondos was a distinguished archivist and historian who served twentythree years with the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Gondos Beers’ intention was that the fund be used to assist architecture students in exercising and improving their writing skills, and the fund has been used for many years to support the publication of this journal. When she died, Mrs. Gondos Beers left a substantial bequest for the Victor Gondos, Jr. Archives Fund which generously funds writing projects like Dimensions. Dimensions Twenty-Two would also like to thank the following for their efforts to this year’s publication: Deborah Apsley Laura Brown Tom Buresh Mike Burton Yu-Chen Chang Karl Daubmann Emily Gruman Kevin Gurtowsky Amy Kulper Maynard León Eva Lynch Le Nguyen Sandra Patton Beverly Turner Jeanette Turner Molly Weaver Glenn Wilcox Jason Young Matt Young and Christian Unverzagt

Dimensions Twenty-Two


Professor Tom J. Buresh is Chair of the Architecture Program at Taubman College at the University of Michigan, and a Principal of Guthrie + Buresh Architects.

I’m Not There In his 2007 film I’m Not There writer/director Todd Haynes weaves together six actors portraying seven characters in search of the iconic Bob Dylan. Wanderer, musician, addict, voice, fake, holy man, and martyr played by a woman, a child, and four men each possessed of various ambitions, perspectives, and afflictions. In the end you are left with gelatinous imagery, a slurry of dialogue/effects/emotions in time, and no Bob Dylan. I’m Not There is a magical approximation without a conclusion. How is it possible that fifty years of a very public life fails to produce a singular account or easily digestible summary? I’ve always been intrigued by multiple personalities, various trajectories, and simultaneous events in time. It has often seemed an apt description of my own experiences and perhaps a fitting way to introduce those who are unfamiliar to Dimensions and how it captures a year in the life of the Architecture Program. Designers, authors, theoreticians, artists, historians, engineers, scientists, and technicians— working in Detroit, Greece, Mexico, Guatemala, Florence, Barcelona, Beijing, Buenos Aires, Senegal, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Cleveland—utilize cultural critique, social narratives, enduring and emerging technology, ancient and new materials, spatial and formal composition, and the lens of human experience. Provoked by books in the cabinet, debates in the hall, machines in the basement, and drawings on the wall, asking: “What does it mean, how does it feel, what does it do, how is it made?” We are all speculation and wonder without conclusion. Instead, what emerges is a deep recognition of the quality and sincerity of the people that constitute the Architecture Program at the University of Michigan. It is a singular honor to be counted among them. “It’s like you got yesterday, today, and tomorrow all in the same room...there’s no telling what can happen.” —Billy the Kid in the closing scene of I’m Not There


“Quick, get me a piece of paper!” Process is not a result; it’s a vehicle. The process of learning—learning how to design—is perhaps the most difficult of all to follow. But it is a process, and thus ultimately a means to arrive somewhere else. What happens in-between? So much happens in studio without anyone ever knowing, and all of those moments build up into the final work. Where is the evidence of transformation, and does it matter if such evidence even exists? There is more to learning design than presenting a polished result. What happens behind the scenes is sometimes messy, most times unresolved. Studio spaces are cluttered and chaotic, while reviews are pressed and starched. So why does the messiness of in-between so rarely leave discernable traces in the final result? Architecture students spend enormous amounts of time doing things that are seemingly insignificant. They sketch, write, or just stare out of a window or blankly into a computer screen. How many conversations have you had with yourself? Where did they go? For some, the work is a long and beleaguered operation; for the lucky ones, it occurs in a sudden flash of inspiration. Regardless, work is eventually produced, and that work presents an opportunity to stare and delay some more, and do another array of seemingly insignificant things. But most importantly, the work is teeming with the possibility of further process and transformation. Slowly but surely, through untold iterations, the work becomes something else—and almost always something better. There is a process to this book—one that has been imbued into its pages or forgotten in the recycling bin. The process that led to this book oftentimes resembled the long and beleaguered one, but ultimately it led to the pressed and printed product in your hands. But what deeper reading lies behind the process of Dimensions? Beyond the clean, white cover, what potential of further process lies within its 192 perfect-bound, eight-by-ten-inch pages?

There are two predominant modes to this book. It is broken down, word-by-word, into frequency of word usage—a syntactical approach to finding what really matters in these projects. Additionally, each project was also scoured over by us, the editors. We chose a single word and a single sentence to describe each artist’s work—a semantic counterpoint. But which of these is more or less objective than the other? What other processes lay beneath the surface of these two? What connections or overlaps occur between the projects? This book is yours…with one stipulation: subject it to process. Take it and own it. Scribble, sketch, make fingerprints. Subject it to the process of learning, in whatever form that may be, and transform it into something better. Read it forward, read it backward; in short bursts or long sessions; tear out its pages, reorder it; throw it, yell at it, stare at it as long as possible. Try to draw out its meaning. In order to find the processes in Dimensions, you have to use it. So, go ahead: engage.

—D22 Editors

D22


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process

Dialogue Master of Science Students

Now in the first year of the program, a few of the M.Sc. students sat down with the Dimensions editors to share their thoughts on “process”—from tracing what they have learned, to setting forth new trajectories for themselves, as well as how to instill those same acquired skills in others.

Production versus Design Dimensions 22 (D22): We were interested in how the five of you work individually. Our interest in the idea of “process” for Dimensions this year started with the idea of the architecture school as a twenty-four-hour, seven-days-a-week facility of incredible ideas and output.

project from its production. As a design research program, the proof of research becomes a critical topic. The desire is for both the research and the design interests to inform each other, creating a seamless project, and offering an alternative way for both the institution and the discipline to broaden the role of research.

M.Sc. students: Patrick Carmody, Ellen E. Donnelly, Melanie Kaba, Susan A. Massey, Kaleena Quinn

A Process Interview The Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree is designed to meet the need for post-professional education in applied research. It is a two-and-one-half term, intensive, non-studio-based program, culminating in an independent research-based project.

Edit(ing) D22: Since you mentioned research, how do you edit your process? Because editing is a process all on its own, especially in terms of a presentation-type educational model where the work culminates in some kind of studio presentation. Do you edit differently with a research model versus how you worked in your previous architectural programs?

Ellen E. Donnelly (ED): Before we begin, can you let us know how you are defining “process?” Patrick Carmody (PC): And if you’re more interested in “production process” versus “design process?”

D22: Is there a difference? In the discussion of the journal we’re not so much trying to define process for anyone. We’re trying to open the question to see what other people think about it, or what questions about process the journal can raise. There are all sorts of things that happen in studio that nobody knows about, or that no one would ever know about—are those things more or less consequential than what makes it to the wall for a studio review? But since Patrick distinguished between “production process” and “design process,” let’s start there. Why is there a distinction or what is the distinction?

PC: Well, I think it’s a different way of thinking. For example, if you’re going to use the Fordian model of production, then there’s no sense of design there at all. There’s a script that you follow in order to get to an end. But in terms of how we work generally as architecture students there are two different ways of thinking: one where you’re thinking more intellectually (and that’s typically what I call “design”) and one where you’re thinking more haptically or with direct sensory feedback (which is generally associated with production). Either way, I would say there is definite overlap between those terms. ED: I see production and design as being one and the same. For me, it’s more of a feedback loop where one informs the other, as opposed to separating the intellectualization of the

Susan A. Massey (SM): I think this question of editing plays into our Master of Science program because process is a function of time. Our design research projects span the whole year. Often at the end of a semester review you’ll say, “I wish I had an extra two, three, four weeks.” But when you have a timeline like a year, certain things play themselves out much sooner than you expected. So there is an editing process that spans the entire project in the sense that you’re always trying to spin new trajectories for the work to keep the research going and to keep it fresh and interesting for that long of a period of time. There is also time to jettison things, to really experiment with less pressure to produce something you want to keep. That’s a different, more direct edit—through removal, culling through a series of things that you’re trying in order to get to the thing that sticks. Melanie Kaba (MK): Yes, I think given the timeframe during the M.Arch program, the editing process was quicker or more intuitive but now we have a year versus a few weeks or a semester. During a year-long project, I think it’s critical to intentionally edit in order not to play something out to a point where it becomes pedantic. It becomes more of a creative editing process, rather than staying focused on a single track of investigation—which you can only do for so long in a project of any length. ED: There is a way in which this work, and the thesis work from the M.Arch program, have allowed me to articulate a range of interests and work on those interests over the past year and a half, in two discrete projects. The editing develops a cohesive project, but the work itself opens up new trajectories—new areas of interest. That is a really exciting part of the work I am doing now—I’m starting to really understand how my interests have developed and how they have changed.


nk project we process ideas design program research format presentation time different studio interests students editing year success review production important terms question wall part model kind worked words work thinkproject process ideas design program research format presentation time different studio interests students editing year success review production important terms question wall part model kind worked words

Method of Working D22: In the first five weeks of the program, you worked through one project in a short time frame and had to make decisions quickly. How do you feel about that way of learning? Or what did you learn about yourselves working that way?

often have that initial idea but you don’t know how it fits in with your current project, so being able to archive and return to those things has been useful to me. Kaleena Quinn (KQ): The fast work was initially difficult—it forced you to work in different ways, inverting the typical studio process of concept first, building second. This inversion of process sheds light on inherent interests, exhibiting threads of interest that have the potential to establish multiple trajectories for other projects. ED: To link this back to the earlier conversation about editing, for me, the five-week fast work required that we approach the project with our own agenda, where we had to decide the direction of the work almost immediately and work through those ideas as completely as possible in an extremely short period of time. This quickness requires a more intuitive work and commitment to your ideas, which you then explore later—through a subsequent dissection of this early work.

Documentation D22: A visiting lecturer at the Taubman College said that she never threw away a single model because of this idea that a process is like planting a seed. It reveals something you’ve always been interested in and it never really leaves you. So her idea was: “Don’t throw away a model because you’ll always return to it,” and so I’m wondering if you sense that too? Is the creative process connected for you in that way?

process

MK: Yes. I don’t think, at least for me, that I could work on a project and then, once completed, begin a new project without being influenced by the previous one; you’re always bringing to the table with you some of what you’ve worked on before. Part of the fun is being able to work through some of the same concepts or investigations in different ways with the residual knowledge of previous work. PC: I would say I never throw an idea away, or a thought, or a concept—models are more or less fruitful to that idea in which case they may get thrown away. The nice thing about this program is, because we have an entire year, there’s more time for that short spurt of activity followed by a longer period of simmering—letting it sit and seeing what floats to the top. KQ: I recently reexamined the initial ideas for my project, which allowed me to gain the necessary distance to see it from a more naïve point of view. When combining design and research, as we do, it is important to work at different scales, to balance a complete immersion in the details of the design work, as well as scale out to see how those decisions impact and inform a larger body of ideas. PC: For my project I’ve been keeping a running journal, and I have about forty pages or so of notes and ideas that I’ve been putting forth. Every once in a while, I go through and read the entire list and it’s been a great way to keep things in play which otherwise might disappear into the ether. You

Presentation D22: That transitions well into a question about presentation, since you do have to step out of your work sometimes in order to assess what you should present or show. How far in advance do you consider the curatorial aspects of your work, and how it is presented to others?

MK: For me, in the academic setting, presentations are definitely considered from day one…that’s not something that I would disregard until the week or night before. Perhaps less so in the M.Sc. program, but in the M.Arch program it was always an important part of the process of the pedagogy, with one or two interim reviews leading up to a culminating final presentation with outside critics. Certainly, not to say it’s everything, but I think it’s important to speculate on the presentation at the beginning of a project within this paradigm. PC: And there are definitely two separate realms of ideation and representation—sometimes they’re very closely comingled, like if you tend to think things out on paper and present them exactly as they’ve been laid out. But a lot of times you have an ambiguous idea of the presentation which, once physically tested, requires reformatting. For example, for our culminating project in the M.Sc. program, we have to produce a pamphlet-style booklet which will largely require a reformatting of ideas that have been worked out in a very different medium. So being aware of the final format is helpful because then the ideation can kind of follow along a trajectory that will work with, not against, the presentation format. ED: Presentation is linked both to audience and the format of the review as well as in constructing an interesting conversation at that review. The work is often too complex to present all of the ideas present in the research, so I try to produce a cross-section of those ideas to convey the larger interests. KQ: Sometimes the process of ideas needs a more immediate focus. Thinking through making begins to spatially translate ideas—it is less about a finished product, and more about establishing a way of working. SM: I feel some apprehension about formatting and documenting the work in a book at the end of this year-long project because I’ve never presented work in absentia. So to put something down and document it in a way that gets completely released from my control really puts a premium on presentation—exactly what Ellen was saying in terms of being able to communicate to the audience(s)—and how to offer multiple entries into the project in a linear pamphlet format.


sorts of things that happen in studio that nobody ever knows about or that no one would ever know about—are those things more or less consequential than what makes it to the wall for a studio review?” work think project weprocess ideas design program research format presentation “I would say that no process is autonomous and I don’t think a process is something that you do because it will get you something. I think it’s more

conceive of the roundtable presentations in such a way to both build up the body of research and the specific design proposals, but we did not present the work on the walls explicitly (as one would do in an M.Arch program).

ED: In addition to considering the audience, you want to consider how you want to situate yourself within the work. KQ: The book format offers a reconceptualization for editing the project as a whole. For instance, I was thinking the other day about how the page could start to take on the idea of thickness, since it inherently lacks this quality. Reinterpreting a spatial concept into the format of a page really changes and challenges the process of editing, while also allowing for multiple reads of the overall concept. MK: And along those lines, asking yourself, “What do I need to add to this format because I am not there to present my work?” Considering that, I might add an explanatory image, more words, or somebody else’s words—things that I typically wouldn’t put on a wall—in order to convey necessary components of the project. ED: I agree with Melanie, and her comments lead me to another aspect of how this work differs from that of the M.Arch program. Because the M.Sc. program is a year long, and we are producing books, we have time to reflect on our work and see where the missing pieces are. We have the opportunity to refine work that, in a semester-long project, we would never have been able to, and we can take the time to amp up specific areas of the research to be explanatory, contextual, or speculative. The Argument or Narrative D22: Do you feel, however, that the format of a pamphlet necessitates extra explanatory effort on your part? It’s commonly held in this profession that your work should speak for itself anyway, regardless of its format. That, coupled with the idea that all work ends up in some two-dimensional format at some point, either for dissemination, publication, or sending via email, suggests that maybe it’s not such a bad thing if you’re not physically present to lend some emotion to the narrative….

SM: I think there are two issues. There’s the issue of not being there to present, but then there’s also the issue of not being there to respond. So, for me, building multiple means of entry into the work relieves the need for legibility and clarity to carry the project in absentia. MK: Or forecasting what questions reviewers or critics might have and trying to build in responses to those speculated questions.

D22: So generating an argument?

SM: It’s being able to let it go and fend for itself. There’s some amount of resolution that has to come about not from the resolution of a problem, but from the thickness of the work. ED: I think that the format of our January review is one to consider when thinking about this question. The review happened in two parts: the critics reviewed our work in our absence and we subsequently made seminar-style presentations about the work. This format allowed us to

process

D22: It’s almost like you should all have project blogs instead of books—an avenue for recording and receiving feedback that you can then read and interpret.

D22: Did you prefer that method of presentation to the typical review format? Do you think first-year architecture students could sit around a table and talk about their ideas without necessarily standing up and presenting their work?

MK: I think it’s imperative in the design process that you have some way to get feedback from reviewers or your instructor. That was the most critical part for us that day, and was largely what we’ll draw on to culminate the project and the pamphlet.

ED: They could, but I think that there’s a time when students need to speak specifically about design and design content—what they’ve produced in an explicit manner. We may be sitting around a table talking about ideas, but we have also all completed between three and five years of architecture school; I think there is a danger of not discussing design explicitly but only talking around the ideas of design. PC: I think it’s beneficial for some. It depends on the way you work. The format was better for the way that I work because I have a tendency to keep a lot more things in the ideation state and less on the wall. It gave me a venue for getting my ideas out and getting feedback. For some students it would be a huge benefit and for others, who are better at getting things on the wall, it would less constructive. MK: And I’ll just add that the roundtable discussion was great for us, but I don’t think you could entirely eliminate the formal presentation with reviewers critiquing your work. We had a few reviews in that format leading up to this one and I think they helped us to develop techniques for talking about our work. We will need that skill when we go from the academic to the professional setting. SM: I think that it worked in our case specifically because we have an umbrella project that we’re working on and we all initially started with the same program. So even though they’re only loosely tethered at this point, there’s still a connection in a way that there isn’t between individual thesis projects. So it worked relative to the structure of our program. KQ: What was most beneficial with this presentation format was the opportunity for the reviewers to have an initial look at the physical work without a prior context, potentially allowing for their own misreads of the work. PC: In a way, it helped us anticipate the misreads that are going to happen with the pamphlet beforehand.


our own way of working or way of thinking. So I don’t think the process produces anything. I think the process just is a way of framing how you produce something.” design program research format “I have a hard time envisioninga process doing something on its own accord without a human developing a structure or framework to work hand-in-hand with it so I think the term feedback loop or what we were discussing earlier is more

Personal Success D22: That leads to a question of how you measure the success of your own projects. Is it by the number of questions they conjure up? Or by the number of solutions they provide? Does it have to do with a level of resolution or completion?

ED: I do not think there is a singular way to answer that question. In terms of determining the success of a project at a final review, I am most interested in the conversation that’s produced around the work and the ability for the project to engender an engaged debate. But more importantly, I think a successful project is one that opens up new trajectories for future work.

Teaching Yourself/Teaching Others D22: Let me shift the conversation away from the way that you work to the way that you might teach. I’m not sure what kind of teaching interests you all have, but if you were to teach a design studio, what type of process might you carry your students through or how might you frame the project?

KQ: The success of a project can also be its demise. Within my own work I find that no project is ever perfectly complete, because the project exposes alternate trajectories that situate it within a larger body of work—rather than a finished product—which is opposed to an institutional model of success. PC: For me, it sort of takes on a couple of different facets. One is the degree to which the ideas are able to manifest themselves in the work in a way that I think will actually present some new take or change. But also there’s another level on which it works for me, which is purely: “Does it look good? Does it work visually?” And so I think in the former I’ve had more success than in the latter. I would say I’m at an abysmal level in terms of my perceived self-success. KQ: I am more interested in a continual process of learning, and a desire to engage with the ideas at multiple levels, rather than establishing a false sense of completion. PC: I think the hope for the project will always outpace your ability to manifest the ideas. SM: Whether or not my project is successful is based on how long it’s been able to sustain my interest. I like to burn through things quickly. And for better or for worse, I love to put something forward just to throw it away. I constantly have to spin my work in different ways to find interest in it, so for me, the success of any project I do lies in how many different ways can I come at it. KQ: Another way of measuring success is learning or realizing your own methods of working. The fast work offered the possibility to step outside of an established design method, creating new possibilities and perspectives not only for the project itself, but for personal knowledge and growth.

process

PC: What I discovered about myself from this program is that I’m much better at progressing from research to design. We started the program by doing design up front and then having that lead to research and I found that to be less successful for me than doing some form of research first, and having the design emerge from that. So I find that when I’m teaching my students now, I frame their approach in that way. MK: I really liked studios that started things quickly—studios for which I had to do a warm up project that then helped get me into the mindset of thinking through making. I also think you are able to purge initial ideas this way. So the thinking-through-making approach is how I would start to structure a studio in the initial phase.

D22: It’s something that you have to think about because what if the student runs out of ideas to spin it anew? Do you interject; do you suggest?

MK: Well, I think it is the teacher’s role to help students reposition themselves, but without leading them, or driving them in a particular way such that the teacher begins imposing their own agenda upon the students. SM: I don’t think it’s the teacher’s responsibility to unstick students or spin for them. I think it’s the instructor’s responsibility to teach them how to do that for themselves. Your work will not always be isomorphic with your own interests. KQ: An important part of the learning process is the ability to establish your own interests within the context of a studio brief, which is interesting in light of the structure of the M.Sc. program where we all started with the same project, but are now producing five radically different projects. ED: I also think that it is important for students to maintain interests outside of architecture school; to have and expand cultural interests beyond that which is put in front of them at school so that they can situate their own work in the world around them.


egrative—we learn from the process and you script the process. I think it would be cyclical in that way” “I agree that thinking-through-making is important, especially in early studios, but that the notion of making may be a broadone…making drawings, models, etc. It is important for students to find ways of working that enable them to explore their ideas and subsequently represent them.” “I would say that no process is autonomous

Overtime D22: If you had to substitute a different word, what word would you use instead of “process?”

D22: What words are overused in the discipline?

PC: At my desk because I’ve spent so much time making it a good place to work. MK: In the publications office. SM: With my dog in my lap. ED: In studio. KQ: Studio.

D22: What is your favorite hour of the day or night?

PC: I think the last hour spent in the studio for me is always...like right before you hit the wall and you just have to go home and go to bed. It’s both the most productive and, because it’s in the realm of complete exhaustion, has the most non-linear ways of thinking that tend to be very productive. MK: 2:00 a.m. SM: Whichever ones I’m asleep during. ED: In Michigan, in winter, at dusk when the evening sky is whitish-silvery-grey. How’s that for cheesy? KQ: That’s super cheesy. I was just going to call it dusk.

D22: What instrument could you not live without in studio?

PC: My crappy technical pencil. MK: My mouse. SM: My fingers. ED: A large cup of Zingerman’s coffee. KQ: An X-acto knife and a straight edge.

SM: “Sort of.” PC: I think the word I hate to hear the most is “should.” MK: Hmmm, I’m thinking of a few terms—one is “sustainability.” And the others are “emergent” and “performative.” And I’m guilty of using them as well. ED: Mine is an oldie-but-goodie, and that one is “problematize….” It’s not used so much anymore but it was when I started school, and it haunts me. KQ: “Disciplinarity.” The establishing of false boundaries limits the potential of ideas…. MK: “Interdisciplinarity.” ED: Prefix-disciplinarity Inter, Intra, trans.… Let’s not try to label everything! KQ: Similar to our aversion of the term “process….”

D22: Next question: what’s your favorite curse word?

D22: Where do you prefer to work? MK: Making. ED: Production. KQ: Doing or Method. SM: I don’t have an inherent problem with the word Process. PC: I think Process is fine as long as you’re clear about how you mean it. ED: I don’t feel a need in the work that I do to try to label how it is that I work. I try to understand how I work for myself but it’s not that important for me to label it or situate it within a larger theme of process.

PC: “Bloody.” MK: I think I go for the British “shite.” SM: “Arse.” ED: “Piss off.” KQ: “Shitfuckasscock.” String them all together and say it fast….

process

D22: Last but not least. What is more necessary for your work, a messy desk or a clean one?

PC: I don’t think it matters one way or another but probably all definitions for me would fall under the clean realm. MK: Messy. Which is why I probably prefer to work in the college publications office; it forces me to keep the area cleaned up. SM: CLEAN-ish. ED: Messy desk, freshly swept floor. KQ: My desk is usually cluttered, but with a section cleared for sketching and writing.


