Page 1

Tristan Thom

Accumulated Work 2008-2011

I Aviary p 7-8

Cirrostratus p 11-12

Table of Contents I. Built Form II. Diagram III. Image IV. Text

Jamestown p 15-16

Mies en Scene, A Mobile Media Lab for Regent Park p 19-26

p 29-32

Niagara p 35-36

Toronto Waterfront School p 39-42




Considerable Cachet p 47-48


Cerulean Tate


p 89-90

p 69-70

David p 73-75

Gentrification p 51-52

The Meaningful and Coherent Image

p 83-86

Redline p 55-56

Taxonomy of a Church p 59-60


p 77-78

Where Do We Go From Here? p 63-65


I Built Form

Aviary Cirrostratus

Slender, enclosed passageways guide the weekender; the birds come and go as they please.

Jamestown Mies en Scene, A Mobile Media Lab for Regent Park Niagara

Toronto Waterfront School


Aviary Cirrostratus The cloud-as-icon frames its content; turn, and it dematerializes once more.

Jamestown Mies en Scene, A Mobile Media Lab for Regent Park Niagara

Toronto Waterfront School



Aviary Cirrostratus

Jamestown The staples of public life (triumphal arch not excepted) are considered as a set of follies to be selected from at whim.

Mies en Scene, A Mobile Media Lab for Regent Park Niagara

Toronto Waterfront School


Garden Kitchen

Media Lab Cafe



Retail Gallery

Information Technology

Book Repository

Non-Denominational Worship




Non-Denominational Worship



Aviary Cirrostratus

Jamestown Mies en Scene, A Mobile Media Lab for Regent Park Niagara

A paean to the Man through successive turns in collage, drawing, photograph and model.

Toronto Waterfront School



This is Miesian Space. It is well-ordered and limitless. In it I am able to comprehend my place in the cosmic order of things. What clarity! How transcendent I feel!

This is un-Miesian Space. It is labyrinthine and beholden to many unsavoury things. In it I feel not of myself. What terrible misanthropy it induces! A shame. 21










Aviary Cirrostratus

Jamestown Mies en Scene, A Mobile Media Lab for Regent Park Niagara

A youth media organization requested a very public, very portable spectacle; they shan’t be deprived.

Toronto Waterfront School






Speaker + Solar Panels


Projection Surface

Regent Park History



Magazine Display

x6 ChairCube

x6 ChairCube + Light THE COOL COOL RAIN

AND SOUND! MegaBox = Storage




Aviary Cirrostratus

Jamestown Mies en Scene, A Mobile Media Lab for Regent Park Niagara A slender incision, sure to erode over time, beckons the visitor to the base of the falls

Toronto Waterfront School



Aviary Cirrostratus

Jamestown Mies en Scene, A Mobile Media Lab for Regent Park Niagara

Toronto Waterfront School A palazzo for the school-age set.





II Diagram

Considerable Cachet Industry plus Advanced Capitalism equals Disuse to the power of Cachet all over Condominium.


Redline Taxonomy of a Church, Trailings Where Do We Go From Here?














Considerable Cachet

Gentrification It’s just what we do.

Redline Taxonomy of a Church, Trailings Where Do We Go From Here?



Considerable Cachet


Redline Taxonomy of a Church, Trailings A dot matrix display for the Twittering masses.

Where Do We Go From Here?



Considerable Cachet


Redline Taxonomy of a ChurchTrailings Just a reminder.

Where Do We Go From Here?


















Considerable Cachet


Redline Taxonomy of a Church, Trailings Where Do We Go From Here? The constellation of Mies.


architecture of those who understand

Karl Friedrich Schinkel

Arthur Schopenhauer


D TI M EY DAYS Education must lead from irresponsible opinion to responsible insight. It must lead us from chance and arbitrariness to the clear lawfulness of a spiritual order

er hau


We must come to understand the carrying and driving forces of our time So we emphasize the organic principle of order that makes the parts meaningful and measurable while determining their relationship to the whole

The godforsaken confusion of our time


It confronts us with a refusal to construct an efficient representation of pre-existing cultural values

I felt that the disorder of things, if limited and somehow honest, might best correspond to our state of mind. But I detested the arbitrary disorder that is an indifference to order, a kind of moral obtusenesss, complacent well-being, forgetfulness. To what, then, could I have aspired in my craft? Certainly to small things, having seen that the possibility of great ones was historically precluded.

