Center for the Unbuilt Environment Designer:
In the interest of safeguarding an architec-
the territory that we are visiting.
tural commitment to the built environment,
The Center therefore questions our willing-
the Center for the Unbuilt Environment
ness to receive information as the only
(CUbE) is leading an ongoing project to
means of understanding and knowing, and
expand its operations into new territories.
asserts that we are losing our capacity for an
One of the Center’s spokespeople, David Gis-
imaginational construction of knowledge.
sen, has recently promoted and defended its
We should be just as willing, they contend,
expansion with the argument that “…we have
to imagine the possibilities and perhaps
the power to create the territory of our own
continue to not really know in a factual way.
existence through the things (and territories)
The character of the visitor and their as-yet-
we conceptualize,” and CUbE has just the
unknowing viewpoint has become deeply
right capacity for that conceptualization.
important to the Center as they are poten-
tially the architectural actor most poised to In its mission statement, the Center dedicates
recognize an imaginational unbuilt.
Anca Trandafirescu itself to the concept of an imaginational un-
built in terms of the unknown, the unknow-
As part of its ongoing operational expansion
able, and the yet to be known. However, citing
to promote the imaginational, CUbE put out
the problem of a world surrounded by the
a request for proposals late in the Fall of 2011
physically-present real and the data-augment-
for a project they dubbed The Island Series.
ed hyper-real, CUbE increasingly questions
With the intent that this request would
our capacities for an imaginational anything.
be the first of many, the Center selected a
For example, the contemporary visitor to
single site—an uninhabited island—as the
any place seems to be ever more amenable
location of its newest field office and the site
to—if not dependent on—the type of data
for the first design investigation in the series.
and information that we are inundated with
Building on its curiosity for visiting and the
in order to know and understand the thing or
role of the visitor, CUbE asked designers to
Jamming Room CUbE asked designers to submit proposals for architectural devices that both engender and reflect the tendencies of imaginational visitation within and about the territory of its newest field office.