WENTWORTH ARCHITECTURE REVIEW
Wentworth Architecture review
Wentworth Architecture review is an independent, student-run publication that presents the rich culture of Wentworth design students.
v 3v 4
This book was set in Din and Helvetica Neue. It was printed and bound on Rolland Paper at DS Graphics in Lowell, MA.
Wentworth Architecture review: Rima Abousleiman Dan Cournoyer Panharith Ean Olivia Hegner
Jackie Mignone Vien Nguyen Francesco Stumpo
Wentworth Architecture review Wentworth Architecture review would like to acknowledge the contributions of: Boston Society of Architects, Wentworth Admissions Office, Wentworth Architecture Department, Wentworth Alumni Association, Wentworth Campus Life and Wentworth Student Government.
Wentworth Architecture review would not be possible without the help of: Carissa Durfee, John Ellis, Mary Fichtner, Jonathan Foote, Michael MacPhail, Marc Neveu, Robert Trumbour, and DS Graphics. All rights revert back to original artists or writers. The pieces contained herein were created to fulfill either assigned or personal projects and are intended for display purposes only. Elements or portions of featured pieces may contain borrowed materials. It is not the intention of WAr to infringe upon the rights of the original artists or the sources of the materialâ€™s origin.
firstname.lastname@example.org Wentworth Architecture review [WAr]
Architecture Department 550 Parker Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5998
Letter from the Editors
Wentworth Architecture review is an independent, student-run publication whose goal is to circulate the rich culture of Wentworth’s design students within the Institute and the architectural community. When this publication was created in 2010, the hope was that faculty, students, and alumni would have the opportunity to engage in a dialogue around the work. WAr has been passed down from year to year, leaving the next class with a legacy to uphold. It has become an established publication within the Wentworth community and is rapidly gaining recognition amongst Boston’s network of design professionals. With the number of submissions increasing, this volume has published 41 students, 7 professors, 6 guests, and 2 collaborative studios. This annual publication takes 10 months to produce from the time submissions are compiled until the journal is printed. WAr extends the invitation to all grade levels to submit their work that best illustrates the topic at hand. With a release party each January, the journal gains more visibility within the Wentworth and Boston community as it celebrates the success of those being published. This volume is representative of ‘Translation’ along with the nature of its organization as it is also reflective of this idea. The team approached the organization of the journal by connecting their understanding of ‘Translation’ with their interpretations of the submitted work. By defining each project with a single word, they were able to define various topics within translation and begin to build a system for organizing the content. WAr is not a requirement in obtaining a degree in architecture at Wentworth, nor is it a rigidly defined course. WAr is a movement led by students who have an extreme desire to work hard and create beautiful things both visually and conceptually. It is the place where students find solace because this is the environment where they truly hold full creative control. The biggest attribute to success is the passion that accompanies everyone’s determination.
The possibilities are endless and the opportunities are infinite. Enjoy, The WAr Team
“Architecture and war are not incompatible. Architecture is war. War is architecture. I am at war with my time, with history, with all authority That resides in fixed and frightened forms. I am one of millions who do not fit in, who have no home, no family, No doctrine, no firm place to call my own, no known beginning or end, No ‘sacred and primordial site.’ I declare war on all icons and finalities, on all histories That would chain me with my own falseness, my own pitiful fears. I know only moments, and lifetimes that are as moments, And forms that appear with infinite strength, then ‘melt into air.’ I am an architect, a constructor of worlds, A sensualist who worships the flesh, the melody, A silhouette against the darkening sky. I cannot know your name. Nor can you know mine. Tomorrow, we begin together the construction of a city.” -Lebbeus Woods
A Narrative of Contents I am bereft of expression and confined to these four corners, where my rigid boundaries compel me to question
what is space? Here in time I measure 8.5 in x 11 in, but my capabilities are infinite. I can be cut and folded, bled from seam to seam and I invite you to ponder
when will I break? Your marks and smudges will manipulate my identity and with your words, I know my thoughts will change as I become a component of a larger picture I am an object that now inhabits this place. In your hands I have become a vehicle with a destination that only you can see
how will you know? If I am here for you, or simply, youâ€™re here to come with me. Can you see my light shimmer as these facets reflect a beauty, a knowledge,
why do you react? You will witness a journey across a distance unknown, to a place where only I can go with a language I speak and you will soon come to learn; it's between you and I but
where is the dialogue?
I am bereft of expression and confined to these four corners, where my rigid boundaries compel
me to question what is space? Here in time I measure 8.5 in x 11 in, but my capabilities are
Our current digital age has considerably affected the ways in which we operate as humans. Information technologies have increased the speed of our cities through the ways we access, share, and communicate data. The use of mobile technology, specifically the smart phone, has been a key component in the progression into this digital age. These technologies have become situated within our daily lives, causing a shift in the way we interact with space and one another. A future architecture that is sensitive to this shift could create an integrated relationship between our technology and our space. This architecture would have the capability to recognize and respond to our rapidly changing digital culture. The real-time change of spatial qualities directed by peopleâ‰ will create a new experience within this space. Through a playful construct, these responsive environments are meant to redefine our sense of place, both spatially and socially. They have the ability to enhance the atmosphere of a space, creating a more dynamic public place within our cities.
< ^ Ryan Kahen | Encode_Engage
The On-Site Architect:
Millimetric translations in construction Jonathan Foote, Ph.D. Graduate Program Director
“...when Michelangelo wanted to extract Minerva from the head of Jupiter, he needed the hand of Vulcan (1).” - Giorgio Vasari In the prologue of The Art of Building in Ten Books, first printed in 1480, Leon Battista Alberti famously stated:
Before I go any farther, however, I should explain exactly whom I mean by an architect; for it is no carpenter that I would have you compare to the greatest exponents of other disciplines: the carpenter’s hands are but an instrument to the architect (2).
This passage has been recently cited by theorists as the earliest indication of the current, deeply entrenched boundaries between mental, design activity and the activity of construction. Mario Carpo, in several current texts, has coined this the “Albertian paradigm”, which is the “ideal separation that Alberti first theoretically advocated between the intellectual act of design and the material act of building (3)”. Citing this, he concludes that for Alberti, “the design of the building is the original, and the building is its copy (4)”. Carpo advocates that new advances in algorithmic modeling and fabrication have overturned this centuries-old model of practice, leading to a new kind of pre-Renaissance ‘master-builder (5)’. However, for a variety of reasons, this is an oversimplified view of both the problem and the cause. To begin, although the hands of the carpenter were an instrument to the architect, they were not instruments in the same sense as we understand them today - as transparent tools of know-how. Alberti obviously held a deep concern for knowledge of the building site, materials, and techniques, proven already in the fact that two out of the first three books were dedicated to extensive discussions of materials and building techniques, many of which dictate first-hand knowledge. Surviving letters from his projects at Rimini and Manuta document his extensive interest in on-site developments and material adjustments during construction. Furthermore, Alberti’s identification of separate roles in edification does not preclude the formal separation of building and mental activity, nor does it lead to the current, widespread assumption that a building design may be totally prescribed before construction begins. For Alberti, the carpenter’s hands were a rhetorical space where the architect negotiated edification through a constant dialectic between the building of the design and the designing of the building. While Carpo’s desire for examining the relation between ‘design’ and ‘build’ is admirable, the total reliance on digital fabrication required by algorithmic design reinforces these barriers as much as it dismantles them. Digital fabrication machines still require a totally transparent and anonymous operator producing a pre-determined design that cannot tolerate alterations once the fabrication process begins. Rapid prototyping, empirical modeling, and other recursive procedures have certainly helped throw open boundaries between ‘design’ and ‘build’, but a bifurcation between the activities remains as long as specific technological solutions are critically relied upon as necessary tools for precognition.
As Carpo argues in his recent book, The Alphabet and the Algorithm, new research in materials and techniques has awakened the desires of architects wishing to offer a direct hand in the material realization of their projects, suggesting the possibility of a new ‘digital’ master-builder. However, as promising as some of these trends appear in re-introducing the craft of making to the materialization of architecture, the prescriptive linearity between ideation and building stubbornly persists. Although the computer has enabled a closer hand in actual fabrication, what was dubbed some years ago as “file-to-factory,” the promise of a dynamic construction site, perhaps a “factory-to-file”, remains elusive. The profession remains committed to the formal separation of ‘design’ and ‘build’ with as much force as claims surface to the contrary. Even with the advent of digital design and construction, the possibility of alterations or changes once fabrication begins are as closed as ever, continuing a trend toward increasingly prescriptive construction procedures well-founded in the Modern period. What seems to be novel is not the possibility of a greater ‘hand’ in materialization procedures; rather it is the incredible instrumental power of software to more reliably predict construction through databases and precision fabrication. In fact, the implementation of highly differentiated, algorithmic constructions highlights this fallacy: the more architects take control of fabrication, integrating it into their design work, the less the construction site itself remains as a possible stage for invention once construction or fabrication begins. The possibility of the temporality of construction to act as a physical site for the architect’s imagination remains as remote as ever. As architects we should openly question the migration toward the total prescription or formalization of building procedures, thus making room for the recovery of the imagination within the dynamic procedures of the construction site. Even after nearly two decades of exhaustive research into new fabrication techniques, we have yet to encounter a methodology in contemporary construction that fully empowers what for centuries was one of the most provocative aspects of the architect’s imagination: evaluating, judging, and projecting while the work is in progress. With the development of software that offers dynamic updates, virtual model-building, and real-time construction simulations, promises endure. Yet, the profession still struggles with how to handle unforeseen conditions, discoveries during construction, and better ideas that arise once building begins. In short, the dynamism offered to the architect’s imagination by the physical, emerging body of architecture - the primordial block-stacking or forming of clay - has been completely dismantled in favor of a near total intolerance of non-prescriptive building practices. Admittedly, it is easy to sentimentalize the recovery of older ways of building. The Romantic ideal of the master-builder, where the architect directs the totality of building, from design to construction, has gained new attention. Recent trends and technological
^ Wentworth Architecture Club | Calatrava's Subway Transporation Hub, NYC 2013
^ Wentworth Architecture Club | Freedom Tower 98th Floor (Top) | Calatrava's Subway Transporation Hub, NYC 2013 (Bottom)
innovations have revived this desire within the profession to re-engage with the dynamic worksite and to take control of the fabrication process. However, it is easy to overlook that the master-builder, in the medieval tradition, generally inherited a building project that predated him by decades or centuries and that he would not live to see completed. Indeed, while 19th century notions of the Gothic master-builder endure, a 13th century sermon from a Dominican preacher tells a different story, where: Master-masons, with a rod and gloves in their hands, say to others ‘cut it for me in this way’ and labour not themselves, yet take higher pay (6). or, in a similar statement from the 14th century: In those great buildings, there is commonly one chief master who commands only by word of mouth, who seldom or never lays his hand to the job and yet takes higher pay than the rest (7). These sermon fragments alone affirm that the contemporary rebirth of the craftsman-architect, an essentially 19th century concept, deserves a skeptical eye. Rather than a streamlining of workflow, as in the role of new, ‘information master-builder’, his or her predecessor in the middle ages probably encountered a building site fraught with entrenched hierarchies, indeterminacies, and interruptions. The architect’s ‘workflow’, then, relied on direct encounters with craftsmen, constant design adjustments, and uncertain deliberation following the conditions on the perpetually unfolding building site. The prescriptive methods embedded in complex models of digital workflow, while admirably concerned with both the product and the production, nevertheless miss the larger target - a medieval master-builder was building the design as much as he was designing the building. Although architects guiding the translation from an idea into a future building is perhaps as old as the practice of architecture itself, the expectation that construction ought to be prescribed entirely before the shovel breaks ground appears to be an entirely modern infliction. This assumption, based on the notion that the materialization of architecture follows a path from idea to building, has led in the present condition to an unrelenting effort to formalize this procedure, most recently through the proliferation of Building Information Modeling (BIM). While some degree of formalization is certainly necessary to synchronize a complex building project, the extent by which contemporary construction practices continue to problematize on-site alterations and findings is deeply troubling. For Le Corbusier, the on-site translation between ‘design’ and ‘build’ was revealed poignantly in the Parthenon, a building he called “a machine for stirring emotion” in his 1923 book, Toward an Architecture (Vers une architecture ). Rather than relying on larger, more formalized qualities to understand its emotional qualities, he specifically looks toward the building elements that invited on-site invention: the profiles, cornices and frieze mouldings. Following the common assumption that the frieze of the Parthenon was constructed by Phidias, one of ancient Greece’s most famous sculptors, Le Corbusier argues that the emotion stirred when experiencing the Parthenon relied heavily on the fashioning of the building’s moulding details, the one place on the building where the immediacy of a sculptor’s hand could intervene (8). Phidias was the model architect for Le Corbusier since, as sculptor, he could engender the minutest architectural details with an ardent
manifestation of the building’s inner spirit. In this, one could surmise, ‘design’ and ‘build’ come together in the in-progress constructing or adjusting of small parts. Such a view was well-captured in Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema’s 1868 rendition of Phidias, who stands on the scaffold espousing his work to his friends on the Parthenon frieze. While commenting on the Parthenon’s exquisite profiles, Le Corbusier observed that “fractions of a millimeter come into play”, suggesting that slight movements or changes in material dimensions are key practices in the exteriorization of an architectural idea (9). Here, the moderating, tuning, or tempering of architecture occurs in these tiny adjustments, of the “fractions of a millimeter” made visible by touch, light, and shadow. Contemporary practice generally fails to address the potential of the millimeter to alter character or ‘fitness’ beyond the predetermined digital or industrial assembly process. Algorithmicallydriven fabrications, while highly programmed to the fraction of the millimeter, in fact leave no room for millimetric adjustments once the fabrication process is set in place. Yet, one need not look far into the recent history of architecture to see that small adjustments made during construction often may be leveraged to great, conceptual effect. Twentieth-century architects such as Sverre Fehn, Carlo Scarpa, and Jørn Utzon recognized the importance of active participation on the building site. This could take the form of on-site drawing, sometimes on the building itself, as in Scarpa’s in-situ, full scale sketch for a stair detail at Castelvecchio. Or, as Fehn demonstrated at the Aukrust Center, a 1:1 drawing of a column detail on a wall adjacent to the construction site allowed for direct, intelligent conversation between the architect and the builders. Utzon’s frequent site visits, at Mallorca in 1994, certainly allowed for a proximity to the emerging work that facilitated a ‘tempered’ or emotional quality that recalls Phidias up on the scaffold at the Parthenon. In an era when any interruption of pre-determined construction activities is viewed with general ire, the possibility of conceptually fertile micro-adjustments while construction unfolds offers great promise. Mario Carpo’s technological determinism, while apparently bringing ‘design’ and ‘build’ closer together, actually renders their separation more deeply entrenched. Rather than turning to technology to minimize unforeseen site encounters or to increase constructed predictability, we should be looking for ways to facilitate building conditions that open the construction site to more localized, non-deterministic building practices. This requires, for example, a prudent ‘opening’ of the building site, where the architect recognizes specific instances where he or she may invite a design invention during edification. Or, as the examples of Fehn, Scarpa, and Utzon implicitly show, the architect is well-served by nourishing more sophisticated, perhaps long-term relationships with local builders. Such a view recognizes the opportunity to moderate conceptual thinking through materials, technique, and the temporality of construction while relying on digital fabrication, or not, as is appropriate for the emerging idea. These practices demonstrate that the animation of the project ultimately rests on the projection of one’s character on the dynamic stretching and assembling of the building as a materially assembled body. In the contemporary sense, paying attention to millimeters on the building site may be seen as a mode of opening one’s work to influence by the poetic impulse, where direct encounters with materials provide the medium for the imagination. / Notes p. 124
Expanded Paper: A study of volume Adam Parsons Digital fabrication tools such as laser cutters and CNC routers are often purposed to generate surface conditions, conditions that are generally precise but fail to vary volumetrically from the original material. This particular object sought to challenge that idea. The form of the design was inspired by the curves of a cello scroll. The interest in the piece was developed from a continuous testing between the use of a laser cutter and the material of bristol board paper. The question became: how does one generate volume out of a material that is so thin and requires such high tolerances for any sort of joinery to be successful?
The issue of tolerance became a matter of testing iteration after iteration to get a simple slip joint to work. While the matter of producing volume was handled in an entirely different way, it was about translation. The ornament on the final piece was derived by translating the fabrication technique of expanded metal onto a much thinner more fragile material of paper. In the end, this translation allowed the capabilities of both the machine and the material to extend the capacity of the final form: an object that had both volume and depth through the testing of the machine as well as the performance of the material.
^ > Christopher Battaglia, Michael Cerbone, Richard Pignataro and Michael Remondi
| Parametric Translations
Translation of technologies and their impact in the future of architecture and design A conversation between WAr, Andrew Payne and David Pearson. The profession of architecture is constantly confronted with new waves of technology that are evolving every year. As designers, we question everything we know and given the imbalance between curiosity and the ever-changing technological environment, this conversation intends to flush out some of those interrogatives from the perspective of a student, a professor, and two thoughtful professionals. Andrew Payne’s work explores embedded computation and parametric design. He is a registered architect who is currently pursuing his Doctoral degree at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, under the direction of Dr. Martin Bechthold and Panagiotis Michalatos. His main focus is exploring how recent advancements in technology can help architects create smarter spaces and systems that have a capacity to meet changing individual, social, and environmental demands. David Pearson grew up in California where his life was centered on competitive surfing and surfboard design. Stimulated by the craft of building boards, he developed an understanding of dynamic variables. He now furthers this understanding at all scales of design as a post-professional graduate student at Harvard University. He previously practiced and taught in California and at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.
WAr: We understand architectural education
^ Ethan Webb | Woodshop Exercise Photography
Architectural education is changing, and as tendencies aim for analysis and research, others still look for more rigorous and scientific methods of exploration. Is the idea of discovery through exploration still prevailing in architectural education, or has there been a shift? AP: I think that with the advent of these new tools, primarily with the digital tools, we are seeing new avenues for exploration. Thirty years ago, the modes for explorations were model making and sketching (typically). Now with the advent of these new digital tools (scripting, processing and intuitive interfaces), architects really have the option and the opportunity to explore many different potentials that they could not have done in previous generations. Exploration is actually being enhanced through the usage of these digital tools. On the other hand, I do see a trend and a rise in analysis, analytics and research; you’re seeing this rise in exploration but you’re also seeing this need to analyze in some sort of scientific method or procedure. A standardized method can reflect how well your design is doing in a number of different ways ranging from sustainability, energy-performance to cost-analysis. There is a whole new set of tools that is starting to be developed, and these tools are trying to be incorporated into design. Typically, in the past, those types of things would have been done at the end of the project, right before it goes into construction.
WAr: Now, this informative process happens simultaneously as we see how one aspect informs the other. AP: Exactly. What we are seeing is more potential to use creative and intuitive modes of design, while still incorporating the analysis part, like solar analysis, wind factor, cost-efficiency and recyclability of materials. There is going to be an increased rigor in both the creative exploration and the analysis. They are starting to join in such a way that you are asked to do both. DP: I think one way to look at this is to think in the short and long-term perception of what we see now. I can sympathize in the short term, with all these new experiments, explorations and tools, and the overwhelming ideas, that there is so much to learn and it doesn’t seem very exploratory. If we see in longer terms, there is a certain adoption of a new set of skills that is taking place in the history of architecture. Perhaps, in ten to fifteen years, we could reach a level of maturity where all these things would be absorbed in the skill sets of young designers and that the sense of exploration would be restored. WAr: It seems as though architects are asked to pick and choose a single path in their careers. Are we headed into a generation that will increase specialization or will the master architect role remain? AP: It is interesting because the tendency follows the idea of the increase need for specialization. The advancement of technology makes mastering different domains increasingly harder, so you see a lot of people focusing on specializing in certain fields.