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Visceral Sensation

in the Space of Death Chooyan Han

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Contemporary life in a metropolis, as it has been for over a century, is constantly exposed to vibrant sensory experiences in an almost compulsory way. This consequently causes an individual to enter into a state of mental dullness, which conveys a loss of sensation and self-awareness. As an immediate mental reaction from the overstimulation of a dense city, Visceral Sensation in the Space of Death attempts to create an urban architectural reprieve that momentarily liberates its urban dweller, and allows one to recover selfawareness and sensation. It strives not to compete with or be dwarfed by the scale of the city, but rather reflect and reverse the urban density into a complete void space at the exact same scale. Finally, Visceral Sensation in the Space of Death strives to provoke sensory depth through the juxtaposition of contrasting spatial conditions (above/below, inside/outside, solid/void), and to design the in-between space of uncertainty, questioning what the pure and direct experience is, in architectural discourse. Gilles Deleuze, in his book Francis Bacon: The Logic of Sensation, explains the workings of the artist as paintings that touch the viewer’s eyes and evoke sensory experiences. In order to deliver pure and direct experience through architecture, the spaces are intentionally designed to highlight the experience of the very first entering moments. As a blasé individual¹ experiences the traumatic entry that causes visceral sensation, he or she will come to a realization of him- or herself and the surrounding world. Visceral Sensation in the Space of Death aspires to draw attention to this symbiotic relationship of the self-existence and the world around through architectural experience. Furthermore, the project investigates the phenomenology of “dark space” and the loss of subjectivity. Roger Caillois argues that darkness is not the simple absence of light, but it is “filled” and touches the individual directly; envelops him, penetrates him, and even passes through him. As the dark space obscures the distinction between inside and outside, and provokes an impulsion toward a loss of subject, one may confront the pure and direct experience through architecture.

inversion


inversion

Upper left: Aspiration sketches and renderings of dark space. Below: Section model of in-between space. Right: Section depicting the architecture of uncertainty.

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Architecture of Inversion In order to detach the blasé individual from the urban fabric and invite him or her to the dark space, the project is located in the underground of a city. The polarity between above and below, inside and outside, solid and void, creates an opportunity to juxtapose the opposing conditions that complement each other’s presence. The city is inverted and projected to a void space underneath, so that the occupation of the surface continues into the underground world. The voided space leaves room to breathe, think, and feel. Architecture is not created by the object-making process, but is naturally formed by the extension of existing surfaces. In many ways, this act of excavating earth to create void space under the ground resembles a burial process of the dead. The difference is that the void space allows the living to enter. Visceral Sensation in the Space of Death, as an urban underground

cemetery, offers a reverse experience of life and death. It is a container for the shadows of the living. It is a metaphor for life. It is a place for lost and found—where one may recover what has been lost for a very long time. While the architecture of inversion brings attention to the polarity of space, an even more interesting condition can be found through experience. The in-between space is a threshold that allows the transitions from above to below, dense to vacuum, and light to dark. The thresholds are extended from a fire staircase, elevator tower, ladder, and tunnel for the occupants: cemetery staff, soul seeker, mourner, darkness admirer, urban escaper, and urban explorer. Each threshold acts as a clip between the urban reality and the underworld, serving as a linkage, and producing channels of connection. They have different levels of connection, whether abrupt or progressive, which prepare the visitors for the sacred territory: the space of death. Architecture of Uncertainty Visceral Sensation in the Space of Death accounts for the qualities of spatial uncertainly, forgotten margins, shadows and darkness, and ambiguity in scale, which are all objects of fear and phobia. Such fears, as symptoms of hysteria, anxiety, and disorder will be exaggerated and amplified by design to activate our innermost recessed senses, and sublimate them into a traumatic event. Along the edge of the Chicago River, runs Wacker Drive which provides a unique situation where multiple horizons coexist, obscuring ground level. Its cliff-like condition reveals an edge within the city and offers an opportunity to expose the existence of the underground. Entrance occurs at various uncertain and ambiguous openings on the ground level, which allow the visitors to enter the cemetery without preconceptions of the inner space. They include endlessly long escalators, elevator towers that are disguised as the bridge towers, hundred-foot-tall U-shaped stairways, and a tunnel—a deep, dark tunnel with punched-out openings that pixelate the city and make it disappear as the visitor walks


Depiction of the urban architectural reprieve as an x-ray of inversion.

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through. This is the ritualized threshold. In the journey through these tight and enclosed thresholds, the visitor’s nervous system reaches the pinnacle of disorientation—the spatial uncertainty—and this experience allows the visitor to shed off worldly thoughts, and focus on his inner consciousness and bodily existence.

Visceral Sensation in the Space of Death is an attempt to create an urban architectural reprieve that is not itself over-esteemed or dwarfed by the spatial limitation. It is a proposition of an alternative experience underground at the same scale as the city, providing a visceral experience of another life; after which, one returns to reality with a new perspective on life.

Thesis Advisor: Mireille Roddier 1. George Simmel, The Metropolis and Mental Life.

From upper left to lower right: Extension sketches depicting the darkness admirer, the urban escaper, the soul seeker, the mourner, the staff, the explorer.

Architecture of Sensation The thresholds progressively detach the visitor from the urban reality; the spatial experience reaches its climax when the visitor finally meets the under world. In order to evoke a visceral sensation at the end of each threshold, the void spaces are designed to show an extreme contrast of scale, texture, and light. From a cave-like river entry, columbarium wall with opposing light wall, underground forest, memorial hall, private chapel, meditation garden, to an underground cemetery, each space offers a varying degree of isolation from the city, and provokes visual, acoustic, tactile, and olfactory sensory experiences.

inversion


inversion

(Opposite) Upper: Plan of the architecture of uncertainty. (Opposite) Lower: Section of the architecture of uncertainty. Right: Renderings describing the sensation of the urban architectural reprieve.

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r esteemed or dwarfed by the scale of the city, but rather reflect and reverse the urban density into a complete void space at the exact same scale.” “Not over esteemed or dwarfed by the scale of the city, but rather reflect and reversethe urban density into a complete void space at the exact same scale.” “Not over esteemed or dwarfed by the scale of the city, but rather reflect and reverse the urban density into a complete void space at

inversion


Everything Nothing

Into a Simultaneity of the Radically Disparate Melanie Kaba

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Site(s) It was important to situate the project in a place that exhibited salient dualities. I would not say the project began with site, but it became an important part of the process as it allowed for investigations to occur in response to an existing ecological environment. Within the seemingly barren landscape of the American desert lies an abundance of oppositions. The fragility of this harsh landscape has been fraught with humans who demand to live within its restrictive domain. While there are other places where dualities in landscape and urbanism exist, none emerged that were as evident as that of Las Vegas.

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As a way to speculate on site, perception, form, and representation, this project obscures oppositions by looking at dualities that exist in nature, specifically through the lens of enantiodromia, which is the process of one thing slowly becoming its opposite. Here, circumstances are staged that lead to alternative means of understanding and perception, and landscape becomes something we understand in a more considered way, which leads us to question what we value. The beginning of this process began with the design of an apothecary cabinet. The intention was that this object would display the collected dichotomies of the project in a way that would only reveal one part of each paradox at once. As the apothecary was to hold a conceptual framework for the project, it was carried out only through drawings and never constructed.

Right: Reverse mapping of the overall site showcasing other details of the area. Far right: Collage of the site(s) as a dry lake bed exhibiting salient dualities near Las Vegas, NV.

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2. something illusory, without substance or reality.

The paradoxical authenticity of Vegas exists in two distinct vocabularies: that of The Strip, and that of its surrounding desert. The replications of many other cultures all culminate in one glorious street in this city. Yet there are lesser-known parts of Vegas than The Strip: Red Rocks Park, Mount Charleston, Valley of Fire, Lake Mead, and Hoover Dam are natural and man-made wonders that lie on the borders of this town. But the interiority of the city persists regardless, creating an indoor town that turns its back on the obvious degradation of its surrounding environs.

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and underground scars is often associated with projects that are kept quiet and not widely publicized. No visitors are allowed.

The Pluralism Vegas and the surrounding desert contain oddities, peculiarities, and idiosyncrasies from which emerge three paradoxes, or pluralisms, that provide illumination in this realm of the uncanny. These pluralisms became the driving force of my process. They were the lenses through which I was able to compare the respective sites, and subsequently create experience and design form, beginning with conceptual study models. These pluralisms are Hidden Giganticism, the Living Carcass, and the Palpable Mirage.

Living Carcass Within the desert the fragments of lost, deteriorating bodies beg the mind to wonder how death occurred, and then to question how long the fragments have rested in this place. The wind works with the sand to both cover and uncover the body in cycles. The uncovering claims a presence, and when the body gets recovered it reclaims its absence. The body tells a story even after it dies. In the city, the carcasses have a shorter life span. Buildings that once were thriving are quickly demolished to make way for new ones. Telltale signs are sometimes left as fragments that hint at the life that was once there. In between the city and the desert are other remnants that are often monumentalized as expressions of the connection. The immortality is proudly displayed while the bones in the city are quickly buried and forgotten. Hidden Giganticism Because of its sheer vastness, the desert has the capability to contain within it secrets of great scale. These are revealed in various forms. Many military operations—some known, like Area 51, and some lesser-known—are housed in the Nevada desert. The traces of war are also easily entombed in the desert. There are numerous “boneyards” for decommissioned fighter planes. Once in a while a lake (which appears and disappears on its own cycle) will recede and uncover another type of tomb, such as the ghost town—leftovers of man’s attempt to conquer a natural process. These once submerged artifacts crawl out to dry off and signify that which cannot be done. In a wide open landscape that often appears flat and acts impenetrable, gaps and cracks appear in the form of mines and tunnels. These embedded disturbances create fuel and

To tame my eyes and to remember the knowledge gained through my skin. To envision cities where the effects of time as etched by air and water have regained their place in the vernacular of making. To stand in an ethic where decay is accepted in knowledgeable and even caring ways. —Untitled poem by Glenn Weiss

bed. Typically dry, this is where the water collects when there are flash floods. Nearby is a solar energy field, a large power station, a mine, Lake Mead, and Hoover Dam. During most of the year the dry lake bed is used for off-road enthusiasts; people who draw out temporary lines upon the earth. This physically proximal but conceptually disparate site contains opposing elements, ineffable qualities, and structural frameworks to Las Vegas. They lend different vantage points through which to stage circumstances that lead to alternate ways of understanding and perception through architecture.

Palpable Mirage This phenomenon has been tracked time and time again through deserts and across asphalt. The trick often gives way to its inverse. The city of Las Vegas itself could be viewed as a mirage within the desert. When the intensity of the heat alters and stresses material, another type of mirage begins to play out. The pressure exerted causes light to filter through in unexpected ways. These can be calculated however, to exude a different presence into a banal situation. Our perspective shifts. Shifting Groundscapes When viewed through these three lenses, our perception of the sites shifts. In terms of process, these new terms add a layer of fiction to the project and intensify the narrative. Vegas is now seen as an everexpanding strip. It is a city that is always about the process of arrival. Its gestalt is best explained as an urban spine that allows for excess, accumulation, and intensification. Gravity is taken away here, and the city becomes about vertical integration. It is a black hole that has sucked down the stars from the sky and forced them onto the earth.

To tame my eyes and to remember the knowledge gained through my skin. To envision cities where the effects of time as etched by air and water have regained their place in the vernacular of making. To stand in an ethic where decay is accepted in knowledgeable and even caring ways. --untitled poem by Glenn Weiss


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of its surrounding dessert. It is thin and monotonous upon arrival, but becomes thick once one is located within its enormity. It is a diffracted gestalt, unable to be understood as a whole, but seen and understood through moments. It is located by a well-traveled road, a road that takes one in and out of Vegas and lies just beyond a mountain range that cuts off its sight-line to and from Vegas. It is a place that sits at the edge and is marginalized, but constantly on the verge of becoming, and gives way to panoramas that reveal its enormity. Because creativity and innovation occur at the boundaries, here, on this dried lake is where I proposed to site an investigation of the duplicities that are inherent to the area. People would leave the ever-expanding strip of Vegas and come here to this thin strip. It becomes an escape from an escape, a place where one can withdraw in order to indulge. At the scale of the site, the abundance of sand lends itself to the notion of a shifting landscape. A series of sand nets are integrated below the inhabitable billboards, designed to blow with the wind and slowly collect sand. Sand acts as a preservation agent, impeding the process of decay. As the sand is caught and layered into artificial dunes, the other interventions are slowly buried in this process. Eventually, many years down the road, the wind would uncover them, resurrecting the architecture into another time, where it lives on to tell the future a story of the past. Inhabitatble Billboards In Vegas there lies a “boneyard” that sits in close proximity to downtown and is comprised of all of the retired billboards that were once used on The Strip. This project proposes utilizing these and other uninhabited billboards that are left blank and rotting in the nearby Nevada desert. These billboards would be integrated into a portion of the dry lake, their formation simulating that of the nearby wind turbine and solar farms. Designed as “hotel rooms” to be inhabited short-term by visitors, they would sit above the site, the wind slowly blowing and rotating them about their posts, anchored only by the stairs that situate them in the sandy ground. These stairs would eventually be covered by the sand that is slowly layering up. As a collection, these billboards hover above the ground, allowing the user a perception akin

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to that of being on the deck of a boat…a boat that is out to sea on a dry lake. The billboards themselves would light up; the screen on the front would expose and broadcast to others on the site and those on the road. They may reveal some information about the people inhabiting them. The idea of living behind a billboard while simultaneously being exposed on the billboard becomes the paradox. Desert Iceburg This main structure submerges itself within the site; it works primarily to clean water and provide hydro-electric energy to the site. Additionally, there is a large underground pool that would provide an underground oasis to people who inhabit the billboards. The water is brought in from Lake Mead to sit in a pocket of the desert—this act being a paradox in and of itself. The experience of descending into the ground via an elongated stair heightens one’s awareness of being subsumed by the vastness of the desert. Once below the surface, the building opens up, exposing the system of water collection and framing a portion of the sky. In this underground iceberg there are projection screens that import some of the footage from the inhabitable billboards, framing and reframing what is happening above ground, broadcasting it below and thereby shifting our perception and state of mind. The process ended with further speculation on the ghostly representation and narrative; where precisely in time is this

project located? Is it now or a hundred years from now when billboards and building are covered with sand and the water pipes have broken creating an underground oasis hidden in the American desert? The narrative keeps generating questions and resituating the project towards the realm of an architectural science fiction that questions what will happen to this particular landscape and its inhabitants.

Thesis Advisor: Keith Mitnick Cormac McCarthy, The Road. (Knopf, 2006). Coen Brothers, No Country for Old Men. (2007). Dave Hickey, Air Guitar. (Art Issues Press, 1997). Kevin Deng, Dialectical Utopias, on Santa Fe and Las Vegas, no. 4 (Harvard Design Magazine, Winter/Spring 1998), Number 4. Kubo Prat and Hwang Prat, Desert America: Territory of Paradox. (Actar, 2006). Reyner Banham, Scenes in America Deserta. (MIT Press, 1989). Edward Abbey, Edited by Thomas Miller, Desert Skin. (The University of Utah Press, 1994).


king at dualities that exist in nature, specifically through the lens of enantiodromia, which is the process of one thing slowly becoming its opposite.” “As a way to speculate on site, perception, form and representation, this projectobscures oppositions by looking at dualities that exist in nature, specifically through the lens of enantiodromia, which is the process of one thing slowly becoming its opposite.” “As a way to speculate on site,

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Ambivalent Thresholds: Tangents of [Un]Remarkable Slippage Caryn Schadegg

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“Nor could I ever after see the world as I had known it. Mixed with the present scene was always a little of the past and a little of the future, and every once-familiar object loomed alien in a new perspective brought on by my widened sight....” —H.P. Lovecraft The Now The provisional moment of the now is one of shore-like fluctuation, tension, inundation of choices, and torn desires for that which is known and that which is unknown. The present is a potential moment on the verge of kinetic; a threshold between past and future, real and imagined, remembering and forgetting, erasing and enduring. It is a tangential threshold between pathways which meet, conflate, and then separate; a brief, altering convergence where one moment can slip into another. Leonardo da Vinci discusses an instant as having no time, as it is the movement of the instant that creates time.1 The present instant, before it is gone and the next has come, is an ambivalent moment of pause torn in multiple directions. It is in this threshold pause where one direction can inform the other, influencing and altering perception. It is a moment of choice. In today’s fast-paced world we are engulfed by information, memories, expectations, ideas, and hopes; in short, everything and anything. Cities have a physical buildup of debris similar to a growing stack of newspapers in a corner. Each year additional layers accrue on earth. New York City’s streets have slowly risen due to “debris, lifting the land an average of 4.7 feet per century.”2 This phenomenon can be readily identified in places like the Roman Forum, now found far below Rome’s modern street level. Buildup is not only palpable in nature, but exists in the growth of ideas, thoughts, and information. Sometimes we revere the accumulated, while other times we attempt to wipe them clean like a slate; but we are always constantly carving out our niche.

Collage depicting plotted site plan and the ancient and futuristic knowledge held within a chalkboard.

space city new york moment highway site storage river overlook within FDR neighborhood manhattan facility slip pause only once ideas glass east bridges along present plaza piers future debris corner communitybeach water stories public space city new york moment highway site storage river overlook within FDR neighborhood manhattan facility slip pause only once ideas glass east bridges along present plaza piers


This project explores ideas of perception and choice through the lens of architect-as-excavator into the debris of life. Within this exploration, architecture becomes a kinetic and evolving tool that is both anticipant and participant, excavating into the accumulated to reveal what is actually already there. A Chalkboard A chalkboard is both the past and the future. Like the present, it is continuously the same while continuously changing. It can appear blank, but within its depths it contains an unknown quantity of ancient and futuristic knowledge. It is a versatile and adaptable landscape of thought, influenced and altered by new and old ideas. It is always anticipatory. The chalkboard becomes the site and material for an accumulation of emergent ideas. Some ideas are lost, and others are transformed, while collectively progressing towards a focused clarity. The chalkboard is the site of process and tangential thoughts, and a story with an uncertain (and momentary) ending. Excavation The shore-lined city of New York is the site for an excavation. The very nature of New York City is one of flux. It is a city that is always barreling ahead at high speeds—“a city that never sleeps.” New York is, as Henry James says, “a provisional city with no credible possibility of time for history.”4 New York rarely focuses on its past, but like Italo Calvino’s Venice it “contains it like the lines of a hand, written in the corner of the streets.”5 The excavation catalogues ignored moments within the city, taking a closer look at the debris—the ordinary, the unremarkable, the abandoned, the unnoticed, the leftover, and the lost within the accumulated; it values the ignored, ignores the valued, and remarks at the unremarkable. Each item collected has multiple stories and tangential pathways that surround it. We choose which ones we see and are blind to others. For example, the story of a lost shoe can take many tangents. There are stories of the wearer, the maker, the misplaced, the finder, the miles it tread, the thoughts projected onto it, and on. Sometimes the stories’ paths meet and cross, altering perception and revealing the previously unnoticed. This project proposes an architectural jetty within the city—depositing and eroding stories, a provisional memory bank simultaneously looking forward

Upper left: The city buildup. Lower left: Arthur Lidz, “the saver.” Left: Film strips describing the city, demolition, and the shoreline. Right: Excavation tags and the shoe.

In the shifting landscapes of time and memory, amongst tangible and intangible accumulations, there are also ner community beach water stories public space city new york moment highway site storage river overlook within FDR neighborhood manhattan facility slip pause only once ideas glass east bridges along present plaza piers futuredebris corner community beach water stories public space city new york moment highway site storage river overlook within FDR neighborhood manhattan facility slip pause only once ideas glass east bridgesresidual unexpected erasures and revelations when things become lost or emphasized, depending on what we choose to value, notice, or remember. The landscape of time is like a shoreline swallowing up moments, while now and then revealing glimpses which reemerge only to be washed away once again. Like Heraclitus’ river,3 a moment is experienced but once.

and backward with no expectations of permanence. The site is a beat-up corner of New York and the users are those who are often unnoticed or taken for granted within a large city. A Beat-up Corner The Manhattan neighborhood of Two Bridges constitutes the land caught between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges along the East River. Two Bridges is a corner of Manhattan that is often forgotten. Neighborhood maps either entirely ignore it or accredit it to Chinatown, the Lower East Side, or the Financial District, regardless of its own unique identity and ambiance. Two Bridges is a residential neighborhood comprised of governmental project housing, 19th century tenements, two schools, one large storage facility, and the FDR Highway. It is often disregarded as just “projects,” but it is so much more; it is home to over 8,000 residents. It is gritty, it is old, and it is on the crest of the change currently redefining New York’s Bowery. Two Bridges, which has seen numerous redefinitions in the past, is considered one of the last frontiers of Manhattan. “The only neighborhood left in Manhattan that doesn’t have a Starbucks.”6 It is what it is, at this moment…for now.


The Shoebox Space The site is located at the FDR Highway, where Catherine Slip meets the East River. The Governor Alfred E. Smith Public Housing borders Catherine Slip on one side; opposite is the defunct New York Post Distribution Plant now converted into a Manhattan Mini Storage. The FDR Highway allows thousands to unknowingly pass through the neighborhood each day. The busyness of the elevated highway starkly contrasts with the emptiness found beneath. The underside sometimes operates as city storage and is frequented by the occasional fisherman and runner along the river’s edge. This is the site of a once-bustling ferry dock (whose name is now echoed by the street). This is the site of a once-notorious slum. This is the site of refuse accumulation, washed from the city by water runoff. This is the site that may be wiped clear for a new East River waterfront. This is the shoebox space. It is space used for collecting and holding. It is space that is tucked away and forgotten, only to eventually be removed and have its contents shifted, destroyed, or rearranged before being replaced. The proposed architecture sees the site as it is today, how it once was, and what it might be. It becomes space for the neighborhood, space for the passers-through, and space for each user. The architecture churns things up and reveals moments within the city. Interaction with one space slips into another, creating moments of choice, pause, and sometimes confusion, possibly taking someone to unexpected places. The architecture is a brief moment in the city of New York, a brief moment along the FDR Highway, a brief moment before it moves on to the next. The Overlook The Overlook is a small intervention proposed as a moment of pause. Located on the FDR Highway halfway between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, The Overlook offers space to park and view the city. Like a vista point on a scenic mountain highway, The Overlook allows for a momentary

Upper right: Images from the site. Lower right: Collage depicting plotted site plan and the ancient and futuristic knowledge held within a chalkboard.

break from the fast-paced city in an unlikely location. It is a place of pause to overlook the surroundings. Who chooses to za piers future debris corner community beach water stories public space city new york moment highway site “Buildup” river overlook within FDR neighborhood manhattan facility slip pause only once ideas glass east bridgesalong present plaza piers future debris corner community beach water stories public “Buildup is not only palpable in nature;” site storage river overlook within FDR neighborhood manhattan facility slip pauseresidual stop? Who drives by without ever noticing? Located on The Overlook are a series of viewers (or seers) allowing for another type of sight: a closer look. The viewers provide an alternate means to perceive the surroundings, allowing someone to concentrate on one entity to the exclusion of others. Some of the viewers are fixed, focusing sight on a specific field of view, while others pivot allowing numerous fields. What does one choose to see? A Pier Interaction with the pause of The Overlook reveals spatial extensions into other environments. Two piers can be seen from The Overlook, jutting out like arms into the East River, reminiscently marking the location of the old ferry slip. The piers offer a public waterfront park for the community and the fishermen. The small piers subtly foreshadow the future transformation of the East River Waterfront. Built from reclaimed detritus, they offer glimpses of other pieces of the city for anyone who chooses to take another look. The space of The Overlook descends to the level of the piers on a lower platform. On the platform below, views appear to be directed towards Brooklyn, while the girth of the highway blocks sight of the city—a reminder of the scale necessary to support an elevated highway system. Estuary Upon descending, a glass structure is uncovered beneath the FDR Highway. The lightness of the glass contrasts the heaviness above and the darkness found underneath. The glass is a subtle, “barely there” intervention, limiting the obstruction of views between the city and the river, while simultaneously providing full view of activities within the large, glass gathering space. The space is a recovery or cleansing center of life’s dirt; it is a community Laundromat; a subtle and almost hidden focal point for the community, and a public place for a typically private activity. It is a converging point of people where stories can mix, mingle, collect, and wash away. An old boat slip cutting past the present shoreline into the land splits the Laundromat in half. The slip of water reflects light into the shadowed space. The glass Laundromat is a tiny moment along FDR highway, but offers ample space, anticipating a variety of community activities. The Laundromat serves not only as a community space, but also as an intersection for neighbors, runners, bikers, children, adults, sightseers, collectors, washers, and fishermen. How does each choose to interact? Or do they? A glass wall marks the collision of the worlds of laundry and fishing, splitting a table in two, one side on the outside and other on the inside. How are the tables used? How does the use of one table affect the choices of those using the other side?


