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Augmenting Labor

Spatial Experience in Material Production

James McAlistair Wilson




abstract [ 5 ] polemic [ 9 ] generative work [ 38, 46, 66 ] site [ 20-37, 47 ] program [ 13-19, 55, 57 ] precedent [ 13-19, 43-45, 49-51, 5759 ] technique [ 11, 19, 39-55, 59 ] lexicon [ 61 ] correspondence [ 63 ] schedule [ 65 ] addendum [ 68 ] index [ 70 ]

“Let’s talk of a system that transforms all the social organisms into a work of art, in which the entire process of work is included... something in which the principle of production and consumption takes on a form of quality. It’s a Gigantic project.” -Joseph Beuys



[abstract] “(Social) space is a (social) product.” -Lefebvre

A space of material production can be understood as any space in which “human labor, skills, and productive forces are being used in the manipulation of physical matter to produce a commodity.” Spaces of material extraction, transport,processing and disposal are all considered spaces of material prodiction. These spaces are inhabited, experienced sites laden with a diversity of spatial qualities both tangible and intangible. Human labor is an essential component in the ecology of material production yet it often goes unexamined. The individual and collective spatial experiences of material labor are currently largely neglected by the architect. The opportunity to engage these spaces of material production ought to be seized in order to expand the role and relevance of architecture in the world at large. Material labor can be recast as a new spatial program. Architects can augment spaces of material production in order to enhance the working life of the laborer. It is the ambition of this thesis to outline the potential role of the architect in spaces of material production as well as to communicate the consequences that the assumption of this role could have on the discipline. The opportunity for the profession to regain much of the relevance it has lost over the past few decades resides in these new, currently undefined roles.

“Work provides an “artificial” world of things, distinctly different from all natural surroundings. Within its borders each individual life is housed, while this world itself is meant to outlast and transcend them all. The human condition of work is worldliness.” -Hannah Arendt


7 [abstract]

The participation of the architect in the spaces where the materials used for the construction of the built environment are extracted, transported and processed will ground the future practice of architectural design in the essential and actual matters of the practice of everyday life. A more significant interaction with the human workforce located at sites of material production will provide the architect with the necessary perspective and firsthand experience to act in ways more meaningful and effectual. Engagement should occur across all scales of material production, from sites of material extraction to spaces of material research and design. The latent potential for as yet unrealized spatial programs and experiences can be made manifest through the invention of various new and experimental methods of generative researchbased representation, design and making. The resulting interventions of these types of work can take the form of “projected” architectures. The architect can augment sites of material production by introducing or casting fresh architectural elements into the existing infrastructure, effectively augmenting the pre-existing spatial condition and creating new spatial situations that serve to modify, disrupt, enhance or redefine the everyday working lives of the individuals laboring in that space. The work of this thesis priveleges making as a method of research that will then inform the process of designing the ‘architecture of augmentation.’ Material explorations will be conducted continuously to inform the ongoing design process.

“In The Production of Space, Henri Lefebvre asserts that space is a social product or a complex social construction that is based on values and the social production of meaning that affects spatial practices and perceptions.”

Drawing as a generative tool will be utilized in support of the priamry work of making. The practice of generative drawing as a research-based method of representation calls for an increased interaction with the site intended for intervention. Strategic site visits and personal interviews will allow for the collection of both basic quantitative data as well as qualitative data to inform the generative work. Ultimately, the thesis will provide, through the design of ‘architectures of augmentation,’ a framework for future work concerned with engaging specific sites of material production. As the discipline continues to participate in the shaping of these spaces, eventually becoming able to exert more direct control over the materials used for the production of the built environment, ever more new modes of practice will emerge. New spatial programs will continually develop out of these new architectural practices.