Typically, you go to school to learn how to design, so hopefully you still have the design skills in order to proceed as a designer. But then, in order to see that design come to life, you must either understand the technology being used to produce it or simply hire a consultant; it is an interesting dilemma. I do think that architects, in order to stay relevant, need to think about how buildings are used and how they can be controlled in order to make the interior environment better. Today, architects develop the design and send it out to the mechanical engineers to be built and there is little thought about the control strategies as it is normally added on as final layer. We can make better buildings and truly integrate intelligent systems into our built environment if we consider these design elements in the initial stages of the project. WAr: With this new wave of technology, how do you suggest we keep up with its continuous evolution? AP: You have to stay really focused to make yourself competitive. You have to drill down in a specific field that you like, while at the same time you have to have a larger, overall view. You always have to see what’s going on in other fields, like computer science for example, fields that could offer a lot to architecture in terms of inspiration. It is a big challenge, but it is something I believe is going to become increasingly important over the next few years. If you don’t keep that long term view, you’re going to become obsolete. DP: I think being open to different disciplines is key. Personally, when I started school I didn’t really know that architecture could become so broad and expansive. What is also really interesting is the idea of “the medium is the message” (1) where I could see the same thing happening like the tool or skill sets becoming the message. We have an opportunity to create a message with what is happening now. Perhaps through this new group of tools we are sending a message that we, as architects, want to be more interdisciplinary and collaborative. I think there is an opportunity for architecture and design to redefine the fundamentals of what it wants to be in the long term. AP: Correct. Most people are curious and that curiosity is what drives most of the world’s research. We have to be able to keep in mind that we might go down some specific roads, but always remember to look back through that rear window and see the larger view. DP: Yes, and as a working method, we are asked to keep a gradient of question types for each project, from the simplest approach to the most complicated ones.
WAr: That said, how are architecture schools integrating digital practice and technological advances? With your background and experience, who or what is in charge of defining what’s happening in the future? AP: I think the Media Lab is an interesting example. It relates back to other models like AT&T’s Bell Lab or certain think tanks that foster research without necessarily having a goal in mind. You don’t always have to create a product that would generate immediate profit to the Lab. You are there to explore your own agenda within the framework of the group that you are working within so you can develop projects that are genuinely interesting. The key point is, you take that pressure off, when you don’t have to deliver a set product. Instead, researchers are free to invent and come up with ideas like Google’s 20 Percent Time. That’s when the magic happens. I think it is necessary to look beyond your own set of goals and be innovative.
"Thirty years ago, the modes of exploration were model making and sketching, but now, with the advent of new digital tools, we have the opportunity to explore many different potentials that could not have been done in previous generations." It is a risky model that most architecture practices can’t replicate at a smaller scale. It is important to ask ourselves, how can we make models of research, similar to these ideas, a viable solution to smaller practices? Inventive ideas come when you have the ability to explore your own ideas without the restrictions of developing something required. It is an interesting dynamic and a question I feel is very important to ask. DP: I’m still curious if there is an opportunity to redefine some direction, or give more prominence to a certain view within practices. AP: It is really hard to mobilize a trajectory within a discipline. I do not know if it could be a top-down approach where one person marks the agenda, like Schumacher’s Parametricism (2.) That said, there is a technological aspect that has been brewing for the past decades and that has become prevalent in all fields, specifically in architecture. Like Ray Kurzweil’s book, The Singularity is Near, we should aim to predict how technology will affect the evolution of human technology over the next twenty to thirty years. My immediate reaction would be to stay
away from predictions, but once more, Kurzweil 21 or talks about an existing linear WAr progression trajectory of technology and that we are now following an exponential curve. This curve starts very gradual, and when you get to what’s called the “ne” of the exponential curve, it shoots dramatically. Kurzweil argues that we are very close to this. The question is, how does technology enhance how humans behave? Today, we can see projects that map how the brain works and once we are able to understand this technology, we could hypothetically make computers with better characteristics, as they would evolve to be much smarter than us. DP: In terms of seeing this at some point in the future, where there is such dialogue existing between our external environment and us, how much of it would be observation by the systems? Could it be a truer dialogue between the person and the system? AP: Mark Weiser’s, Ubiquitous Computing , in the early nineties, predicted that technology is going to move away from the computer (form factor) and become so small and embedded in our everyday devices that it would become invisible. All of our devices would have a computer in them, but we would not see the technology. I think Hiroshi Ishii’s, Tangible Interfaces, is also interesting because it is not necessarily about making it invisible, it is more about embedding technology into physical devices that we are able to interact with. One question for architects of the future would be, how do we begin to work with this technology and make it a user-friendly interface? I don’t have an answer for the question, but I think it is going to be a hybrid approach with machine learning, like sensor data observing how you are using a space. It will observe not just you, but the climate’s behavior as well. It would then report back and make predictions that will change it’s interface. Then the user would have control. Nate Silver’s take on how we might predict the future is something we should keep in mind, because it shows how bad us humans are at predictions. Our prediction levels are still inaccurate, and I think we could potentially make spaces that are significantly worse than what they are now. Just saying that you are going to create spaces that are intelligent is much more different than actually doing so. For the future, I still see a big reliance on user control and input. It is really a multi-objective problem to solve.
WAr: Can you define what it means for architecture to be intelligent? AP: I think there has to be a distinction made between the difference between being 'smart' and being intelligence. We hear all of these terms, smart room, smart environment, smart phone or devices, so what does it actually mean to be smart? A lot of the research is focused on the facilitation between different building systems and the communication and integration of various systems working together. That said, we have a very sophisticated integration between systems, but largely the control system is very antiquated. I would argue that we are still using a very reactive-thermostat model. On the other hand, the idea of intelligence underscores the ability to learn and adapt overtime. The question of how space can begin to learn how it is used is key. In a reactive model, the goals are always deterministic. In an intelligent system, the goals can start to change overtime based on how the users interact with it. Also, how do we start to make architectural spaces that are more intelligent? I believe it is going to be an area of incredible growth for the next ten to twenty years. This question of how can we make devices truly intelligent, has already been asked in other fields and companies, like Facebook or Google. They have addressed this issue with their use of recommendation engines. WAr: Over the past ten years, with the development of new tools and the Internet, do you think architecture has fallen behind? AP: In general these other disciplines, particularly the web, have taken on this question within the past years. This is one opportunity where I believe architecture needs to catch up. I’m looking forward to understanding how we make spaces more intelligent and how we allow more personalization in terms of spaces. It has been showed in many studies, for example in offices spaces, that you are more productive and happier if you have greater control of your environment. So how can we enable this in the field of architecture with the same idea of intelligence? It has been addressed, but I feel that there is still a big area of exploration.
WAr: This spring we had a lecture here at Wentworth by Kent Larson (MIT Media Lab Director) and he talked about projects that look into these avenues of exploration, projects, like Space on Demand. This was a great example of intelligent architecture. AP: Yes, that is one of the few examples of projects that look into the idea of homes of the future and how architecture can learn overtime. Michael Mozart’s Neural Network Theory and Neil Gershenfeld’s work at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms are great examples as well. I believe it is key to promote an interface where different devices can interact with each other and I would expect this would be increasingly more relevant in the next ten years. There is a lot of research going on in home automation, and products like the Nest Thermostat (available today on the market.) For a long time, a lot of their claim was that few companies like Honeywell, Johnson Systems and Siemens controlled the market. Due to the monopoly and lack of competition, Nest argued there was not much innovation and that is what they are doing. It is always good to see companies challenging one another, and not just developing the same product over and over again as this topic becomes more relevant in the contemporary market. DP: I see the architect’s role as someone that is very well attuned to all these circumstances and specific scenarios. I see the architect serving as someone that could be an intermediate in all these situations. AP: Yes, and what happens in architecture is that, since we cannot make all these predictions of every possible scenario, we tend to generalize and make averages though the average man is nonexistent, everybody is unique and different. Instead of designing for the average user and just hoping that people would adapt to it, the question of how we start making spaces that truly adapt to each individual is back again. We should be thinking of challenging the industry standards (i.e. ASHRAE Standards) and instead of building for 80% of the occupancy, let’s create spaces that adapt to each individual! How many times do we walk into a space and we are uncomfortable (too hot, too bright, etc.) and often times you have little control over this, especially in public spaces and work environments. Thanks to IP addresses and Wi-Fi connections, today we can create a network that brings our everyday devices, like small fans and heaters, to one main control and from there you can start to integrate all these microclimates. It is not as hard as it sounds; it’s definitely something we are capable of doing right now.
DP: Is it possible to demonstrate that experience or control in architecture? I see these systems not being very accessible to a general audience. Can they be affordable enough to truly make a democratic impact on all building types, social classes and even on the world? AP: Yes. You don’t need this “tabula rasa” environment to improve system. You’re basically using all these inexpensive local devices, which now have the ability to communicate to a central core and be controlled by a web interface. Moreover, we can create devices that learn our preferences and begin to adapt overtime (all based on control strategies.) It is necessary to integrate functions and create a hybrid system. DP: Do you see a fundamental difference in how you would design a space for a new building compared to an old one? AP: Besides the huge economic gain, it is important to step aside and think about the improvement of satisfaction levels and comfort in our built environment on any level or project scale. From old buildings to newer ones, anything it is possible. As designers, we are on a key path in our education and practice that could ultimately redefine how we view our profession. As we have discussed in this conversation with Andrew Payne and David Pearson, it is important to recognize how the futuristic literature, theories and predictions of future technologies play a big role in the understanding and creation of new technologies today. / Notes p. 124
^ UCLA Suprastudio: New Facility in Marina Del Rey (2012)
^ > Matthew Murcko | Quroboros
Technical Translations Troy Peters Associate Professor Technical translations in architecture can take many forms. Translation of a structural diagram into a steel truss bridge is probably the most direct and transparent technical translation. Other forms of technology or technical data are more difficult to translate and therefore not as easily understood or apparent. Translating the technology of heating and cooling can be more difficult to realize. Heating and cooling can be understood as the technology of thermal comfort that depends on a sixth sense called thermoception. The design of the steel truss bridge follows the laws of physics and the properties of steel that depends on the function, the terrain where the bridge is constructed, the material, a safety factor and the budget. The bridge designer can directly translate the structural diagram into the shape and the form of the bridge. The United States standard for thermal comfort comes from the American Society of Heating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). ASHRAE defines thermal comfort as “the condition of the mind that expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment.” In the 1950’s ASHRAE defined the thermal comfort zone as an air temperature between 73° F and 77° F and a relative humidity between 20% and 60%. Thermal comfort is actually more complex than humidity and air temperature as it also depends on mean radiant temperature, air speed, the amount of clothing the occupant is wearing and the occupant’s activity, but even today most HVAC systems are controlled only by a temperature measuring thermostat.
^ > Alexa Ashton | Photography
The “Glass House” by Phillip Johnson, built in 1949 in New Canaan, Connecticut, could, at first, be looked at as an uncomfortable house due to its large glass walls that will radiate “coolth” towards the occupant on cold winter evenings. Phillip Johnson disagrees with this assertion in his talk “The Seven Crutches of Modern Architecture” (1954). One of the crutches is the “Crutch of Comfort”, which Johnson states,
“We are all descendants from John Stuart Mill in our thinking. After all, what is architecture for but the comforts of the people that live there? But when that is made into a crutch for doing architecture, environmental control starts to replace architecture… You know what they mean by controlled environment- it is the study of ‘microclimatology,’ which is the science that tells you how to recreate a climate so that you will be comfortable. But are you? The fireplace, for example, is out of place in the controlled environment of a house. It heats up and throws off thermostats. But I like the beauty of a fireplace so I keep my thermostat way down to 60, and then I light a big roaring fire so I can move back and forth. Now that’s not a controlled environment. I control the environment. It’s a lot more fun.”
Inter/Rhythm Artforming Summer-Build Team Inter/Rhythm was a temporary, site-specific installation located on Lumber Wharf in Rockport, MA. Its creation was the product of collaboration between the Town of Rockport, the Rockport Cultural Council and the Artforming Summer/Build team. Inspiration was found within the natural and man-made forces present in the physical, historical and social dimensions of its place. The materials and form are a response to the cycles and rhythms present on site, such as activity change, mean solar time, as well as the lunar/tidal cycle. Inter/Rhythm aims to augment its visitorsâ€™ time and awareness of the visible and audible phenomena. It creates both contemplative and social gathering spaces by directing views outward to the ocean and inward toward the picturesque townscape.
infinite. I can be cut and folded, bled from seam to seam, and I invite you to ponder when
will I break? Your marks and smudges will manipulate my identity and with your words, I know
What, if anything, can be concluded about being, time and architecture? Human life and architecture both exist in time, but often they present unanswerable philosophical questions that engage in its perception. These are compounded by shifts in technology which alter the mind's ability to understand the environment. Nevertheless, moments exist in the conscious realm where the mind is made aware of its existence within a particular place. It is in these moments that architecture connects so deeply to the being, that the mind has a sense of its own presence and mortality. But, like the impermanence of the body, architecture embraces its corporeality, making visible its aging and evolution. Harder to discuss, perhaps, is the connection between these two things that are so subjective and transient. This discussion, predicated on the awareness of their relationship, concludes that being and architecture are constantly in flux and invariably endure in the phenomenon of time.
^ > Samantha Altieri | 4D: A Gaze at the Performative
FACADE LAYERING STRATEGY
THE EXTERIOR FACADE RERSEMBLES THE SITES LANDSCAPE WITH A SERIES OF PATTERENED DESIGN
^ Sarmad Marzuq | Facade Study
THE SECOND EXTERIOR FACADE RESEMBLES THE SITES LANDSCAPE WITH A THICKER PATTERN
BOTH EXTERIOR FACADES ARE BROUGHT TOGETHER FOR A LAYERING TECHNIQUE SIMILAR TO THE SITE
Searching beyond boundaries of technologies A conversation between WAr and Edgar Barroso Transdisciplinary collaboration is an integration of various professions that work together to create a product in an innovative way. With technological tools advancing across all professions, specialists not only have the ability to expand their creative development process, but also the ability to communicate with specialists of different professions. This widened range of knowledge makes new mediums available for products and presentations. Engineers become a resource for artists and artists become a resource for engineers. The direct relationship between professions allows for depth and creativity within the development process of a product. Edgar Barroso was born in Mexico in 1977. Barroso is a PhD Candidate in Music Composition at Harvard University under the guidance of Hans Tutschku and Chaya Czernowin. He is also a part of the inaugural class of Harvard Horizons Scholars. His works have been interpreted in important forums in North America, Ibero-America, Asia and Europe. During 2006-2012 he received several national and international prizes in Music Composition and Multimedia. Currently he is doing research at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. Lately, his work has been divided between writing music, social activism and the study of trans-disciplinary collaboration. He is the founder of the Open Source Creation Group dedicated to the implementation and analysis of trans-disciplinary academic programs along with entrepreneurial and social innovation.
WAr: When a piece is finished, does interaction translate between the performer and the audience? EB: Well, that depends on the piece. If you create a piece for audiences to watch or to listen to, or to experience, then there is no interactivity between us. It’s just a piece that was made with these two guys collaborating to do something new, and that’s about it. But if we decide to do an interactive piece, then it’s different. From the genesis of the piece, we decide whether or not it's going to be interactive, and that becomes a very strong element. Sometimes, you do art because you think it’s beautiful or because it’s worth it to create something that wasn’t on this planet before. You get people to look at it or to listen to it and that’s it, which is great. I also love to just receive information from a piece of art. Now, that’s the normal way you do art, but we’re collaborating with people who are not necessarily artists. They bring a whole new set of skills and a whole new set of communication styles. For example, at the opera, there will be moments where people will actually be participating, so they experience things while they are watching. It’s not only a perception of ‘Oh, it’s a painting, so look at it and experience whatever you experience’. We want to engage their senses, so we’re using smell. We’re using all of these crazy things. This way, we can actually set the mood for the audience. Of course, you know if you smell something, you’ll get into a certain mood. It’s like if you smell something sweet, you’re relaxed, or if you smell something bad, we get this awful feeling. It's more about what the purpose of the piece is that's important to us. The purpose is to make something beautiful, useful, or to have people participate in it. It really depends on the project.
WAr: You’ve talked a lot about ranges, even in processes. Is the transdisciplinary process less of an A-to-B, but rather a circular collaboration with overlapping responsibilities and processes? How do you treat different projects dealing with different variances of processes’ rigidity or looseness? EB: It’s definitely different for every project. Each project has a very different creative process. Actually, that’s one of the reasons why I got into transdisciplinarity collaboration because, you can imagine, as a composer you sit down and say "oh, I’m going to write another piece for cello." You know what I mean? There are a million pieces written for cello, which are all great. So then, you think, well, does the world need another solo cello piece, written by me? If you change the process, then you won't get the same stuff that everybody else is getting. I think one of our jobs as artists, is to really find new ways of creating something. Of course you need to have your signature somewhere, but I would say that every project for me is a different creative process. Not completely, of course, but I learn from it—I say "I tried this, but it didn’t work. I tried to collaborate this way, but it was inefficient." You can become better at it if you just have more experience. I would say that every project has different goals, and something that I’m very eager to tell people is collaboration in the arts is a big problem because artists are very egocentric. When they talk about collaboration, it’s, "you guys help me do music. Engineer, come here, help me because I have to make a piece." We don’t go the other way around. We don’t go to the engineer and say, "Engineer, how can I help you?" This is not collaboration its just, "Hey guys, help me make the music and then the credit is mine" because the piece is under your name, not the engineer’s. I think we have to go both ways. Artists can go to engineers to help them. And then that means that, I, as a musician could be collaborating on a project where the result would not be music, perhaps it's a machine. It is very important to understand, that when we are into transdisciplinary collaboration it means that only sometimes we will do something that is related to our own field.
When you create a project, what matters most is the purpose of the project, not who did it or if it’s your field or not. That is what transdisciplinary collaboration is about; it’s beyond your field. For instance, once you work with an engineer, then you learn how he works and now you know how to apply that to your own work. It’s different methodologies that are migrating from one field to the next. It’s great; you learn a lot. It’s never boring. You’re not doing the same thing over and over again. You have to create the innovation model depending on what the purpose of the project is. I believe more in people than models. I focus on who I am working with, and what their skills are and then I create an innovation model. Not the other way around. Many institutions are making that mistake (of course, that’s my opinion). They focus on the model first, and not on which people they have.
