Page 98


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-

Julie Janiski


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.

Dimensions 26  
Dimensions 26