Intellect and nature should conserve each other’s grandeur and freedom A generous expanse of nature and landscaped terrain interspersed with perfect buildings


THE FUT UR Truth as congruence of thought and thing

Architecture is not just playing with forms

The building of civilization is not simple

If we can account for Mies’s work not as a failed proposal to install a utopian space against all practical economic and social obstacles, but rather as the actual production of the concept of such a space, then we will will have a means of understanding an architecture...that seeks to prepare its subjects to inhabit the next , more demandning stage in the development of modernity, training them to develop new modes of perception that will be need to functionally inhabit theur future situation.


III Image

Cerulean Tate David














IV Text

The Meaningful and Coherent Image


The impetus for this discussion is Marc-Antoine Laugier’s frontispiece for his ‘Essai sur L’Architecture.’ In it, an edenic female figure (Architecture, personified) gestures towards a thicket of trees, the limbs and stocks of which have begun their metamorphoses into beams, lintels and columns. Through this literal transfiguration, the perceived genesis of all built form (nature) is revealed to the reader. One immediately comprehends the dual implications of this gesture: firstly, that the sum total of that which exists in built form has an origin and is therefore able to be situated within a grander narrative and secondly, that the governing principles of our artificial surroundings are rooted in the natural and by extension, the divine. The potency of this image however, is derived not from the thing represented but rather from the tacit recognition of the constellation of images and symbols that ultimately superseded this imagined genesis. Laugier is far less interested in the latent structural and formal logic of the tree than he is in invoking the express compositional and aesthetic cues that (he contends) were beget from this singular moment (“take note of this…never has a principle been more fertile in its effect”) . The image of the tree is thus meaningful only insofar as one is able to call up the sum total of things that followed its logic. His central contention, paraphrased, would read: “The tectonic and formal arrangement of the natural world is expressly evident in the tectonic and formal arrangements of the Ancients; though far more diffuse, though unimaginably and egregiously perverted, these sets of logic, these first principles are still manifestly present in the tectonic and formal arrangements of our day. And if they are not, they ought to be, because Nature is God, God is Truth, Truth is Beauty.” And yet despite this essentialist bent, Laugier necessarily trades in symbols to make his argument; he relies on tenuous and fraught connections within a heterogeneous network to make the case for transcendent oneness. The structure of his arguments acknowledges and depends upon the associative nature of human meaning making. For the purposes of this exercise, the actual contentions of Laugier (or any other individual for that matter) are of no importance. It is, rather, the means by which he demonstrates his contentions that are salient. Laugier speaks to the Canon of

Architecture, inviting his reader/viewer to psychically construct a narrative from the germ of a symbol. This sequence is drawn together by a purported like origin, but it is left to the reader/viewer to extract meaning from the set of relational images called up and to impose chronological, aesthetic and intellectual order, ex post facto. In other words, the potency of Laugier’s statement comes less from his revelation of a singular genesis and more from the infinite set of comparisons that this revelation engenders. To put it plainly, looking at the frontispiece may for me call up the Pantheon and the Farnsworth House while for another it may call up the Acropolis and Versailles. The value therefore lies not in the identification of a singular truth but rather in the elaboration and consideration of the series of images and objects that physically as well as psychically populate the world. But what becomes of our ability to inflect upon and extract meaning from these series of images when said series becomes limitless, simultaneous and instantly visualized? In this case, the psychic connections that formerly drew together disparate objects and ideas are strained to the point of rupture. Abetted by ubiquitous information and visualization devices, networks et al, things become things-in-themselves with only the most tenuous (and often superficial) of bonds to things-outside-themselves. I envision a place, deprived of what we now consider to be material comforts. But this place is not depraved. It is not post-apocalyptic, nor has it been stripped to bare by a series of natural or human cataclysms. Rather, in its material austerity, it represents a liberation of sorts. Not liberation in the humanist sense of the term; liberation in the sense of being unburdened of meaningful interaction with the world around you. Liberation in the sense of becoming a wholly autonomous body – physically as well as psychically. Untethered from place and space, information omnipresent, flows freely. Liberated from the analogue or digital hardware used formerly to retrieve and display this informa tion, our places of conduct are of no import, our systems of exchange rendered wholly irrelevant. Since, for example, I can view the totality of any thing in an instant, in any instant, my surroundings need not bear traces of particular lineages, need not signify anything, need not contain embedded symbols. My surroundings, in other words, can become a neutral backdrop for the neutral presentation of accumulated knowledge and traditions. A world stripped of its symbols, of its ability to produce