WAr: Architecture has gone from a more
sensory to a more visual experience. Does this affect the way in which we interact and remember a space? Do you think the incorporation of more senses when experiencing a space help us to rememeber it? EB: Absolutely. We actually did an experiment where we put a person listening in the middle of a space, the “sweet spot”, because you hear the sound perfectly. Then, we added some smells by burning incense, and then we massaged the person. Have you ever tried listening to beautiful music with a massage? It’s amazing. The brain works in a way that the more senses that are involved, the better you learn and the better your memories are stored. We may wonder if someone would enjoy music more if it were paired with smelling and being touched. The answer is obviously yes, they enjoy music much more. I would say the same rule applies to architecture. In college, there was this area with a lot of trees and a path that ran through them. We put some small speakers in the trees where you couldn’t see them and we got recordings from rainstorms in the amazon and played them through these speakers. It was a sunny, beautiful day and all of a sudden this loud sound would play, and at the beginning students were very upset but then they stayed and enjoyed it. If you think about it, you cannot enjoy that type of rain in the real world because it’s dangerous and so unpleasant, but people actually closed their eyes and just listened to the rain because it was really loud and it was a pleasure because it was like dancing in the rain without getting wet. I was discussing with some friends earlier that while growing up, all our creative processes
> Ryan Kahen | Encode_Engage
were expressed with a pen and paper. We are worried that now there is disconnect. We were wondering if the more recent generation was missing that part of touching and listening? How many times do we actually stop and listen? We listen to music while we do other things. I love the idea of bringing back all the senses. There is so much research done on smelling and memory. For instance, when you go back to your parent’s house there is a distinct smell that cuases your memories of growing up that begin to flood your thoughts. Something that got a really bad reputation was the touching part, in countries like mine, in Latin America you touch people a lot more, you hug them all the time. It doesn't seem like that is the case here in the United States. Perhaps this has affected the way people interact with objects also. If you think you can't touch something, then you probably won't and perhaps this is affecting our experience within a space.
"Sometimes, you do art because you think it’s beautiful or because it’s worth it to create something that wasn’t on this planet before." When I teach I do this experiment where I take people outside and tell them to perceive something they didn’t perceive before. The trick is, they must use all their senses. They have to tell me what the texture of the bench that they actually sit on everyday but that they hadn’t noticed yet. I love the idea of feeling, feeling your body, feeling emotion because emotion is something you feel and not something you speak about. I think we speak about it more than we feel, which is great on an academic level but on a human level you have to give people space to feel their emotions, to listen to the world and to see the world. Our brains are so sight-oriented that most of our energy goes to the visual part which contributes to the reason why we became so visual. I love the idea of bringing back the senses and I think learning should be sensorial. There is a project in Switzerland where they are working with materials and walls that you can easily move. People can just go there and touch the wall and the wall will move so if they wish to block the sun they can just push and create a wall where they need one. The design department is creating the textures because you don’t just want to see it, you want to feel it. It’s great to recover this sense in architecture. I hope we’re not that visually reliant; I love visual things, but I’m jealous because I can only imagine sound. I can’t imagine visual things very well, except my scores, but even still they come from sound. It’s important to think about how you can encourage people to feel more, to concentrate or to experience the space in the sense of feeling it and not only seeing it.
Form is generated by a way-finding through a variation of steps along the site. In response, the artificial and natural behavior of the surrounding create the arrangement of each spatial element. Movement is carefully choreographed through specific placement of objects, however, tidal changes unstitch this rhythmic way of moving and the dialogue between the existing conditions and the installation becomes performative. This interaction appears when the ephemeral qualities of the place enable or disable the experience of the static object. Time is evidence of these changes as one witnesses the weathering of the space initiated by the situation of the place. This experience would vary depending upon the time of day that the space is being inhabited. The question of accessibility arises as one begins to observe the relationship of space and time. How does one access space that changes over time? Do experiencing and accessing something or somewhere share the same value?
^ > Panharith Ean | Waterfront
24hr / Tidal Duration
20mins / Experiential Duration
48sec / Immediate Duration
Digital information is the canon of contemporary society, culture and economy. Its pervasiveness is facilitated by an infrastructure of networks, which transmit data. Subsequently, we are submerged in an ocean of connection. The communication infrastructure includes many different components, scales and typologies, yet it remains primarily out of view from society. It is remarkable that this senseless object has come to define our lives in the past decade. Hurricane Sandy exemplifies this. Inhabitants of New York City were content to stay in their downtown homes through electricity blackouts and heatless nights. Yet, their bodies could not escape the magnetic pull of cellular service, an updated e-mail mailbox, and text messages. The desire to reconnect to the communication network was the one thing that caused them to migrate uptown. It is unnerving that urban planners, designers and architects have yet to fully adopt these networks or engage in their spatial, informational and cultural implications.
^ > James White | Operatopia
Socio-Digital Geographies Nov-April 2012/13
^ > James White | Operatopia
Rhythms of the City A summary of the work presented during 'Design for Life 2013: Boston/Caracas'
Challenge How do we make a translation between our work in Caracas and the studio in Jamaica Plain? Italo Calvino said: ‘memory is redundant: it repeats signs so that the city can begin to exist.’ The principal conflict that we found in Caracas: the fracture of the city was the principal issue that we worked into Jamaica Plain with the students of the Boston ‘Community Design Studio.’ In addition, Professor Weldon Pries conceived the course with similar paradigms that we worked in La Carlota, Caracas, like the implication of ‘the compactness’ including the urban densification as a way to improve the life of its citizens.
^Margarita Iglesia's Summer Community Design Studio 2013
The issues were the same in both cities. For instance, the influence of historical traces into the urban project, the relationship between geography and architecture and sustainability were potential concepts that aimed to achieve a better built environment. In Jamaica Plain we worked with two main ideas: ‘the water machine’ as the transformation of the Brook River and runoff lines enabling the hilltops as water reservoirs to main urban gardens and ‘the rubi neckless’ recycling the old factories as cultural facilities, conforming a new metropolitan landmark sequence very closely to Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace. In the end, these projects in Caracas or in Boston represent very similar ideas in different territories.
| Jamaica Plain, MA.
Delgado's Community Design Studio Summer 2013 | Jamaica Plain, Boston
^ Manuel Delgado, Jorge Perez Jaramillo and OPUS (Oficina de Proyectos Urbanos)
| Winning proposal for La Carlota Park, Caracas, Venezuela 2012.
Redesigning urban context to strengthen social and ecological developments
Manuel Delgado Associate Professor Impressions
JP Landscape Design Component
For the last eight years Wentworth Community Design Studio has been based on Boston communities, analyzing local cases to develop ideas related with planning. In the summer of 2013, the studio worked in Jamaica Plain/Roxbury following the guidelines of the Orange Line Opportunity Corridor Study by Bostonâ€™s Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). During the summer semester, each section in the Community studio conducted analysis of site conditions and urban precedents to propose urban design interventions for the area between Jackson Square and Stony Brook stations.
The students were asked as a class to create the conditions to transform the portion of land between Jackson Square and Stony Brook stations, along the Southwest Corridor and the Orange Line, from what it is today into a dense, active transit oriented district with a vibrant mix of uses, open spaces, outdoor cafĂŠs, retail stores, community services, and housing.
For a week in July, the studio invited a group of 10 landscape architects and urban designers, members of the faculty from the Central University, Simon Bolivar University of Venezuela and from the Universidad Nacional de MedellĂn, Colombia to share their recent experience as finalist in the La Carlota Park Competition and to translate that experience into our small case in Boston.
In smaller teams, students were asked to develop their urban concepts into urban design interventions in order to define the general characteristics of the area. After discussing the ideas with the rest of the class, the students from each section were asked to develop the housing component in more detail as individual projects. While encountering the difficulties of working as a team, the students asked that I continue developing the different components of the masterplan.
Every section spent a week with two guests that came without knowing the site, some of them coming to Boston for the first time, with a fresh approach to challenge the students urban design pre-conceptions and to ask questions that could generate new solutions to the proposed program, re-thinking the urban proposal from an ecological point of view. Each group worked independently in a landscape intervention to define the natural conditions of a public park within the study of the area. The results of this phase became an important part of the urban proposal of each section design team. As a result, each section analyzed the site again and developed landscape architecture ideas to enhance feasibility and improve the relationship with nature. Some discussions were focused upon the relationship between ecological and social processes and how to keep the area alive for the people and for biodiversity. The final proposal created the conditions to open Stony Brook to the air, while covering the train tracks with buildings and portions of the park to re-connect JP and Roxbury.
Advancement of tools permits new approaches to urban planning What is a distinctly urban-architectural form and how does one optimize it through design so that it actively constructs and sustains community? The answer requires introspection into the agency and tools that we architects have available to change our cities. We need to understand that the city itself is a work of architecture and a result of distinctly architectural thinking.
^ > Andrew Ferentinos' Summer Community Design Studio 2013
| Jamaica Plain, MA.
site plan 1” = 50’-0”
ma rt in e
12 13 10
16 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
jackson square station stony brook station brewery community gardens town houses recreation outdoor theater mixed use residential
The park takes the city / the city opens to the park considering a model of sustanability for Caracas Francisco Paul and Ignacio Cardona. Guests Caracas has too many walls. In our study we measured 8.000 meters of walls, this is fifty times as long as the Berlin wall. To transform it we have to define the model of city we want to achieve as a society. In order to explore new concepts of city models, our proposal tried to find a balanced ecosystem between architecture and urbanism in order to improve the urban metabolism. For this, the strategic location of new projects in the city is paramount. The model of a sustainable city that we are looking for involves three strategic guidelines: compactness, complexity and creativity, concepts developed in the â€œLocal Urban Ecology Agency of Barcelona (2002)â€? with important implications in the spatiality of the city
One. Compactness related to the character of the urban space and the proximity between urban phenomena. Two. Complexity that implies the promotion of mixed-uses that introduce other kinds of conditions: social, economic and cultural. Three. Creativity catalyzed by a multiplicity of human connections. These are intertwined. The compactness of the public space facilitates the complex system of mixed conditions that stimulate the creativity of the citizens. To make this possible, we are thinking in many types of mixtures: the combination between profitable and non-profitable lands, the coexistence of people from different social levels, the relationship
between green open spaces and hard open spaces … and, the classical concepts of mixed-uses. And the most important idea of "the mixture”, could be the combination of “urban software and hardware” pointed out by Antanas Mockus who states that the infrastructure -public spaces, housing and urban facilities- represents the city’s “hardware”, which need to have good designs, with a combination of compactness, mixture and continuity. In Mockus´ terms, the ideas of the people who use the city (the "hardware") are the city's “software”. Without the citizen participation mechanisms, the transformation of the city, including the construction of a park in “La Carlota”, is an entelechy.
La Carlota Metropolitan Park
Permaculture and Ecological Corridors: Recovering ecology and promoting water landscapes in Caracas and Boston Ricardo Avella, Natalia Linares, Mariana Otero and Ariadna Weisshaar. Guests 'Permaculture' is a branch of ecological design, ecological engineering, and environmental design that creates sustainable architecture and self-maintained systems within natural ecosystems. Permacultural design imitates the patterns we can find in the organization of natural systems, the way these patterns work, and the assemblies and associations generated among the species. It identifies how an element can be placed strategically for the maximum benefit of the system, creating useful connections between components and synergy in the final design. Therefore, we can say that permaculture focuses on the relationships that can be generated among the species by the way they are placed together; the whole becoming a unified and integrated system (or an "ecological guild"). When certain species work together in harmony, they constitute what is known as an "ecological guild": a healthy natural system that uses outputs from each species to nourish others, exploiting the same resources in related ways. In these cases, harmony is only achieved when species are placed strategically within a certain area, so that they can interact between them accordingly and in a natural way. We believe these principles can be adapted at a global scale within an urban system, because we can do the same thing as human beings. By acting consciously and responsibly regarding our needs and consumption habits, we can contribute to building a healthier system. Nowadays, it is important to plan cities in a way that helps people understand the nature of their surroundings. To accomplish this, we first should ask ourselves: What is the essence of a place? What are the consequences of our acts in the place we inhabit? Recognizing the essence of a city requires understanding its topography, its natural biodiversity and its water resources; these features are what we call the â€œskeletonâ€? of a city. After recognizing the skeleton of a city, we will be able to propose a design that can rescue and revitalize the ecological heritage of a particular place. In Caracas, for example, we proposed a network of lineal parks and public spaces alongside the water resources that would constitute the cityâ€™s Ecological Corridors of Mobility. Pedestrians, bikes and public transportation will then have an unquestionable priority above the private car. This strategy was essential in our proposal for La Carlota Metropolitan Park competition, for we wanted to recreate and integrate the original biodiversity of the valley. It is an extraordinary opportunity to solve many of Caracas problems in terms of mobility, urban continuity and ecological preservation; and it would also contribute to keeping Venezuela among the top 10 countries with the highest biological diversity in the world (and the sixth in The Americas). Parks and public spaces of all scales play a fundamental role in any strategy of socially engaged urban sustainability. Successful strategies must guarantee that these public spaces can evolve as self-organizing systems thanks to citizen participation. In terms of landscaping, we believe that parks that are designed and built within the principles of permaculture (and with biodynamic design tools that it provides) can be managed and maintained practically
by themselves. A well-designed park can trigger the transformation of a community; it is an opportunity to build sustainable, social and ecologically integrated cities. With the construction of a park, designed and built within the principles of permaculture, we can generate new paradigms of sustainable planning for ecologically, healthy urban spaces.
"(...) in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock".
- Harry Lime (The Third Man)
Venezuela, for many years now, is a country in permanent crisis; socially, politically and of course economically. Chaos and anarchy surrounds us every day, and our quality of life has been drastically deteriorated through the years. Our cities lack public space, insecurity reigns our lives, and we need to change this as soon as possible. Creativity is essential for us in order to imagine a different city, one we would love. All sorts of ideas arise every day when we walk through our streets, when we see something wrong that could be beautiful and sublime instead. The competition for the Metropolitan Park in La Carlota, in Caracas, may be one of the most interesting episodes in our recent history in this matter: an opportunity to show colleagues and strangers the ideas we have to transform Caracas and make it one of the most beautiful cities in Latin America. We believe that we communicated to the students of Wentworth this ability to see beauty where there's nothing at all. An ability that may be the specialty of those who come from poor and chaotic countries. We think that maybe it's more difficult to see opportunities when you have everything you need; and history proves that in times of crisis, people become more creative by necessity. The opportunities are right there and they are eager to be discovered.
^ Ecological Green Corridors
my thoughts will change, as I become a component of a larger picture. I am an object that now inhabits this
place. In your hands I have become a vehicle with a destination that only you can see. How will you know? If
The Abyss Stared Back Steven Prestejohn “In the first place, I think, Socrates, that you, or anyone who maintains the existence of absolute essences, will admit that they cannot exist in us. No, said Socrates; for then they would be no longer absolute.” - Plato, Parmenides “I trust you know why you’re here?” You’re here to evaluate my psyche. You’re here to make me believe that what I experienced wasn’t real. “I can’t allow you to leave this facility until I can fully ascertain your mental stability. Don’t be afraid to speak frankly, I’m certain that you can be rehabilitated.” I don’t think I could even tell the difference anymore; the world’s become thin. A lie and a truth are the same thing. “Can you tell me why you can’t distinguish?” Where does one begin? I see through the drapes that your mind is so comfortable behind. I’ve seen the skin of existence sandblasted to its bare bones, and those bones are frail and diseased. “Tell me from the beginning.” I was inside, I don’t remember where or why, but I remember what. I saw this place very well. In my fleeting moments of bliss I remember seeing light like I was seeing it for the first time. It reached to me; it had come from an unknowable place to bring me a message. I tremble at the memory. I truly believe the light was a living thing, and in that moment it had decided to ruin me. It pulled back the curtain, the same that you are behind now. The world began to change, by which I mean that it ceased changing. Time stopped so that truth could be known.
> Corey Roberts | Comic Strip Sequence
What was shown to you?” After the light removed its touch, thinness became apparent. The air shuddered, it seemed afraid. I was afraid. I was in a long hallway, and now I was truly alone, as if the universe had plucked me from the earth and brought me to a desolate place where there would be no interruptions. My feeling of touch was the first sense to cease its usefulness. I moved through this endless hallway; abrasive columns feeling the same as the steel windowpanes. Imagine my horror when textures were gone, temperature too. It wasn’t that I could no longer feel touch, it was that there was no longer anything to be felt. My muscles could still identify surfaces, so I began to replace touch. I tried to speak, and the walls received my voice with uncertainty. All at once it was echoed,
muffled, amplified, and then silenced. I ran at this point. The corridor’s maw began to open. Glass panes pushed me from one side of the hallway to the other, only distinguishable by their colors. Blue and red coalesce into violet, then blue and yellow turn into green. These planes stretched on before me, and one by one those colors blinked away into the void. This blank world had only left its forms for me. The hallway ended, and I entered a large tall room filled with sculptures.This room comforted me. Rigidness, soft curves, and hard edges were all colorless, but real, defined and strong. The final thread snapped as lines began to give way, faces began to warp and distort. Pure geometry was converted into raw cacophony too horrible to ever convey with mere words. I physically felt my mind snap, and when I woke up I was in this hospital.
“And the guards found you when the museum opened. There are no signs of forced entry. You truly believe what you’re telling me? You believe your experience was an actual occurrence?” I can still sense the thinness. Your knowledge is categorized through differences, and those separations are shrinking. “Okay, that’s enough for this session. We’ll discuss this further tomorrow.”
Commitment to architecture is commitment to translation. The chief challenge of design at its most primal level is redefining things that arenâ€™t, into things that are. We, as designers, are charged with understanding conceptual problems of many different languagesâ€”social, psychological, conditional, symbolicâ€”and solving them over systems of formal and spatial common denominators. How exactly these multi-dimensional problems are translated into form and structure begins to shape our architectural signatures. It is how we realize ideas and uncover beauty in different series of complex parameters. Ambiguity is our best friend because within it lies the possibility of discovering meaning. An understanding of the marriage of translation and design is one of the strongest and most necessary weapons we can possess. Only through the commitment to translation can we build on the problems presented to us and find our architecture within their common identity.
^Jacob Wilson | Ambiguity is Our Best Friend
^ Pablo Rivera | Urban Sanctuary
Entramados Francesco Stumpo
Unconsciously, the symbols and signs that surround us have a tremendous impact on the perception of our dwelling. We allow these ideas to unfold in our minds in the form of objects that will later influence our actions.
As we make our way through the layers and symbols of our cities, we are embarking on a journey of the unconscious, an exploration of the effects of colors and the neverending conversation with architecture and encouraged by countless buildings, mazes, intertwined bridges and futuristic objects. These fabrics and elements are present in the cities that we live in; they are stories or events that emerge from the roughness of a pencil or the swirls of a brush. These languages, which at the end are unified as a whole, are there for us to start writing our own story.
If we look through a window and begin to imagine all the things we have learned in our existence so far; what would this picture be? For a moment, imagine wide roads, narrow streets, cramped alleys, never-ending paths and bridges of color. Whatever it might be that you imagine, we can agree with the notion that these are all means of traveling (or wondering) to known or unknown destinations. If someone were to argue that this is all we do in our existence, truth be told, it might be exactly what our lives look like through that window.
"If art and architecture are to perform a truly transformative task, it must address a world, the place where people dwell, the set of stories that collectively interpret human existence in a peculiar way." (1)
In other words "the city is a discourse and this discourse is truly a language: the city speaks to its inhabitants, we speak our city, the city where we are, simply by living in it, by wandering through it, by looking at it." (2)
Some may argue that the only way to truly experience the power of architecture, is through travel. Perhaps there is no choice but to be nomadic, since these cities or canvases that we dwell in ultimately represent multiple things. Among them are roads and connections, and beyond that set of ideas, feelings and opinions that are waiting to be explored.
Intersections of lines form the fabric that go from one end to the other in this space called canvas - the city grid - which later becomes threads of color that paint the linen, cotton and wool - or concrete, asphalt and steal. Our lives are colored tracing routes, tracing lines that bring us to weave ideas and allow cities to become engines woven by time. Those colors that expand and contract through the black tumult of mechanization, that despite their efforts, could not drown the warmth of any man in this seemingly hostile city.