(see Fabrication : Essays on making things and making meaning _ Neville) (see The Craftsman _ Sennett) (see The Human Condition _ Arendt) (see The Production of Space _ Lefebvre)



Architects lack agency in the culture and space of material labor and production. This fact is significant in that it adds further support to the argument that architecture, as it is practiced today, is in many ways irrelevant as it fails to engage categories of space that are essential to the workings of society. Architects should be conscious of the spaces that their material passes through - it’s origin, how it got here from there, what the labor conditions were along the way. This knowledge has direct bearing on the work of designing the built environment and can broaden the architect’s range of methodologies such that as yet unrealized architectural work can be made possible. Spaces of material production are laden with intangible spatial qualities and experiential residue that the majority of architects overlook. The discipline lacks a suitable precedent that could inform the engagement of these spaces of material production. There is a disconnect between the practice of architecture and the culture of labor and craft that surrounds material production at all levels - extraction, transport, processing, and construction.A framework of intentional action regarding the labor force responsible for the material production of space will give the discipline a new relevance. This thesis asks: what new programs come out of an understanding of the spatial experiences of those working in material production How can spaces of material production be augmented to create new spatial experiences?

/Edward Burtynsky: Manufactured Landscapes

“the main stages in human evolution are measured by the use and exploration of the Earth’s resources by humans: the Stone Age, Metal, Coal, Oil, etc.” -Edward Burtynsky

9 “architecture of augmentation” - a spatial condition projected onto, or inserted into, an existing space, building, landscape or infrastructure which either enhances exisitng spatial experiences or introduces new ones



The quick testing out of a set of various techniques as represented through the projects and practices referenced here will be a crucial aspect of the early stages of the thesis work. The intention here is to perform a survey of the broad range of different techniques in order to ascertain which techniques will prove the most productive in terms of moving the work forward. It is expected that this framework of quick tests will serve to not only clearly define the scope of how the thesis work will be conducted, but will also add depth to the work produced.

The broad range of references collected here constitute a field of potential working techniques. The thesis work will be analogous to an archeological survey, perfoming quick test “digs� to determine which techniques are worth utilizing in full.



[precedent, program]

Smout Allen is known for engaging in projects that “respond to the way in which man has enlarged the landscape through architecture and infrastructure, manipulating and blurring perceptions of what is natural and what is artificial.” Their work has been described as “augmented landscapes.” The methods and techniques utilized by Smout Allen will serve as a precedent for the thesis work which likewise seeks to respond to the intersection between man and nature that takes place at sites of material production. The ‘architecture of augmentation’ will exploit these conditions in order to create completely new spatial experiences for the laborer.

/Smout Allen: The Geofluidic Landscape

“builds on the processes extant in specific landscapes, speaking a pidgin dialect which opportunistically amplifies or diverts existing energy and matter translations”

13 “ ‘augmented landscapes’ — built structures which blur distinctions between building, landscape, and process”


[precedent, program]

In The Mediated Motion and The Weather Project, Eliasson is able to create phenomenal spatial experiences in spaces of pre-existing architecture. These works allow the subject to come to a heightened awareness of the space he is in. These works make the subject much more aware of the consequences of being in a space. It is about being able to tell something about the spaces we inhabit through the senses. This thesis is concerned with augmenting the spatial experience of the laborer in sites of material production. One potential technique would be to create phenomenological experiences that will affect the laborer subjectively. These experiences would likely be programmed by the architect but it might also be possible that the user could author or co-author these phenomenological experiences through interactive elements in the ‘architecture of augmentation.’

In so far as he makes use of his healthy senses, the human being is the greatest and most precise scientific instrument that can exist. And precisely this is the greatest disservice of modern science: that it has divorced the experiment from the human being, and wants to know nature only through that which is shown by instruments.” -Olafur Eliasson

/Olafur Eliasson: The Weather Project, The Mediated Motion



[precedent, program]

The Situation: “A moment of life concretely and deliberately constructed by the collective organization of a unitary ambiance and a game of events.” In The Society of the Spectacle, Guy Debord makes a proposal “to wake up the spectator who has been drugged by spectacular images through radical action in the form of the construction of situations… situations that bring a revolutionary rendering of life, politics, and art.” The Situationist philosophy in general is of relevance in that I am interested in deploying my thesis to produce “situations” as defined by this philosophy. Situations are defined here as “actively created moments characterized by ‘a sense of self-consciousness of existence within a particular environment or ambience.” In addition to enhancing the spatial experiences of the laborer through phenomenalogical spatial experiences, the ‘architecture of augmentation’ may also serve to “wake up” the laborer. If the space of material labor is viewed as a space that the user has become familiarized and desensitized to, then the architect’s intervention might serve to provide a “revolutionary rendering” of the daily working life of the laborer.