Left: Views of the city: New York skyline, trash men, Catherine Slip Tenements, Projects. Lower right: Process site model. Far right: A chalkboard depicting the work over time.

The Sandbar A small, unused beach exists under the Brooklyn Bridge. ss east bridges along present plaza piers future debris “Buildup is not only palpable in nature; but exists in the growth of ideas,” FDR neighborhood manhattan facility slip pause only once ideas glass east bridges along presentplaza piers future “Buildup is not only palpable in nature; but exists in the growth of ideas, thoughts, and information.” community beach water stories public space city new york moment highway site storageresidual The beach is comprised of sediment and debris that have collected around the remnants of long forgotten piers. A small underwater junkyard just north of the beach along the water’s edge will encourage the beach’s growth along the shoreline. Just as this sediment intends to extend the land of the island, a sunken plaza under the FDR extends the waters of the river, muddying its edges. The plaza provides a cool space of relaxation during the hotter seasons. Water seeps into the space during high tide, reflecting light and transforming the plaza during the course of each day. The potential growth of the beach could eventually prevent the tidewater from entering the plaza, ultimately transforming the atmosphere and space of the plaza. Storage Facility A storage facility is a space of accumulation, of collections, of things, and of junk. It is the space of many lives unknowingly crammed together. The storage facility is space that has been removed and hidden from the city to hold artifacts of daily life. The space of The Overlook extends across the highway to the storage facility. A floor of the facility is carved out, returning space to the city. The rooftop is utilized as public-park space built above the many layers stuff. It becomes another “streetlevel” high above the existing promenade. The roof not only creates additional garden space, but also serves as a home to pigeon coops. The coops are reminiscent of rooftops from New York’s past, while also addressing possible future solutions to the city’s current pigeon problem. In a city where space is a constant premium, there will always be a need for flexible space. The carved out floor of the storage facility rents space back to the city. Some compartments remain storage, while others are rented out as space for whatever one can imagine. Some of the compartments have been opened and combined, merging with the corridors, providing a place for gathering, gallery shows, and the like.

Thesis Advisor: Neal Robinson 1. Leonardo da Vinci, Leonardo’s Notebooks, Anna H. Suh, ed. (Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers Inc., 2005). 2. Annie Dillard, For the Time Being, (Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. New York, 1999). 3. “The river where you set your foot just now is gone—those waters giving way to this, now this.” —Heraclitus “On those stepping into rivers staying the same, other and other waters flow” —Heraclitus 4. Henry James. 5. Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities, (Harcourt, Inc., 1978). 6. Quote accredited to Guns N’ Roses guitarist, Richard Fortus.


y palpable in nature; but exists in the growth of ideas, thoughts, and information.” “Buildup is not only palpable in nature; but exists in the growth of ideas, thoughts, and information.” “Buildup is not only palpable in nature; butexists in the growth of ideas, thoughts, and information.” “Buildup is not only palpable in nature; but exists in the growth of ideas, thoughts, and information.” “Buildup is not only palpable in nature; but exists

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House for Newlyweds:

Love-Struck Projections on Silent Screens Elizabeth Skrisson

space landscape lover between house narrative site viewer scenes love image projections newlyweds actions moments lovers internal imagery her form atmosphere aesthetic wandering utterances time she programkiss gaze domestic architecture relationship point periphery passenger space landscape lover between house narrative site viewer scenes love image projections newlyweds actions moments lovers

Love consists of one’s projections onto another’s actions or utterances. The Lover asks questions, but the Beloved provides no answers. The Lover’s thoughts are sprung inward, and a cacophony of internal discourse ensues. Fragments, actions, utterances, and desperate projections are the between moments of the romantic relationship. These are the atmosphere, the material of domestic space. The House for Newlyweds invites viewers into the charged atmosphere of a newlywed couple performing the subnarratives of domestic love. In a scenographic orchestration inspired by modern Italian cinema, representation fluctuates between the narrative and the spectacle, placing the viewer at the crux of this tension. The house is both a fragmented and anticlimatic navigation through the between spaces of a domestic relationship, and a visual promenade through a divergent and wandering geography of space.

Nature feels nothing; form feels nothing. Yet I am seduced. The starting point for this thesis is the seductive aesthetic experience that holds me in an internal space, engaged. Engagement is the prolonged seduction that suspends me, as time passes and space transforms, in the space between my own imagination and the abstract image. The image I am talking about is more than form. It is the expression of desire, imagination, and tragedy—an implied narrative, even—embedded into the cold surface of an object. But as much as the image offers content, it leaves an unknown for which I supply a narrative, and offers a shadowy void into which I project my own luminous desires. The space of engagement is an atmosphere, an intangible tension between it and me, the potent image and the intoxicated projections of the viewer.

Scene 2: The Will to Possess (detail)

Engagement “I mean, the ecstasy with which we look at nature; but nature that is against us in all its forms because it knows neither sense nor mercy nor sympathy.... We look at nature with ecstasy but it is the opposite of ourselves, it feels nothing.” —Gerhard Richter1

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How can architecture set the Lover adrift and seduce the infatuated projections of the love-struck imagination? The First Kiss The design of the house begins where most love affairs begin, with the first kiss. The First Kiss and The Periphery translate the experience of the Lovers into space, time, and narrative. The event of the kiss is thought of as a dance. The space of the waltz embodies the detachment and absorption, the seduction and rejection of the Lover. This space, this atmosphere, becomes the house. These drawings exhibit the gaze, the subjective point of view, and the decentralization of reality. A 360-degree spinning perspective from her point of view is countered by its reversal—his view from the periphery. Displacing Program The House for Newlyweds subverts hard program, and the representational strategy loses sight of linear, overarching narratives. The typical narrative of domestic space is of little interest: we get married, we have kids, they go to college, we downsize, etcetera. Instead, the project creates space for the between moments and sub-narratives of an amorous relationship: the unending, internal obsession they have wedded themselves to, or what Roland Barthes calls the “lover in action, in a kind of lunatic sport.”2 The between moments are minimal, fragmented, and totally commonplace: a pile of clothes on the floor, a glance, a sigh, or vacuuming. But seemingly insignificant actions and barely audible utterances are always highly interpretable as a form of internal discourse. The breaking of a glass becomes a destructive fantasy; leaving a door ajar is a secret dream of flight; waiting for the other to finish dressing becomes an impossible delay; the neighbor becomes the outsider, and

just a glance is read as wandering eyes. Messes, moments, some words, and the absence of others, become the screen for the projections of the subject of love, fueling the Lovers’ anxiety, jealousy, obsession, and their self-created image of the loved being. This house is based on nothing formal and hardly anything real. The physical is just a shell, a screen, or a frame. These daily scenes, these between moments and sub-narratives, weave the atmosphere, the material for this domestic space. Site as Aesthetic Landscape The Lover is everywhere and subscribes to a personal reality. Journey and detachment suit the Newlyweds more than domesticity and roots. In architecture, the dominant mode of representing site is as territory: how one inhabits it, occupies it, and alters it. But this representation can come at the expense of the aesthetic experience. Site can be represented and experienced in different ways, as territory; as setting, a backdrop for events; or as landscape, completely independent of event, and significant solely as an abstract image.4 This project emphasizes site as landscape, in order to privilege the generative power of the aesthetic, and to discover the potential of site as an antagonist. Landscape is autonomous. It is not discussed as a picturesque sequence of spaces I stroll through. It is not the yard where the kids play, the patio for parties, or the zone between my neighbors and me. It just is, with or without me, and I can only gaze and contemplate. Like everything in the world of the Lover, landscape is aesthetic material, a screen for personal projections.

Relegation to the Periphery. The reversal of the gaze: a series of perspectives from his point of view on the periphery. Does he promenade to seduce her, or is it he that is seduced by the pursuit? The periphery offers no visible points of access to the center, only the seductive glow of interiority. Heading for wide open promising spaces to the left, he circles endlessly.

The Lover is like the passenger. The Lover too, drifts in an internal space. The Lover’s space is a function of relative time, relative distance, relative motion, relative to the Love Object. The Lover projects desires, not onto the landscape but onto the object of affection, and forms an imaginary repertoire of imagery referring to the other. The sparse actions and utterances of the Beloved send the Lover’s imagination into motion. The Lover exists in a continuum, seduced partly by the enigma of the other, partly by the Lover’s own projections.

The First Kiss. A 360-degree perspective from her point of view. She is coy and stationary as he advances. The space of the first kiss becomes a waltz. Time is suspended as the room spins. Form is a mere mediator for the gaze, structuring the disappearance, reappearance, and looming of the Beloved.

The Lover, The Passenger A passenger looking out the car window is seduced by the motion and the images being ripped away at a steady speed. The passenger is unconcerned with any event, program, or form atmosphere aesthetic wandering utterances time she program kiss gaze domestic architecture relationship point periphery passenger space landscape lover between house narrative site viewer scenes love image projectionsnewlyweds actions moments lovers internal imagery her “The space of engagement is an atmosphere,” time she program kiss gaze domestic architecture relationship point periphery passenger spaceengagement time. The landscape out the window is half-meaningless. Various meanings are built into the land but are inaccessible. The passenger asks questions of the landscape, but it provides no answers. Her thoughts are flung inward. This seduction, this internal space, is the end this project seeks.


Drawing from the techniques of this cinema, the House for Newlyweds arranges scenographic space. Within the constrained linear strips of paper, tempo speeds and slows, narrative circles, landscape drifts, the frame bleeds, focus shifts, and subjects enter and leave at will. The Scenes orchestrates the dynamic between the Lovers, keeping in mind the dynamic between the shifting imagery and the viewer through time. Discontinuous perspectives trace the gazes of the Lovers and of the camera, which becomes another subject. The camera randomly cuts against the action: it shows up, lingers too long, or is stood up. The disparate gazes construct a wandering geography. Simultaneously, the

A Partial Program List³ waiting: an impossible delay a window left open in the rain: a destructive fantasy a door ajar: dreams of flight an alteration: an abrupt counter image of the Love Object, the good image capsizes forgetting to set the alarm: the Lover is stood up a glance: wandering eyes the neighbor: the outsider fading-out: a painful ordeal, the Loved Being appears to withdraw from all contact contacts: “when my finger accidently touched...” contingencies: events, setbacks, annoyances: they will infect, reproduce, and multiply in the Lover’s mind a scene: an inconsequential and perverse form of pleasure (knowing the incident won’t separate them)3

The House for Newlyweds is situated in Michelangelo Antonioni’s film L’Avventura.5 This film is used as a body of images from which a site is constructed. This site slips in and out of focus, shifting between territory, setting, and landscape. A coherent geography is prevented. Instead, site inexplicably wanders along and passes by. The Trailer The Trailer anticipates the house, incorporating ideas about program and landscape. It previews and tests the techniques used to orchestrate the space of the final Scenes, but like a theatrical trailer, it takes the form of a collapsed and ultrasaturated montage. The between moments of domestic space, the small actions and utterances, are charged with the possibility of internal discourse that we can only speculate on. Atmosphere progresses from romantic feelings, to disastrous feelings, to mundane activities, to interpretable actions; to nobody—just landscape, to traces of actions, to transitions, to dialogue, to utterances, to distractions, to intruders; from drama to the dissolution of it, to a brief high and coming down off it, to just space. The House Is: Scenes Antonioni’s films introduced a language for the love story different from the predictable grammar: a dramatic plot leading to a happy ending. Instead, his films meditated on the “sickness of eros,”6 presenting a hauntingly minimal surface of behavior and imagery that poignantly hinted at the tumultuous emotion beneath.

The Trailer. Forgetting.... She has forgotten to set the alarm. Shadows and waves. Her sleep is selfish. Focus in and move out. She forgets, him? Wandering Eyes.... A place where two people engage. The outsider distracts. He sees them. She sees what he sees. She drops a glass. Focus to the floor and out. Destructive Fantasies.... Someone has left a window open. Landscape erodes the rationality of the structure. Sky comes inside. No one is present, but us. The Fadeout.... She is absorbed and fades away. Excluded, he pursues, but pauses at the landscape. The architecture fades out.

The aesthetic landscape privileges the viewer. The moment when site shifts from serving narrative to becoming sheer spectacle is ultimately at the viewer’s determination. Landscape can be pulled from the margins of the distracted er between house narrative site viewer scenes love image projections newlyweds actions moments lovers internal imagery “The space of engagement is an atmosphere, an intangible tension between it and me,” periphery passengerspace landscape lover between house narrative site viewer scenes love image projections newlyweds actions moments lovers internal imagery her form atmosphere aesthetic wandering utterances timeengagement gaze and become the focus. It is an antagonist, equally as important as the house and even the Lover. Within the narrative of the Lovers, the landscape competes with the Lover for the other’s attention. Outside the story, the landscape imagery competes for the viewer’s attention against the narrative. It interrupts plot and creates space within event sequences. These jarring gaps provoke the viewer, and the imagery of the landscape indirectly evokes a psychological impact.


engagement

Thesis Advisor: Mireille Roddier 1. Gerhard Richter, Gerhard Richter: Landscapes, (Zwirner & Wirth, 2004). 2. Roland Barthes, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, (Hill & Wang, 1977). 3. Part of this program list is derived from Barthes’ “Figures” from A Lover’s Discourse. Barthes’ portrait of lover-as-lunatic, in so many words, was a huge inspiration to this project. 4. Martin Lefebvre, “Between Setting and Landscape in Cinema,” Landscape and Film, (Routledge, 2006). My discussion of the aesthetic landscape as it applies to architecture and site is derived from Lefebvre’s conceptualization of what he calls “cinematic landscape.” 5. Michelangelo Antonioni, L’Avventura, (Criterion Collection, 1960). To construct the site, I took hundreds of snapshots from the television as this movie played. I owe to Antonioni a lot of great collage material. 6. Gene Youngblood, Audio commentary on L’Avventura, (Criterion Collection, 1960). Youngblood’s commentary on Antonioni’s cinematic technique was instrumental in the development of my imagery. 7. K. Michael Hays, “Critical Architecture: Between Culture and Form,” Perspecta, Vol. 21 (1984): p. 14–29.

Scene Two: The Will to Possess

Behind the Scenes: A Wandering Geography The geography of the scenes, far from anything physical or coherent is constructed from the viewpoints of the characters and the camera. It travels as they travel, dissolves as they move. The resultant, ephemeral map of the gaze speaks to the continual labor of constructing and deconstructing the space of these scenes.

“The work itself is an event with temporal duration, whose actual existence is continually being produced.”7

“And if the non-will-to-possess were a tactical notion? If I (though secretly) wanted to conquer the other by feigning to renounce her? If I withdrew in order to possess her more certainly?”

In the House for Newlyweds, the fabrication of imagery and representation is synonymous with the creation of space. The proposed architecture and the constructed scenes are indistinguishable. The House for Newlyweds is the atmosphere of the between moments of the Lovers’ relationship, woven into an incomplete narrative. This story simultaneously describes the space of the Lovers’ interaction with each other, and the space between viewer and image.

Scene Two: The Will to Possess According to Barthes: Realizing that the difficulties of the amorous relationship originate in his ceaseless desire to appropriate the Loved Being in one way or another, the Subject decides to abandon henceforth all “will-to-possess.”

The Scenes draws the viewer into a presentation of behavior and interiority. Images and actions speak for the lovers, as in silent film, but are content to resonate with unclear meaning. Viewers are required to draw inferences from a minutia of appearances. Where the narrative leaves off, the spectacle is left, and the viewer takes over.

“Because of a forthcoming encounter—one I anticipate with exaltation—I dress very carefully, I perform my toilette with every scruple.”

Scenes constructs and deconstructs narrative, constructs and deconstructs space.

Scene One: Habiliment According to Barthes: Any affect provoked or sustained by the clothing which the Subject wears with the intention of seducing the Love Object.

gram kiss gaze domestic architecture relationship “The space of engagement is an atmosphere, an intangible tension between it and me, the potent image and the intoxicated projections of the viewer.” “The space of engagementis an atmosphere, an intangible tension between it and me, the potent image and the intoxicated projections of the viewer.” “The space of engagement is an atmosphere, an intangible tension between


Dust to Dust:

In the beginning, there was an end. Its arrival was shadowed but Andrew D. Smith anticipated like a tree anticipates its sapling rebirth, growing in its tomb einstein memory woods forgetting earth return remembering physical own time space narrative memories knowledge dust cyclical city beginning becomes work unseen symbols solid same origins oblivion futureexist creation vague universe transformations symbolic specific tomb einstein memory woods forgetting earth return remembering physical own time space narrative memories knowledge dust cyclical city beginembedded decaying remains.

Musings on Cyclical Forgetting

There exists a tension and beauty in an unseen, unrealized transformation from what is new and perceivable to the ephemeral and forgotten. The acts of remembering and forgetting are simultaneously vague and specific, personal and collective, and are activities bound together by their own creation—inseparable at birth, indistinguishable at death. While we typically imagine a linear, finite path from truth to oblivion, we must become aware of its cyclical repetition and visualize the unseen transition back to its remembered origins. Two instances of the same existence gradually converge at a singular moment, only to continue their transformations through a balanced dance of growth and decay. Beginning and ending are not separate actions, but perceived perspectives of the same moment in time. Sky becomes earth, black becomes white, and the city returns to prairie. Memory is ambiguous, and forgetting is no less vague or intangible. Remembering is an act with which everyone is familiar. As a species, humans crave remembering— recalling, digging, revealing and celebrating—for this is what confirms that we truly exist. Our search for our own fragile memories is a form of self-confirmation that is tied directly to our instinct to survive. Who are we if we do not remember others or ourselves? For this reason, one can understand why forgetting is not often investigated or embraced as a desirable process. Forgetting might break the delicate bonds that define us. It might lead to chaos or a lack of knowledge that would entangle us in darkness (before enlightenment). Evolution has instilled significance in remembering, so it would seem wise to find a way to fix our experiences permanently to remove the anxiety that our memories may someday disappear from consciousness.


“It has been generally taken for granted that memories, formed in the mind, can be transferred to solid material objects, which can come to stand for memories and, by virtue of their durability, either prolong or preserve them indefinitely beyond their purely mental state.”1

Memory, however, is meant to be mobile; it resists stable fixation. The memories placed symbolically into the placeholders of physical manifestations immediately begin to dissolve and lose strength. As soon as we affix our thoughts g becomes work unseen symbols solid same future existform, creation the vagueburden universe transformations symbolic specific tomb einstein memory woods forgetting earth return remembering physical own time space narrativememories “Memory is an ambiguous thing,” city beginning becomes work unseen symbols solid same origins oblivion future exist creation vague universe transformations symbolic “Memory is an ambiguous thing,embedded and recollections to origins the oblivion constructed is lifted from our minds to recall them on a regular basis. In this respect, the physical object hastens forgetting. Lebbeus Woods’ “Einstein Tomb” In 1980, Lebbeus Woods published “Einstein Tomb” in Pamphlet Architecture 6. A work of grand scope, Woods imagines a tomb that symbolically embodies Albert Einstein’s theories and professes to transcend Newtonian and Descartian understandings of time as a linear progression of events. The Tomb, laden with cultural symbols and references to Einstein’s understanding of the universe, originates from Earth and travels on a beam of light through space. Woods foretells its future: “For eons it will inhabit the dominions of space, until in a distant time it must return to the world of its beginning. Thus a cycle the epicycle of Space and Time will close. On that remotest day the dark corridors of the infinite will again become thresholds for departure, fading shores on the dark gulf of [eternity].”2 The Tomb’s shape reflects universal (or Earthly) truths of Cartesian coordinates, the four seasons, the four quarters of the globe and planetary spheres. It portrays Einstein as a human who existed in the simultaneous realms of “passion and coldness” and in the same way that: “day exists as a union of dawn and dusk, a gathering of ephemeral light into incandescent wholeness.”3 While Woods understands the eternal continuity of the Tomb’s imagined path, he does not continue the narrative beyond this first cycle to anticipate the Tomb’s eventual transformations and rebirth. If the Einstein Tomb can represent a physical image of memory in its infused recollections of historical, religious, and cultural symbols, then we now know that this artifact cannot fully commit those responsibilities to memory. While its subsequent return marks a recognition of memory’s role as a cyclical process, the Tomb’s casting to the farthest reaches of space is portrayed as an eternal memorial to Einstein but neglects its future sentence to oblivion by the nature of its role as a memory placeholder.


A Continued Narrative This narrative will continue from Woods’ point of departure in order to comprehend the full capacity of the roles of remembering and forgetting as two connected processes. In this continuation, the Tomb’s return to Earth is greeted by more people remembering less about Einstein. Its symbols and embedded dreams are broken by the realization of humankind’s inability to retain all knowledge. Interpretations and understandings of Einstein that were formerly solid and unified have multiplied over the eons, degrading with d forgetting is noeach less vague or intangible.” return remembering physical own time space cyclical pass.forgetting If theearth symbolic tomb cannot carry the narrative memories knowledge dust cyclical city beginning becomes work “Memory is an ambiguous thing, and forgetting is no lessvague or intangible. Remembering is an act with which everyone is familiar.” creation vague universe transformations symbolic specific tomb einstein memory woods forgetting earth return “Memory is an ambiguousembedded weight of its original intentions, then its function dissolves, and the Tomb itself returns to its physical origins. The resulting cosmic dust exists without embodied symbolism or architectural gimmick, but rather possesses a power to extract latent knowledge of the universe. Free from these burdens, the objects increasingly return to Earth more decentralized and diffuse with each successive pass. Dust scatters across the landscape, inundating and covering while also beginning to reveal its unseen origins. Whereas the Einstein Tomb was created to carry a singular set of ideas, the rhythmic return of the Dust becomes its own celebrated act of forgetting, erasing the previous layer below. The city grid begins to slowly disappear and new construction occurs where zoning laws had previously held it to specific limits. In the end, the city is once more the prairie, poised to begin anew. A core sample through the layers of the dust-inspired city evolution reveals an architectural gradient of remembered spaces. The world is inverted where smokestacks—once purveyors of toxic air—supply fresh air underground, and skyscrapers, whose steadfast stances once firmly looked down to the plazas below, now embrace public social spaces within their own walls. Sky is earth, and solid becomes void. The core sample is the inverted skyscraper that contains the memory of past and future architecture without relying upon symbolic gimmicks to store an ineffective and inherently false memory. Lebbeus Woods wrote of his Einstein Tomb: “The form of the Tomb has always / been known...The Tomb has always existed,” which is accurate of his work and this continued narrative; it will always exist as a part of a larger cyclical journey.4 The differences between truth, oblivion, creation, and death exist only in one’s situated perspective of the transformation. Memory resists its intended physical manifestations and must be celebrated as a collective recurring activity with the knowledge that the original intentions will dissolve with each iteration in favor of a new, but derived, creation.