While traveling, the colorful city might act as the road; perhaps the grey city acts as the backdrop. These cities that we dwell in are intrinsically connected to the dynamic of chaos and modernity and at the same time, momentary construction and deconstruction. These are the places that illustrate the ephemeral and transitory of our existence.
As Kevin Lynch said "there exists in every city, from the moment that the city is inhabited by man and made by him, this fundamental rhythm of signification which is the opposition, the alternation and the juxtaposition of marked and of unmarked elementsâ€Ś we are thinking about the city in the same terms as the consciousness perceiving it, which means discovering the image of the city among the readers of the city." / Notes p. 124
From past to present Rima Abousleiman Time is the most uncontrollable factor in our lives; it comes and goes before we even realize it has happened. But for some reason, as humans, we have this inconsolable need to control it, expending so much energy while trying to fit each aspect of our hectic lives into a neat little block of time. If we are happy, time is flying and the days and nights all blend together and distort the world around us to appear beautifully untainted. If we are sad, time is stopped and we go through the motions without processing what they are; weâ€™re floating between emotions and sinking beneath our troubles. With time comes inevitable changesometimes it happens around us and other times it happens within us. Regardless, being
^ Olivia Hegner | Woodland Outpost (Rendering)
able to adapt so we can live comfortably among the unfamiliar chaos is crucial. Time is an ever-present factor in our lives; while it is constantly there it is also simultaneously always moving. Since it is never truly static it becomes intangible to us as individuals and human beings. A proper definition of something is often dependent upon context and time but how do we define time for it is always moving? It is something that is taken for granted simply because there appears to be an infinite amount of it, but realistically everything has a time limit; time itself will go on but the time in relation to the moment will not. The biggest victim of time is memory. A memory is a moment that someone is emotionally connected to, good or bad.
More often than not, memories become an obsolete representation of something. They become these events from our past that we think are crucial to our being when in actuality they are warped views of reality. Overtime, these moments ferment and become misrepresentations of what once was. Time erases the truth of a situation: it disregards the characteristics of a person; it forgets the feeling of a space. A memory is never objective; the remnants are, on the surface, a representation everything one wishes to believe, but underneath lies the neglected truth. While a memory does hold a degree of value in how a person is shaped, it eventually becomes a warped, subjective point-of-view.
Buildings are a compilation of layers; each layer represents a change that has occurred to the original form or structure. Buildings are constantly being redeveloped, whether it is construction for preservation, an alteration in the program, or structural repairs. All of these shifts in the buildingâ€™s aesthetics, program, and skeleton are often a change for the better. But buildings do not get to repress, overthink, or reminisce their changeâ€”for obvious reasonsâ€” and so they just remain as they are. They are not anything but the true representation of themselves. History is the compilation of the memories that a building holds. The transition that a building undergoes is often a change that is documented through a series of drawings and
permits. Redeveloping a building has a protocol that must be properly followed in order to remain a legal change. Human thought, on the other hand, has no protocol and is abstracted and remolded to fit each individual being. The memories that you have accumulated belong to yourself; there is no official record of them for one to go back to and there is no guide on how to do it. Memories are dangerous because of the power they possess. A happy memory is always embedded in your mind as happier than it was; these moments were times you felt invincible, beautiful, and free. Our minds exaggerate the truth of the circumstance and leave us lusting after this time, which might have been great but is not necessarily over. Memories are
moments that are created through experiences. Experiences are infinite. You can always have more, and you can always have better. The experience of recalling memories is almost an emotion in and of itself because of how quickly you can drift in and out of one. It is rooted in nostalgia and can come and go as quickly as the wind can shift directions. It is so fleeting that you panic to hold on to it, and the panic generates this desperation that consequently taints the memory. To humans, memories are tangible things: you can either choose to hold on to them or let them go. But to a building, memories are embedded into the very core of their existence and stored away forever. One may wonder are their memories even truthful?
Architecture Asleep Sinead Gallivan An Architecture Asleep explores an architecture that, like a dream, transforms what we know about place, time, and identity, in order to unveil layered meaning and dynamic spatial experience and reading. In a world of measured control, rapid information, and succinct understanding, dream-like experiences release the mind of formal constraints allowing architecture to be experienced freely and in multifaceted ways. We have become a mechanical society fixated on time, truth, and materialism, and have developed a one-dimensional understanding of â€˜the way things areâ€™. A dream allows a grey area in which you accept things for what they are without questioning their perplexities. If architecture can be experienced like a dream, then potentials and opportunities can unfold to no end. By applying dream-like qualities such as bizarre situations, multiplicity of meanings, unique juxtapositions, defamiliarization of the known, and an order that is non-sequential or non-linear- to an architectural language of tectonics, scale, site, program, and material, architecture will rediscover meaning, interpretation, and experience of space.
^^ Chris Andrew Foley| Calnen, Photography Danielle Decarlo, Mariah Erickson, Christopher Foley | Beinecke Facade Model
The Companion James Cleveland In the gallery of living walls, a single path is known. Thrown by hidden forces, balance cannot be found here. The beauty of this world is to be observed from elsewhere. This place does not recognize you. He emerges from the land, speaking its language. You accept his company. His face is hidden. He becomes louder and clearer. You trust his voice and walk with him as your companion. He begins to beat a new path, descending into the world below, a path meant for you alone. Stopping, your companion points forward, as if not permitted to enter. You continue alone. The ground is unruly, resisting you with every step. As you stumble, your companion rises from the ground to assist you. His skin is weathered as if you were not the first to pass through here. Forces pull you forward, deeper into uncertainty. The horizon retreats from view. The floor becomes the sky. You are consumed in an endless sea, this desolate plateau, devoid of life or time. You realize that you are being watched from a distance and find comfort in this. Your eyes fix on his face and the path forward is known. The plateau is parted and you are pulled from its grasp. Enclosed in shadow, you see his uneasy stance. He leans as if falling. You emerge from the darkness, standing before the companion. Now in view, he appears tall and firm in position. You realize your own troubled footing. Reaching out, he takes your hand and carries you to safety. Two giants stand over you now. A place has found you. The largest of them, now aware of your presence, greets you. He steps aside, exposing the window beyond. Stepping toward it, you can view another dimension, one in equilibrium and infinitely vast. You understand an order that had been missing from the world you are contained within, but step back toward your friends. You are not ready for the next world yet. The companions return to their post. They stand guard over this place, perpetually balanced between a state of perfection and the coarse reality of the land. You feel at home here between them.
> Scott Graham | Interdisciplinary Outpost
Architecture of Excavation Christopher Bonarrigo The discernible contrast between our familiar, accepted reality and the unknown world below inspires feelings of uncertainty, awe, excitement and fear. Historical associations, technical concerns, contemporary culture, and personal experiences have significantly influenced our perception of the underground. An innate ability to provide shelter, isolation and a sense of retreat allows the groundline to filter our experience as we move from the restless and tumultuous world above and into the underground realm. By embracing one's fear of subterranean space and accepting the unknown, one will find the means to achieve a new sense of calm and serenity. Comprehending this has always been a challenge for man due to its profound ambiguity. As life reveals experiences involving pain, disappointment, or grief, a person will attempt to avoid similar situations in the future by any means possible. People fear that the unknown will offer further unpleasant experiences, so they tend to retreat to the familiar, which provides the illusion of control. Dark and mysterious subterranean spaces are generally rejected by society because they can lack visibility and spatial clarity, leaving occupants disoriented and anxious. Feelings of uncertainty will arise in unpredictable situations, but it is the perception of the individual that determines if the response will be one of fear, excitement, or awe.
^ Christopher Bonarrigo| Architecture of Excavation
Lost and Found:
John Hejduk and the specific autonomy of drawing Robert Cowherd, Ph.D. Associate Professor “Reading is a miswriting, just as writing is a misreading.” - Harold Bloom One afternoon in 1985, the word spread throughout the Cooper Union architecture studios that the Dean was calling an all-school meeting. Over 100 architecture students packed into the third floor lobby and listened, in an unprecedented moment of candor, as John Hejduk recounted the conversation he had just had with a recent graduate. His former student was excited to have been commissioned to design a house on Long Island. Hejduk’s frustration rose visibly as he quoted him saying, “Of course, I won’t be able to design the way we did in school.” The graduate had articulated what the students took for granted: that the school of architecture had carved out a sacred space within which architecture could be pursued with autonomy from the concerns of the outside world—architecture for the sake of architecture. What was surprising to Hejduk’s audience was not to hear of this disconnect between school and the profession— something we had come to understand as the precondition for our creative adventures—the surprise was in the vehemence with which Hejduk denied such a separation. As Cezanne made explicit, representation is always a matter of translation. Representation can never fully capture that which it strives to represent. But within this limitation, lies its power. At the heart of representation is a forced selection of what comes of translation: what is represented, and what is not. As in language, translation rarely passes from one world to another with isomorphic one-to-one fidelity. Translation thus entails a shift in meaning, and it does so in both what is lost in translation but also what is found.
^ Victor Proops | Charcoal Sectional Perspective
The 'sense of discovery' characteristic of drawing is possible only through a simultaneously deliberate and accidental loss of fidelity that permits other phenomena to rise to the surface of awareness. The power of discovery through drawing is dependent upon both liberties and constraints. The total liberation of non-objective art is a key reference point with which to calibrate degrees of freedom and liberation with which the act of drawing operates as selectively constrained by the ideas being tested. This produces a more specific autonomy of drawing operating parallel to our understanding of a more specific autonomy of architecture—selectively constrained by the conditions of its production and liberated by the power of form. The 1996 retrospective show of John Hejduk’s work mounted by Jeffrey Kipnis and K. Michael Hays at the Canadian Centre for Architecture advanced the larger project of contextualizing the contributions of John Hejduk’s remarkable career as architect and educator. In his introduction to the 1996 edited volume Hejduk’s Chronotope, Hays characterizes Hejduk’s impact as “monstrous” not only for the invocation of the fantastical, the carnivalesque, the chimeric assemblage of animal parts as architecture, the monumentality of scale without the veneration or permanence of monuments; but also for a simultaneous challenge to both theory and practice while obstinately refusing to engage in either theorization or practice (1.) Hejduk’s refusal to engage the world through the language of theory was a rejection of exterior framings that might distort, diminish or obscure the more direct and immediate translations of “making.” Words were spoken, but in guarded poetic tones as if to preserve the sanctity of a direct personal experience—a deliberate act of translation with attention to
that which is lost, and allowing unanticipated findings to emerge. The texts of his books and the theory courses at the Cooper Union were written and taught as poetry or in the mode of literary theory eschewing any fixity of meaning. Similarly, Hejduk’s work simultaneously refused to be constructed within the prevailing conventions of practice and constantly insisted upon the immanence of its making. For Hejduk, the act of drawing becomes a rehearsal for material assembly registering the acts of construction down to the final position screw heads. These then are the two key terms of reference with which Hejduk’s drawings monstrously throw down his challenge: drawing that refuses theory yet asserts its own terms of reference, and drawing that rejects conventions of construction yet renders an almost inevitable material realization. In his 1984 Critical Architecture: Between Culture and Form, K. Michael Hays offers his reading of work by Mies van der Rohe to establish the operation of a “critical architecture” that simultaneously displaces the embodiment of self-perpetuating forces of architectural production (market conditions, technical systems, regimes of taste, building types) and refuses to exist as an autonomously irreducible ideal object-form for the sake of form alone (2.) Mies was a constant presence in Hejduk’s framings for the capacity of work to simultaneously challenge the conventions of architectural production and silence attempts to impose a priori theory. What then does Hejduk’s “making”—the deliberate loss and discovery through the translations of drawing—offer to our struggles to understand and establish the conditions for producing “critical” architectures? If the key moment of disruption lies in the act of making, how then might we establish the conditions for producing “critical drawing”? Can other modes of representation obtain to the same level of criticality discovered in drawing? On this last issue, the under-appreciated—some would say contradictory—aspect of Hejduk’s pedagogy is the investment in shop facilities (shared with the School of Art) equal in size to the drawing studios, and an eight-semester structures sequence without equal anywhere else including poly-technical programs. The ongoing resonance of this line of questioning is one indication that the longue durée impact of Hejduk’s work continues to unfold (3.) Hays describes “critical architecture” as neither just an instrument of dominant cultural forces, nor a wholly detached autonomous abstracted formal system. As demonstrated in the German Pavilion of the 1929 Barcelona Exposition, there are elements of both existing dominant order and abstract pure formalism at play but Hays examines the several ways the resulting experience transcends both to achieve its status as “critical.” A parallel construction of “critical drawing” might be delineated as neither just an extension of the existing site and situation, nor a purely un-situated diagram. As demonstrated in student projects throughout academia, the construction of a diagram in three dimensions does not a critical architecture make. To operate within the space of criticality, a drawing must simultaneously transcend the pure formal diagram, and the mere extension of prevailing forces operating within and through a project. But this neither-just-situated-nor-whollyautonomous delineation of critical drawing, as has proven the case with critical architecture, is soft on the more positive question of what does critical drawing/architecture do? Any architectural idea worthy of exploration poses a challenge both to existing approaches and to pure abstractions of form for
WAr 77 the sake of form. Indeed, a history of critical architectures is one of confrontations between dominant forces and powerful form, just as the critical history of architecture venerates moments of contestation that provoke latent hinge-points in the interplay between idea, meaning and experience (4.) The degree of agency necessary to negotiate such turning surpasses mere “resistance” or “opposition.” Idea must pass into the world of manifest form where its critical power commands theoretical silence, as compelled by Hejduk’s work. Hays quotes Karl Kraus: “Since the facts have the floor, let anyone who has anything to say come forward and keep his mouth shut.” Hejduk’s work demanded understandings beyond what contemporary practice and theory were able to muster. Out of the silence, the idea made manifest in the facts of its “making” generates its own terms of reference. The proper task of criticism is to articulate the criteria generated out of the agency asserted by critical work, particularly as these criteria challenge and displace the dominant agenda that would have otherwise occupied its place.
"Representation can never fully capture that which it strives to represent. But within this limitation, lies its power." A critical practice aspires to feed the energy of this loop of ideaform-criteria back upon itself through drawing. The iterative (looping) exploration of an architectural idea framed powerfully by the limitations deliberately and accidentally imposed by drawing feeds into the interpretive step of criteria formation (critique) and back into drawing. The role of drawing is to test form against a specific set of criteria as if to ask repeatedly and with growing insistence: Does it work? In this, every idea demands its own way of asking—its own medium and mode of representation. The question of method in turn asks: How can you tell? This operation of critical drawing fits well the double-sense of the term “reflexive”: the automatic or semiautomatic response to stimulus, and a process that acts upon itself (5.) The development of critical drawing methods that operate at the core of the discipline of architecture in ever-expanding technical modes and formal expressions are the beneficial outcome of so many readings and misreadings of disciplinary “autonomy” since the 1970s. In the 2003 “Mining Autonomy” issue of Perspecta, Somol and Whiting call the shift in architecture from the autonomous object to perceived experience “projective” or “post critical” even as Hays refers to it as an expansion of the critical project itself (6.) The agency of architecture lies to a large extent in the capacity of the interplay between form and critique, between idea made manifest as a force for generating and regenerating criteria. Whether within (Hays) or beyond (Somol and Whiting) perceived boundaries of the “critical,” architectural meaning is a product of its effects, its reception in experience, its performance. As Forrest Gump would have it: Architecture is as architecture does. To the extent that the specific criteria employed in the critique of what architecture “does” is more or less directly testable through “critical drawing,” the disciplinary core of architecture retains its structural integrity. The power of architecture’s critical processes and capacity for conceptual framing allows it to engage with other discourses, to cross disciplinary boundaries, to take into consideration a multiplicity of phenomena, without becoming untethered from its disciplinary core. / Notes p. 124
I am here for you, or simply, youâ€™re here to come with me. Can you see my light shimmer, as these
facets reflect a beauty, a knowledge, why do you react? You will witness a journey across a distance
^ Zenovia Toloudi | Frigid City, Vagabond: Art in Action Exhibition, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2004. (image manipulated in Artaic)
Metaphrasis, Metamorphosis, and Traitorous Translations:
A new taxonomy of relationships between architecture and gastronomy Zenovia Toloudi, Ph.D. Adjunct Faculty Transfer of knowledge and/or methodologies among areas of specialty is not an uncommon phenomenon in disciplines. Architecture has been borrowing terminologies, models, or frameworks from Biology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, and other disciplines, in order to develop a specific theory or design approach. However, the aforementioned disciplines rarely (if ever) borrow architectural theories or models. One case, where this transferal is bi-directional is that of the Gastronomy and Architecture pair.
literal (metaphrasis), transformative (metamorphosis), to open and free (or what Uberto Eco calls traitorous translations) that grow in complexity, and interconnectedness. The complexity in translations involves the tools (eg. vision, taste, and multi-sensorial apparatus) with which one perceives and creates them, but also the in/tangibility of traits found in the creations. Eventually, I show that the increasing interconnectedness of the two disciplines implies that traditional boundaries between disciplines may no longer be valid, or useful.
Gastronomy and architecture, as well as music, film, design, and technology belong to a cluster of creative disciplines and practices that seem to form more and more what Richard Florida calls the Creative Class (1.) The popular Do-It-Yourself (DIY) culture (2) along with “the rise of the amateur” trend (3) result towards the “end of audience” era (4): the passive TV-man of the sofa transitions to an active (multi-tasking) internet-man. More people are interested and involved in creativity and the process of making. Architecture and gastronomy also participate in this creative fever: they have both entered popular culture through reality shows, home and decoration magazines, and TV-episodes.