“In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Everything that was directly lived has moved away into a representation.” -Guy Debord


17 “A détournement is a variation on a previous media work, in which the newly created one has a meaning that is antagonistic or antithetical to the original. The original media work that is détourned must be somewhat familiar to the target audience, so that it can appreciate the opposition of the new message. The artist or commentator making the variation can reuse only some of the characteristic elements of the originating work.”


[precedent, technique, program]

An ‘architecture of augmentation’ such as the one this thesis proposes must interact with its site in specific ways so as not to disrupt the original function of the space. The ‘projected’ architecture of augmentation finds its form and qualities from pre-existing conditions. The inserted architecture acts as a graft on the host site. It serves to disrupt the everyday experience of the user by altering existing spatial experiences or by providing new ones.

19 aug·ment/ôg ment/ Verb: Make (something) greater by adding to it;

/SIFT studio

“designed to respond to both its physical context, and the metaphysical context within which it has been conceived and executed”

The “architecture of augmentation” is expected to respond dynamically to the conditions of the host site. Interactive, manipulatable qualities characterize the inserted “augmenting program.”

/Howler + Yoon

“combines intense research with interdisciplinary experimentation”

“actions are relational, nature is contingent, and effects are measurable”



All spaces of material extraction, transport, processing and production are potential sites of engagement for the discipline. Any space in which human beings are participating in material work offers opportunites for augmentation through architecture, but this thesis will focus on two specifc sites: the iron ore mine and the nanofabrication facility. Initial research of the sites of concentration will require a zoomed-out wide-angle view. An understanding of the larger context, both physical and otherwise, of the sites in question will provide starting points from which to embark on the generative research operations. In the case of spatial documentations that are in line with the photography of Edward Burtynsky, we are presented with views of the physical effects of human labor, the remains of material production - but the actual circumstances of the human labor that occured on these sites is missing. In Burtynsky’s photographs of the quarry, the mine or the landfill, we see what the result of massive amounts of human labor are, but the human presence is gone and we are unable to glimpse what the spatial conditions were like when the workers were there, engaged in production. The thesis is primarily interested in the conditions and qualities of these spaces of material production as experienced by the human laborer in the active moments of work.

“For although we are accustomed to separate nature and human perception into two realms, they are, in fact, indivisible. Before it can even be a response for the senses, landscape is the work of the mind. Its scenery is built up as much from the strata of memory as from layers of rock.” -Simon Schama

/Edward Burtynsky: Manufactured Landscapes /Eva Weber: The Secret Life Of Cranes


“The average human being will spend roughly 30% of his life at work.”

quarry landfill mine materials engineering lab steel mill glass factory oil rig oil tanker crane construction site logging operation farm paper mill nanotechnology lab e-waste site stonecutting shop studio coffin factory



The iron ore mine will serve as one of two primary sites of investigation for potential “architectures of augmentation.” Iron ore is the raw source for an incredible amount of the materials used in the production of objects. The amount of steel, of which iron ore is the key ingredient, used in the construction of the built world is staggering. There are spatial and experiential qualities unique to the iron ore mine that will inform the design of any “architectures of augmentation” projected onto the site.

“Empire Mine has the capacity to produce eight million tons of iron ore pellets annually, one of the largest producers in the world.”




The nanofabrication facility will serve as the second of two primary sites of investigation for potential “architectures of augmentation.” Nanotechnology is poised to revolutionize material production across several industries, including architecture. The spatial and experiential conditions of the nanofabrication facility exist on the opposite side of the spectrum from those of the iron ore mine. The highly controlled conditions of the lab make for a spatial experience that is widely divergent from that of the iron ore mine. The investigation of two sites at opposite extremes of spatial conditions will allow for unexpected reads and insights into both sites.

“Experts sometimes disagree about what constitutes the nanoscale, but in general, you can think of nanotechnology dealing with anything measuring between 1 and 100 nm. Larger than that is the microscale, and smaller than that is the atomic scale.”