Thesis Advisor: Neal Robinson 1. Adrian Forty and Susanne Küchler, eds., The Art of Forgetting: Materializing Culture, (Oxford: Berg, 2001), p. 2. 2. Lebbeus Woods, Pamphlet Architecture 6: Einstein Tomb, (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1980). 3. Ibid. 4. Ibid.


embedded

thing, and forgetting is no less vague or intangible. Remembering is an act with which everyone is familiar. It is comprehensible and is practiced consciously in the realm of social rituals.” “Memory is an ambiguous thing, and forgetting is no less vague or intangible. Remembering is an act with which everyone is familiar. It is comprehensible and is practiced consciously in the realm of social rituals.” “Memory is an ambiguous


Arguing that urban phobias were precisely the product of urban environments, and that their cure was dependent on the erasure of the old city in its entirety, Modernist Brian M. Taddonio architects from the early 1920s between glass locker space pool image rooms represents private floor exercise create vanity phase members club water voyeuristic viewing used tub shower privacy norms health frosted constructed conceptualbuilding barriers zoom YMCA urban threshold swimming between glass locker space pool image rooms represents private floor exercise create vanity phase members club water voyeuristic viewing usedvoyeurism projected images of a city restored to a natural state. Reviving the late 18th century myth of “transparency,” Modernists evoked the picture of a glass city, its buildings invisible and its society open. The resulting “space” would be open, infinitely extended, and thereby cleansed of all mental disturbance: the site of healthy and presumably aerobically-perfect bodies. As Sigfried Giedion figured it, this would be the space of a “tightrope dancer,” balanced between individual “being” and “empty space.”

Transparent Reflections: Here and There

Transparent Reflections is a story of individuals exercising and relaxing between floors six and ten of Mies van der Rohe’s Seagram Building. Through the development of a proposed Health Club, this thesis explores the communicative qualities of light (shadow), sound (splash), and scale (body) using varying degrees of translucent materials. Transparent Reflections operates at three different theoretical levels: the Macro-Voyeuristic, the Membrane, and the Micro-Free-ForAll. By reducing the conceptual and perceptual distances between individuals, this thesis fosters a spatial environment that enables such individuals to simultaneously inhabit multiple spaces, moments, and scenarios (here and there) without compromising social norms of privacy. The site and many of the latent ideas underlying this thesis relate to my past experience of routinely sitting for twelve hours a day in an office in New York. From my office window, I was able to look into the back of the Seagram building and onto the YMCA’s rooftop playground. During the day this window functioned as an outward viewing device, but at night it became dark and reflective, and as such was transformed into an inward viewing instrument. This thesis is the result of all my outward observations and internal reflections.


Three “vanity” boxes describe the three phases of the thesis. The first is the Macro-Voyeuristic phase. By pulling the gold chain located at the bottom of the box, the predominate reflective quality of the object dissipates to reveal an illuminated image within. It creates a conflation of the observer’s image and the observed image. The three boxes operate at three “zooms:” 10x, 5x, and 1x. At 10x zoom, the “vanity” image represents the box not as a viewing mechanism, but rather as an actual space at the scale of an individual. The image also represents the conceptual notion that heat functions as a threshold between public and private space. At 5x zoom, the “vanity” image represents ms health frosted building urban threshold theconstructed box as conceptual a camera thatbarriers allowszoom anYMCA observer to viewswimming from abetween glass locker space pool image rooms represents private floor exercise create vanity phase members club water voyeuristicviewing used tub shower privacy norms health frosted constructed conceptual building barriers zoom “During the day this window functioned as an outward viewing device,” pool image rooms representsvoyeurism distance and possibly “capture” another individual engaged in intimate activities, such as taking a shower. The image also represents the conceptual notion that water functions as a threshold between public and private space. At 1x zoom, the “vanity” image represents the box as a way to review film, and also represents the conceptual notion that public space can be transformed into private space through body language and adherence to societal norms of privacy. In the second phase of the thesis, entitled Membrane, an Italian Renaissance-style confessional was constructed at one-to-one scale, which had various interchangeable barriers. The barriers ranged along a material gradient from fantastical to traditional. This phase was an attempt to further focus on how close individuals could interact—specifically transmit information—while being separated by a perceptual barrier. I was particularly interested in barriers that transmitted “secrets” or “sins” without conveying the transmitter’s image. In such cases, I wondered whether or not one’s privacy was in fact compromised. I became especially interested in the functionality of minimal barriers due to my appreciation of Philip Johnson’s design and inhabitation of his Glass House in New Canaan, CT. The third phase of the thesis, entitled Micro-Free-For-All, imagined an environment where perceptual boundaries were largely removed and space was primarily defined by contemporary norms of privacy. Because these norms are especially prevalent in an exercise setting, a local YMCA was investigated as a case study. Perspectival drawing was used to emphasize interpersonal and spatial relationships. The entrance was specifically chosen for investigation because in this area, voyeuristic glances are often exchanged between entrants and occupants as a result of perceived distances between individuals.


The proposed locker room at the YMCA features a frosted glass wall (or “membrane”) between the swimming area and the locker room. This locker room also features a towel wall within the shower that is backed by the same frosted glass. As towels are used and replaced throughout the day, various nonexposing views are made available between the swimming area and the shower. In addition, the standard array of lockers is altered to create both private and group spaces during the changing process. This orientation is also intended to create more open sight lines and circulation patterns to reduce awkward and often uncomfortable encounters between strangers.

voyeurism

or exercise create vanity phase members club water voyeuristic viewing used tub shower privacy norms health frosted constructed conceptual building barriers zoom “During the day this window functioned as an outward viewingdevice, but at night it became dark and reflective” vanity phase members club water voyeuristic viewing used tub shower privacy norms health frosted constructed conceptual building barriers “During the

The proposed exercise room features treadmills on elevated platforms that promote both private and group exercise.

Equipment is either positioned contiguously or widely dispersed. In addition, the rows of equipment are carefully aligned to allow private as well as voyeuristic viewing during exercise routines. The Health Club occupies floors six through ten of the Seagram Building—so that pedestrians can view members’ activities (particularly swimming) and vice-versa. The Health Club entrance has clear glass vertical circulation cores that house stairs for use upon initial entrance through the two elevator banks marked “Club.” The location and use of stairs is designed to maximize visual, verbal, and possibly physical communication between members en route to and from activities. The entrances of the locker rooms are similarly situated at the end of the hallway so that members can view the silhouettes of other members already inside. In addition, the frosted glass partitions of the locker rooms are raised just above ankle height to judicially expose occupants’ skin and are lowered from the ceiling to allow conversations to flow freely from the locker rooms into the hallway. In the men’s locker room, the central core is made up of four shower stalls composed of frosted glass walls and raised door frames, which function like the partitions of the locker rooms. Between the showers and


ctioned as an outward viewing device, but at night it became dark and reflective and as such was transformed into an inward viewing instrument.” viewing used tub shower privacy norms health frosted constructed conceptualbuilding barriers zoom “During the day this window functioned as an outward viewing device, but at night it became dark and reflective and as such was transformed into an inward viewing instrument.”

voyeurism


adjoining toilets is a water wall composed of sound dampening glass to highlight the building’s pipes without compromising interior sound quality. The locker room is lined with clear acrylic lockers that, depending upon their occupancy, alter the transmission of the members’ silhouettes between the locker rooms and the hallway. Finally, a cedar slat sauna is located in the locker rooms with doors made from the same glass used in the “vanity” boxes in the initial phase of the thesis. Thus, when the interior lights of the sauna are turned off, its façade is completely reflective, but when the interior lights are turned on the images of the observer and the observed converge.

dow functioned as an outward viewing device, but at night it became dark and reflective and as such was transformed into an inward viewing instrument.” “During the day this window functioned as an outward viewing device, butat night it became dark and reflective and as such was transformed into an inward viewing instrument.” “During the day this window functioned as an outward viewing device, but at night it became dark

The pool is approached from the locker rooms via the vertical circulation cores. The floor between the elevator banks is sloped into the pool so that water can lap onto the floor and thereby reduce the threshold between wet and dry surfaces. The entire space is constructed of polished black marble to increase the reflectivity of surfaces and to elevate the spiritual nature of the space. The south and west façades of the pool are constructed of structural glass to offer swimmers views of the urban landscape and pedestrians below. The pool depth is the entire sixth floor to facilitate both exercise and exploration. Swimmers must also navigate the intact structural columns on the right side of the pool, but this configuration also provides areas of seclusion. The seventh floor directly above the pool is removed to increase the availability of natural light and to create a balcony view for entrants to the Health Club. The eighth floor is the ceiling of the poolroom, which is beveled to resemble a boat’s hull and has a one-foot slit that circumscribes the glass-enclosed exercise room above and traces the outline of the pool below. This design allows heat and moisture to pass by the glass en route to the running track on the tenth floor. The temperature difference between the air inside and outside of the glass will create condensation that will eventually fall back into the middle of the pool, creating a waterfall. The hot tub is four feet deep and the cold tub is six feet deep, based on their respective functions. Both tubs feature elevated floors, which create additional areas for relaxation underneath the tubs. The north and west façades of the hot tub are constructed of the same structural glass that is used in the pool. Finally, the two tubs are separated by a groove that allows water from each tub to seemingly mix, create steam, and then disappear.

Thesis Advisor: Neal Robinson 1. Anthony Vidler, Warped Space: Art, Architecture, and Anxiety in Modern Culture (MIT Press, 2001).

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the tree or the edge of a roof surface which water moves over. The edge of a surface that a liquid might move across.

David Taylor

The conduction of the process, actions, and thoughts becomes what is made in the end. Through the actions of roasting a pork loin, tacit knowledge is gained, refigured, and applied to the making of architecture. The presence of actions alludes to the silent implications of tacit knowledge, and those actions elicit a particular demeanor or conduct. Through the application of that conduct, orderly or disorderly, a place and a space will evolve.

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This is a story about the construction of a cabin in the woods. Conduction Becomes engages the importance of craft, ritual, staging, and the thresholds between found and worked. For this thesis the craft of cookery stains the thinking about creating architecture.

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A Cabin in the Woods A home for a bachelor…with a slaughterhouse on the side. The cabin is the accumulation and articulation of the tacit knowledge gained while investigating the trimming, trussing, and roasting of a pork loin. The cabin is the architectural vehicle for investigating and illuminating ideas about relationships of the body, the thresholds between found and worked, the tracking utilitarian logics, the rituals of daily life, and the use and manipulation of the elemental. The cabin and its surroundings are the space (and the place) created from the investigations and thoughts that preceded it. The construction of the structure and surrounding land is directly responsible to the thoughts that created it. The hyped relationships sponsored by the work come directly from learning from and listening to the process. By working through the process, by making mistakes, by being lost, by digging deep, by pressing forward, the allusive ideas and

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knowledge were allowed to come into the fold, establishing a figurative intelligence of the hand. The way many, if not most, projects are created is through the breaking down of elements: site, program, raw materials, etcetera. These broken down elements are then put back together in ways that illustrate how we want to use them, and for what. The work is refigured; the contour is changed.

The cabin is the architectural expression of the process used to get there, which was the breaking down, trussing, and roasting of a pork loin. It alludes to the slaughter of animals and how we keep our hands clean of the dirty work, separate from that slaughter but present for its fruit. The cabin engages the many different positions of the body—horizontal at night, ysical part knowledge created body the architecture trimming structure slices slaughter shape vertical during day, with variations in between. Theroasting cabinrelationships work drawing cabin process drawings pork way time specifications site loin construction actions ideas strips storytest writing trussing set section place physical part knowledge created body architecture trimming structure slices “The presence of actions alludes to the silent implications of tacit knowledge, drawings porkmethod takes on circulation and movement, whether easy or difficult, obvious or obscured. It suggests, through water, that what cleans our bodies and what washes away the blood of a kill comes from the same source. Architectural Mise en Place There are elements with cooking, like the seasoning of food— the salt and pepper between your fingertips—which are hard to teach but through time spent cooking and working, you get the “feel” for it. But time spent is useless without curiosity. There need to be curious stumbles, mishaps that show the right direction, known discoveries to confirm a thought, or disasters to suggest a different route. The pork loin was chosen to connect with a sacred element of the culinary world: the pig. Pork, revered for its many different uses, has a whole discipline named after it—charcuterie. The trimming, trussing, and then roasting was selected for the hidden craft within the process. Time was spent learning the process; repetition was involved, and through that, learning could take place and intimate knowledge could be gained. The trussing of the pork loin was performed and recorded through photographs. A picture was taken every three seconds. All the pictures were made into a flipbook to animate the process and, at the same time, break it down into smaller pieces. Out of that exploration came a drawing that accompanied each frame of action. Each drawing had a set of lines depicting the force of direction from the movement of the hand, knife, or string. The layering of these drawings spawned another flip-book and a larger drawing attempting to identify the process of trimming and trussing the pork loin. Getting the Fuel Out of the Potato A shambles is a drawing illustrating the cumulative registration of all the individual actions taken to trim and truss a pork loin. Some of those actions were physical, others more mental, but all added to the depth of the drawing. The drawing began to help shape the demeanor of the work.


MISE EN PLACE

BREAKING IT DOWN?

[preparation of the ground]

The drawing had an attentive quality and started to suggest the possibilities at hand. Some ideas were dark in spirit, related to slaughter, capture, survival, right and wrong, life and death, struggle, constriction, etcetera. The intensity of the drawing and the increased intensity of the thoughts surrounding the work brought about Test Strips.

Test Strips was a way to put the visceral quality of butchery on display, and functioned in a similar way. It broke the process down, sorted it out, and then suggested other ways that it could be put back together. The shambles only focused on the moment the pork loin hit the cutting board until the point that it was ready to be roasted. The strips suggested that the process of the pork loin begins well before the trimming, and also extends beyond the oven.

BUILDING IT BACK UP.

[orderly or disorderly conduct?]

How do I really want to proceed?

7 ribs and a longitudinal sectiion of the vertabrae / connnective tissue /

A (CONSIDERED) LEAP OF FAITH. [preparation for the execution]

[can too much be just enough?]

2.79 lb. pork loin / .185 lb. trimmed off / 7.75 in length

The pork loin comes from the rib section, and is situated on top of and outside the ribs. When purchased from a butcher, the loin has been removed by sawing through the rib bones, keeping the skin, ribs, and loin intact. Deciding whether to cook it with the bones attached or not is the main question. What you want the meat to do and what is in the recipe is the issue truly at hand. In this image the loin is being taken off the bones, then the bones are roasted and used for a sauce. The loin is trussed for presentation. Cooking on the bone is a good way to boost flavor, but we are using the bones to put that flavor back in by other means.

To a cook mise en place means to have everything in its place. This means your prep is done, your station is set, tools are set, menu is set, and your mind is set—engaged on a level that is greater than just being present on the line and knowing what to cook. It means to consider ideas other than the food and the craft of cooking. You are then prepared to cook amazing food.

OVER - TRUSSED?

[designing the (form)work]

2.79 lb. pork loin / .185 lb. trimmed off / 7.75 in length / 11 loops

The loin is located on the outside of the ribs and runs along the back of the pig. It is a cut that is inherently tender because the animal does little work with those muscles. This understanding allows me to apply the proper cooking techniques to ensure that the meat is not over done and tough.

To prepare the pork loin for roasting two actions must be taken. The first is to inspect for and then remove any silverskin or miscellaneous connective tissue that would toughen up when cooked and thus become unpalatable. It is good to have some fat and silverskin, because they add flavor and moisture. The second task is to tie the loin to ensure a proper structure and evenness of cooking. Creating uniformity in the cross-section of the loin will help regulate cooking and allow for a more predictable and appealing outcome.

A CONSTRUCTIVE ACT

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PRECONDITIONS FOR EXECUTION

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method

ecifications site loin construction actions ideas strips story test writing trussing set section place physical part knowledge created body architecture trimming structure slices slaughter shape roasting relationships work drawing cabinprocess “The presence of actions alludes to the silent implications of tacit knowledge, and those actions elicit a particular demeanor or conduct.” ideas strips story test writing trussing set section place physical

Test Strips captures a particular moment of the process. Some moments are planned and others not. It is about looking forward and looking backward at the same time. Each strip began to provide a way to reference actions taken and those yet to come. The strip also provided a way to put architecture on the same surface as the pork loin—alluding to what the action might suggest architecturally.

MIS - TRUSSED. [a change of sub-contractor]

Specifications is a text modeled after the writing of construction specifications. Construction specifications are used to write out how a project will be built—what materials are used, how they will be constructed, where they will come from, tolerances they will adhere to, etcetera. In refiguring the traditional use and writing of construction specifications, the site takes shape and then informs the construction process, thus prodding the structure to grow from the words. Specifications reconciles some of the thoughts and ideas that were not openly present yet in Test Strips—thoughts about slaughter, faith (in oneself or in something higher), sacrifice, the relationship of things to one another, darkness, openness, the escapable truth, duty, risk, storytelling, and

[(mis)takes in construction]

[form follows function]

86 THE PORK LOIN. [decisions in the feild]

A priest , a cook, a surveyor and a pig are coming to dinner.

The strips were accessing the notion of unpredictability and then latching onto them within a process. The (mis)fire was a way to take hold of errant trajectories and latent possibilities in the work—wild cards that could help build the project from within the logic that was now in control. Test Strips is a way of getting the fuel out of the potato. It sorts out the confusion and suggests paths to follow. A (Considered) Leap of Faith The project is brought to life through narrative. The creation and development of the site is driven by a fictional narrative, based on real–time thoughts and actions. As in butchery, this was an act of refiguring, a way to let ideas take hold. Specifications was a way to build the architecture from the previous work by using words and images instead of lines, using the tools of narrative to shape the work from a different vantage point.

MIS - FIRE.

JUST RIGHT?

9:35 pm Marach 6, 2008 - Power outage knocked out power for 3 seconds / gas stove with electric oven shut off.

2.26 lb. pork loin / .96 lb. trimmed off / 6 in length / 10 criss-crossed loops

2.79 lb. pork loin / .185 lb. trimmed off / 7.75 in length / 7 loops

In preparation for a meal my wife trussed the pork loin. Having never done it before and without my help, she utilized the few times she had seen me do it and her own knowledge of gift wrapping to truss the pork loin. Her tacit knowledge in other areas allowed her to take the situation and apply techniques to it and get a similar outcome.

To truss the loin, or to truss meat, is to apply a technique that allows you more control over the final product. The trussing provides structure that was taken away in the butchery process. The new structure tightens the cross-section of the meat. For plating D_2.02 to Breaking . . now building it back up. purposes this can contribute ait down. clean and precise presentation. The trussing provides structure for the meat as it is moved around, caramelized and then roasted. To truss is also an example of respect within the discipline. We truss to connect with the history of the craft and to respect the life that the animal has given to the meal.

According to the FDA, pork should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. However, many cooks will cook the pork to a medium temperature, about 135 degrees. Pork used to be handled and “overcooked” because of the poor handling procedures, but pork is no longer handled and thus can be cooked properly to medium—ever so slightly pink inside.

Intending to cook a pork loin for dinner, I went out in the afternoon to purchase a pork loin. I went to many stores and could not find one. So, a change was in order. I went with a whole chicken. I could still handle it the way I would the pork and the roasting time would be about the same. The other menu items could stay the same as well.

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JUST RIGHT? (TAKE TWO)

THE FIVE - SECOND RULE.

ACCOUTERMENTS.

CONSUMPTION BECOMES.

a new place rises

In order to cook the meal there needs to be a kitchen. Our new kitchen is the space where the craft of cookery will take place. Cooking is a endeavor which requires all ones senses, performed in time and space, with ones mind, with ones fingers, and with ones soul. The workspace must be created so that we can work in a way that respects the profession. The place must respond to the intimate movements and thoughts of a cook while engaging the outside world like a chef. It must be a place, not just a space.

Sunday, Ferbruary 20, 2008 - no pork loiin, City of Ann Abror / change of menu / Fryer Chicken 2.31 lb. / Trussed same method as pork loin.

“Material choices, while not formal choices, affect form.” Charles Menafee

FEET, SHOULDERS WIDTH APART. To prepare a meal of this kind you need to have a work place to operate in. day six. [Cagey] There needs to be a bottom, a strong surface to hold our feet shoulder width apart, and a top to protect our work from harm. The ground should be able to help us through the task. It should not tire our work and should support the craft and intuitive movements we make. Our cover should protect us from the ills that nature can bring down upon us. day three. [Dexterities] There needs to be surfaces to work on. The surfaces should be close together but allow enough space for the body to comfortably move and react to conditions of the work. Understanding the movement of the body relative to the craft at hand is paramount for success. Texture is essential to the nature of the skills deployed. day two. [Clarity] There needs to be light so we can see our what to do. The light must illuminate the conditions to allow for careful and thoughtful interactions with the work.

The pig is a very revered animal in the culinary world. Pork has many uses, so many ways to apply and showcase culinary skill and technique that it is generally considered a favorite among chefs. I chose to use pork because of its many applications and for its exalted status in the world of cookery.

TEST STRIP_ee.00001

[conceptual clarity]

[construction disturbances (OSHA STD_3579.1)]

[a piano, a pencil, a boot, and a... ]

Braised French Green Lentils, Roasted Root Vegetables, Apple and Quince Compote, Crispy Fried Leeks, and a Sherry Infused Pork Jus Lie.

[life after construction]

2.16 lb. pork loin / internal temperature 155 degrees / March 7, 2008

2.16 lb. pork loin / internal temperature 155 / March 7,

Cooked loin hit the floor, approx 1.5 seconds on the floor. (Five second rule “called”)

With the roast fresh out of the oven with a nicely caramelized exterior, the loin is put to rest for about 5 minutes while the juices settle. Then it will be ready to slice. The shape of this loin looks even and it will present nicley.

In kitchen lore there is the infamous 5 second rule. If the food hits the floor and is picked up in 5 seconds, then the food is still okay to eat. While hardly ever put to use, I called the 5 second rule after dropping a perfectly done pork loin. It tasted just fine and did not kill us.

Determining the accompaniments to the pork was something that needed to be done from the start. The method of roasting suggested certain items that might show up and also gave us a hint at methods that might contribute as well­—techniques that complemented one another, presentations that supported one another, and flavors that added to and did not take away from the dish.

The life of the food on the plate and the craft put into its preparation have only just begun to capture and resonate within the context of the world. The food and the life of the food will live on; the sacrifices will live on. The careful attention to craft and the discipline will continue long after the food is gone. The methods and techniques will take new life with added knowledge. Tacit knowledge has been added to our minds and souls and these actions will never be the same again.

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[REF: specifications, section 1.00.00001]

1

2

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myths of origin.