A. Visual Metaphrasis
Beyond creativity, architecture and gastronomy are linked to our contemporary era through the broader request for sustainability and ecology. In past times, or perhaps in some “exotic” islands, the materials used for food, and structures are not that different: dry leaves for huts (architecture), and humid leaves to wrap food (gastronomy). But even in contemporary manifestations of Western culture, there is an effort to embed natural materials in buildings in the form of green rooftops, planted facades and so on. In parallel, in food science (and food art), there is a trend to emphasize edible containers that reduce trash. The pursuit for a healthier lifestyle in cities and urban settlements often associates the edible with freshness and the local. Architects, urban designers, and planners address this need with the frequent appearance of edible landscapes, like urban agriculture, vertical farming, and farmers’ markets through un-built design proposals and actual interventions in the city. Can one trace the influences within the aforementioned parallelisms between architecture and gastronomy? How much they stay intact after their mutual exchange? Architecture <-> Gastronomy In this essay I argue that the influences between architecture and gastronomy grow in many levels and scales. In order to classify this emergent taxonomy, I borrow from literature (5) the concept of translation. Translations, varying from literal to free, offer to architecture and gastronomy transactions, a possibility of categorization. Through a series of examples from architecture or/ and gastronomy, I map the taxonomy around three translation types:
The taxonomy of the transactions better starts by borrowing the lens of a literal translation, such as metaphrasis. This Greek word μετάφραση, deriving from μετά/ meta (=after, what follows) and φράση/ phrasis (=phrase) emphasizes a loyal interpretation to the initial source: the phrase, for literature and languages; and the visual appearance, for architecture and gastronomy. Not only architects and culinary chefs, but also clients and users of architecture, as well as connoisseurs and consumers of edible creations first observe and judge the artifacts through vision. Almost everyone is familiar with examples of buildings or structures that look like foods and cakes, and pastries that have shapes and forms of buildings. One can baptize these creations as visual metaphrases (6.) In Greg Lynn’s Ravioli Chair for Vitra, the visual metaphrasis translates food into architecture (7.) Apparently, one of Lynn’s (probably first) digital sketches (eg. meshing) came out of a ravioli form! (8.) To further extend the discussion on pasta, architecture, and process, one can take a look at Pasta by Design book by George L. Legendre, and Stefano Grazini where a visual analysis in mathematical terms and methods is being offered to the readers. Sequence, precision, form generation, hidden logic(s), and familiarity of the everyday objects bring rigor to architects’ design and process. Would cooks and pastry chefs, or culinary artists search for rules, and structures in architecture too? Probably yes. Evidence on chef’s fascination in the form of food (and presentation of dish/ plate and table) can be found in high-end restaurants in different cities globally.) A good example of a bi-directional visual translation is the gingerbread house: From architecture to gastronomy and vice versa, acting either as an edible structure (tale), or an “architectural” dessert (culinary). Gingerbread house have been populating the culinary realm for a while. Lately this trend migrated into the architectural production through quick architectural competitions (9.) Crank House by Over,Under is an architectural project that has been translated into gingerbread house at the recent competition at Boston Society of Architects (BSA) (10.) The visual metaphrasis in this case extends from the idea generation, to a representation, and finally to the gingerbread house or edible
model (house for display.) According to the creator of the edible model (and over,under partner) Chris Grimley, this is an example of a synthesis. Grimley reports the enjoyable cooking-process (11): For research, he had to look at Martha Stewart; for technical supplies he had to look at Crate and Barrel. Steps included trial and error, “a little bit of alcohol and crying in between,”and fancy final details (such as the “snow” effect) together with some regrets (“never make icing again”). Any architect who has been involved in the making of a physical model can be empathetic to the making of the edible Crank House. What about the architectural client or user? Do they enjoy the volume stacking and shifting that eventually creates a separation between living and sleeping? (12) And the eater? Is the separation of different uses, accompanied by separation in tastes for the two edible volumes (in terms of ingredients, composition, and densities)? And what about the architectural critic, or the taste connoisseur? In such cases, one wishes to have multiple experiences, living in or visiting the house, and eating the cake. Pastry desserts and architecture have a long history together beyond the gingerbread. One of the first people to create such metaphrasis, was Parisian chef Marie-Antoine Carême. Being probably the father of French cuisine, Carême was responsible for the catering of Napoleon’s wedding in 1810, and was also the chef for the Prince Regent in England for two years. Carême used architecture for his inspiration to present food visually (13.) In his Le pâtissier Pittoresque (14) published in 1815, one can find numerous sugar creations of architectural projects that justify the sculptural and artistic attribution (15.) In the case of Carême, it has been architecture to inspire the design of food (confectionery). In the case of architecture, the literal is not always welcomed in educational experiences or design critiques. Probably the same happens in the culinary arts: who would be interested in tasting a food that has the exact form of an architectural creation, such as the latest Gehrization? (16) Gastronomy, deriving from the Greek γαστρονομία, beyond γαστήρ/ gastér (= stomach), includes the word νόμος/ nómos (=law). The focus on the laws and rules of the stomach suggests the need to move beyond the vision, perhaps towards form and taste. B. Taste Metamorphosis The word metamorphosis, originally coming from the Greek μεταμόρφωση, is known through biology and Franz Kafka’s famous book (17) and it literally means transformation. By playing with its etymology, which breaks into μέτα/ meta (meaning change or after), and μορφή/ morph (meaning form), one can suggest that the word itself is a meta- morphosis/ transformation of the aforementioned meta-phrasis. The word shifting, from phrasis to morph, gradually builds a process within the taxonomy of architecture- gastronomy translations, by emphasizing the change of form. Transformative processes of the edible medium can become more familiar if one thinks how the same ingredients taste differently when they are processed to different textures or forms. According to home chef Monet Banihashem (18):
…form is inherent in cooking. A soup isn't a soup unless it's liquefied and takes on a certain consistency. A mirepoix will not cook evenly unless the carrots, celery and onion are
chopped uniformly. In baking, the form of a finished good is indicative of correct methods: if a cake does not rise because you used too large of a pan or too much chemical leavener (baking soda, baking powder), then you may not discern that the finish product is a cake, let alone edible.
Banihashem believes that most of the chefs think and work with form unconsciously, unless they belong to the avant-garde ones, being driven consciously by form, such as Grant Acatz, Ferran Adria, or René Redzepi. Form and taste coupling is also familiar to architects and spectators of architecture. In this case, it is the appreciation, and pleasure of architecture that is associated to taste. The Architecture of Taste One of the “conscious” form-taste gastronomical experimentations comes through Molecular Gastronomy. Molecular Gastronomy is a term and discipline that came out of the experimental practice of Hervé This in collaboration with Nicholas Kurti, and was accompanied by a conference in 1992. In Molecular Gastronomy (19) a cook is often compared to a chemist (20.) Hervé This reports about the transformations of traditional culinary practice: “…Molecular gastronomy may seem a pompous name. Nonetheless it is well chosen. Gastronomy is not a cuisine for the rich, as it often supposed; it is what might be called a reasoned discourse about food…To designate the specifically physicochemical exploration of culinary transformations, it makes sense to characterize such research as molecular.” Architect and theorist David Ruy, in his popular Lessons from Molecular Gastronomy essay (21), presents this new discipline to architects and discusses the transformations by emphasizing the creations of a new experience (22):
...Yet despite the material repercussions of culinary innovation, the most important contribution of the molecular astronomic concerns the transformation of our subjectivity. When the diner says, ‘I’ve never tasted anything like this before!’ we are witness to life redefined.
The transformation of subjectivity, as mentioned by Ruy, can be the purpose of a creator both in architecture and gastronomy. Beyond Molecular Gastronomy, “construction of taste” has been central to the recent public lecture and tasting event, "The Architecture of Taste" at Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) with Pierre Hermé (23.) For Hermé, ideas about pastries come from desires, readings, and observations; there is no need for him to execute, or even taste the pastries. In fact, Hermé makes diagrams with notes for other chefs, instructions like architects’ representations. Hermé envisions scenarios of taste: what comes first, what second, and so on. His diagrams are not about form. They are about taste, proportions of taste, and compositions of taste. Specifically, once Hermé discovers an interesting particular taste, like that of the Bulgarian Rose, he constructs Ispahan, a series of different types of pastries, like Baba Rose (traditional cake with Ispahan taste), Milfeuille Ispahan, Cheesecake Ispahan, Sorbet Ispahan, Noel Ispahan, and so on. These types are not iterations of the same taste; they are “different re-interpretations.” In this line of products or family in which each pastry has its own personality, the following thing occurs: the construction of taste changes, but the
harmony among the flavors stays the same. Similarly, in Infiniment Citron family of desserts, each pastry has its own personality; each highlights a specific situation, such acidity, or bitterness.
Hermé emphasized how timing is crucial when mixing tastes (before biting the pastry): it creates a completely different experience. For example, when he started working with the Macaron, he realized the importance of the cream in-between. In this cream, he added some flavors. Instead of mixing the flavors in the cream, he inserted them as chunks that would release their flavor during the chewing. Instead of creating a sensation or effect, through this process he offered a surprise. He expanded this to other desserts, to create a library of tastes (example the Cassis Macaron). Hermé also showed a series of chocolates, in which their shape and size affected the taste. Such manipulations of the ingredients define the tectonics of taste. The decision of selecting Hermé, a pastry chef to be part of the prestigious design lectures, signifies the expansion of architectural education’s potential limits, and starts showing more overlaps with gastronomy and culinary art (24.) The visually appealing creations of Hermé are presented as constructions of taste. This indicates a direction where (design) form is even more strongly linked with taste. What comes first and what second? The form or the taste? Can architecture also construct taste, either this being the “character” of space, or its liking and appreciation by the subject? Traitorous Translation or Experiencing the Edible Events The aforementioned emphasis in taste through textures, shapes, materials, and so on in Architecture and Gastronomy, extends to other cases where even more intangible characteristics shape the event. The presence of the immaterial may cause untranslatability to some extent. Untranslatability is probably common in the case of prose or poetry. However, for some, every translation may be “problematic.” According to Uberto Eco (25): “Perhaps the Pure Language does not exist, but pitting one language against another is a splendid adventure, and it is not necessarily true, as the Italian saying goes, that the translator is always a traitor. Provided that the author takes part in this admirable treason.”
^ over, under | Crank House (Top)
The recent frequent appearance of edible events, even initiated by architects, or chefs, or collaborations among the two, allow for more free interpretations. Instead of the prose or poetry, it is the social, the collective experience, the habits, or the memory, which are a few of the parameters needed to construct these traitorous translations. The Social Menu Architect, educator, chef, and restaurant owner, Alberto Cabré, in his "Food and Architecture: a Parallel Process" (26) lecture, mentioned a series of processes that appear both in architecture and food. Out of those, he emphasized the informal (experience), the interactivity between dining and kitchen, the home feeling, and the social: Food rituals, including preparations and meals, and architectural programs, and situations evolve around the social. Food shapes, and textures, as well as food spaces, including composition of tastes, and spatial atmospheres they
^ Ben Bruce | Symphony of Flavors
all affect the customs, and habits and the sensorial experience of both the individual and the crowd.
Originally an architect, Cabré, as a response to the financial crisis that hit his profession, created a series of in-formal dinners in his living room. The experiment lasted two years and it later transformed to what is known today as CasaB restaurant. Cabré, as major orchestrator, behind both the interior design and menu of the restaurant acknowledged the social (27) as an essential element behind the success of the restaurant. The construction of a collective experience, in which the form of the food and space, taste of the menu, and appreciation of the architecture (even if it is ephemeral) are all shared among participants. Another architect and chef, Mariela Alvarez, shares her social menu through the blog medium. Her connection to the crowd comes through a series of (blog) posts that are simultaneously recipes and experiences (28):
As architects we build experiences using walls, color, and sound, as chefs we build experiences using temperature, flavors, and textures. The difference lies in the tools used in the immediacy of the rewards…I see every recipe and every post, as an opportunity to tell a story…. it is always nice to know when people actually make the recipe, I am choreographing their experience of interacting with a set of ingredients that will later be enjoyed in the company of others.
Initially, Alvarez started cooking as an opportunity to play, but also to escape from architecture. She eventually found herself applying more rigor into her food creations (29.) Madeleine (Cake) and Fictitous Memory An invisible parameter that shapes the social, spatial, and edible collective experience is that of memory. Marcel Proust, introduced memory neither as an objective notion nor a fixed thing: memory is full of fictions, errors, and even lies. In the famous episode of the madeleine, Proust offers a theory of memory depending on taste and smell (30) that further supports the idea of food and space being connected to memory. The taste of madeleine and the smell of tea (as well as the act of hearing) offer a channel for Proust to reach his childhood. In this Proustian nostalgia, the cake and the childhood, as parts of the past, appear better than they actually were (apparently he never liked the cake when he was a kid). In The Omnivorous Mind (31), neuroscientist John S. Alen considers memory one of the four reasons that humans like to eat crispy food. For him it reminds him of ancient times where people would eat insects and raw vegetables, among other things. How can foods or edible experiences (such as the madeleine cake and the crispiness), be used in design to create spaces that link users and spectators to familiar spaces, neighborhoods, cities, or pleasurable experiences? Spatial Food How can architects evoke memories, and the desire to link to one’s past or/ locality? Smell and taste, are two of the least frequent senses to be used in spatial and structural generation. Three States of Hors d’Oeuvres (32) by Project on Spatial Sciences was an experiential installation/ exhibition that unveiled an entirely new kind of experience that fused both food and space. The exhibit consisted of four transparent chambers filled with foggy clouds of vaporized food.
^ Jeneile Egbert | Three States of Hors d’Oeuvres
Each cloud was characterized by a different color of light as well as a unique smell and taste: lemon-cardamom (green), barbeque (orange), bonito fish (pink), or vanilla-maple (blue) all linked to local flavors and specialties strategically picked in collaboration with local gastronomists (from an epicurean market called Savenor’s). Upon arrival, visitors were handed a tray with different solid and liquid foods, which they consumed while moving through the chambers and breathing the various clouds. What emerged was a spatial form of food consumption, whereby the space in which visitors stood mingled and interacted with their eating and drinking experience. Many of the visitors expressed nostalgia by linking the distinct food cloud with local memories, such as experiences by the sea, or events, such as family barbeques, and so on. The olfactory mechanism, through memory and nostalgia, constructed the experiences, and the spaces. To understand people’s participation in the art-piece or event, one needs to include an ethnographic approach to design that acknowledges relationships of media with the audience, as these are addressed by Sonia Livingstone (33.) Through the “ethnographic turn,” Livingstone shifts the focus away from the textual interpretation, towards what she mentions as contextualization of the moment, which involves, cultural elements of everyday life, rituals and communicational practices among others (34.) In this third categorization of transactions between architecture and gastronomy such cultural elements and rituals are integrated in the edible and spatial experience. Beyond Translations The “contextualization of the moment” as mentioned by Livingstone, coincides along with globalization and the need to address the big scale, both in architecture, through landscape, geography, policies, and so on, but also gastronomy, through food systems, healthy nutrition, food justice, and so on. The taxonomy of translations overviewed in this essay, is being presented in three levels: it starts from the visual (metaphrasis); to the taste transformations (metamorphosis); and to the multi-sensorial edible events (traitorous translations). One wonders, what would be the fourth level of the taxonomy that includes the aforementioned bigger concerns? Projects like the recent Meat House of Terreform One, being both a victimless shelter, and a real organic dwelling; the popular Seed Cathedral by Thomas Heatherwick, in which the seeds become the symbol to connect space, with ecology, and the planet; and the emergence of Food Banks as storages of seeds against global crises imply the need to create new typologies of artifacts that are co-creations and co-productions out of different disciplines. To understand, and categorize the hybrid projects, one can borrow Bernard Tschumi’s triangulation of concept-context-content (35.) This triangulation avoids oversimplification and allows for architecture and gastronomy to create new typologies, that may address food networks and clusters, the food production line, as well as traditional forms of space, such as that of courtyards, or underground structures, in which the emphasis shifts to void, roots and seeds. Then one imagines a culture of slow food to create potentially slow architecture. Through such projects the boundaries between traditionally defined disciplines start to blur. The overlap between architecture and gastronomy is growing, and therefore the two disciplines/ languages share more and more in common, the concept of translation becomes irrelevant or simply obsolete. / Notes p. 124
There are valued times in almost everyone’s experience when the world is perceived afresh: perhaps after a rain as the sun glistens on the streets and windows catch a departing cloud, or, alone, when one sees again the roundness of an apple. At these times our perceptions are not at all sentimental. They are, rather, matter of fact, neutral and undesiring – yet suffused with an unreasoned joy at the simple correspondence of appearance and reality, at the evident rightness of things as they are. It is as though the sound and feel of a new car door closing with a kerchunck! were magnified and extended to dwell in the look, sound, smell, and feel of all things. The moments that Michael Benedikt refers to in his book, For an Architecture of Reality, are described as being “direct esthetic experiences of the real.” These instances portray the truth of what “is,” and Benedikt argues that architecture should be responsible for creating these experiences. He claims that society, in its media-suffused times, disregards the importance of these experiences in which the mind becomes aware.
< ^ Samantha Altieri | Rooms of Performance
Ponderland Scott Graham, Olivia Hegner, Kate Lux and Deborah Massaro. To dwell: that is to be, to dream, to imagine, in a space manipulated by our touch but molded by our memories, is to live. We dwell through our living memories disguised in the form of objects as they cultivate a sense of space and unveil an authenticity that allows one to dwell poetically. This action, the sentimental relationship to this space, occurs over time as we generate a trust between ourselves and the places in which we occupy. The touch, the sounds, the warmth becomes invaluable as it embraces a character that only we can assign, one that conjures a personal phenomenon of a daydream, generated by the imagination but activated by the space. Contemplate then what may happen when we manipulate these forms and skew their function. Are we still able to relate to these objects and symbols even with distorted perceptions of their purpose? What is it that suggests a specific primary function for each of these objects? There is a universal expectation that these everyday items will maintain their function. Heidegger says, “It is the language that tells us about the nature of the thing, provided that we respect the languages own nature (1.)" When the communication of the object is lost the loyalty to its function disintegrates, then in turn causing our trust in language to effect our experience. Is it now possible that we are able to assimilate to these translations? The answer is found within the reaction of each individual as he or she derives his or her own interpretation of the experience. One may question, one may understand, one may challenge. The results are entirely based on the culture, the personality, and the mind-set of the ponderers. For “objects do not communicate (and are not designed to communicate), but function (2.)" Therefore they must be translated through interpretation, which is a combination of knowledge, memory and experience. And with humans existing in refreshingly diverse backgrounds and cultures, there are an infinite number of conclusions that can be drawn from a shared symbol, sign or event. Sometimes, unintentional reactions are brought on by “the eyes of the society that observes it (3.)" So how can we break those preconceived notions that prevent a wealth of possibilities to form in our creative minds? When can we question our surroundings and react with a more automatic response to our environment. Eagleton reminds us that a child is the world's best theorist (4.) When in the timeline of our lives did we stop questioning and start accepting theories as fact? We need to go back to this time we have preserved within our minds for we have an amazing tool of creativity, thought, and understanding that simply needs to be reactivated. You are an individual with a unique set of genes, beliefs and experiences. Your ideas are invaluable. If you continue to walk through life without stopping to think, question, or contemplate, who will? No one can ever tell you the answer to what you would find. No one can look through your eyes, mind, heart, and soul. All it takes from you is a bit of patience, disconnect from the perceptions of the world, and inward thinking in order to find a world where you can decide the true definition of a word, the function of a form and the line between reality and fantasy. This is a place of your own. / Notes p. 126
I observed the material and immaterial behavior of light. Throughout the process of making, tangible materials were aggregated in specific ways to bring in the intangible, light. However, when I projected light onto models, the roles switched. Light became more present, a foreground, whereas the physical models faded away into background.
These light studies tested my expectations about how light would behave. It was impossible to predict exactly how the finished product would catch light, so each light instrument led to multiple discoveries. I took advantage of the freedom of scale that photography provided; for example, a one inch slit in plaster could be read as a three foot cavity in a wall.
Space is not simply created through the use of walls, floors, windows, and stairs; rather, it is created through the use of direct and indirect light. The form of a space should be shaped from the entering light, and the function of the space can be developed through the form created by the light.
Learning to manipulate and work with light while designing is an important skillâ€Ślight plays an integral part in the design process.
The exercise served as a very interesting catalyst for the subsequent project. By articulating one method on one material (sanding down foam), I was able to identify different kinds of lighting conditions and adjust those conditions.
The light models helped to reinforce the importance of light in architecture. Light dissolves the boundary between the structure (in this case, the model itself) and the defined space it created.
The discovery of poetry in architecture Aaron Weinert Adjunct Faculty Light changes how an individual views and experiences a space. It can both invite and distance the viewer as well as make a space feel compressive or expansive, all depending on the source, intensity and diffusion of light. It can give hints as to what is beyond…
"To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, every cubic inch of space is a miracle." -Walt Whitman “Poem of Perfect Miracles”, Leaves of Grass, 1856. In the “Poem of Miracles” Walt Whitman meditates on the wonders of the tangible and intangible world around him. His poetic text is predicated on both his awareness and perception of that world. Poetry can be understood as a translation: everyday speech and prose convey meaning and information, yet it is poetry that turns words into something more, something deeper that touches us. How might architecture learn from poetry? How might such recognition and perception of the world and its experiences be translated from the language of words into the language of building? And what then translates mere building into architecture? Sophomores in Materials + Methods II, in conjunction with their architecture design studio, investigated space making through the introduction of light into material and form. Like Whitman, they gained an awareness of the phenomenological.