meaning. A world where meaning is only consumed, pored over, flicked through in an instant with no repercussions. An endless stream of images, symbols, letters, notions, constructs; wholly disembodied and wholly incapable of effecting newness. But what of the nature of humankind? Do humans not, even in the most depraved and intractable of situations still imprint on the world around them? Make themselves known and felt in the lives of those around them? Generally, yes. Writing in Existence, Space & Architecture, Christian Norberg-Schulz puts forth the following: “I have tried to demonstrate that man’s existence is dependent upon the meaningful and coherent environmental image. I have also shown that such an image presupposes the presence of certain concrete environmental (architectural) structures, refusing to accept that these principles lose their significance because of television and rapid means of communication. Architectural space may of course contain mobile elements…but it cannot as a totality become mobile. Its general speed of change has to be so slow as to allow for history. When history is not related to a stable system of places it becomes meaningless.” So how to conceive of a world evacuated of meaning? When all has become mobile, when history has become disallowed, what might this place be? A story: Anna, affecting the air of Architecture personified sits isolated and sequestered from the constellation of images before her. Dodecahedrons lend each of their twelve faces to the Canon of Western Art, but she is blithe and unmoved by that which appears before her. Only the presence of a constellation is legible – the ambient condition of things, but not the things themselves. The images are not autonomous, and though they do relate to one another, they do so principally by proximity. They are just images flat, superficial, without agency beyond themselves. It could almost be gestalt if the assortment of images weren’t so utterly untethered to one another; if even the slightest biographical feature were to be permitted. But this is not the case. The images are 85

arbitrarily hewn together to form an impression; but it is an impression of nothing in particular– an impression for the sake of an impression. No one thing begets the next; the texture of one is discrete from that of the other. From within her hermetic chamber, Anna gesticulates, but unlike Architecture whose gesture conjured a genesis, Anna’s outreach is faint, lacking agency. The whole of the Western Canon appears before her, but it is devoid of associative relationships, temporal, aesthetic or otherwise. What she sees is merely an overlay of neutral-acting symbols that once were potent and fecund. The images presented to Anna were curated by an algorithm; a series of valuations beyond hers or anyone else’s comprehension; a series of valuations that defy qualitative interrogation. Perhaps Venus and Marilyn are placed next to one another because of their anatomical similarities; perhaps because of their coloration; perhaps because of their shared medium. Or perhaps the algorithm comprehends the nuanced and particular set of social relations that exalted both Venus and Marilyn to positions of eminence across disparate historical moments. Perhaps the algorithm even comprehends the socio-sexual significance of Marilyn (sex and death) next to Venus (love and (re)birth). Perhaps the algorithm accounts for all of these as well as infinite other qualitative and analytic concerns. Or perhaps it accounts for nothing at all. But Anna comprehends none of this. She sees only faint impressions pass before her in meaningless agglomeration. Agglutinations of no fixed quality or signification – atemporal and aspatial. The sum total of progress that Architecture, with her gesture fortells, is, for Anna, a fait accompli – closed and finite, incapable of being inflected upon. A thought: A complete absence of images is what the iconoclast desires. A complete saturation of images is the goal of the iconophile. In the case of the former, unmitigated access to truth is the ultimate goal. In the case of the latter, access is unmitigated, but nothing reveals itself; nothing is brought forth. After all is said and done, everything liberated becomes mostly nothing at all.



Tristan Thom #2 - 666 Yonge Street Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2A6

416 993 4102 Profile I am a Master of Architecture student currently at the close of my third year of study, with one semester of thesis work remaining. I consider myself to be possessed of a discerning eye and a probing mind, tending towards the synthetic rather than the analytic in my conception of things. I thrive working in collaboration with others and find myself able to comfortably navigate the politics of teamwork. My work ethic is strong and I am exacting in the standards of work to which I hold myself. Key Skills • • • • •

Adept at oral and written communication Fastidious and comprehensive Able to deftly manage multiple and/or disparate tasks Proficient with a host of software including Adobe CS, AutoCAD, Rhino, Sketchup Skilled model-maker and draftsperson




Master of Architecture University of Toronto


Bachelor of Arts, Art History University of British Columbia

Employment History September 2010-Present

Research Assistant Adrian Blackwell, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto Toronto, Ontario Website design (, construction and installation of Lóng Sùshè (Dormitory) for exhibition “Residency in RMB City”, general research and project archiving

April-August 2010

Intern Architect Kasian Architecture Toronto, Ontario Schematic design for proposed redevelopment of 300 Bloor Street, Toronto, schematic design for proposed redevelopment of 15 St. Mary Street, Toronto, design development for Nova Centre, Halifax,

September 2009-April 2010

Exhibition Assistant WORKshop Toronto, Ontario Provision of visitor information, drafting of literature relating to exhibitions, monitoring exhibition space, assorted administrative and clerical work, basic maintenance of gallery space

May-August 2007, 2008

Intern IBI/HB Architects Vancouver, British Columbia

Research and development, editing proposals, preparation of presentation materials, photographing firm projects, assisting architects on-site, coordination of internal relocation/renovation References Available Upon Request



Accumulated Work, 2008-2011