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37 D EC. 1 9 10 2 9 DE C. 2 7 12

6 DEC . 12 1 6

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The drawings are fuel for developing each section of the construction specs relative to the construction of the cabin. The specs about wood construction for the cabin were rewritten to be responsible to the drawings and work up to that point. Each section would be written, and then, while writing that work, a new set of drawings might fall out to further illustrate the ideas at hand.

SEPT. 29 8 12 OCT. 7 9 04 OC T. 14 20 02 OCT. 21 11 55 OCT . 28 23 14 NOV. 6 4 03 NOV. 13 6 17 NOV. 19 2 1 31

The specs developed the story around the site and began to shed light on its physical make-up. Two drawings were able to drop out of these early writings in the specs: Preconditions For Execution and A Constructive Act. Both drawings brought to life the tone and demeanor of the thesis.

, 2008

Still on the Table... Working on Slices illuminated the need to rework and add to the writing of Specifications. Specifications was reworked and rewritten according to Slices, Test Strip was altered, and the back and forth nature of the work continued.

4

PRECONDITIONS FOR EXECUTION

ary 14

morality. This body of thoughts is the framework used to develop the written specifications for the cabin.

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A Constructive Act This drawing helped to concretize some relationships in the writing and set up the physical layout of the site. It established a relationship to ground, water, and trees. It began to suggest the contour and shape of the land. The location of the cabin was gestured in the work and the acknowledgment of elemental forces was illustrated. The drawing is a way to structure work to come—a continuity from the site drawings to the architectural drawings.

18 42 JULY 25 8 7 59 JULY 1 0 4 35 JULY 1 2 19 LY 3 10 J U 26 12

Preconditions for Execution This drawing was very mythical and purposely loose. Part section and part plan, it started to lay out the physical makeup of the site and to suggest relationships between day and night. The moon’s path begins to lay out time, suggesting order, schedules, and cooking time. It allows the night to be an acknowledged driver of the work so that accessing it in later stages is a smooth and familiar process.

S

04 SEPT. 15 9 13 SEPT. 22 5 04 AUG. 30 19 58 SEPT. 7 14 AUG. 23 23 50 U G . 16 2 1 1 6 . 8 20 20 A 0 13 AUG AUG. 1 1

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Myths of Origin The site is not just land that could support the physical construction, but a place that could set up and lay out the conceptual terrain of the work. As the site was constructed through a fictional narrative, it initiated ideas about the power of story, the elements, hope and faith, scale, found versus t knowledge created body architecture trimming shape roasting relationships “The presence of actions to the silent implications of tacit knowledge, and those actions elicit aparticular demeanor or conduct.” “The presence of actions alludes to the silent implications of tacit knowledge, and those actions elicit a particular demeanor or conduct.” “The presence of actions alludes to themethod worked, time, light, thestructure body, slices andslaughter anticipation. Though, not work drawing cabin process Thesis Advisor: Nealalludes Robinson all aspects of the story were pure fiction. For the most part the story was derived from real time and real location. This February 21, 2008 provided the story with some known pieces that could begin to inform its creation.

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Slices acknowledges particular aspects of the work—each drawing shows a set of ideas or thoughts. Illustrating the cabin in section would allow for an incompleteness that would require the viewer to be curious, to look deeper, and to find the latent, silent, or elusive within. Drawing in section allows for more misreads, generating other possibilities, and enriching the outcome even further.

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The Spaces In-Between From all these actions the cabin was then created as a piece of architecture. The site drawings influenced the siting of the structure and its purposeful relationship to the land. Slices adds to the story. The work is part storyteller and part measured drawing. The demeanor of the thesis comes to full bloom within this series of work.


forth slice_A.pdf 11/20/2008 8:05:13 PM

first slice_A.pdf 11/20/2008 8:12:21 PM

method

nt implications of tacit knowledge, and those actions elicit a particular demeanor or conduct.” “The presence of actions alludes to the silent implications of tacit knowledge, and those actions elicit a particular demeanor or conduct.”“The presence of actions alludes to the silent implications of tacit knowledge, and those actions elicit a particular demeanor or conduct.” “The presence of actions alludes to the silent implications of tacit

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[REFERENCE:

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FIRST SLICE

consumption by desire. [REF: specifications, section 2.00] SCALE: 3/8” = 1’-0”

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CONSTRUCTION LINES.

Just as the digging of a trench

wall anitcipates the anchoring of other elements to it which allow the mass to move from the monolithic to the tectonic. The monolithic nature of concrete 1

development[REFERENCE: TEST STRIP_ee.000010]


Follow the aesthetic shift of mainstream media toward the desert—beyond the traditional Western. Desert of our suburbs. Desert gothic. Gothic meaning, “the sins of the father being visited upon the sons.” But instead of being wet and dark, it is dry and bright. Dry, wry sense of humor crusted with cruelty tucked flat under the surface beaten by the sun. A widow selling drugs to support her upper-middle-class lifestyle in the exurbs. A retired welder being hunted by a relentless force of evil. Janet Jeong Min Yoon A clever prospector drilling for oil in a scrappy town overseen by an town factory social only desert residents economic being debris credit work under socio order existence cards time system surface space size reveal presence potentials overlying location force dusty dry complexitiestraditional survival stretch small site town factory social only desert residents economic being debris credit work under socio order existence cards time system surface space size reveal presence potentials overlycorruptibility equally clever boy messiah. The terrain can stand for any time period, season, even planet— like Mars—with a minimal stretch of the imagination. The current media trend is a largely stylistic focus on the horizon and the dusty characters born of the landscape. Can this landscape be said to have structural potential—not merely formal potential, but a way of organizing social complexities? The desert necessitates invention, usually with the use of scraps, as resources are scarce and most materials cannot endure the climate. The beauty in the contraptions lies in their frailty against the heedless surroundings. The urge to invent and the satisfaction that follows is primitive and survives from cave dwelling times—the only stretch of human existence possibly comparable to the desert—and precedes the formation of socioeconomic organization.

Underground Factory

Adelanto is a small town in the High Desert on the California side of the Sierra Nevada. Despite its remote location, it is surprisingly well-connected to the military, utilities, international commerce, and the film industry in terms of offering up its infrastructure, although the residents themselves suffer from the town’s remote location, ill reputation, and high unemployment rate. The town is not exemplary in any way, but it does teeter on a threshold. A Super Target broke ground nearby and tract home developments are creeping up to the southernmost edge of town. The residents of surrounding areas anticipate an

A gas station in a small desert town, halfway between Las Vegas and Los Angeles. Detour to fill up, get in, and get out. There are two unremarkable, outlying buildings on the lot.

In an Isolated Desert Town


increase in property values to stabilize the town and absorb it into the model home aesthetic and lifestyle, though one wonders if the subdivided neighborhood might be decimated by foreclosures during the economic downturn. But perhaps the debris-filled, backyard neighborhood of Adelanto may be too much under-the-radar to feel any real effect, either way. Its informal economy continues on with a perverted and inventive resourcefulness that guarantees survival.

Adelanto’s survival relies upon the ability to appear, disappear, and reappear at opportune moments in the most opportune form. Residents invest in homes that are too distant and too expensive, thus hindering any motivation or ability to participate in organic social behaviors. Or, new behaviors are formed by relying heavily on infrastructure, with fuel and time being spent in isolation. The social phenomenon that is the “formerly middle class” would follow this logic. During an economic downturn, instead of being absorbed location force dusty complexities traditional survival stretch small site town factory only desert residents economic being debris credit work under socio order existence cards time system surface space size “Debris implies spatialpresence,” overlying location force dusty dry complexities traditional survival stretch small site town factory social only desert residents economic “Debris implies spatial presence, but finds significance incorruptibility intodry the traditional social network, residents findsocial themselves randomly scattered about like debris. The desert and the town, seemingly void and slightly messy, provide environmental and social conditions that connect disparate and hidden potentials. Architecturally speaking, this project compares how an unknowing person would use space, versus a knowing person, who might use that same space more meaningfully; it equips a person with a broader range of reference by compiling only the portions necessary at one time—only the relevant chapters from a collective catalogue. The project reorganizes the existing social complexities in the town in order to reposition an undesirable socioeconomic habitation and reveal its constructive potentials. The goal is not to rehabilitate or bulldoze, but merely reveal a sub suburban existence. In order to gauge what residents found fascinating and distasteful about the town, the site and its contents were mined. Through direct visits and studies of photographs of the site, it was revealed that residents’ backyards are strewn with scrap materials and discarded items. These unceremoniously tossed items generated a logic with which to catalogue the town. The random flashes from a camera, be it in someone’s hands or a satellite in space, represented the debris condition in a manner that coincides with Michel de Certeau’s assertion that incidental conditions exemplify flashes of brilliance in the common man’s efforts to subvert, diversify, or personalize some aspect of the overlying socioeconomic system. The discarded items in backyards may be reflective of resources, plans, or economies, but they also reveal the silent majority’s ability to create “deviousness, fantasy, or laughter” within an imposed order. Debris implies spatial presence, but finds significance in its temporal and tactical definition. Debris is only representative of a small part of a greater whole from which it came. The nature of this sort of existence depends upon—and anticipates—erosion and corruptibility.


emporal and tactical definition. “ existence cards time system surface space size reveal presence potentials overlying location force dusty dry complexities traditional survival stretch small site town factory social only desert residents“Debris implies spatial presence, but finds significance in its temporal and tactical definition. Debris is only representative of a small part of a greater whole from which it came.� system surface space size reveal

corruptibility


The credit card manufacturing factory starts out in the hills, runs beneath the airport, and disperses within the town in fragments. The tunnel is dark and automated, and exists as a black bar in all drawings. Though it is not articulated in great detail, the architectural mind fills in the gaps. Much is taken for granted because of its presence. Its sleek, hermetic darkness allows for the dusty, erosive casualness of what happens above ground. Its vague presence sharpens all circumstances around it. The airport is used by the Army to send off troops and by the Department of Forestry to store tanker planes. The Department of Defense runs experiments in the nearby desert. The power plant supplies electricity to the greater Los Angeles area. Hollywood comes frequently to shoot films and commercials on the dry lakebed. The town already exists in piecemeal to serve several powerful endeavors. Communication between the parties is minimal,

The liquor store across the street keeps tabs on its regulars to see who might need some extra work. The entire gas station is the support structure for the main packing and shipping hub down the street in an abandoned post office.

The factory exists as voids, habits, erosions, discrepancies, and dust, and anticipates the aforementioned corruption and negligence that exist in any and all systems. Social complexities organize and bind the factory together only when there is need for work. The recruitment of the work force, the dispersal of work, and the frequency of work are all tied to the ebb and flow of the town’s other economies. The number of cards being produced can be a great many or very few; but the decision is made elsewhere in a bright, clean, and sealed room. The credit card itself is largely symbolic. It is a flat piece of plastic roughly the size of a human palm. The corners are filleted for safety and convenience, allowing for repeated sliding in and out of slots and wallets. It is the shape and size shared with driver’s licenses, identification cards, gift certificates, and even false credit cards sent in the mail to solicit enrollment. The cards, in their uniform shape and size, are the contract between the ordinary man, articulated by de Certeau, and the overlying socioeconomic organizing force.

A chair, piece of drywall, and piece of plywood are lodged into an existing drive-through window. It is business as usual with regular automobiles, but when trucks that transport the cards come to check in or check out, the weight of the trucks pushes the chair up to eye level with the driver in the cab.

The proposal is to embed a credit card factory within save for a mutual agreement regarding the strategic Adelanto in order to capitalize on residents’ willingness and convenience of the location. The credit card factory is able preference to remain under the radar. The factory is informal to rise to the surface, or just under it, to “insinuate itself and noncommittal; it will not guarantee the livelihood of into the other’s place, fragmentarily, without taking it over all employees at all times. In return, employees perform in its entirety.” It manifests itself not through the product, fragmented tasks in unlikely locations to supplement their but in the way that the factory bleeps, clicks, and slides into other enterprises. The agreement promises the very fact operation only to recalibrate out of existence. The factory of nothing, but it is a mutually beneficial subversion of a enters an existing system to do a job, and dissolves out of it condition that exists regardless. Two wrongs momentarily without disrupting the overlying surface system. make a right. This may seem like a regression to a primitive economic model, but this sort of organization requires the security, network capacity, and social combination only Thesis Advisor: Jason Young possible in contemporary culture manifested through outsourcing, telecommuting, surveillance, and lawsuits— agents of calculated casualness. The factory is able to exist temporally and as a dusty cloud not only structurally, but tactically as well. It may register as an anomaly by conventional standards of measurement and evaluation, but its real worth sence potentials locationelsewhere force dusty drythrough complexitiesdifferent traditional survival stretch small site town factory social only desert “Debris implies spatial presence, but finds significance in its temporal and tactical definition. Debris is onlyrepresentative of a small part of a greater whole from which it came.” “Debris implies spatial presence, but finds significance in its temporal and tactical definition. Debris is only representative of a small part ofcorruptibility isoverlying measured criteria.


reater whole from which it came.” “Debris implies spatial presence, but finds significance in its temporal and tactical definition. Debris is only representative of a small part of a greater whole from which it came.” “Debris impliesspatial presence, but finds significance in its temporal and tactical definition. Debris is only representative of a small part of a greater whole from which it came.” “Debris implies spatial presence, but

corruptibility


Digital Fabrication The work presented here is the culmination of a semester long investigation into the potentials of digital fabrication technologies in the production of cast units. These investigations were in part framed by the subject of part-to-whole assemblies and the potential of parametric and/or sequential variation. From these investigations, the students developed full-scale cast units, which when deployed in number would begin to form emergent whole conditions. Throughout this process the students were directed to consider the possibilities of a “smart� part—a single unit that through flipping, mirroring, or rotating would allow for variation through the logic of assembly.

Assemblies + Aggregations

A joint exhibition held in the Taubman College Gallery featured the student work from the Digital Fabrication and Parametric Modeling courses.

Parametric Modeling Parametric modeling suggests a Student Work of Digifab & Paramod mode of thinking beyond software, units whole thinking part parametric modeling group varied variation unit software relationships new cast surfaces smart process potential investigations introductorypart-to-whole toward a tools waytechnologies of defining explicit relationships, complex behaviors, and unforeseen responses. New computational tools and network thinking reveal emergent behaviors, which challenge traditional notions of hierarchy in part-to-whole relationships. Given new thinking and new tools, designers are able to define multiple relationships that can be varied and are able to mutate throughout the duration of the design process. The work represents three groups: one that uses repeated parts and defines the relationship between; a second works with surfaces and studies form related to varied, developable surfaces; and the last group studies varied, custom, cast elements. In all three, the projects deal with the definition of rules and equations to populate a reconfigurable framework.


faces smart process potential investigations introductory form fabrication emergent digital behaviors unforeseen trial traditional textual suggests strategy sequential rhinoceros units whole thinking part parametric modeling groupvaried variation unit software relationships new cast tools technologies surfaces smart process potential investigations introductory form fabrication emergent digital behaviors unforeseen trial traditional

part-to-whole


side

front

back

Concrete masonry units were modeled after the Infinite Periodic Minimal Surface (IPMS), a pattern that allowed for variation while maintaing structural integrity.

Aperture Assembly

Aperture Variations

radius 4” (base unit)

radius 4.75”

radius 5.5”

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This solid is copied and translated a distance toward a focus point. Three boxes intersect opposing quadrilaterals of the module and cut through the solid at various depths.

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The same unit is used to create a woven surface of three separate fabrics with no physical intersection or structural bearings between them.

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cording to light conditions and differing positions of the viewer.

materials that allow for range of colors, textures, and material lightness.

A standard piece was designed to create a volume that could expand in several directions based on its aggregation and orientation.

Pocket Cut

Radial Cut with Two Centroids

Contour Cut

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This project explored a way to make a volume that could expand in several directions using a standard piece. We designed a piece that could connect in many different ways to allow us more control over the volumetric growth of the wall. We used the various perspectives that the wall could be experienced from as a way to find variation within the structure. The final product was a wall whose density appears to vary dependent on the angle of the v i e w e r.

We started by making a spherical piece with voids, which ensured that our individual pieces could fit each other in varying directions. The direction of the connection between parts determines whether the pieces will fold a closed unit around themselves or will flip directions and make connections with other sets of pieces. In this i t e r a t i o n , t h e p i e c e i s o n e - q u a r t e r o f a u n i t , h o w e v e r, efficiency could be found in producing entire units in one cast.

Connect Four Architecture 571: Digital Fabrication Fall 2008 Kendra Bryne Victoria Chu Emily Vanderpol

Arch 571: Digital Fabrication Instructor: Glenn Wilcox Contributors: John Beck, Sara Blumenstein, Kendra Byrne, Jin Chen, Victoria Chu, Gavet Douangvichit, Thomas Drew, Justin Fogle, Ross Hoekstra, Michael Hopkins, Michael Lindstrom, Adrienne McDaniel, Justin Peterson, Johnathan Puff, Dongjun Seo, Chi Song, Emily Vanderpol, Kris Walters Jr. Arch 507: Parametric Modeling Instructor: Karl Daubmann Graduate Student Instructor: Chi Song Contributors: Joshua Appleman, Paulis Austrins, Sami Baqai, Tim Brock, Xuanru Chen, Sara Dean, Kevin Deng, Andrew Farrell, Emmett Harrison, Young-kuk Hwang, Youngjoo Kim, Maynard Leon, Michael McBean, Christopher Neitzel, Ngoc Thy Phan, Rachel Piazza, Hyon Rah, Paul Tierman, Diana Tomova, Yu-Ying Tsai, Katherine Tucker

A diamond-shaped block was formed to accomodate a wine bottle in a reconfigurable form.

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The William Muschenheim Design Fellowship offers design instructors who are near the beginning of their careers the opportunity to develop a body of work in the context of, or in relation to teaching. Design fellows play a significant role in the definition of studio culture while pursuing their own creative endeavors. Proposals for the Design Fellowship may focus either upon the development of a specific project or center upon a particular set of pedagogical themes to be engaged in the studio context.

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Fellows spend one academic year at Taubman College. Appointed as lecturers in architecture, they are given teaching responsibilities and time to devote to other creative activities, scholarship, and design work. Fellows present the result of their activities to the College at the end of their tenure.

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The Walter B. Sanders Research Fellowship supports individuals with significant, compelling, and timely research agendas dealing with architectural issues. Research agendas could be based in such fields as architectural, urban, landscape, or cultural history or theory; architectural or environmental technology; or design studies. These agendas could emerge from recently completed doctoral dissertations or any other intense and rigorous research format. The fellowship will support both the continuation of research and the development of research-related curriculum.

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Light and Matter While the trajectories of minimalist light art and assemblage art have been historically distinct, these movements seek to produce similarly charged atmospheres that transcend common material associations. A marriage of these traditions employing programmable light nets and reused beverage containers seeks to capitalize on this similarity, shifting deeply embedded cultural readings of a ubiquitous consumer product via integrated illumination that alters the material’s inherent banality. Comprised of commercially available fluorescent tubes set within gallery spaces, Dan Flavin’s light installations embody the direct and impersonal approach advocated by minimalist artists such as Ad Reinhardt, who declared that ‘‘Art begins with the getting rid of nature.’’1 However, despite Flavin’s humble account that his work is ‘‘as plain and open and direct an art as you will ever find,’’2 his installations achieve sophisticated results from the complex interplay of light and color within spaces as well as the dynamic play of shadows cast by viewers of the works. Regarding Blaine Brownell his search for a plastic treatment light, hasnew described the light wall pet art material works figure bottles used assemblage common products installation of photo authorFlavin units objects led despite consumer viewers reading nevelson minimalist life inherent illumination effectcontainers beverage white supporting structural spatial light wall pet art material works figure bottles used assemblage common products installation photo author units objects new led despite consumer atmosphere experience this way, ‘‘Now the entire interior spatial container and its parts—wall, floor, and ceiling—could support this strip of light but would not restrict its act of light except to enfold it.”3

Assembling Light: PET Wall Installation

Despite obvious formal differences with minimalist light art, assemblage works similarly to achieve spatial and atmospheric qualities, in this case through the en masse deployment of modular units. Like Flavin’s installations, assemblages use commercially available products and array them in such a way as to transcend their original reading. New York-based artist Tara Donovan creates large sculptures using common consumer products such as Styrofoam cups, fishing line, and paper plates. The power of these works arises from the


Integration The PET Wall installation fuses the historically disparate trajectories of light based and assemblage based works in an effort to test potential synergies between light and material. A material-biased reading of light art, for example, is that it is often unfiltered—color gels are applied and wall treatments are used to shield or direct the light—but otherwise, the works seek a direct relationship between the source of light and its spatial container. On the other hand, a light-focused critique of assemblage works is that they are almost always illuminated conventionally and rarely is light integrated into the works themselves. The spirit of this project, therefore, is concerned with the pursuit of a particular combination of lighting and materials that would lead to interplay of material and immaterial effects. In explaining her work, Louise Nevelson said that, “when you put together things that

Clockwise from top left: Remembrance, Tokujin Yoshioka; Fountain, Marcel Duchamp; Sky Cathedral, Louise Nevelson

Untitled, Tara Donovan

Untitled, Dan Flavin

painstaking accumulation of simple units into large surfaces, which are often compared to clouds, landscapes, or various biological structures. Japanese artist Tokujin Yoshioka also accumulates large quantities of single materials to generate unpredictable atmospheric effects. His ‘‘cloud installation’’ of 550,000 transparent straws at Maison Hermes in Tokyo uses a vast quantity of lightweight tubes in order to impart a reading of ‘‘fluid air.’’4 These works define a new generation of assemblage—the movement that originated in the 1950s when artists such as Jean Debuffet, Louise Nevelson, and Joseph Cornell created three-dimensional compositions from found objects. Assemblage art traces its origins to Marcel Duchamp and Dada and relates to similar movements including Fluxus and trash art, which sought to employ previously used objects to alter conventional readings of consumer products. Through successful experiments that destabilized conventional readings of common products, assemblage art pioneers sought to take advantage of the underappreciated elasticity of material meaning. Duchamp’s Fountain (1917), for example, undermines one’s expected perception of a urinal by rearranging it on its side so that it closely resembles a drinking fountain. Through the employment of this simple means of irony, Duchamp obliges the viewer to realize how such a minimal physical change can provoke a radical transformation. Nevelson’s Sky Cathedral (1982), on the other hand, transforms one’s understanding of a collection of found wood objects by the way the objects are carefully arranged and painted the same color. The paint masks material qualities inherent in the objects that would otherwise communicate information about their original uses, foregrounding pure geometry and ding nevelson minimalist life inherent illumination effect containers beverage white supporting structural spatial light wall pet art material works figure bottles used assemblage productsthe installation photo author unitsobjects new led despite consumer viewers reading nevelson minimalist life inherent illumination effect “Touch, for example, is not separated from sight” structural spatial light wall pet art material works atmosphere shadow instead. In both of thesecommon examples, cultural associations attached to common products and materials are intentionally reconfigured, albeit via different means. Unlike Flavin and other minimalist light artists, however, these works are ultimately bound to the material sphere. Despite their transcendence of common material readings, the works do not seek to achieve the incorporeal, intangible effects produced by Flavin’s light tube installations.


other people have thrown out, you’re really bringing them to life—a spiritual life that surpasses the life for which they were originally created.’’5 Based on the recently intensified awareness about resource depletion and product waste, materiality has acquired an ethical dimension that promises to further enliven the found art movement. In the consumer arena alone, concern for resource scarcity has inspired a new generation of second-use products in the form of handbags made from billboard vinyl, fabrics made from recycled cassette tape, and jewelry made from old computer keyboards.