I explored different facade languages in order to see how the light interacted with it. This study explored the interaction of light with a plaster model; the three separations in a small wall projected the shape of the structure through the entirety of the shadow.
Employing a subtractive process of carving out space, students created plaster and foam models, which were then lit in a variety of ways to study the effects. (1) (A subtractive method, rather than an additive one, was chosen so that space making rather than object making was the driving force.) Light altered the perceived characteristics of the plaster and foam, in many cases with tectonic implications for future projects. In addition, expectations of how light and material would interact were challenged. Students further translated their spaces into photographic images, with human figures and proposed activities adding scale and ideas about inhabitation. This too changed their perceptions and provoked deeper thinking about architectural experience. As a final operation, students translated their observations back into words, often with poetic results. The sequence of creating three dimensional models, translating them into two-dimensional images, and ending with a translation into text upends the typical studio approach to projects. Very often students will begin with a “concept statement” (words), move to sketching, usually in plan (two dimensions) and then make a model of what was sketched (threedimensions). This converse approach demonstrates that engaging three dimensions, in light, as an initial step can result in stronger architectural ideas. The art of making allows for broader spatial exploration, resulting in a concept statement, not starting with one a priori. Juhani Pallasmaa has noted his concern that “[i]n our time, light has turned into a mere quantitative matter…” (2) The act of discovery inherent in this exercise offers one way to consider light in all of its qualitative potential. As mentioned,quantitative issues, while important, were not the driving force behind these investigations as they can be deemed “factual” as opposed to poetic. (Indeed, this is analogous to words as conveyors of information rather than of the poetic.) Qualitative investigation suggests working, forming, molding,
shaping and distorting a material or concept; it is the hands on working of materials that yields understanding, as opposed to an arms length analysis of the quantitative. As a result, this workshop was grounded in the art of making, whereby process, result and discovery were united. Through the art of making, of working directly with materiality and light, students discovered that like the written adjective or adverb modifies a word or phrase, light modifies and translates material. Matter and space remain architecturally inert until light illuminates and transforms them into something greater, into poetry. When derived from the bringing together of the material and the immaterial, building can achieve architecture and architecture can achieve the extraordinary, and has the potential to touch us deeply through its experience. Yet all too often, this experiential approach to design is displaced by more pragmatic issues: space planning, square footages, cost, etc. The default approach to architectural design is to mold and form only the physical, with light playing a supporting role, if it is well considered at all.
"Matter and space remain architecturally inert until light illuminates and transforms them into something greater, into poetry." But architecture is most richly conceived when light is a primary source of inspiration, equivalent in importance to materiality. As Le Corbusier posited, “architecture is the masterly, correct and magnificent play of masses brought together in light” (3). Light is therefore not only an ingredient of architecture, but a precondition of and a prerequisite for architecture. This exercise fostered an understanding that the attributes of light, space and experience are inevitably intertwined, and cannot be supplanted by pedestrian concerns lest we have a world full of buildings but no architecture. Resultant spaces discovered in student models suggested program and occupation, not the inverse: allowing spatial experiences that are formed in light does not preclude the mundane, but rather suggests how the mundane can be housed in and elevated by architecture. Several students discovered that interior space and light can be translated into exterior form, calling into question how building design is often approached. So what at first appeared to be a focus solely on interiority ultimately challenged their concept of inside and out. Light enters a space, alters the space, and the space itself then alters the very envelope through which the light entered. Light is therefore a medium for translating interior to exterior and back again, forming the basis of an iterative design process, and proposing that architecture be designed from the inside out, as well as the outside in. In most of the images, one can imagine being inside as well as being outside, an ambiguity in the most positive sense. When architecture is conceived from both inside and out, a rich dialogue begins to take place through the building envelope. When light interacts with openings, thresholds and other moments of transition, interior and exterior experiences become mutually responsive. The interplay of spaces in light writes its own poetry through, within and around a structure. Light becomes an equal participant in design alongside material and a driver of the experiential. This calls into question what is inside and what is outside, what is boundary and what is space. The discoveries students made through this exercise suggest a more holistic approach to architectural design wherein material, light, space, experience, scale and so on are understood as interwoven,
interdependent concepts. Translation occurs between these various concepts, each one modifying the other, elevating the mundane into the poetic, into architecture. As in poetry, the individual words come together to produce meaning and experience beyond the mere conveyance of information. Builders are scribes; architects are poets. Students were challenged to think about architecture in a new way and this approach is now a potential process in their design repertoire. Giving light primary status rather than introducing it as an afterthought is, as this workshop suggests, one way to respond to Pallasmaa’s concern. Light can be translated from the immaterial to the material, from simple illumination to elaborate architectural experience, from the intangible to the tangible. This capacity of light is beautifully evoked in the words of Louis Kahn: “[Light] can be visualized as becoming a wild dance of flame that settles and spends itself into material. Material, I believe, is spent Light” (4). In both the language of words and the language of architecture, Kahn was a keen observer of the world and a true poet. Perhaps he even read Whitman. Both men mastered the art of elevating the mundane into the poetic, and offer architects instructive examples of how to observe, interpret, and ultimately translate the world around us. / Notes p. 126
^ Vien Nguyen | Light Studies
Parkour Informing Space Nicholas Voell-White Boundaries are the building blocks for planned space, determining the way in which people interact within it. Consistently these boundaries become obstacles in the way of human interaction or collaboration. Additionally, these boundaries are not always physical, some lie in the consciousness of society. Out of the many ways to deal with boundaries, Parkour, has found a way to interact, play, deconstruct and even critique the way that space is planned. This free-flowing movement of the body through space finds a way to do all of these while simultaneously remaining respectful to the past. Boston City Hall, as the centerpiece of this project, acts as the creator of boundary. The Government Center Project involved a major renovation of Boston, which included a large area of planned space. Through the use of Parkour as an analogy to the design process we can reinterpret the planned space of City Hall along with its adjacent plaza. Existing circulation from the Government Center train station presents the same image to anyone who exits the station. Due to the way this project was planned, relying on the image of the large organization of government, this separates people from architecture. The reinterpretation of the train station and plaza circumvent this image and allow people to filter into and out of City Hall. The creation of this underground station and circulation also reinvents the plaza above. By introducing multiple performance stages and seating, and allowing light to filter to lower levels, the plaza becomes more interactive at the human scale.
^ Christopher Battaglia, Michael Cerbone, Richard Pignataro and Michael Remondi
| Parametric Translations
^ Liem Than | Voyeurism and Other Deviances
^ Craig Zygmund
| In the Spirit of Brutalism
Re-purposing Rudolph A conversation between WAr and Robert Miklos. The following discussion is focused primarily on designLAB's work at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, particularly on the Claire T. Carney Library. The discussion on the library lead to a discussion on how the firm operates. Its pre-design research phase makes it unique in relation to other architectural firms around the city. Robert Miklos is founding Principal of designLAB architects. The work of his firm, while contemporary, establishes a deep connection to the history and legacy of a building or site. Miklos believes that the practice of architecture is fundamentally a cultural art. By leading a creative planning process that enthusiastically engages clients and communities, his projects have dramatically transformed the institutions they serve as they reinterpret and renew their cultural traditions. Miklos has served as design faculty at Harvard's School of Design, Rhode Island School of Design and Northeastern University. He currently serves on the Board of the Boston Society of Architects as Commissioner of Education and Research and previously served as Commissioner of Design.
WAr: In your lecture, “Re-Purposing Rudolph”, you focused on the Brutalist style that is often exhibited in Paul Rudolph's buildings. Is it difficult to find harmony between DesignLab's use of contemporary design and the existing brutalist architecture? RM: I was never a fan of Paul Rudolph, I went to the Harvard GSD when Rudolph was the head of Yale’s School of Architecture. They didn’t highlight or even talk about him so I didn’t know much about his work before we got this project. Fortunately when the project started, we had just hired Kelly who went to the University of Florida where Rudolph is definitely a heroic icon. We were able to learn all about him through Kelly's eyes. A good friend of mine who’s the head of the architecture department at the University of Southern Florida, Bob McCloud, invited me down for a lecture and connected me with one of his young faculty members. We then toured all of Rudolph's early works. It was really amazing to see it and understand everything.
have these large firms where there’s a lot of hierarchy. You can spend years within a larger firm doing certain kinds of tasks and working your way up through it. I think students coming out of architecture schools now have such strong skills, particularly in digital media, but they are also good researchers and strategic thinkers. They all can contribute, in a major way, to the design process and to the ideas. We have always believed in this idea where everybody on the team, from the last out of school to the most senior person, is at the table exploring ideas together. Along with our collaborators, which are often landscape architects and structural engineers and interior designers, all contributing at the same level. I think it produces really good work, and results in everybody having a really high commitment level and ownership in the project.
WAr: You spoke about how the firm approaches projects by focusing primarily on function as opposed to the form generation. Are there any studies that you conduct in order to ensure that the space will be successful in relation to its specific I think our practice is definitely contemporary. function? We interviewed a candidate some years ago RM: I think one of the most important goals and he said “what I really like about your in our process is creating an architecture, practice is that here, modernism is not a an imagery, that really represents the style, it’s a way of working”. I hadn’t thought institution and relates to the community. The of it that way at the time but I think it’s true. clients we work with have huge aspirations, It’s a set of values, it’s an approach. It’s not really focusing on what the building looks like especially for educational clients, and for their communities. Our primary focus is but rather what comes out of the process. how the design might affect their image and For us, history is very important and we’ve represent that particular institution or place. worked on a lot of historical buildings. In All the other things like cost, function, and the years I was being educated, history was energy efficiency are kind of in support of all fundamental to the education and that’s not that. so true in architecture schools anymore. Luckily, I had the good fortune at the GSD of WAr: While the client has their own vision having three landmark instructors. for the project and the firm has its own specific goals, is there ever a disagreement We have always worked with precedent, between the two parties? If so, how are they looking at good models of what we’re resolved? doing just so we’re better informed. I think that’s our process, we’re not obsessed with RM: When we got there nobody liked the creating the avant-garde, we like to come building, this whole million and a half square up with imaginative and creative solutions feet of poured concrete brutalism was almost to problems. Although we are not entirely a liability. There was an associate dean of focused on form generation, it is obviously libraries, she had been in the building for part of what we do and it's included in 35 years and she didn’t particularly like the the conversation. I have always believed building but she understood how the needs of that young people right out of school can the students had totally changed. contribute phenomenal things. We now
She had major visions for how the library could become an interactive and private place for learning. She didn’t know quite how to do it, but she had the vision. The first thing we did was we got Katherine, the associate dean, in the car and drove her to Yale to look at the Art and Architecture building that had just been renovated so that she could understand the potential the library had. The whole project was managing public entity, so for them their goals were to replace all the mechanical systems. What happened just as we looped out of planning and into schematic design, a new associate vice chancellor of planning and development for the University came in. He had been educated as an engineer and really appreciated what architects could do. He came in and he really empowered us to take the project further and further even though there were some things he was really skeptical about. Without us knowing, he had the budget to update the carpets and furnishings in one of the atriums across the way from the library and he went and fitted everything in orange, (even though he was saying he hated it this whole time) he was willing to give it a try. He and Katherine were strategic about the whole thing happening. As architects, we don’t design buildings, which is what most people think, but we create a process-we’re almost like cultural psychologists-working with clients through this time of drastic change for them. WAr: Do you think collaboration in studios has changed over the years? RM: I think the hero architect thing, the hero genius that comes in and tells them what they need and how it should be, is such an antiquated model. I think most practices don’t even work that way anymore and I can’t believe institutions would even embrace that anymore. It’s pretty exciting to see what emerges when working for a particular place or client. We are always going down a road where we aren’t too sure what’s going to happen but if you have some great people in the institution then exciting things can happen. We work not only for colleges and universities and arts and cultural clients, but we work for specific clients as well. The process is a little different, it’s a little more complicated. We spend all of our time strategizing, I feel like a politician, strategizing how we should present and articulate things to engage both sides of the debate and all the political entities involved. We were going through all these options and its like the democrats were against the republicans. The democrats want to save the whole building and the republicans
want to tear the whole thing down. Ironically, its actually cheaper to save it, it would save tax payers money, so the democratic position is kind of in contradiction with the regular stereotype. So we’re presenting all of these options and we have to find a compromise position where everybody can win. You have to play to both sides. WAr: When you do a renovation such as the one in Orange County, NY or at UMass Dartmouth, do you predetermine the changes or do they evolve as the process is underway? RM: It’s a careful assessment, done piece by piece. I don’t think there are any hard and fast rules which is what’s interesting about dealing with early and mid-century modern buildings. It's not clear cut, but there is strict preservation. Sometimes, even restoring things that we will remove because it makes sense and because it enhances the architecture. I think the most interesting part is the interpretation. Doing enough research and understanding the building and the architectural ideas well enough that you can actually do things in the building to expand on that or sometimes reinforce the building. I like to say that it is our role to sometimes correct the inconsistencies in the architecture. If we’re really good, we can make the architect of the building look better than they were. Sometimes you find that for whatever reason, (program, cost, etc.) they couldn’t completely achieve something that they wanted to do in the design, And if we have the opportunity to deal with that and go further, that’s really interesting. Then there is a whole category of transformation, and that’s a little bit dangerous. In transformation, you could be removing significant elements and pieces of the building that were original and still in tact; and we did that at UMass Dartmouth. We took the exterior stair out and we put concrete block infill out of one of the facades. Then you can add to the buildings and sometimes the additions can overwhelm or compromise the original, and that’s a hard thing. It's increasingly a problem with historical buildings because of the need for more square footage. Twenty-five years ago people were doing small additions to historic structures, and now the additions are as big as the original building and some times bigger. Now one may wonder, which part is dependent upon the other? We like to say that we always try to be deferential to the original artifact, ideally it should remain the dominant piece in the composition.
WAr: Would you be open to your new addition being added on to or changed? RM: There used to be a tradition of building for eternity. They always wanted to build well. In their 70’s and 80’s practice, Paul McKinnel built in an uncompromising way with traditional building techniques, they would not take commissions where they didn’t have enough money to build solid masonry walls instead of veneer walls. They used a lot of traditional building materials, they were building for permanence. We live in a world where everything is disposable, like in California they build buildings that are disposable with in ten years. Then at the other turn, they are repurposing buildings that are thirty years beyond their disposable life. I don’t know if we personally are in the world of building permanent long-lasting buildings. Most of our buildings have been pretty light in their construction and pretty economical. In a way, this Paul Rudolph building is a permanent, indestructible building because of the poured concrete. It will probably be there longer than anything else we’ve worked on. We haven’t really thought about that as a goal. It's more about what kind of impact the projects can have in the short-term. WAr: The way your firm engages in research is interesting because it makes for a much more scientific approach and helps connect you to the context that you are working with. Have you seen success with this design model? RM: The challenge with all contemporary practices is that they don’t have the time and money to fund the research. But we definitely engage in it. Our whole practice model is unique, it was invented 8 years ago with this idea that I believe fundamentally our techs are versatile and can do many different things like research, programming, writing, graphics, and design. We have a very low stream line operation where everybody is required to participate in every aspect of the practice. What it translates to is, we have a very low overhead and very high productivity so we are inherently far more profitable than our peer firms. It simply gives us more hours to spend on things we want to do.
WAr: Would you argue that this is the direction that firms are moving in? How is your office approaching its research today? RM:There is a need to adapt in order to be competitive and address the urban and building problems that confront them. We're looking at different ways to help with that. Even at the BSA we are trying to start a program in which we hire interns from schools of architecture to work on research projects. It could be in any category, social and economic prompts, or even material technology, or it could be more high-tech investigations and sustainability and all that. We need to connect with the departments beyond the architecture department. There is a need for us as designers to be fundamentally versatile and well spoken in all languages, itâ€™s always been that way. That may be something that has never changed.
As time goes on, architecture advances and reinvents itself in a multitude of ways which make history such a vital component to architectural practice and education. The process of understanding the past has become vital to ensure success in current day projects. To ensure a minimal number of problems in the end, the time people spend on process work and precedent studies has increased in some contemporary firms. While most firms have specific job titles designated to each employee, at DesignLAB every employee has the opportunity to participate in every aspect of the office mechanics and design process. The role of the architect is intrinsically defined by research because they search for answers to their questions through other people's findings, they address the existing issues and work tirelessly to find the remedy.
Growth, development, and complexity in the conveyance of mental ideas have resulted in symbols (letters) that combine speech, an audible human articulation of thought, with corresponding shapes that the eye can interpret. The brain is a function of translation, translating stimuli into thoughts. The written word is one stimuli; it acts as a translation of mental images gathered through experience into symbols that embody it, ideally with great clarity. These symbols enable thoughts to be translated back into mental images if the skill of the writer and the complexity of the experience allow. The dialogue between written word and mental image reflects and amplifies the dialogue between mental image and observation. The entire experience of life is translation embodied in observation and interpretation.
^ Steve Prestejohn | On Translation
^ Julie Rahilly | Change Overtime
^ Julie Rahilly | Change Overtime
^ David Cook | Cut-Fold
Built Environment Travis Lombardi To speak of translation architecturally, one is seemingly faced with a boundless definition. Are we investigating interpretations of programmatic need as architectural form and function? What are the extents of translation in terms of architectural elements? Or, do we understand this meaning as architecture in relationship to some other entity and how it may bind a separation? In any instance, the built environment is composed of a series of decisions and whether or not these decisions are intended to express a certain quality, they translate in some way to not only user, but context as well. Therefore I find the importance of translation not in its definition, but in its execution. Structures have their own characteristics, qualities that may express theory, concept, function, detail or whatever is at the designer's discretion. It is compelling to see not simply the inspirations of architecture, but how the
individual affects the translation of these inspirations in their own unique way. The success does not lie in the quality or significance of the concept, but its ability to announce the expression as a clear understanding of form, purpose, and moment. Similarly to the individual, our architectural world sits within a very natural, raw environment. The way we build and intervene must "translate" in the same process as it does for an individual experience. Can we create architecture that expresses the intent of theory and concept in such a way that is understood through its placement within its site, orientation of its composition, or construction of its material? All of these things must be considered to implement a successful translation of architecture to the individual as well as within the context. When both user and site respond in this process, a clear understanding of our built environment may result.