Given its increased ubiquity and controversial environmental status, the PET bottle is an obvious candidate for a second life. In 2002 alone, Americans consumed the equivalent of two beverage containers per day for every living individual in the United States, or 189 billion drinks.6 Unfortunately, less than half of beverage containers in the U.S. are recycled.7 Meanwhile, the production of one million tons of plastic bottles from new materials releases approximately 732,000 tons of harmful greenhouse gases.8 Seattle-based artist and photographer Chris Jordan is well known for his graphic depictions of PET bottles and other widely used consumer products. Part data illustration, part art, Jordan’s immersive tableaux work at multiple scales, allowing the viewer to participate in a process of discovery concerning consumption and resource disposal. Although there have at Taubman College using approximately 2,000 units. The eightbeen many investigations within the architectural academy foot-high wall was designed to wrap one corner of the gallery, such regarding second uses for PET bottles, the transparent PET that a twenty-foot-long segment and ten foot long segment were container was selected in this case for its particular lightconnected by a-ten-foot-radiused arc. This particular geometry transmitting characteristics. Conventional thermoplastic emblage common products installation photo author units objects new led despite consumer viewers reading nevelson minimalist life inherentdiffusers, illumination effect containers beverage whitea“Touch, is not separatedfrom sight butwas rather selected a vital tool used conjunction sight” used assemblage commoneffect products installation photo author units objects new led despite consumer viewers reading nevelson atmosphere to increate thewith kind ofbottles completely enclosing headlamp for example, possess seriesforofexample, interior common to compound-curvature photographic backdrops when ridges designed to control and disperse the bulb light while viewed from a particular distance. Twelve LED nets were then simultaneously reducing glare. PET bottle injection mold overlaid onto the rear of the wall, and clips were used to connect ‘‘preforms’’ are designed with increasingly intricate shapes in the LED lamps to the bottles. After the self-supporting construction order to impart additional structural strength while reducing was positioned within approximately one foot of the gallery walls, material—a complex series of geometries that could be used programmable controllers dedicated to each set of 100 bulbs were to diffuse light. This idea led to an additional realization that set to the same simple pattern, triggering alternations between an assemblage of bottles at the scale of an architectural warm white and cool white bulbs at continuously accelerating screen would dramatically increase the complexity of incident intervals and speeds, the culminating effect of the 12,000 lights reflections of light, thus intensifying the viewer’s experience. was that of an unpredictable, nonrepetitive sequence vaguely The common twenty-ounce type one preform used for reminiscent of patterns seen in varying cloud breaks or heat ‘‘vitamin enhanced’’ water beverages was selected both for lightning. its particular light burst pattern and for its structural rigidity. Installation Different types of LED lamps were tested using the bottles as diffusers, and the resulting nonuniform illumination patterns were deemed to have a positive effect in terms of the increased complexity and unpredictability of light behavior. After a number of studies were conducted regarding the development of a supporting framework for the PET array, it was decided that the inherent structural properties of the lightweight bottles were sufficient to support an eight-foothigh concave wall when assembled using EVA hot glue. A single-wythe wall was constructed in the architecture gallery

Despite the fact that PET bottles were used in this installation, the majority of viewers reported that they did not see the bottles as individual units. Many also had trouble recognizing the particular plastic used, thinking the modules to be glass cylinders. Moreover, despite their transparency, the complex geometries of the bottles successfully disguised and diffused the light sources, so that no bulbs, wires, or connections were readily apparent. These ambiguous aspects of the installation led most viewers to approach the wall closely with a desire to touch it—an impetus followed by a curiosity regarding the cycles of light and a desire to determine the nature of the patterns. Upon realization that


the wall was comprised of common beverage containers, the viewer found him/herself confronted by an immersive tableau of human consumption similar to a Chris Jordan photograph, in this case imparted with dimensionality, structure, and continuously shifting illumination. Japanese designer Kenya Hara frequently discusses the fundamental connection between the multiple senses with regard to the appreciation for design. Touch, for example, is not separated from sight but rather a vital tool used in conjunction with sight and other senses to develop a deeper understanding about our physical environment. Assemblage artists take advantage of the inherent complexity that emerges from the aggregation of recognizable units, thereby transforming the original reading of the materials and encouraging viewers to engage them afresh. In a related fashion, light artists often attempt to transform the perceived physical qualities of a space through minimal means, although the effect in this case is abstract. The PET Wall installation combines these two strategies to set material and light in a highly charged fluctuating interchange. The result is a self-supporting curtain that vacillates between the material and the immaterial and the conscionable and the ineffable.

1. Ad Reinhardt, ‘‘Twelve Rules for a New Academy, 1953,’’ Art News 56, no. 3 (May 1957), p. 37–38, 56. 2. Michael Gibson, ‘‘The Strange Case of the Fluorescent Tube,’’ Art International 1 (Autumn 1987), p. 105. 3. Dan Flavin, ‘‘‘. . . in Daylight or Cool White’: An Autobiographical Sketch,’’ Artforum 4, no. 4 (December 1965), p. 24. Flavin later revised and republished this text in several exhibition catalogues. 4. Tokujin Yoshioka, ‘‘Super Fiber Revolution,’’ Designboom (2006), http://www.designboom.com/contemporary/super_fiber.html “Touch, for example, is not separated from sight but rather a vital tool used in conjunction with sight and other senses to develop a deeper understanding about our physical environment.” assemblage common products installationphoto author units objects “Touch, for example, is not separated from sight but rather a vital tool used in conjunction with sight and other senses to develop a deeper understanding about our physical atmosphere (accessed May 1, 2008). 5. Menachem Wecker, ‘‘Scavenger Par Excellence, Wandering Jewess,’’ http://www.myjewishlearning.com/culture/Art/To_ ArtOverview/ArtHistory/ArtMedievalModern/ModArt/Nevelson.htm (accessed May 1, 2008). 6. Good Stuff? A Behind-the-Scenes Guide to the Things We Buy. Washington, DC: The Worldwatch Institute (2004), p. 5. 7. Ibid., p. 5. 8. Ibid., p. 5. Contributors and Participants: Tracy Artley, Jason Bing, Heather Brownell, Lori Castle, Chris Drinkwater, The High Point School students, Natasha Krol, Kevin McKay, Recycle Ann Arbor, Mark Scott, Steve Sheldon This article was originally published in: Journal of Architectural Education, Volume 62 Issue 2 (published online October 20, 2008), p. 30–36.


Instructions for viewing stereoviews: Hold Dimensions very close to your face. Allow your eyes to unfocus to the point where the two black dots above adjacent (matching) images appear as one. Forcing your eyes to remain at the same level of focus, the dual images will then appear as one three-dimensional image.

Integral yet invisible, the centuries-old technique of architectural projection forms the foundation for contemporary digital work. The digital promise has been sold to architects as “new” and “revolutionary;” the assumption is that traditional modes of communicating design are obsolete, and superseded by the computer. But the seamless interface of 3-D modeling programs belies the familiar conventions of perspectival (central) and orthographic (parallel) projection hiding beneath. A digital rendering is made using vanishing points, horizon lines, and converging lines just as a drawing made by hand. Even digital lighting takes established rules of sciagraphy formed long before the computer and photography existed. The great leap forward is not the adoption of new paradigms, but the manipulations of familiar ones in real time.

The comfort with which architects have adopted digital technology is countered by the difficulty of physically representing the digital; that is, getting the design out of the computer. Architecture cannot exist in the digital world alone; the physical manifestation of three-dimensional space is always a requisite of design, either at full-scale construction or as a physical model. Laser cutting, CNC milling, fused deposition modeling, and other Pablo R. Garcia digital fabrication methods afford unprecedented precision digital three-dimensional projection physical model data computer wax methods frames bronze variety sequence parallel new muybridge and motion horse final familiar design applied world tracing technology techniquestarch space series plaster orthographic operations molten molds manipulations digital three-dimensional projection physical model data computer wax methods frames bronze variety sequence paralleltranslation automation in a variety of materials. These processes also provide renewed exploration of the familiar and invisible apparatuses that make architectural representation possible.

Parallel Projections

To translate digital 3-D into physical 3-D, an architect employs a variety of projection methods. The digital model must be unfolded, sliced, draped, sectioned, or flattened to provide a useable fabrication file. Many of these operations require orthographic projection, often automated by the computer program. But rather than assume that the automation allows


To view the anamorphosis, hold Dimensions against your chest (image out) with the top of the page just under your chin. Look downward, as modeled at lower right, to reveal the image.

the architect to skip orthography, should digital architecture not demand a more complex understanding of projection methods? Parallel Projections is a “cookbook” of both digital and analog projection methods. Each station investigates a variety of techniques and combines them to produce manipulations of historical data, reimaginings of everyday context, experiments in advanced technology, and explorations of phenomenal experience. Vantage Tees Almost simultaneous with the codification of perspective in the 15th century, distortions and perversions of perspective became part of the rise of verisimilitude in drawing. Anamorphosis, a cousin of perspective, is an image projected obliquely against a surface, obfuscating the content until the viewer stands at the point of projection. This distortion was immediately popular because of the ability to hide subversive images, typically political messages or erotic imagery—useful in an age of royal court intrigue and pious decorum. Erhard Schön, student of Albrecht Dürer, was especially talented in his anamorphic projections, producing erotic murals visible only to the lord of the house from his private bedroom. The contemporary t-shirt has enjoyed a central place in popular culture, where images can announce counter-cultural messages, declarations of beliefs, and signs of tribe membership. All t-shirts face out; they are all intended for frontal presentation to the public. What if that traditional role was reversed? Vantage Tees contain anamorphically distorted images that only the wearer can decipher. The shirts contain images not generally acceptable to the public: erotic and explicit sexual imagery, politically sensitive messages, and extremely violent images of death. These are all

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tion horse final familiar design applied world tracing technology technique starch space series plaster orthographic operations molten molds manipulations digital three-dimensional projection physical model data computer waxmethods frames bronze variety sequence parallel new muybridge motion horse final familiar design applied world tracing technology technique starch space “The comfort with which architects have adopted


images that are custom to the wearer, both in content and distortion. Different body types yield different surfaces onto which images are projected; a pregnant woman yields a different distortion than an athletic male. Profilograph (After Muybridge) “Profilography” is a neologism outlining a technique of drawing through subsequent contours or profiles. It assumes a three-dimensional form or space through the accumulation of adjacent two-dimensional profile lines. Applied to temporally derived data, such as frames from a film, the extrusion made from the extrapolation of in-between frame data becomes a physical manifestation of motion. Slicing through the extrusion (parallel to the film plane) with increasing depth yields a morphing between frames. In the case of Eadweard Muybridge’s cinematic studies of animal locomotion, a series of still cameras capture the running horse in sequence, a form of proto-cinema used to freeze fast and complex motion in the natural world. A typical sequence used twelve cameras at regular intervals to capture one cycle of a horse’s gallop. By cinema standards, this is quite sparse. There is a lot of data missing between each frame. By tracing the Muybridge frames, and working them in the computer through a series of digital operations such as lofting, network surfacing, and extrusions, the in-between data materializes in a solid model tracing the full motion of

Three-dimensional digital model of exhibition space and photograph of the installation (opposite).

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nipulations digital three-dimensional projection physical model data computer wax methods frames bronze variety sequence parallel new muybridge motion horse final familiar design applied world tracing technology techniquestarch space series “The comfort with which architects have adopted digital technology is countered by the difficulty of physically representing the digital;” digital three-dimensional projection physical

the horse’s run. Taking a slice through any point will yield a new frame in Muybridge’s sequence. Since the model is contiguous, there are an infinite number of frames that can be generated from the original twelve. The digital model is separated into smaller portions based on the dimesional limits of the 3-D printer. The starch parts are removed from the machine, cleaned, and hand-dipped in hot wax. Wax gates, or channels, are melted into place to provide a path for the molten bronze. The wax assembly is dipped into a slurry mix of ceramic, silica, and binder, waiting for each coat to dry before applying the subsequent layer. After the final coat has dried, they are flash-burned in a 1700 degree kiln and all of the 3-D printer starch and hand-applied wax burns out, leaving a hollow ceramic shell. The shells are heated to 1650 degrees, molten bronze (2150 degrees) is poured, and the molds are left to cool. Once cool, the molds are shattered, excess bronze is cut away, the pieces are welded together into the final form and sandblasted, and a patina is applied to make the final surface finish.


translation

the difficulty of physically representing the digital; that is, getting the design out of the computer.” “The comfort with which architects have adopted digital technology is countered by the difficulty of physically representing the digital;that is, getting the design out of the computer.” “The comfort with which architects have adopted digital technology is countered by the difficulty of physically representing the digital; that is, getting the design


Recto | Verso

If statistical data were any way to speak objectively across cultures, language barriers, and political affiliations, the numbers might reveal the intimate ties America has with China. Sixty percent of the world’s buttons for clothing are made in China. Datang, known as “socks city,” produces

Oblique view of installation. The top, hung on a hanger which morphs from the canopy itself, is modeled after the iconic Chanel jacket with red piped edges. All patterning and construction by author.

Many cities in China use population as a way to describe their size, and Shenzhen is no exception. Often, approximations of population are made that are inaccurate up to several million people. These discrepancies attest to the fact that at some point, accuracy may no longer be important when the numbers exceed all expectations of how big a city may be or how fast it might grow. In a matter of thirty years, Shenzhen became more than just a Special Economic Zone that regulates trade, but also began to filter the millions of migrant workers who flood there in search of work. The census data does not always account for these workers as they often temporarily live six to a room in workers’ complexes before moving on to another city in search of unskilled manufacturing jobs. The census effectively renders these migrant workers nameless. As they no longer live within the provinces of their birth, they are without rights or benefits. Yet staying in their original provinces would limit potential for future employment and economic advancement. There are currently approximately 130 million migrant workers in China. The projection for the year 2025 is 350 million.1 These migrant workers are the source of China’s sudden economic explosion and rapid urban transformation. Without their labor, China would still be an agrarian society—not the conglomeration of 4.5 million people that we know it as today. In 1978 when Deng Xiaoping initiated market reforms, there were only 172 million urban residents; today, there are over 579 million. That is forty percent of the population in China. The prediction is that by the Tsz Yan Ng year 2030, the urban population jacket china textile inside-out manufacturing industrialization hanger folded english dress chinese recto-verso vellum2 uncanny translation text structuring stitched sewn scale roots revolution relationshipsred culture read process perversely peek paper operations newsprint fashion jacket china textile inside-out manufacturing industrialization hanger folded english dress chinese western void willwestern reachvoidsixty percent. No one could have predicted the scale of this explosion.

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Referring to the culture of copy in the fashion industry, the jacket is made of vellum reprints of The Little Red Book, Chinese on the outside, English on the inside. The order of reading is from left to right from center front around the body.

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Factories are not only figures on the landscape, but they become landscape themselves. Cities declare a purpose and suddenly explode into instant-cities, unhindered by the weight of history or the morphology of urban conditions. One

Reproduction of the pages of Mao’s Quotations in newspaper before sewing.

one third of the world’s socks—approximately nine billion pairs per year. As for manufactured products in the United States, seventy­-two percent of Americans’ shoes come from China, as do fifty percent of our kitchen appliances and eighty percent of all children’s toys.3 Manufacturing in China might occur at a scale of operation inconceivable to us, but it is in fact our very own industrial-capital model that China has utilized, giving it a distinctly Chinese form. Industrial China in the 21st century is no longer communistic, but capitalistic; capitalism is the new global and economic paradigm. While one might be flattered by China’s emulation of our economic model, if we begin to trace the myriad of forces at play and the impetus for such large-scale manufacturing, it becomes apparent that they are ultimately fueled and stimulated by our very own consumer culture and economy.4

Production and folding process showing nuanced shifts due to the geometric connection from radial-pattern to parallel-pattern folds.

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size: Upper portion of the side showing upside down English text from the inside as the dress hits the ground and folds inside out.

The English version of The Little Red Book is placed diagonally in plan to activate the central hinging of the body, leading the observer to rotate around the paper dress.

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Fold Dimensions as indicated. Then flip back two pages and do the same!

Paradoxical situations surface as quickly as the presence of these mega-cities. While the latest runway collection from any fashion house can be copied and reproduced the next morning, the branding of authenticity is ever more pronounced. There is fake Chanel, and there is real Chanel. Not only do the manufacturing processes of China strangely mirror our own, but the physical landscape does as well. On one level, architectural icons are reproduced without any doubt of authenticity. For example, the Splendid China Theme Park houses a scaled replica of the Great Wall of China, while the World Theme Park in Shenzhen displays the skyline of lower Manhattan. In contrast, urban planners supply instant, gated suburban communities, taking our American suburban model to the extreme. Precisely because the replica is to approximate and appropriate the lifestyle and symbolic values of its referent, it might be judicious to ask what happened to Mao’s Cultural Revolution. As the Chinese landscape begins to resemble our own, it becomes increasingly relevant to ask gn

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example of this amplified development is the China Yiwu International Trade City. In the middle of Zhejiang province, there is a mall with 30,000 stalls of wholesalers displaying their goods which are ready for export. World pricing on any single product can be commanded here, and if one were to spend one minute in each shop, eight hours a day, it would take two months to go through the entire mall.5

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As part of the Fellows Exhibition, Recto | Verso is an investigation into China’s textile manufacturing, dealing with issues of labor and China’s rapid industrialization process. The entire installation is sewn, stitched, and folded out of vellum and newsprint with the Chinese text of Mao’s Little Red Book printed on one side and its English translation on the other. The title Recto | Verso—two sides of the same thing—not only refers to the uncanny scale of China’s operations with roots in Western industrialization, but also the paradoxical outcome of the Cultural Revolution, of capitalism, fashion, and the culture of copy en masse. The inside-out, upsidedown relationships are expressed through the structuring of the paper dress and canopy/hanger for the jacket. While Chinese is read upright on the outside of the jacket, modeled after the iconic Chanel jacket, the dress by its continuous folds flips the inside-out, exposing the now upside-down English. The folded textile continues back up, flipping again to become the hanger for the jacket. As such, the interior is a void with the upper half of the body unattached to the lower. The observer is offered the chance to peek inside—however perversely—into the intricate character of China’s textile manufacturing. The installation is not meant as a criticism, nor does it intend to prescribe a right or wrong strategy for China’s industrialization in the 21st century. It is not a generalized, monolithic analysis to portray China’s rapid transformation, but rather an invitation to take a more careful and nuanced look at China in terms of three unique aspects: scale, labor, and landscapes—territories physical and conceptual.

The placement of the piece directly behind the window is to invoke the sense of peeking at a window display. Borrowing from department store window exhibits, the aim is to seduce the viewer to enter the gallery, much like consumer products being displayed in storefronts. The lightness of the paper creates the ephemeral quality of the installation.

why and how this strange phenomenon came to be.6

aracter of China’s textile manufacturing.” “The observer is offered the chance to peek inside—however perversely—into the intricate character of China’s textile manufacturing.” “The observer is offered the chance to peekinside—however perversely—into the intricate character of China’s textile manufacturing.” “The observer is offered the chance to peek inside—however perversely—into the intricate character of China’s

1. Naomi Klein, “China’s All-Seeing Eye” in Rolling Stone, issue 1053. May 29, 2008. 2. Peter Hessler, “The Road Ahead” in National Geographic, Special Issue, China: Inside the Dragon. (May 2008), p. 177. 3. Michael Wolf, “Factory to the World” in National Geographic, Special Issue, China: Inside the Dragon. (May 2008), p. 170. 4. For a more in-depth look at how consumer demands drive our economic motor, see Jacques Leslie’s “The Last Empire” in Mother Jones. (February 2008), p. 28–39, 83–85. Examples of tracking natural resources necessary for various manufacturing industries in China are given. Two notable industries are illegal logging for furniture production and cashmere manufacturing for the textile industry, p. 35–38. Both industries inevitably serve the consumer society of North America employing methods championed by US industrialists. While industrially developed societies of Europe and America can wag their fingers to denounce environmental damages incurred by the Chinese manufacturing boom, from air, water, and land pollution to desertification, it should be highlighted that those industries provide cheaper furniture and reduced-cost cashmere sweaters for Americans and Europeans. Both the implementation of sales

margins and the idea of using products and profiting from dirty work occurring in someone else’s backyard deserve closer examination. While the first industrial revolution change the landscape of Europe and America, this industrial revolution in the 21st Century would shape not only most parts of Asia, but also define the global economy that almost all other industrial nations are bound to, whether they like it or not. The phenomenon of China is a threshold through which to enter that study. 5. Peter Hessler, “China’s Instant Cities” in National Geographic. (June 2007), p. 88–117. 6. Note the playing off of Saul Steinberg’s New Yorker cover “View of the World from 9th Avenue” (March 29, 1976) with the recent Economist cover by Jon Berkeley “How China sees the World and how the World should see China.” (March 21, 2009). Many thanks to these individuals who helped with the folding of this installation: Kamana Dhakhwa, Jamie Galimberti, Juan Mercado, and Allison Newmeyer. Special thanks to Katharine Lyons who saw the entire process from beginning to end, from the seed that became the project to this very publication.

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Process as an architectural project has all but left the house. The 1980s saw a peak of practices and schools whose work showcased abstract, generative drawings—substituting them for more conventional drawings that describe a built design. These representations were in many cases not even distinguishable as inhabitable. As such, the experience of a project was predicated on the transparency and articulation of the design process. Drawn meticulously, many of these projects ended on paper. Experience was the act of drawing. Perceptual effect was less important than generative technique. Conversely, our practice focuses on architectural effects and is concerned with designing how an environment is perceived. Clearly, something has changed and shifted focus in the way we as contemporary designers coordinate representational media and the way we work. We draw, prototype, model, render, and sketch through software. The gap between what is drawn and what is built is more fluid. Distinctions between rendering, prototyping, and building are now less distinguishable, making the separation of Process (acts of drawing) and Experience (acts of inhabitation) more difficult. Instead of literally describing how we make things, the following is a set of ideas we focus on that attempt to reconcile where Process left off and what is at hand today, and an explanation of the technologies we use in the design of our projects. The result is two trajectories that relate the use of software to architectural design in our work. First, Process with a capital “P” is dead. Facilitating its own dream killed it. The architects and designers who emerged out of the desire for unstable, endlessly open buildings started getting commissions and needed to find ways to physically construct their designs. This resulted in a race to find a software platform (tied to fabrication) that David Erdman & Clover Lee of davidclovers does everything—a software that encapsulates all possible processes processes design software process architectural our media effects projects platforms mass built architecture technologies program production post output fabrication explore experience types techniques qualitiesnumber light examines drawings buildings boundaries across standard space primary management processes design software process architectural our media effects projects platforms mass builtpost-process going into the design of a building. These types of software constructed new boundaries by

Post Process Architecture


There is a second trajectory relating software to architectural design that we find to be more in line with our interests. The past five years have seen an explosion of free software that manipulates existing software packages, like the ones named above. A number of these are produced from new, visuallyoriented programming languages such as Processing, authored by Ben Fry and Casey Reas. Such platforms are unique in fostering international peer-to-peer networks, where programmers can design and share code (software) for a broader public to use, test, and modify. What sets these platforms apart from the above types of software is largely posture. Instead of reinventing the wheel from the ground up, they operate on existing software packages or fabrication technologies and work collaboratively across platforms. Users of this type of software seek out innovations embedded between the layers of established processes.

that join standard and emerging technologies, and also by visualizing information and moving it across media. It is our opinion that mass production, standard construction, and custom manufacturing should all be integrated into the design and fabrication of contemporary buildings. The projects, representations, and prototypes we develop explore relationships between a confluence of design and production techniques. In order to foreground specific architectural effects, individual processes are solicited, but not necessarily brought to light. Often, we seek to diminish or conceal their footprint. This approach facilitates a high degree of innovation requiring the architecture to develop relationships across unrelated processes. We have found (in both prototypes and built projects) that designing with a coarse mixture of components allows for a great degree of flexibility between trades and standard practices, and also allows us to map experimental work onto a number of economies and technologies.

Plasticity examines how mass responds to program and explores how to conceive of plasticity as an architectural matter. Production efficiencies, geometry, programmatic layout, and structure are background processes that harmonize together to produce this effect.

consolidating all processes into one metaprocess. In our opinion, this has led to a number of misplaced innovations that arrest design. For instance, the desire for buildings that are entirely 3-D printed and built by one kind of robot, or are completely laser cut, minimizes the interaction of differing processes and diminishes possible tectonic innovation. Programs such as Bentley’s Generative Components, Rhino’s Grasshopper, or Gehry Technologies’ Digital Project each bias parametric techniques. And to what ends—in order to visualize structure or computational processes? It would seem that the contemporary climate of using these tools draws more attention to the technology than to the design, to the process versus its effects.

The results are often potent and unforeseen, partially due to the fact that the authors leave open the platform’s use and purpose. In the case of Processing, visual programming language has been reappropriated—which is the authors’ intent. Not only is it used in modeling and fabrication, but there are a large number of applications that work on space in real time. In these examples, computational processes are installed in a space and occur as live, triangulating lighting or robotics in relation to sensors, or as any other mode of input. What is interesting to us about this type of software is how it balances process as both input and output. If anything, we believe it places its attentions more toward processes that hnologies program production post output fabrication explore experience types techniques qualities number light examines drawings buildings boundaries across standard space primary management processes design softwareprocess architectural our experience types techniques qualities number light examines drawings buildings boundaries across standard space primary management processes design software processpost-process operate on the output—which is Post Process. This type of software is significant to the way we work. We operate between established processes and a focus on output. We design with an awareness that there will always be differences between software platforms and fabrication processes. In our practice, these differences are nurtured and garnered for architectural possibilities. We collaborate with programmers and develop computationally-driven modeling and drawing techniques. It is important to visualize varying types of information and push them back and forth between different types of media. This method of working is investigated in two primary ways: by exploring tectonics


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The inputs of our design process are not necessarily relevant to the project, unless they have an impact on the experience of it. Therefore, all processes in our work bias the output and its experiential effects. We believe that customized software platforms should not be restricted to design or production processes, which usually occur at the beginning or middle of an overall architectural project. Instead, these platforms should be harnessed and installed into buildings—affording opportunities at the end of the architectural project. Visualizing media and integrating it as part of the built environment encompasses a wide range of inputs. It allows our work to explore new forms of programmatic information, movement, or weight, and to work with biologically dynamic, horticultural, or sensorialrelated processes, like lighting and sound. The benefits of being this literal are twofold: first, it erodes the distinctions between Process and Post Process; second, it allows us to explore the effects of the space over time using media as a means to change dynamics and perceptions.

This article was exclusively produced for Dimensions 22 and showcases two recent projects:

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Post Process Architecture is a term we use to describe how and why we work the way we do. Similar to editing and other post production techniques used in the film industry to enhance plot lines and visual experiences, we are interested in eroding boundaries between virtual and real—where the virtual can become real. We do so by operating on and between various processes, inputs, and outputs. This is the instability we seek out and perhaps is one line of continuity between earlier works on Process and ours. These pages show some projects in which we explore ways to infuse media into matter, and how to move across processes and the effects that guide them. If nothing else, we hope these images and terms help to articulate our posture, which is deeply concerned with output.

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Evanescence examines how to fadeout boundaries, edges, and primary, secondary, and tertiary systems. It explores principles of texture, thickness, and translucency. Luminosity, panel seams, moisture resistance, water management, and window openings are each utilized to produce gradient intensities in relation to highly plastic zones that are in the interior and exterior.

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Lunar House: a 2500 square-foot speculative home being designed for a developer in Houston. Images show drawings and a 1”=1’-0 media effects model-prorotype projects platforms mass builteffects architecture program production of the builttechnologies into the scheme to date. post output fabrication explore experience types techniques “Process with a capital P” drawings buildings boundaries across standardspace primary management processes design software process architectural our media effects projects “Process with a capital P is dead.” technologies program production post output fabricationpost-process Design Team: David Erdman, Clover Lee, and Casey Reas Design Assistants: Jei Kim, Juliet Hsieh, and Laura Goard Light Mass: twenty-eight artist live-work units designed for a developer in Beijing. Drawings and renderings show the geometrical development and experiential aspects of the scheme to date. Design Team: David Erdman and Clover Lee Design Assistant: J. Travis Russett David Erdman and Clover Lee are the Fall 2008 Max M. Fischer Visiting Professors at Taubman College. Clover is an Assistant Professor at Rice School of Architecture. David is an instructor at UCLA’s Department of Architecture and Urban Design and 2008/09 Rome Prize recipient.


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Vibration examines how weight is related to mass. It explores this through principles of vagueness, blurred boundaries, and radically shifting qualities. Water drainage, daylight management, and circulation are all coordinated for qualities of lightness or massiveness on the interior and exterior.

Density examines how program and mass distribute, accumulate, and dissipate. It explores principles of multiplication by densifying, doubling, and tripling its qualities. Program is divided into two primary masses. Parti-walls, light management, program, and circulation are conditioned by sets of bounding boxes which congeal and disperse.

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Eric Höweler (EH): We kind of have two practices with split personalities: there is “MY Studio” which is Meejin Yoon Studio (a practice that she formed in 2001), and then there’s Höweler+Yoon Architecture, which is the practice we started together three years ago. We’re both partners in both practices, and they are in one space. There are actually two websites, but the websites are identical. There are differences between the two firms, but we don’t mean for the work to be that way. It’s more like she started doing electronics projects, and even though they evolved, they still have a life of their own.

On the other hand, because of our backgrounds, we have other kinds of work. Recently, we were asked to do some consulting work on two skyscrapers in Shanghai, and I flew to Hong Kong to design them. From the microcontroller to the megastructure, we’re looking at a whole range of scales. It’s hard for people to understand how we work in such a way without developing schizophrenic personalities. We handle it because of our experience and our backgrounds. Meejin is at MIT, so she’s involved in this world of technology, whereas my background is in corporate architecture. We don’t discriminate between work. If someone calls with an interesting project, we engage it and try to find issues that are engaging to us no matter what the scale. For us it’s all design whether it is architecture or electronics or furniture. There is a whole range of work, and I think it’s healthy to engage different projects. We struggled with the idea of whether or not a firm can specialize, if you should J. Meejin Yoon & Eric Höweler be able to state what your practice

PS1: Loop Prototype

Part landscape, part infrastructure, LOOP is a pliable latticework—a jungle gym for adults and children—containing a number of interactive activity clusters.

Dimensions 22 sat down with Eric Höweler and J. Meejin Yoon of Höweler+Yoon Architecture/MY Studio to discuss process within their professional practice. They gave the Charles and Ray Eames Lecture at Taubman College on December 1, 2008.

Dimensions 22 (D22): At yesterday’s lecture, you mentioned a dual set of relationships where part of your work is more polished and “professional” while the other part is left as a visible aggregation of process. Is this an intended part of your practice, or do you try to keep these types of work separate?

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EH: Someone asked me that last night, and I said that in truth the diagrams came as riff-raff—trying to figure out what we’ve been doing by looking back at our work. We’ve come upon some surprising connections, and the themes are by no means definitive­—they are just themes that intersect. They’re by no means closed categories, and they may not even be appropriate categories. They’re very loose, but it’s necessary to come up with some structure to the work. Last night someone asked me if the diagram of our work is a map or a trace. I think it’s good to distinguish between a map and a course. We’re not that instrumental; I wish we knew when we needed a project at a specific place within our diagram. We’ve fantasized about a project that combines a spatial, material, architectural component with an interactive, smart component, and we think that there is a project where the two combine. Sooner or later someone’s going to ask us to do it. It hasn’t happened yet; architects don’t pick their clients. Although we can do a certain amount of work, competitions, or research that can push in a certain direction. In terms of commissions, if someone calls and asks for a house, we have to give them a house; we can’t give them an interactive landscape. We can try to convince them that they need an interactive landscape in their house, but unfortunately it won’t necessarily happen. It’s the nature of architectural work; we are responding to the client’s needs. When we have clients, we can be more proactive. When things are slow, we can write grant applications. We wrote a grant application for the Graham Foundation, and we

The geometry is generated through an analysis of cellular aggregates, suggesting an uninterrupted lattice of form which outlines connections between spaces.

D22: In reference to the diagram that you showed during your lecture which illustrates connections within your work, would you say that it operates as a trace of what you have done to date, or does it prescribe where you would like to go in the future? In other words, were the represented themes something that have risen out of the work or something that you try to follow, like a format?

Rather than a discrete architectural object positioned as a feature within the courtyard, LOOP presents a “loose fill” of architectural form, allowing simultaneously for complete porosity and total coverage.

is about in one sentence or not. That is almost impossible to do, and that’s why we came up with the term “expanded” as a catchall. So maybe our practice is not “schizophrenic,” but “expanded.”

received funding to do research on infrastructure and urban parks, and that turned into a book. That was very proactive. We identified an issue and wanted to go after it, and we made the project for ourselves. If things slow down there could be more of that. So far we’ve been so busy that we can’t even do the work that we have. I guess that’s a good thing. D22: Would you say that the interactive installations find their way into your architecture in a literal or conceptual way? Are there ideas that you bring from your interactive work into larger-scale projects? EH: Initially, everyone interacts with the façade of a building. It’s just a different kind of interaction. You might be moved to tears by a piece of architecture—that’s interaction. If the architecture sees you crying and responds by crying itself then it’s a different kind of response. We’ve been thinking about how responsive architecture is, and about interaction at different scales. We’d like to think that even the most inert piece of architecture is interactive on some level. Whenever we design something we don’t think of it as static. We think of it as an opportunity to provoke behavior. We also do a series of renderings, not just one but many configurations. We are trying even with architecture to expand its personality and way of existing. We try to say we’re not just designing space or material, but that we’re designing environment and atmosphere. We are trying to expand the idea of an arrangement of material things into an observation of material and material effects—not just bricks and mortar, but media and lighting. D22: What role do you think technology plays in your work? Most of it is highly technical. You are making circuit boards, for example, which is not the kind of work most architects do on a daily basis. Is technology a large part of your process or is it something that found its way in? EH: It kind of found its way in. It had something to do with Meejin being at MIT for eight years. It is an atmosphere where technology is so available, where creating something

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like a circuit board is a simple task. It’s not like we are trying to be anything except architects, but we know that if we need a façade to breathe, then we can do it. We are kind of fearless about technology; it’s not a scary thing. It’s something that’s available, and with the right engineering anything can be made to work. So we think that we’re more about speculating what those potentials are. Maybe it should have a breathing façade, and if we can find somebody who believes us, we’ll find someone who can engineer it. I would like to think that we are open to possibility. We don’t do technology for technology’s sake. It’s not about technology; it’s about what it can enable. Technology is a tool; it’s not a fetish object. We try to use it however it is appropriate for a given project. D22: Does that mean that you set out with a prescribed set of ideas concerning technology within a project at the onset? EH: No, we’re kind of reactive. We’ll think about a project and look at the site, and think about what makes sense there. I think that other practitioners approach things differently. Some people come up with an agenda, and what they’re going to do is geometrically based. That’s a part of their practice, and if you hire them that’s what they’ll deliver with a certain consistency. There are other practitioners who think it’s ridiculous to do something similar every single time, and prefer a site specific response condition. I think we fall in the second camp. We don’t have an established geometric vocabulary we resort to. We have a few tricks up our sleeve, but for the most part we come up with a site-specific situation and then develop a response. That could be a weakness, but I think it requires more agility to be less consistent and less dogmatic. With every project we invent something new, and that is a kind of consistency. Our work may be disjointed, but it’s because the project was conceived for its particular moment. We have buildings that are very boxy because they have very strict constraints for zoning and budget, so it wouldn’t be appropriate to do a compound curve in geometry. For PS1, which was an optimal environment, we thought that compound curvature was totally possible. But there’s an appropriate geometry for each specific situation. [J. Meejin Yoon enters the room]

experimentation. We worked on it for two months, and we pushed the process in a way that began with something we knew, which was a study of bubbles, and ended up with something that we didn’t know, which is an unfolding of computation and material. It was an incredible experience to mix computation and scripting with handmade material processes. We liked the project not just because of its form, but also because it opened up new possibilities for us. Mixing scripting with polypropylene welding was not something that we came to the table with. It emerged through the process. J. Meejin Yoon (MY): My worry about PS1 is that I think it’s like a first year project in school for us. It’s a project where we learned a lot, and it opened our eyes. For that reason, we always go back to it, and it’s also the reason why there’s the most documentation of that project. Other projects get photographed less, or their drawings are less polished, etcetera. It holds a very soft spot for us, but PS1 is part of a larger collection concerning the relationship between public space, interaction, and program. I think engaging this issue of public space is interesting. We wrote about it in Back to the City. EH: We have written about public space and the idea of behavioral codes within domestic space. Somehow there’s a larger range of behaviors that are acceptable within the public realm, and we’re interested in intervening within that range to provoke different kinds of behavior. The idea of mapping the extent of what’s public and what’s private is also interesting. When approaching a university building, is the boundary between the two realms a piece of glass, is it the front door, or is it the edge of the campus? Where are those lines? I think that these questions are relevant, particularly after September 11. The whole structure of the public realm has changed. It’s no longer about a space of free-flowing democratic activity. Public spaces are now more heavily monitored and visualized—it’s constant. In New York City, if you see something, or hear something, you’re the eyes and ears of the system, and you’re constantly being asked to be vigilant within the public realm. The whole experience of being in public has shifted in a very subtle, but significant way.

D22: Would you say that situation specificity is one of your leading points, or one of the most important?

responsive

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EH: We say that a lot. Our situation specificity is not just a place at the moment, but the context. PS1 was a competition and not a piece of enclosed architecture; the brief was


Through an atmospheric thickening of the ground plane, LOOP provides a dense landscape for the unpredictable unfolding of social exchange.

As architects we participate in the public realm, while our buildings do not—they often exclude it. There are architects who say that you have to design the public realm, and that it falls into the area of civic space. But the city isn’t necessarily advocating that kind thinking, so who designs it? It is difficult to define the public realm and there are many complexities when attempting to design within it. Particularly after September 11, there’s a new importance to the role that we play. Is it simply about distraction—commercial, image based distraction? Or are you really trying to propose a response that produces a kind of criticality within the public. What we’re saying is, “Wait a minute, what’s going on here? Why is this plaza under surveillance? What can I do in this plaza that will get me thrown out of this plaza, or this shopping mall or this pseudo-public realm?” That’s the larger discourse, and a very interesting and timely one. Our contributions are fairly small—only a few projects. But we’re interested in this big idea because we think it is one of the defining moments of our time. We are in the post-September-11 age where what we do in the public realm can get you thrown out or thrown in depending on what you do.

terial design why response interesting interaction idea students situation “You might be moved to tears by a piece of architecture—that’s interaction. If the architecture sees you crying” important experience clients city themesstructure specific schizophrenic we think “You might be moved to tears by a piece of architecture—that’s interaction. If the architecture sees you crying and responds by crying itself,” interesting interaction

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D22: Lastly, do you relate these ideas or this kind of thinking to your students? Does your teaching impact your work, or does your work impact your teaching?

EH: I think the way you teach is affected by what you do. It’s affected by all of your experiences. It’s like aerobics or calisthenics; your body has to remember how to design. It’s not just a mental thing; it’s a mechanical thing, too. When you’re out of shape, you’re out of shape. When you’re teaching you’re dealing with twelve students and twelve projects, and by going back and forth your brain is constantly getting a workout. They inevitably inform each other. By dealing with twelve projects in the afternoon giving precise and constructive feedback, you can go back to your office and look at your own project differently. You find you need to do something, that you need to try something else. So they definitely feed off of each other, and provide a kind of callisthenic aspect to design. It’s not like in the studio we’re asking the students to do electronics, so it’s not direct, but an abstract relationship.

TITLE

Trampoline.

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MY: Teaching definitely impacts us…if you’re teaching and you’re holding your students to a certain level of rigor and innovation, testing and iteration, it’s hard to then go back to your practice and do a one-off. We like to treat our studio like we would treat a studio in an academic context. Of course the practice side has clients and other mandates that sometimes make it difficult to engage in a pure process, but we try. Does practice ever affect our teaching?

TITLE

MY: It’s a hard balance for everyone who is doing it, but it’s a really important one. It’s hard to prepare students for the world they’re going to emerge in if you’re not participating in the architectural practice.

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At the college, Wallenberg’s legacy lives through our aspirations for architecture as a humane social art. Each year the architecture program exhibits and juries the best work from the final undergraduate design studio. Awards, funded by the Raoul Wallenberg Endowment, are offered in the form of a stipend for international travel. It is expected that students would return with a broadened understanding of the world and an appreciation and feeling for the people they have encountered.

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Re:surfacing Death Efforts to date have been focused on avoiding death, driven by a desire to prevent what is considered “bad.” I would like to suggest a shift in thinking. It is true that medical breakthroughs continue to extend the human life span, but the idea of overcoming death is presently out of the reach of humanity. Dying is a guarantee. It is necessary to accept this fact, embrace death, in order to live according to the future. Death is a known, something consistent; so how can it become a process of continuing life—something “good?” That which dies in nature returns to a cycle that promotes further living. My challenge is to explore ways in which death in the human species can do the same. Imagine a future where death is embraced—not feared—as a positive condition of life. “Death is not merely the end of being but hides within life as its necessary condition. It is, therefore, impossible to affirm life without embracing death.”1 —Mark C. Taylor Re:structuring Landscape The dominant avoidance of death in Western culture has death diverging rapidly from life. A rift exists that separates the living and the dead, and to encounter death has become a very private, isolated event. To reverse this trend, I propose a way of blurring the duality of life and death, a way of creating a strong dialogue between the two. This is achieved through the mediating capabilities of surface manipulation. My own body can be expressed volumetrically by its surface, a membrane that mediates between the inside and outside of my body. It acts as a register of internal conditions perceivable from outward perspectives. The surface can be recorded, unfolded, and manipulated to restructure the relationships between the varying conditions. A site, as well, can be considered a body.

Re:surfacing Death

The programmatic specification, a crematorium and columbarium,

Re:structuring Landscape Jamie Galimberti

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is constructed as an interface between the living and deceased and is sited in a currently active limestone quarry. The building is derived from the scarred landscape of the quarry and is formed in such a way that it revitalizes the site without consuming its natural elements. The quarry can be described by its surface, and as such, is susceptible to processes of folding. Each fold carries with it a certain amount of mass and leaves behind a vacancy in a solid medium. The surface contains depth and density—material with structural properties that dictate the possible forms that can evolve from its manipulation. Cuts and folds are sympathetic to the landscape, creating forms that maintain earthy resemblances. At the same time, the landscape retains the marks of its manipulation. The building exposes the two sides of the surface, representing a system that is at work (the underside) and its resultant (the traversable ground). The overlapping folds define the structure, which is translated into cantilevering trusses that support the roof.

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The manipulations of the quarry’s surface create paradoxical relationships between dual conditions. The AXIS sense of above OF SYMMETRY ground and below ground is questioned, as well as the notion of being inside and outside. The project blurs the distinction of landscape and building, employing surface as a mediator between each. Visitors can be both above ground and below ground simultaneously. The openness of the building masks the distinction of enclosed space and its clear surroundings.

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Re:generating Life Is it possible for death to promote life? The aim of the columbarium is not only to provide a memorial for the dead, but also a revitalized landscape for the living. The folds of the site retain the natural qualities of its surface, providing a traversable roof. It seamlessly integrates with its surroundings, a prosthetic that augments the quarry and contributes to its rehabilitation. Moments in the site that were vertical are twisted into a horizontal state, rendering what was once a rocky cliff into a surface that can be vegetated and inhabited. The columbarium itself is a means to restore the quarry. As it becomes necessary to expand the building, the new construction restructures the landscape into a continually growing place for the living. It generates a new interface with the site, proliferating inhabitability—a former greyfield becomes a park that enlivens the quarry and honors the dead.

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Wallenberg Critic: Tsz Yan Ng 1. Mark C. Taylor, Grave Matters (Reaktion, 2002).

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Path of the Dead R1 Body received by crematorium staff . R2 Body prepared for the ceremony. R3 Body brought to the chapel, where it crosses paths with the living. R4 Body exits through front of the chapel and is taken to the retort for cremation. R5 Cremated remains are taken to the waiting area and given to the family of the deceased.

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Path of the Living L1 Descend ramp into Lobby, travel to Chapel for ceremony or directly to the waiting area. L2 Enter the Chapel, participate in ceremony and exit towards waiting area. L3 Wait during cremation: either walk through the columbarium or along scenic path. L+R Ashes are united with family of the deceased, together travel up stairs into columbarium.

Crematorium Circulation

Resort

The niches are designed to hold any sized of urn or chest, as well as a few of the deceased’s belongings. The form is derived from folded fragments of the wall that contains the niche.

Chapel

Niche Details Each niche is embedded in the walls of the columbarium so that it is always in shadow. In addition, the face of the niche contains an etching of the deceased’s name that exposes a layer of fiber optics illuminated with LEDs. When a visitor touches the niche, the name begins to glow and gradually dims throughout the week. As a result, a niche displays how recently it was visited. Collectively, they create an array of varying luminaries that constantly change.

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2. A professional dinner guest, especially in ancient Greece.

1. Biology. An organism that grows, feeds, and is sheltered on or in a different organism.

Parasite: (păr’e-sīt’) n.

If we are to understand the future of our cities, we have to understand the future of our suburbs. If current planning models are correct, we will soon see a great flux of residents moving into high density urban areas in search of an easy commute and inexpensive housing. Accommodating these exigent needs requires a process that logically follows the flow of people and resources. This project suggests a process whereby material used in suburban residential applications is transposed and reused in urban residential applications. This can be accomplished in two steps, each with the potential to occur at multiple scales. The terms “consumption, “convention,” and “commodity” characterize the prevailing housing typology in existence today. Suburban houses are often inefficient, wasteful, and too large. Typical production of one single-family house requires the consumption of an excessive amount of resources, far beyond what is necessary. To compound the problem, large-scale developers are constructing housing that has an average expected life span of twenty-five to fifty years. Recently, we have witnessed substantial foreclosures on suburban houses that were financed with sub-prime mortgages and other irresponsible lending schemes. At any rate, it is clear that the prevalent suburban housing practices cannot continue—alternatives must be developed.

Andrew McIntyre

New/remodeled space.

paraSite:

Repurposing Suburbia

Reusable mined product.