^ Stephen Demayo | The Light of Motion
Pending Restoration Liem Than The repairs to the Washington Monument in the recent years have not only denied visitors from its attractions but have given it a fresh makeover. At 555 feet, it stands as an obelisk no longer, but as a piercing needle with a contemporary dress. Its new skin hides the inevitable crisis that lies beneath, and distracts the public from its decay, a reassurance of its immortality. This architectural symbol has been petrified at its most entropic state, and crystallized by a new form. In an instant, a monument becomes an object. In 1999, a similar protocol was undertaken for its repairs, this time with an architect at the helm. Michael Graves spearheaded the project and designed a mesh fabric that draped over the scaffolding, with internal lighting for nightly display. According to Graves, “The pattern of the mesh reflected, at an exaggerated scale, the running bond pattern of the monument’s stone facades and the mortar joints being repaired. The scaffolding installation thus told the story of the restoration (1.)” This new gown in turn perpetuated an endearing yet ostensibly monumental aura. Though this installation was described as telling the “story of the restoration”, this comforting notion was vastly overshadowed by its spectacle as a celebration of aesthetic. Let’s begin with an incision into this symbolic framework, in order to find its very own cause of failure. In his seminal essay, “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction,” Walter Benjamin establishes a specific paradigm shift within the making of cultural objects. He describes the repercussions in artwork’s reproducibility, and addresses the resulting issues of authenticity (directly tending to mass production and early modernity) (2.) What is of interest here in the cases mentioned above is that the cultural object (the monument) is not only a subject of reproduction, but also becomes the reproduction in itself. While Benjamin focuses on photography and film, the scaffolding is a physical medium of reproduction that embeds itself into its host, standing on the same contextual ground and maintaining all of its localities. What is important in the distinction between this and a photograph, is that the latter has a unanimous agreement within its perceptual field that it is no longer an original. It is not the Washington monument, but a photograph of the Washington monument. Its meaning has simply been lost in translation between mediums. In the case of scaffolding however, the response is more ambiguous. In its new state, there arises a pronounced ambiguity of meaning in the monument, compromising its symbolic relationships conducted on the social plane. A tension arises between its disturbing familiarity and its uncanny new look. What was once symbolic in the public sphere now becomes alien. It is simply dressed to impress, bereft of meaning and civic function. What once was a ground for meaningful architecture is now the foundation for objective formal expression. While it retains its duty as an architecture of liberty and freedom, this notion is no longer relevant in a social context. Rather architecture took it as an incentive to liberate itself from the public sphere. Through this analytical framework, the scaffolding on the Washington Monument can be analyzed as no longer architecture but an object. Manfredo Tafuri, in analyzing the modern city, inquires about this very phenomenon as a regression to “pure architecture.” He describes this as, “form without utopia”, a case of “sublime uselessness (3.)” This lack of use is seen in both scenarios presented above. While it is a place of commemoration in its former self, the
Washington Monument’s status as object negates the presence of people all together. Beyond its lifeless interior, its 500-foot radius of prohibited access only embellishes its object-ness further. With each surrounding monument being an agent in place-making, the circumference of this corralled territory demarcates a place of desertion, evoking a presence of absence (or vice versa). The object acts as its own performative display of self within the void, standing high above as a thing within the panoply of symbols that is the National Mall. Its ramifications signify the engulfing of cultural symbol, within an expression of pure architecture; or in other words, pure object with a dose of convincing rhetoric. It becomes an architecture without a social agenda, architecture for architecture’s sake. In relevance to this claim of architecture as object, or in this case symbol becoming object, Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown have an important contribution to this claim. In their polemical book “Learning from Las Vegas”, the relationship between symbol and architecture is exposed. Perhaps their most famous declaration, Venturi and Brown believed they had catalogued the entire breadth of architectural typologies in Las Vegas; these boiling down to the “decorated shed” and the “duck.” These two manifestations are described as follows: 1. Where the architectural systems of space, structure, and program are submerged and distorted by an overall symbolic form. This kind of building-becoming-sculpture we call the duck. 2. Where systems of space and structure are directly at the service of program, and ornament is applied independently of them. This we call the decorated shed (4.)
"What once was a ground for meaningful architecture is now the foundation for objective formal expression. While it retains its duty as an architecture of liberty and freedom, this notion is no longer relevant in a social context. Rather, architecture took it as an incentive to liberate itself from the public sphere." With the former being architecture as signage and the latter being architecture with signage, this analysis becomes critical of not only symbol, but also of the age-old dialectic between form and function. Its relevance to the Washington Monument, and all of its glorious prosthetics, is not as simple as placing it in either typology, as it does not have a one-size-fits-all type of criteria. What makes it successful as a monument is that the architecture is symbolic not in terms of pointing a finger to its interior function, but rather symbolic within a historical, social, and political ground. As an object however, not only is the function compromised, but its mutated semblance severs its former symbolic relationships. If function and symbol are left by the wayside, in other words any social aspect of architecture, all that remains is a pile of stone, pure unadulterated detritus. With form being its last dying breath, architecture becomes, speaking in Venturi and Brown terms, a single typology with two synonymic names; an empty shed or a dead duck.
It is simply trivial to entertain the possibility of meaning, whether people still retain their faith in this patriotic symbol even after its makeover, or deem it as forever dissolved into the abyss of its new semblance. In either case, the relevance of meaning becomes compromised and strictly interpretive. The death of symbol in this case gives birth to a purity of form that is not driven by historical or cultural value, but rather by its own idiosyncratic performance. Perhaps this is an indication for meaning to move from its volatile ground in function and symbol, to the autonomous aspect of architecture that is known as form. In spite of any cynicism garnered around this claim however, a “duck” is much more purposeful than a dead “duck.” / Notes p. 126
Culture Tap Gregory MacGlashing A system of kiosks celebrate Boston's culture and architecture through interaction with the built environment. Activated by Charlie Cards, these kiosks integrate oral tradition audio clips, environmental lighting, pedestrian maps, and data collection for a holistic approach to place making, quantitative metrics, and local pride in Boston culture and its transportation network. Two distinct interactions are possible by tapping a Charlie Card on a Culture Tap kiosk. Stated simply as â€œStories by day, lights by night.â€? During the day a Charlie Card tap plays a small audio clip of a story relevant to the locality. Further, swipes from that Charlie Card continue the story with progressive audio clips. Since each Charlie Card has a unique RFID chip, different cards play different stories. A single Kiosk contains multiple stories, told by multiple people, resulting in a different cultural experience for each user. These stories are intrinsically Bostonian in nature, showing our character, our spirit, and our rich history. My Charlie Card may activate a historical anecdote while yours may activate a story about a man who met his wife at the bus stop near by. After sunset, a Charlie Card swipe activates environmental lighting near the location of the kiosk. This may be the illumination of historic architecture, a pedestrian underpass, or a park landscape, thus changing the way the user views and engages with the built environment. Similar to the interaction in the daytime, multiple swipes activate a series of lighting combinations, and different Charlie Cards activate different lighting shows all together. In both interactions, the aspect that unique Charlie Cards provide unique results, encourages group participation and reasons to return to, and engage with, other kiosk locations.
Lost in Translation Marc J. Neveu, Ph.D. Associate Professor Allow me to begin with the, certainly debatable, position that all architecture is, at some level, an act of translation. The work of the architect is literally translated from one medium (drawing) to another (building). The intention of such work is often inspired from the long history of our built environment as well as other fields of inquiry. And the reception of our work, as we all know even from reviews in school, is always open to interpretation. In a sense, we remain in the long shadow of the Tower of Babel. In this short essay, I will try to open up a few issues that have, I am certain, been unpacked in much more detail through the course of this issue of the Wentworth Architecture review. To do so, I will propose an architectural triad of translation. The first topic I will discuss is the translation from drawing to building. Much ink has been spilled around this matter and I will not attempt to give perspective to the relationship between drawing and building, but rather simply question a few assumptions (1.) Next, I will discuss the translation from architecture to architecture. This is often misunderstood as “precedent.” Here again many assumptions exist and my intention is not to dissect the particularities of each architectural translation. Instead I attempt to understand why one translation is better (or worse) than another. To conclude I will discuss ways in which architects have translated ideas external to the discourse of architecture. From drawing to building As we know, architects do not make buildings; they make representations of, and instructions for, the making of buildings. In our somewhat litigious professional world, the ideal model for the translation between drawing and building is that of transcription where the drawing is precisely congruent to the built artifact. Similar to Morse code, in which a system of sounds literally stand in for letters to form words, the contract document is intended to directly relay the proposed building. The system of representation, as in Morse code, is not affected by the intention of the building – objectivity, in fact, is the goal and purpose. Differences between drawing and building do, however, exist. Issues of fabrication, installation timing and technique, material behaviors and tolerances, as well as the relative abilities of contractors, make the direct interpretation between drawing and building impossible. Interpretation, it seems, is always required.
match the built work. This was by no means a mistake of construction. It was rather that, for Palladio, the status of the drawings conveyed the intention of the work and not simply instructions for making. One example, of many, is the Basilica in Vicenza. Palladio first translates the plan of a Roman Basilica into a town hall for Vicenza. The drawings show his intention of symmetric and properly proportioned rooms. The proportioning relates back to the model of the basilica as well as a cosmological ideal and thus guaranteed meaning. The reality of the built work, however, could not be further from the truth. The existing plan of market stalls, not renovated by Palladio, does not come close to the purity of his proposed plan as seen in the Quattro Libri (1570). The status of drawings, as informing but not directly determining a future project that relies upon an act of translation from the craftsman remained in many parts of the world, even into the previous century. Indeed, in matters concerning the actual making of a building, the craftsmen were still intuitively “right” and did not rely upon drawings to build. This relationship opens up the space that architectural representation may be something more, or at least other, than instructions for building. Piranesi, the 18th c. Venetian architect certainly understood this when he proposed the Carceri etchings. In both versions, we see representations that do not have the expectation of a built project. Many examples exist over the past 200 plus years since Piranesi etched architecture; the hallucinogenic imaginings of Lequeu and Boullèe; Gandy’s dystopias; the formalisms of the Russian Constructivists; Theo van Doesburg’s painterly expressions of plastic space; the comic book capers of Archigram; even Mies van der Rohe, that paragon of professionalism, produced many collages that expressed more intention than instruction. More recently, Libeskind translated his inner Piranesi just as Doug Darden revived a long dead Lequeu. Each of these representations still needs to be interpreted, but the mode of translation is not metonymical, between drawing and building. Even if, as in the example of Doug Darden’s Oxygen House, the resolution is as technically competent as it is imaginary. Important to consider in the examples listed above is that the images constructed are not beholden to a future construction. This is similar, one might argue, to the work many students do in studio. From architecture to architecture
Historically, this translation was seen as necessary, and even celebrated. Filarete (Antonio Averlino) speaks about this in his 15th c. treatise, Libro d'architettura. He suggests that from conception to realization, a building will change. Further, there is a potentially enriching process involved in turning the drawing into a physical structure. He used the analogy of the architect as both mother and midwife. A building, according to Serlio, gestates for seven to nine months (roughly the same time as a thesis, by the way) during which time the architect dreams about the building. Finally the project emerges as a drawing or model that then must be reared through construction and finally inhabitation. In this regard, the drawing is not a one-to-one notation of the intended reality. The drawing was never, and could never be, the work itself. The drawing, rather, was more similar to a musical score, open to multiple performances.
There are many examples of architects translating from architecture. The Greeks translated caves into funerary mounds and sacrificial tables into Temples (2.) Palladio took from the Greeks, Wren took from Palladio, Chambers took from Wren, Bulfinch took from Chambers and somehow this stream of translations of a funerary monument and ritual platform has been combined in the Massachusetts State House to represent the Commonwealth. The question one might ask, then, is as follows: how it is that we can differentiate between translations? Why is one translation better than another? Why is the Museum of Fine Arts, which is an almost direct transcription of the Temple of Athena Nike in Athens, praised, while similar translations occur all up the strip in Las Vegas and are, at least amongst architects not named Izenour, Venturi or Scott-Brown, less praised amongst the architectural cognoscenti?
Even a few centuries later, the relationship between drawing and building was still not direct. Palladio’s drawings, famously, do not
My position, as stated at the outset of this essay, that the architect is translator par excellance, seems to fly in the face of common wisdom
^ Timothy Szczebak | surrounding the originality of the architect. The above examples of the MFA or State Capitol building are surely from another time. As a student, is not originality and novelty praised above all else? Precedents are always bandied about, but more often as a crutch for the critic than the legal standard of an attorney. Contemporary students are often asked to look at precedents, but never copy them. That would, somehow, be considered cheating, or even, worse, a stain on your design street-cred. Much of this attitude pervades that favorite book of young architects, Ayn Rand’s the Fountainhead. Paging through my own well worn copy, I found this nugget of a quote:
Nothing is given to man on earth. Everything he needs has to be produced. And here man faces his basic alternative: he can survive in only one of two ways—by the independent work of his own mind or as a parasite fed by the minds of others. The creator originates. The parasite borrows (3.)
Who would want to be such a parasite? Le Corbusier, it seems, would. He is said to have stated directly, “A
Boston at night
good architect borrows, a great architect steals.” He, of course, drew from painting and developed his own architectural agenda as based on the production of automobiles, the rationale of airplanes, and the efficiency of ocean liners, as well as previous architecture. He was also, of course, not above stealing directly. His quote about architects was most likely lifted from Picasso who proposed that, “a good artist borrows, a great artist steals.” Picasso, may have been borrowing from the poet TS Elliot who suggested that: One of the surest tests [of the superiority or inferiority of a poet] is the way in which a poet borrows. Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal; bad poets deface what they take, and good poets make it into something better, or at least something different. The good poet welds his theft into a whole of feeling, which is unique, utterly different than that from which it is torn; the bad poet throws it into something, which has no cohesion (4.) The question remains, however, how is one translation better than another?
As a student on tour in early 19th c. Rome, Henri Labrouste was fascinated, as many architects since, by the Greek temples at Paestum. Young Henri, however, noticed that one of the temples had an odd number of columns on what was typically considered to be the front façade. This, he know, could not be case, because a temple front always had an even number of columns so that one would enter on center. He then caused further (architectural) uproar by claiming that this was not a temple, but was a basilica whose purpose was of public gathering. It acted, he argued, as an album that chronicled civic events, literally through the writing on the walls. Further, he was fascinated by the shifting qualities of light found in the section of the building. On his return to Paris, and in between late nights with Victor Hugo, Labrouste designed the Sainte-Geneviève library, completed in Paris in 1850. According to Labrouste, the project is a translation from his studies at Paestum. He considered the public library, a relatively new program, to be a refigured basilica. The library was to be a place of meeting and lively discourse – the newfangled gas lamps were literally to be kept on all night. The parti of the two buildings is almost the same, the library has two levels but the entry orientation and sequence are similar. One enters the library on center of the long end, moves through shadow and, again, literally, into the light. The same sequence from light to dark to light was seen in Labrouste’s section of the temple Hera. The structure is certainly of the nineteenth century as is the iconography of the building. Just as at Paestum, this building is covered with text. The names of authors are inscribed on the exterior recto verso to their location on shelves inside the library. The act of translation between an ancient Greek temple at Paestum
and a nineteenth century library in Paris is one of rewriting, not simply rewording. Issues such as program, form, qualities of light, iconography, structural performance, and intention are all refigured from the old to the new. This, I would argue, is similar to James Joyce rewriting Finnegan’s Wake into Italian. Rather than simply translating the words into Italian, Joyce rewrote the text so as to capture all of the puns, word play, structure, and even sound and cadence of the original text into a new language. The context reveals a new expression, while the richness and depth of the original intention remains. As we are all well aware, there are at least two further iterations of Labrouste’s library here in Boston. The McKim Mead and White version completed roughly fifty years after it’s primary source in Paris contains many of the same elements – the writing is on the walls, but the names have changed. The program is the same. The urban setting, both are separated from an iconic religious building by an open space, is strikingly similar. The entry sequence is almost exact, however, Sargeant provides a much more American iconographic program. The building in Boston is larger and includes a courtyard, something not present in the original. Here the translation is much more traditional. One can easily recognize the source, but the translation is certainly given a new context. It is similar, perhaps, to reading Hugo’s Notre Dame in English. The story is recognizable, but does not rely only upon reference to the primary source. Completed in 1972, Phillip Johnson’s translation is a different kettle of fish. Johnson copied the parti of the McKim version but shifts the circulation around the courtyard. The program is essentially the same. The roofline and material palette are similar to the original – each was, however, stipulated by the city. Lost is the play of light
through the entry, the scale of the main reading room, the text on the walls, even the iconography has been left out. Johnson’s transmutation relies more upon the play of scale and an ironic winkwink-nod-nod to the original. There are arches, you see. And they are big, really big. I would argue that this mode of translation is more akin to reading a comic book version of Hugo’s Notre Dame. The import of the original has been skewed so as to lose much of the meaning. Johnson’s library needs the source to make the ironic reference, while the richness of McKim, Mead and White’s does not. From other to architecture The third mode of architectural translation I will briefly discuss is the translation of ideas, tactics, strategies, forms, and positions from outside of architectural discourse into architectural production. This is probably the trickiest as architects are famous for knowing a little bit about a lot until we know less and less about more and more until finally we know absolutely nothing about everything. Nonetheless, architecture, as a form of cultural expression, has historically drawn deeply from other fields of inquiry. Literature has given architecture a program with which to play. The monsters at the garden in Bomarzo, for example, are most likely translations from the Hypnerotomachia Polophili (1499). A few centuries later, that same architectural treatise was the basis for a house by Reiser and Umemoto and the basis of a complete re-writing by Alberto Pèrez-Gòmez. In each of the projects (though not the re-writing) the narrative informs the movement through the house in a manner similar to picturesque gardens of the eighteenth century. In other examples, such as de Bastide’s La Petite Maison, architecture is setting for the story. But isn’t there more than setting to story? Peter Eisenman has attempted to translate ideas from linguistic theory, most notably Noam Chomsky and later Jacques Derrida. The result of which was a good bit of intellectual word play but some rather poorly constructed plywood and EIFS boxes. John Hejduk’s masque projects, certainly building upon the masques of Inigo Jones as well as the tradition of the commedia dell’arte, offers more than setting. Hejduk introduces characters, plot, subjects, and objects that act as a cast of players in the stage of the public, if imaginary, realm. Painting has been a source for architects at least as early as the beginning of the previous century. Issues regarding representation in painting and architecture are much more longstanding. The Schroeder house by Reitveld was certainly influenced by Mondrian’s painting but may not be a translation as such. Hejduk’s Diamond House series certainly was. Here, issues of scale, material, and reference are disregarded while compositional, spatial, and iterative ideas are explored. Early in the twentieth century the Futurists’ obsession with speed was translated across all sorts of media, including architecture. Malevich and other constructivists were also busy painting, though their work became the source for another architect, Zaha Hadid. Prior to the parametric turn (with Patrik Schumacher) her work, often described as original, was literally recreating the aesthetic of the Russians.
WAr 121 attempted to translate the emotive as well as mathematical in his Philips pavilion (1958). Libeskind’s Chamber Works (1983) was more interested in the notational than the mathematical. Perhaps less effectively, the Stretto house (1991) by Steven Holl directly maps the score of piece of music by Bartok directly onto a site. Missing is the active performance of the piece. Cue the frozen music, again. Nature has also provided a model. Architecture as the translation the order of the universe provides the basis for almost every culture. More recently, architects have again become obsessed with biomimicry – a different sort of game all together. At least since Galileo, there has been a critique of the direct translation of natural form into constructed form as based on issues of scale and material performance. That said, architects as diverse as Horta, Calatrava, and more recently Tom Wiscombe at SCI-Arc and Neri Oxman at the MIT media lab, continue to translate biological form into architectural form. Clothing too has long been a source for architectural production. Alberti argued that architecture was akin to the public dress one wore. Perrault used the analogy in the quarrel of the Ancients and Moderns – that we dress differently now and therefore we should build differently. Le Corbusier made the same argument against the decorative arts and with the same analogy. More recently, architects are making the correspondence between the clothes we wear and the “skin” of the buildings. Future Systems unabashedly translated Paco Rabanne’s disc dress for their Selfridges building (2003). The Fabric Tower by Atelier Maferdini (2008) offers a similar approach. According to Manferdini’s website the 150,000 sq.ft. housing tower is, “an articulate response to the site’s natural landscape and its minority cultures, expressing a contemporary, progressive, creative, and original vision of local traditions.” The local tradition to which Manferdini is referring is the elaborate silver head dresses worn by the minority Miao women. One can easily understand Manferdini’s interest. The headdresses are elaborately woven silver and offer a veritable history of the wearer. Families begin saving for the head dresses when the girls are young. The actual fabrication of the headdresses may take months and in the end may end up weighing three or four kilos. Though I would not argue the elegance of Manferdini’s solution – how does one argue elegance? – Manferdini’s translation from the headdresses to the housing tower is a somewhat open translation. There is an obvious scale difference between a headdress and a tower; the original import of the headdress (as a historical record) is lost; radically different materials require different approaches to fabrication, structure, and production. The examples above are just a few of the many that exist. Within such a context, can we ask if the Architect/Emperor is wearing any clothes? / Notes p. 126
The relationship between architecture and music is also longstanding. The theater for Vitruvius acted as an instrument in which musical theory guided the planning of the seating. Geometric proportioning systems underlay both forms of expression through at least the end of the seventeenth century. Architecture as frozen music has been a thesis topic, it seems, ever since. Iannis Xenakis
> Marc Neveu
Do architects need to translate? If so, why? What is being gained, or lost, by making translations? Are some strategies more effective than others? Can a good translation make a bad building? Can a bad translation make a good building? Iâ€™ll leave it up to you decide.
Notes - References
spiritual in the modern age” The Sublime. Cambridge, MIT Press 2010.
From page 12. "The on-site architect: Millimetric translations in construction” by Johnathan Foote, PhD.
2. Barthes, Roland. “Semiology and the Urban.” Rethinking Architecture: A Reader in Cultural Theory. Neil Leach. London: Routledge, 1997.
1. Vasari, recounting the words of Michelangelo, Vasari, Vite (Milanesi 1906: VII, 270). Translation by author. 2. Alberti, De re aedificatoria 2.26 (Rykwert, Leach, Tavernor 1988: 3); translation slightly modified by author. Rykwert, Leach, Tavernor (1988) render the final line as, “the carpenter is but an instrument in the hands of the architect”. However, a more correct reading of the Latin is: “the carpenter’s hands (fabri manus) are but an instrument to the architect”. 3. Mario Carpo (2011). The alphabet and the algorithm. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, pp.137. Marvin Trachtenberg has upheld the criticality of Alberti’s theory in our current chasm between designing and building in Marvin Trachtenberg (2005). “Building outside Time in Alberti’s ‘De re aedificatoria’”, RES: Anthropology and Aesthetics, 48, pp. 125; Marvin Trachtenberg (2010). Building-in-time: From Giotto to Alberti and modern oblivion. New Haven: Yale University Press; and Marvin Trachtenberg (2011). “Ayn Rand, Alberti and the Authorial Figure of the Architect”, California Italian Studies: University of California. pp. 6-8. 4. Carpo 2011: 26; Carpo’s notion of original and copy should be situated among his work in the evolution of architecture during the rise of the printed image in the 16th century, his topic in Mario Carpo (2001). Architecture in the Age of Printing, translated by Sarah Benson, MIT Press: Cambridge, Mass. In this work he argues that the wide-spread distribution of the mechanically reproduced, printed image led to a nominalization of architectural knowledge. For a recent rebuttal of this see Michael Waters (2012). “A Renaissance without Order: Ornament, Single-sheet Engravings, and the Mutability of Architectural Prints”, Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 71, No. 4, Special Issue on Architectural Representations 2 (December 2012), pp. 488-523. 5. To make this argument, Carpo relies on a deterministic tie between media, technology, and culture. From this, the recent shift from identical copies (mechanical reproduction) to algorithmic variety has opened up space for a new kind of digital craftsman. Serial objects are not related by sharing identical shape but through a common ‘body plan’ or genetic origin, thus giving infinite variety within a common, parametrically driven model. 6. Andrew Saint (1993). Image of the Architect. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 42. 7. Saint 1993: 42. 8. Jean-Louis Cohen, in his introduction to Le Corbusier, Toward an Architecture (Goodman 2007: 22). 9. “...la fraction de millimètre intervient “, Le Corbusier, Vers une architecture (Goodman 2007: 243). From page 20. "Curious Architecture: Translation of Technologies and their impact in the future of Architecture and Design" A conversation between WAr, Andrew Payne and David Pearson. 1. Marshall MacLuhan’s Understanding Media: The Exteions of Man
2. Patrik Schumacher’s Parametricism as Style - Parametricist Manifesto (2008) From page 62. "Entramados" by Francesco Stumpo 1. Morgan, David, extract from “Secret Wisdom and Self-Effacement: The
From page 76. "Lost and Found: John Hejduk and the Specific Autonomy of Drawing" by Robert Cowherd. 1. K. Michael Hays, “Hejduk’s Chronotope (An Introduction),” Hejduk’s Chronotopes, ed. K. Michael Hays (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996), 7-22. 2. K. Michael Hays, “Critical Architecture: Between Culture and Form,” Perspecta 21 (New Haven, The Yale Architectural Journal, 1984), 15-29. 3. The list of academic leaders coming out of The Cooper Union, we add Kyna Leski (class of 1984) at the Rhode Island School of Design, and Jeffrey Hou (class of 1989) at the University of Washington. Criswell Lappin, “Hejduk’s Legacy: A Great Teacher’s Influence Reaches Far and Wide,” Metropolis (August/September 2003), 122-23. 4. Kenneth Frampton, Modern Architecture: A Critical History (London: Thames and Hudson, 2003). 5. The notion of “reflexivity” grows out of a series of “Second Modernity Seminars” taught since 2003. See: Robert Cowherd, “Notes on Postcriticality: Towards an Architecture of Reflexive Modernisation,” Footprint: Delft School of Design Journal: Agency in Architecture: Reframing Criticality in Theory and Practice 4, http://www.footprintjournal.org/ issues/show/5 (Spring 2009), 65-76. 6. Lauren Kogod points to this expansive interpretation of “critical architecture” as a “disciplinary Anscluss” annexation of what the editors and others would see as decidedly outside its discourse. K. Michael Hays, Lauren Kogod, Michael Osman, Adam Ruedig, Matthew Seidel and Lisa Tilney, “Twenty Projects at the Boundaries of the Architectural Discipline Examined in Relation to the Historical and Contemporary Debates over Autonomy,” Perspecta 33: Mining Autonomy, eds. Michael Osman et al. (New Haven: Journal of the Yale School of Architecture, 2002), 68-70. From page 80. "Metaphrasis, Metamorphosis, and Traitorous Translations: A New Taxonomy of Relationships between Architecture and Gastronomy" by Zenovia Toloudi. 1. Florida, Richard. The Rise of the Creative Class: And How It's Transforming Work, Leisure, Community and Everyday Life. Basic Books, 2004. 2. One of the first appearances of DIY in academia has been probably the “Instant House” by Prof. Larry Sass, MIT, also presented at MOMA. 3. The author concludes the essay by presenting the characteristics of the professional amateur, lucking disciplinary precision, making exceptions to rules, generating knowledge by elision, contingency and essentially converting what is considered as “outside” context, “inside” one. In Shumon Basar, “The Professional Amateur” in Miessen, Markus
Shumon Basar, and Hans-Ulrich Obrist. Did Someone Say Participate? An Atlas of Spatial Practice (The MIT Press: 2006), 33.
4. Sonia Livingstone and Ranjana Das try to understand the transition from the man sitting on the sofa and watching TV (then) to the man sitting on the sofa and multi-tasking (now). Passive television audience is no more relevant in the digital times since Internet users are more active. At the same time it is impossible to distinguish when someone is
part or not of an audience since audiencing is dispersed and embedded in many social activities. In Livingstone, Sonia and Das, Ranjana. “The end of audiences? Theoretical echoes of reception amidst the uncertainties of use.” Paper presented at the Transforming audiences 2 Conference, University of Westminster, September 3-4, 2009. 5. The following paper is based on material presented at the “Lost in Translation?” Graduate Symposium at WIT Architecture organized by Marc J. Neveu, January 2013. 6. Metaphrases is the plural form of metaphrasis. 7. Many thanks to Marc J. Neveu for giving this reference. 8. Rappolt, Mark. Greg Lynn FORM. New York: Rizzoli, 2008. 9. BSA Space.“Exhibition // Community Design Resource Center (CDRC) Gingerbread House Design Competition.” Last accessed October 1, 2013. http://cdrcboston.org/what-we-do/gingerbread-designcompetition/ 10. Architizer. “The Most Delicious Designs From Architizer's Gingerbread Competition!” Last accessed October 1, 2013. http://www.architizer.com/blog/ the-five-most-delicious-designs-from-architizers-gingerbreadcompetition/ 11. a. Find recipe. Look on Martha Stewart. Find one. http://www. marthastewart.com/339021/molasses-gingerbread-cookie-dough b. Go around Boston looking for sugar canday to decorate with. Got to Crate and Barrel and buy cookie cutters. c. Make elevations of all aspects of the house. d. Try initial test of cutting out elevation and bake. Doesn't work. e. Bake larger sheets, etch elevation in. Use microplane to shave pieces down to size. f. Drink. g. Make icing. Twice. Based on this recipe: http://www. marthastewart.com/284120/royal-icing. On tasting it too often, never make icing again. h. Slather icing on house, realize this was a mistake. It's never going to look like early morphosis models. i. Cry a little. j. Compensate by adding many little trees, a lot more frosting. k. Dust with icing sugar for 'snow' effect. ” 12. Grimley, Chris, e-mail message to author, January 11, 2013. “…Crank House takes a simple stacked program and shifts both the living and sleeping areas to create a porch on the entry level, and a small roof deck for the uppermost floor…” In overcommaunder. “Hometta.” Last accessed October 1, 2013. http://www. overcommaunder.com/?/work/Constructs/Hometta/ 13. Lynes, Andy. “La Carême de la Carême.” Last accessed October 1, 2013. http://www.historytoday.com/andy-lynes/la-car%C3%AAme-de-lacar%C3%AAme
Lindenhurst, NY: Tribeca Books, 2011.
18. Banihashem, Monet, e-mail message to author, October 9, 2013. 19. “...We needed a name for what we were doing and for the symposium itself. I proposed "molecular gastronomy," but Kurti, as a physicist, feared that this assigned too much importance to chemistry (since some culinary transformations can be explained macroscopically), so we finally agreed on "molecular and physical gastronomy...." In This, Hervé. Building a Meal: from Molecular Gastronomy to Culinary Constructivism. New York: Columbia University Press, 2009. p.11-12 20. Kwinter also discusses tectonics together with chemistry: “These two forms of expression, chemical and tectonic, are of exactly the same order of physical reality. It is a testimony to the diagram’s action that such diverse properties can be called up and released. And it is no small revolution in design to have apprehended this simple but critical fraternity.” In Kwinter, Sanford. “The Judo of Cold Combustion” in Atlas of Novel Tectonics, 2006 21. A summary of the lessons learnt: Lesson 1: Technique is Promiscuous, Lesson 2: Methodology is an Unnecessary Burden, Lesson 3: Technology is Poignant when Sublimated, Lesson 4: Experience is Multimodal, Lesson 5: Orthodoxies must be Challenged, Lesson 6: It’s all Good. In Ruy, David. Lessons from Molecular Gastronomy. Ed. Mark Foster Gage and Florencia Pita, Log 17, NY: Any Publications, 2009. 22. Ibid, page 32. 23. Pierre Hermé, "The Architecture of Taste." Lecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge, MA, November 27, 2012. 24. Hermé also discussed his single one collaboration with a designer to construct the dessert that also appeared in the event’s poster. Ibid. 25. Eco, Uberto. A Rose by Any Other Name. Translated by William Weaver. Weekly Guardian, January 14, 1994. 26. Cabré, Alberto, "Food and Architecture: a Parallel Process." Lecture at “Structural Bites” course, Wentworth Institute of Technology, Boston, MA, November 5, 2012 27. Despite a series of reasons (such as creativity, precision, use of materials/ ingredients, having a final product/ outcome, existence of an audience, use of layers, packages) that link gastronomy with architecture. Ibid. 28. Alvarez, Mariela, e-mail message to author, October 9, 2013. 29. Tasty Plan. “Grilled Summer Salad.” Last accessed October 9, 2013. http://tastyplan.com/post/56732352337/grilled-summer-salad 30. Lehrer, Jonah. Proust Was a Neuroscientist. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 2008.
14. Carême, Marie-Antoine, and Allen S Weiss. Le pâtissier pittoresque. Paris: Mercure de France, 2003.
31. Allen, John S. The Omnivorous Mind: Our Evolving Relationship with Food. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 2012.
15. Pinnick, Avital. “On Desserts and Deserters: A Note on Victorian Banquets.” Last accessed October 1, 2013. http://apinnick.wordpress. com/tag/careme/
32. Project on Spatial Sciences, ‘Three States of Hors d’Oeuvres.” Exhibition at Harvard Lab, Cambridge, MA, October 7, 2010.
16. According to John F. Sherry Jr. the brand provides simplicity that results to a cultural nationalism, what is called McDonaldization, Coca-Colization, and Disenyfication. In this line of thought, one can add Zahization, Gehrization, and other demo nstrations of architectural nationalisms. In Toloudi, Zenovia. “Architectural Taste and Identity: Experimenting with PICANICO game. Doctoral Dissertation, Harvard University, 2011. 17. Kafka, Franz. The Metamorphosis. Translated by Ian Johnston,
33. Livingstone, Sonia. “Relationships between Media and Audiences: Prospects for Audience Reception Studies” in Liebes, T and Curran, J. Media, ritual and identity: essays in honor of Elihu Katz. London, UK : Routledge, 1998, pp. 237-255. 34. “While the convergence of these five positions provided the major impetus behind reception studies during the 1980s, the recent 'ethnographic turn', which shifts the focus away from the moment of textual interpretation and towards the contextualization of that moment, draws into the frame a sixth tradition. This involves the detailed analysis of the culture of the everyday, stressing the importance of
'thick description' as providing a grounding for theory, together with an analysis of the ritual aspects of culture and communication (Carey, 1975) and the practices by which meanings are re/produced in daily life (de Certeau, 1984).” Ibid. 35. Tschumi, Bernard, and Museum of Modern Art (New York).
Event-cities. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1994.
From page 88. "Ponderland" by Scott Graham, Olivia Hegner, Kate Lux and Deborah Massaro. 1. Martin Heidegger, “Building, Dwelling, Thinking,” and “Poetically Man Dwells,” in Rethinking Architecture. Ed. Neil Leach, London: Routledge, 1997, 100-109 and 109-119 2. “Function and Sign: The Semiotics of Architecture,” in Rethinking
Architecture. Ed. Neil Leach, London: Routledge, 1997
3. Terry Eagleton, The Significance of Theory , Cambridge, MA: Basil Blackwell, 1990, 24-38 From page 90. "Light: The Discovery of Poetry in Architecture" by Aaron Weinert. 1. Recognition in developing this exercise is given to Wentworth Professors P. Kendall, J. Lee-Michalszyn, I. Strong and Z. Toloudi. 2. Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. Wiley + Sons, 1996. 3. Le Corbusier, Towards A New Architecture , 1923. 4. Louis Kahn, “Silence and Light”, 1969. From page 114. "Pending Restoration" by Liem Than 1."The Washington Monument Restoration." Michael Graves & Associates. Web. 23 May 2013. 2. Benjamin, Walter, and J. A. Underwood. The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction. London: Penguin, 2008. 3. Tafuri, Manfredo. Preface. Architecture and Utopia: Design and Capitalist Development. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1976. Pg 9. 4. Venturi, Robert, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour. "Ugly and Ordinary Architecture, or the Decorated Shed." Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form. Cambridge, MA: MIT, 1977. Pg 87.
From Page 118. 'Lost in translation' by Marc J. Neveu, PhD. 1. Pèrez-Gomez, Alberto, and Pelletier, Louise, Architectural Representation and the Perspective Hinge. (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2000) Robin Evans, Translations from Drawing to Building. (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1997). 2. Hersey, George, The Lost Meaning of Classical Architecture. (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1998). 3. Rand, Ayn, The Fountainhead. (New York: Penguin Books, 1971): 681 4. Eliot, T.S., “Philip Massinger,” The Sacred Wood, New York: Bartleby. com, 2000.
Artforming Summer/Build Team
Rima Abousleiman (BSA ’15) Samantha Altieri (M.Arch ’13) Alexa Ashton (BSA ’15) Christopher Bataglia (M.Arch ’14) Edgar Barroso, Guest Christopher Bonarrigo (BSA ’14) Andrew Calnen (BSA ’15) Michael Cerbone (BSA ’13) James Cleveland (BSA ’14) David Cook (BSA ’17) Robert Cowherd, Professor, Ph.D. Danielle Decarlo (BSA ’15) Stephen Demayo (BSA ’13) Panharith Ean (BSA ’15) Mariah Erickson (BSA ’15) Christopher Foley (BSA ’15) Jonathan Foote, Professor, Ph.D. Sinead Gallivan (M.Arch ’13) Scott Graham (BSA ’14) Olivia Hegner (BSA ’14) Ryan Kahen (M.Arch ’13) Travis Lombardi (M.Arch ’14) Kate Lux (BSA ’14) Gregory MacGlashing (BSA ’14) Sarmad Marzuq (BSA ’14) Deborah Massaro (BSA ’14) Matthew Murcko (M.Arch ’14) Marc J. Neveu, Professor Vien Nguyen (BSA ’15) Adam Parsons (M.Arch ’14) Andrew Payne, Guest David Pearson, Professor Troy Peters, Professor Richard Pignataro (M.Arch ’14) Steven Prestejohn (BSA ’15) Victor Proops (M.Arch ’14) Julie Rahilly (M.Arch ’14) Michael Remondi (M.Arch ’14) Pablo Rivera (BSA '15) Corey Roberts (M.Arch ’13) Francesco Stumpo (BSA ’14) Timothy Szczebak (BSA ’15) Liem Than (M.Arch ’13) Zenovia Toloudi, Professor, Ph.D. Nick Voell-White (M.Arch ’13) Ethan Webb (BSA ’13) Aaron Weinert, Professor James White (M.Arch ’13) Jacob Wilson (BSA '15) Craig Zygmund (M.Arch ’13)
Samantha Altieri (M.Arch ’13) Alex Cabral, Instructor Steven Hien (M.Arch ’13) Bao Nguyen (M.Arch ’13) Antoinette Hocbo, Guest Valerie Maccarone (BSA ’15) Michael McElderry, Guest Stephanie Rogowski (M.Arch '10) Anthony Sanchez (M.Arch '09) Jared Steinmark, Professor Rob Trumbour, Professor Aaron Willette, Professor Rhythms of the city Ricardo Avella, Guest Michael Barago (M.Arch ’14) Ignacio Cardona, Guest Manuel Delgado, Professor Andrew Ferrentinos, Professor Jessica Gardner (M.Arch ’14) Heather Gill (BSA ’13) Alexander Hernandez (BSA ’13) Spencer Howe (M.Arch ’14) Margarita Iglesias, Professor Amy LeDoux (M.Arch ’14) Natalia Linares, Guest Victoria Lowell (M.Arch ’14) Francisco Paul, Guest Mariana Otero, Guest Julie Rahilly (M.Arch ’14) Nathaniel St. Jean (M.Arch ’14) Ariadna Weisshaar, Guest
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