The first step involves mapping the materials used in suburbia. In this step, available materials (such as wood, metal,

Domestic mining facility (3,584 sq. ft.).

Though the suburban house is not expected to last, the materials with which it has been assembled will. After methodically dismantling and deconstructing the defunct suburban house, its materials can be put to new use. Echoing the flux of people from exurban to urban, dispensable resources from the outside will be brought inside the city. Through relocation and repurposing, a new housing typology actively replaces the old, with mindful consideration of the precious resources originally consumed.

flux

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Interior partitions moved or removed to allow for o p e n residential development.

Floor slabs removed to allow multi-floor interior/ retail/gathering space.

Roof, floor, façade removed on top two floors to create open park space. Double-skin façade protects from the sun and creates thermal flue.

Brise soleil made from 2x4 studs.

Existing façade panels moved inward sixteen ft. to create light shelf and balcony.

Existing mech level filled for park. Communal park space.

Fiberglass insulation (3,000 sq. ft.) recycled into glazing.

Tyvek housewrap (4,500 sq. ft.) repurposed. Brick/masonry (5,000 sq. ft.) reusable/recyclable as aggregate or as direct product.

Vinyl siding (4,500 sq. ft.) recycled. Plate steel or aluminum (419 sq. ft./car) recycled or reused.

Wood from roof trusses (3,000 sq. ft.) reprocessed into wood products.

Asphalt from roof shingles (3,000 sq. ft.) reprocessed into paving. Drywall/gypsum recycled.

Poured concrete (41,000 sq. ft.) reusable/recyclable as aggregate.

New residential development in extant commercial highrises is possibly problematic, but the majority of issues would be legislative or social—not pragmatic. Zoning restrictions, fire codes, and other residential requirements would be a concern but would not be preventative. The sociocultural implications of placing residences in a former office building might be more sizable. There is likely a large segment of

Various nonfinish woods recycled into post-consumer wood products.

One scenario involves rehabilitating the DTE Energy corporate offices in downtown Detroit, built in the 1970s. This building, while not likely to be abandoned soon, can be used as a typological model for similarly constructed buildings elsewhere. Office buildings such as these were constructed for large, corporate firms, which may, in the future, function without the need for so much consolidated square footage. This extra capacity might be sold, piecemeal or in whole, to private developers for residential development.

Plywood sheathing recycled into O.S.B.

The second step involves removing the harvested materials from the suburbs for reuse in new, urban housing assemblies. The design of this housing would take into account energy efficiency, the prudent use of virgin resources, and adaptation to existing site conditions. Though these materials could be used for new construction, they likely would be more useful in the refurbishment of tired or abandoned city buildings. Given the considerable volume of high-rise commercial real estate available in Detroit and elsewhere, it seems appropriate that these structures undergo refurbishment and a pragmatic shift of program. This would answer the call for a comprehensive strategic reuse plan for late 20th century (Modernist) office buildings.

Source: materials harvested from domestic mining facilities.

Suburban material farm.

etcetera) are catalogued and broken down into a catalogue of reusable parts in their basic state. Once these materials are harvested, they will be used as building blocks for new development. If done intelligently and efficiently, this process will apply concepts of scale simliar to those that guided the construction of suburban development: county, city, neighborhood, subdivision, street, house, room, assemblage, part, and material.

se residences future commercial city available zones typology tower system scale residents refurbishment pragmatic neighborhood material envelope flux materials resources housing development urban suburban building needused residential “The creation” process office house suburbia shift reuse residences future commercial city available zones typology tower system scale residents refurbishment pragmatic “The creation of an

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Wallenberg Critic: Blaine Brownell

Unit Type A

Unit Type A: Partitions made with 100% post-consumer content. [P]re-fab wood brise soliel in bedrooms. [P]re-fab wood triangulated paneling on stair and kitchen. Unit Type B: Existing façade moved inward 16 ft. to create balcony. Partitions made with 100% post-consumer content. [P]re-fab wood brise soliel in bedrooms.

The project is the creation of an efficient and sensible shift of people, materials, and resources from suburbia to an urban mode of living. It aims to satisfy various needs: the need for urban housing, the need for resources, the need to leave suburbia, the need to reuse commercial high-rises, and the need for an urban middle class.

Unit Type C: Double-skin glass façade with thermal flue in shared spaces. [P]re-fab wood brise soliel in bedrooms. Partitions made with 100% post-consumer content. Harvested 2x4 stud wall.

While it may be advantageous to densely fill the entire tower with residences (or offices), reasons exist to open the building envelope or remove parts of the floor slab to create shared zones within the tower. These zones could occupy spaces that would otherwise be untenable, creating communal areas for interaction and relaxation for the residents. A sense of community and collaboration would then be resurrected within the neighborhood—one lost with the rise of the suburb.

Unit Type B

The high-rise would be stripped down to bare essentials— structure, HVAC, envelope—or further, if necessary. Floor area within the building would then be developed, part by part, into scalable, customizable, and recyclable residences. Because the design process will be based on available square footage and resources—and therefore unique—an adaptable system of development can be easily generated. Prototypes and components serve as an effective way to manage large scales of development. An infinite range of possibilities exists. The development is limited only by the structural system of the existing building and the availability of materials.

Unit Type C

the population that would cling to certain stereotypes of domesticity and refuse to live in a steel and glass office building. It is possible that a generational, and possibly even a cultural shift would alleviate this concern, but it might be beneficial if the development retained certain elements of “home and hearth.”

d sensible shift of people,” urban suburban building need used residential large high process office house suburbia shift reuse residences future commercial city available zones typology “The creation of an efficient and sensibleshift of people, materials, and resources” neighborhood material envelope flux materials resources housing development urban suburban building need used residential large high “The creation of an efficient and

flux


Metadata will become even more valuable with the advent of omniscient surveillance. We already see the beginnings of this; consider RFID tags which have begun to work their way into myriad goods, heralded as the future of the physical network. Other inventions, still in development, promise even more ubiquitous presence, such as “dust”—nano-scale sensors that could be sprinkled literally everywhere to provide information about every interaction and event. The ease with which this information can be collected will mean that no occurrence, regardless of significance, will be neglected. Decades ago, a ten megabyte hard drive cost a consumer over $4,000. Today, a drive with a hundred times that capacity is available for practically pocket change. The rate at which we expand our ability to store data is matched only by the rate at which we find and create things to store. Kryder’s Law tells us that hard disk space doubles per unit cost every two years, providing an ever-growing repository for digital information. Google alone processes 20,000 terabytes in data queries per day, and it certainly stores and catalogues each request. It is estimated that in 2003, five million terabytes of data were collectively created and saved—the information equivalent to thirty-seven thousand times as many books as are in the

Saline Archive: Totem Entropic

Karl Schmeck

Conceptual rendering of the still-inchoate Amnesia Machine: an atmospheric construct which depicts the scale of the machine and the digital world it reflects.

A Primer on Data and Accumulation Data, no matter what the size, will always expand and be preserved through the mechanisms of capital and thermodynamics. In recent years, the value of data has risen to the level of equivocation with physical objects. Digital music or movies, computer code, and online books—these represent complete works; their previous formats were easily translated into the computational environment. The next extension of digital value is toward metadata—for example, consumer shopping habits (paid for by stores which offer discounts when you use their card), voice data (such as Cha Cha’s call search service), online surveys (with the chance to win a new iPod), etcetera. Metadata relies not on a single person or group’s intentional product, but on millions of events that can be correlated and analyzed.

accumulation

data space salt digital city physical mine metadata information future detroit years value thousand store size machine accumulation time terabytes millions manifest interaction environment drive creation world voidvaluable today thermodynamics technological surface structure scale data space salt digital city physical mine metadata information future detroit years value thousand store size machine accumulation


The Archive . . . . Thousands upon thousands of rooms, millions of storage cells, all within the vast caverns of the Detroit Salt Mine . . . .

It was structured by an ancient, self-breeding genetic algorithm pushing two teraseconds in age. Far outpacing our ability to understand its methods, the Archive had become a native force . . .

Did you see Google-Con bought another eight megatons? I’d hate to manage the frag charts on that account. You surfacing now?

Nah . . . I’m reassigned in a couple megasecs. Eight m-tons, eh?!

Graphic narrative: demonstration of the centrality and physicality of data in the future, permeating life in almost every way.

I worked within it—hundreds or thousands of feet underground—excavating, replacing, restructuring. It was our factory, our lives, our memory.

Library of Congress. In 2005, 100 million terabytes of digital storage space was created—enough to save five hundred thousand years of DVD-quality video. Though it might seem that at some point there should be a plateau of digital space created, no such climax can exist due to the feedback loop of data size and entropy. The second law of thermodynamics tells us that there will always be a tendency for things to “smooth out;” that is, a pile of stones will scatter, light from a bulb will diffuse, dust will distribute evenly on a surface, etcetera. There is a similar phenomenon that occurs on the scale of metadata; as technology evolves and creates more digital space, the things that are stored accumulate and grow larger to fill that space. A seven hundred megabyte movie file would be inconceivable twenty years ago, but today it is practically commonplace—almost insignificant. That file size, though, was driven by the capacity to easily store it, just as new, affordable drives twice the size of last year’s model will drive the creation of even larger files (HD movies, for instance).

Four stages of progression: the growth of the Detroit Salt Mine.

The Modern City, the Void, and Laplace’s Demon As Jerry Herron posits, Detroit is the ideal modern city; it is a light-speed impulse, a great wave of progress expanding out in all directions, with the Future at its precipice and a wasted Present in passing. The city is constantly thinning as the vanguard inflates, accelerating the creation of void space. If the city’s past has shown us anything, it is that the core will continue to crumble, bit by bit, creating space where urbanity demands density. The same force of entropy acts on the city itself; pulling down the piles of brick that no longer have the energy to hold themselves upright. The empty space of Detroit will indeed be filled, but by the remnants of its discarded history.

. . . storing every angle, every sec . . . .

The data was measured by the weight of salt we had to excavate to store it—far more stable currency given Moore’s Law and thermodynamics.

Adios, mac.

Ian! How’s life on the frontier? I just got in—sit down!

The surface . . . was beautiful . . . .

I wanted to walk through the flickering over-surface.

I habitually checked by S.N. requests, but ignored them. I had been down more than a gig, and needed to leave.

You’re wasting your time—I’m not back on anytime soon—you might as well find something else to bother.

I swatted away the last remaining adbots and alerts.

. . . it was going to rain—any second.

Finally—alone with the Archive’s superstructure.

I stood and watched as The Machine cycled through a few million patterns, steadily breathing in data and exhaling salt.

Information expressed as a rich texture of color, accumulated over time.

Twelve hundred feet below, a space gnaws at the surface. The Detroit salt mine, mirroring the fleeting mass above, helps fuel the expansion of the periphery through the extraction of salt. Salt has historically functioned as both a currency and a preservative. As a vital life nutrient, its value in economics was established so early that language itself felt its influence (the words “salary” and “soldier” are both hypothesized to have come from the word for “salt”). It can be used to cure and store food for months at a time without refrigeration, allowing pioneers of every time and place to store the reliable food supply necessary to reach new territories. Furthermore, the mines from which salt and other minerals are commonly extracted have long been used to preserve and safeguard things of value. The Iron Mountain vault in Boyers, Pennsylvania safely stores millions of original negatives and prints safely at near-freezing temperatures—a static sarcophagus safe from environmental harm, corrosion, war, fire, or any other destruction. The Detroit salt mine, while currently in disuse, still holds vast reserves of this valuable ions manifest interaction environment drive creation world void valuable today thermodynamics technological surface structure scale data space salt digital city physical mine metadata information future detroit years value thousandstore size “As the accumulation of digital data” terabytes millions manifest interaction environment drive creation world void valuable today thermodynamics technological surface structure scale dataaccumulation mineral, as well as a resource even more coveted: space.


This machine creates a physical environment that is as real as the data giving form to the abstractions that will come to dictate the world. Excavating salt, maintaining the machine, storing new data centers—these jobs will require a workforce whose labors will support this system. Instead of silent, distributed data omniscience, the presence will be as complete as what it represents. For those not directly involved, the vacant city will not be left dead and desolate, but instead will be reincarnated as the inverse of its literal underworld: an organic, expanding monument to the accumulation of data. Filling the spaces within the city and outward toward the periphery, the Amnesia Machine will be a beautiful physical manifestation of an invisible force.

Wallenberg Critic: Steven Mankouche

Machine as living organism: above-ground manifestation of the storage accumulating far beneath the surface.

Section after Étienne-Louis Boullée: the sheer size and quantity of information, from the surface to the Detroit Salt Mine, 1200 ft. below.

A Future Postulated Architecture is a reality made manifest. Utilizing the Detroit Salt Mine, this future sees the creation of a living and livable archive—a memory machine that thrives on the extraction of salt from the mine to make the space for data to indefinitely proliferate and stockpile. It is a continual excavation, removing life-essential salt and replacing it with data, safe from the damage of time. Simultaneously, this accumulation, this saline respiration, will be made manifest though a superterranean, mutating structure—a flickering, shamanistic totem which fills the voids of the city with the vestiges of data and acts as a constant registration of the mine’s activities. If the future is to live within structures of data, then it is architecture that should make manifest those structures—their immensity and their affect.

Abstraction of the data storage spaces created within the earth, and the infrastructures which would replace the earth itself.

We are in the midst of a digital synthesis, where the distinctions between physical and computational are evaporating—a technological acceleration greater than at any other point in history. As the accumulation of digital data begins to structure and mediate our every interaction, we shall increasingly live within an invisible, responsive environment, built upon millions of accumulated, antecedent events. It will be the statistical equivalent of Borges’ Map of the Empire—a total, omniscient atlas of everything. The question of causal determinism will dissolve amidst the manifestation of Laplace’s demon as a technological construct—that is, the density of information and the extent to which we’re dependent on it will result in a totalized world. Every interaction, event, and desire will be prescripted or predicted by intelligent systems with a massive, growing resource of metadata. Unlike the transience of memory or the selective destructions of archeological histories, digital data can be retained and proliferated with minimal aberration almost indefinitely and certainly in silence.

ital city physical mine metadata information future detroit years value “As the accumulation of digital data begins to structure and mediate our every interaction,” “As the accumulation of digital data begins to structure andmediate our every interaction, we shall increasingly live within an invisible, responsive environment,” “As the accumulation of digital data begins to structure and mediate our every interaction, we

accumulation


Valdrada’s inhabitants know that each of their actions is, at once, that action and its mirror-image, which possesses the special dignity of images, and this awareness prevents them from succumbing for a single moment to chance and forgetfulness. Even when lovers twist their naked bodies, skin against skin, seeking the position that will give one the most pleasure in the other, even when murderers plunge the knife into the black veins of the neck and more clotted blood pours out the more they press the blade that slips between the tendons, it is not so much their copulating or murdering that matters as the copulating or murdering of the images, limpid and cold in the mirror. At times the mirror increases a thing’s value, at times denies it. Not everything that seems valuable above the mirror maintains its force when mirrored. The twin cities are not equal, because nothing that exists or happens in Valdrada is symmetrical: every face and gesture is answered, from the mirror, by a face and gesture inverted, point by point. The two Valdradas live for each other, their eyes interlocked, but there is no love between them.” —Italo Calvino In Calvino’s Valdrada the inhabitants are inextricably linked with their images. Everything that happens in the city above the water happens in its reflection as well. Something dynamic happens between these two cities.

Information Overload: Rebalancing the Senses Hattie Stroud

Far right: Collage exploration into the mirroring which takes place in Calvino’s story about Valdrada. Combined from two cultures: methods of exchanging information; crowds at events; spaces of contemplation.

“The ancients built Valdrada on the shores of a lake, with houses all verandas one above the other, and high streets whose railed parapets look out over the water. Thus the traveler, arriving, sees two cities: one erect above the lake, and the other reflected, upside down. Nothing exists or happens in the one Valdrada that the other does not repeat, because the city was so constructed that its every point would be reflected in its mirror, and the Valdrada down in the water contains not only all the flutings and juttings of the façades that rise above the lake, but also the rooms’ interiors with ceilings and floors, the perspectives of the halls, the mirrors of the wardrobes.

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quietude


What happens though, when constant confrontation with the unfamiliar becomes the familiar? In Barcelona the site is already packed with sensory stimulation and a mix of foreign cultures. The local Catalans, a large immigrant population, and tourists frequent the same district. As time goes on, the area is likely to experience an influx of immigrants as Catalans move out of the crowded heart of the city. Additionally, technology has increased our ability to access information and network socially. By the year 2058 it is likely that these digital processes, currently relegated to an external device such as a computer or cell phone, will become internal. They will become extensions of our minds such that we are constantly able to summon external information with a mere thought; every sight will be overlayed with extra signals. As

To access the site, most people would come from bustling Las Ramblas, through the mingling smells and sights of the Mercat St. Joseph, and onto the plaza. The site strategy allows the plaza to remain an active, open space where things happen and people move through. The building being, in a sense, about sensory reduction, defers to the plaza, moving to the side, and mostly underground. The roof of the building becomes a secondary plaza—one that moves at a much slower pace, as it is not tied to main circulation systems. Entrances and exits to the sensorium are designed to make the transition from the outside world a gradual one. Sloping planes and columnar forms mediate the spaces. The pedestrian would enter the building on the ground floor into a room paved with the same tiles as the plaza. As the person moves deeper into the space, these tiles begin to shift in height, causing a heightened awareness of them. The person then passes through a steam room that cleanses the sensory experience of the outside. Then, they proceed through a sequence of rooms in the building that alternately highlight a specific sense. There is a room that mimics a starry night—something which is always present in Barcelona but never seen because of the city light. There is a room where the smells waft in from another room where people eat. There is a room where the sound of people walking on the plaza above reverberates through the ceiling. Eventually the person emerges from these spaces and begins to walk a long slope up to the plaza. While the transitions from the plaza to the interior of the building are gradual, the transitions between spaces in the building are more about contrast. Contrast heightens the awareness of the sensorial experience particular to any one space. The person walking from the visual starkness of the sunken courtyard space into the softer, more tactile

Section Perspective

This project creates a point of contrast to an overloaded world. The series of spaces is a sensory rehabilitation center, which attunes the mind to some of Barcelona’s more subtle sensory experiences. By creating this point of contrast, it becomes possible again for people to construct an inbetween space where they can begin to consider reality again.

Section A: shows the interaction of different sensory spaces.

Collage box investigating the in-between space of the traveler by contrasting the familiar (top) and the unfamiliar (bottom). The viewer can look into the closed box through a hole on the side.

The collaged box applies the concept of the in-between space to the idea of travel. Traveling involves a dichotomy of experiences. We carry with us the experience of our familiar daily lives and are confronted with the unfamiliar experience of the place to which we have traveled. In order to mediate the dissonance between these two realities, we construct a third, virtual reality. When we travel we actually travel inbetween. We can never fully let go of where we have come from, so we create in our minds a space where the familiar and unfamiliar can coexist.

a result, we must increasingly address the unfamiliar on a second by second basis. With this sort of overload, how are we to experience the physical world? How can we construct an in-between space of contemplation and difference when there is no point of contrast to a world of constant, unrelenting contrasts?

ormation construct awareness walking transitions time overload smells skin sensorial sense reflected experience space plaza images room valdrada site sensory mirror contrast building people world will unfamiliar two travel spacescity barcelona water order lake information construct awareness “The person walking” “The person walking from the visual starkness of the sunken courtyard space” “The person walking from the visual

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

1 Tiled Transition 2 Steam Room 3 Starry Night Space 4 Tasting Space 5 Linear Transition 6 Sunken Courtyard 7 Eroded Space Tiled Transition 8 Sand Room Steam Room 9 StreetSpace Sound Space Starry Night 10 Tide Pool Space Tasting Space 11 Aroma Room Linear Transition 12 Tiled Transition Sunken Courtyard 13 The Void Eroded Space 14 Room Raised Roof Plane Sand Street Sound Space 15 Pool Mechanical Space Tide Space 16 Kitchen Aroma Room 17 Transition Restrooms Tiled The Void Raised Roof Plane

15 16 17

Mechanical Space Kitchen Restrooms

quietude


A space where the overcrowded experience of the market meets the transitional entrance.

A space where one can see the starry night that always exists in Barcelona but is never seen.

A space where one wades through sand and the room becomes less of a room.

A space where one feels the street tiles begin to shift in height beneath one’s feet.

A space where one distinctly feels the contrast between sky and ground.

A space where one hears the footsteps and voices reverberating from the plaza above.

A space where the floor is eroded as if by water and one feels as if one is sinking into the ground.

A space where one remembers the street and begins the slow ascent to the plaza.

This project is the work of a traveler. However, the site was not visited in person before, during, or after the project. My understanding of Barcelona and the area around Mercat St. Joseph was constructed entirely from maps, stories, and images of the area. Flickr and Google Images allowed me to view thousands of images from both locals and visitors, several of which became the source material for my drawings. It is, admittedly, strange to have constructed a project about the full sensorial experience of a place while I myself have only experienced it in still images. I think, to a certain extent, this strained interaction with the site contributed to the nature of the project. The project became about the sensory experience in order to imagine myself there. It had to grasp at something fundamental to human experience in order to be relevant to a place of which I have no personal knowledge. Ultimately, this project was about constructing an in-between space for myself—a place where I could engage the site through what I’ve created.

A space where steam erases the memory of outer spaces and cleanses the senses.

experience of the sand room is more aware of their senses as a result of the contrast.

Wallenberg Critic: Sophia Psarra

nken courtyard space into the far softer, more tactile experience of the sand room” “The person walking from the visual starkness of the sunken courtyard space into the far softer, more tactile experience of the sand room is moreaware of their senses as a result of the contrast.” “The person walking from the visual starkness of the sunken courtyard space into the far softer, more tactile experience of the sand room is more aware of

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tdpp There it was, without warning at the bottom of an email. “That’s a new one,” I thought, having no idea what it meant... Thumbs down page page. There it was again—an inside joke born through the collective design process. Like a secret knock or handshake, hiding in plain view... TDPP!

Christian Unverzagt is the principal of M1/dtw, an award winning multidisciplinary studio based in Detroit. He has been the Dimensions faculty advisor since volume 17.

A call to arms, a salutation, a rally cry. At a time when we are becoming increasingly captivated by the immediacy of communication in the form of updates, texts, and “tweets,” I have become increasingly suspect that the “product” of Dimensions is not a book, but rather a collective act of generosity that is anything but immediate, mundane, or misspelled. And let’s be clear: this brief, last minute text cannot do justice to the time and effort its editors devoted to the other pages. (thumbs down last page?) This is okay, I think, given that this weighty thing in you hold in your hands handsomely demonstrates all of their caring and commitment. They’ve made it look easy, which we all know means it was anything but. As a closing reflection, let me propose one final revision: Cover page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page page thumbs up!


work think project we process

darkness cemetery below architectural perception people mirage

plaza piers future debris corner

wandering

utterances

unseen symbols solid

health frosted constructed concep-

edge created body archi-

overlying location force dusty dry

introductory form fabri-

minimalist life inherent illumi-

applied world tracing technology

stitched sewn scale roots revolution

experience types techniques

appropriate teaching electronics

outside natural interface inside hucity available zones typol-

environment drive creation construct awareness

Dimensions 22  

urban mode of living.” available zones typology tower system scale residents refurbishment pragmatic neighborhood “The creation of an effici...

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