25 “The Lurie Nanofabrication Facility at the University of Michigan is available, on a fee basis, for use by research groups from government, industry and universities. Equipment and processes are available for research on silicon integrated circuits, MEMS, III-V compound devices, organic devices and nanoimprint technology. Researchers from non-traditional disciplines are encouraged to make use of our processes, such as metal and dielectric coatings, vacuum processes, fabrication of micro and nano components and metrology tools.”



Marquette County, MI

“Marquette County, Michigan is the site of several of the state’s major iron ore mining operations. Iron ore has been mined in Marquette since 1845. Although all major deposits of iron ore have been exhausted, the region still exports iron ore pellets.”

The Empire and Tilden Mines, both located near Palmer, Michigan in the Upper Peninsula, are possible locations for strategic site visits and documentation. Both mines are understood to be operational, producing a large percentage of the world’s iron ore pellets. Marquette County, where the mines are located, has a long history that is inseparable from that of the iron mining operations that have gone on there for more than 100 years.




The space of material production at the nanoscopic scale stands in stark contrast to material production at the scale of the iron ore mine. The materials engineer working with matter at the nanoscopic scale visually “occupies” a distinctly other space through the lens of the nanoscope. The characteristics of this “nano-space” will be investigated alongside the characteristics of the nanotechnology lab itself.

“With the right arrangement of atoms, you can create a carbon nanotube that’s hundreds of times stronger than steel, but six times lighter.”




Research will be conducted on the methods, techniques, and equipment used to mine iron ore. This data will provide triggers in the generative work and will provide criteria by which to critically assess the work as it evolves.

“Iron is the world’s most commonly used metal - steel, of which iron ore is the key ingredient, represents almost 95% of all metal used per year. It is used primarily in structural engineering applications and in maritime purposes, automobiles, and general industrial applications (machinery).�




The methods, techniques and equipment used by nanotech fabricators and researchers will be researched in order to gain sufficient understanding to conduct generative drawing studies concerned with the spatial experience of the space.

“This is virtual, programmable matter and it marks the advent of a new age.�




Technical representations and information regarding the process of iron ore mining will be useful in developing the aesthetic of a visual argument for the thesis.

“World consumption of iron ore grows 10% per annum[citation needed] on average with the main consumers being China, Japan, Korea, the United States and the European Union.�




A basic understanding of the technical aspects of nanotechnology will serve to further inform the development of various programs to be proposed as “architectures of augmentation.” An investigation into how nanotechnology is currently utilized in architecture, design and engineering and the ways in which it is poised to revolutionize these fields will provide inspiration for the designing of the “augmented architecture.” (see Nanomaterials, Nanotechnologies and Design _ Schodek, Ferreira, Ashby)

“Eric Drexler, the man who introduced the word nanotechnology, presented a frightening apocalyptic vision - selfreplicating nanorobots malfunctioning, duplicating themselves a trillion times over, rapidly consuming the entire world as they pull carbon from the environment to build more of themselves.”

37 The “Grey Goo” Scenario: where a synthetic nanosize device replaces all organic material

The “Green Goo” Scenario: where nanodevices made of organic material wipe out the Earth


[technique, generative work]

The Lines of Accumulation drawing constituted an initial experiment and investigation of drawing as a technique for the generation of new spatial forms and perspectives. The accumulation of construction lines and perspectives can be read as one rough representation of a social space experienced by multiple viewers from multiple viewpoints. A retrospective read of the work is more concerned with the drawing’s generative capabilities. A more rigorous, sited approach to the drawing, influenced by factual, objective research of site conditions could enable the drawing itself to perfom work that is more generative with respect to the uncovering of latent spatial characteristics.

“unite density of invention and expression with a sense of infinite possibilities” “ [the] secret of the story lies in its economy: the events, however long they last, become punctiform, connected by rectilinear segments, in a zigzag pattern that suggests incessant motion” -Italo Calvino

/J. Wilson

/Ben Edwards, Immersion




An investigation, through generative drawing techniques, of the space of production of The Great Wall of China was undertaken at the outset of the thesis work. The investigation was limited to traditional modes of drawing [perspective, orthographic projection, axonometric projection]. Generative drawing will be utilized as a technique in the process of designing an ‘architecture of augmentation.’ The technique will be modified to produce generative work at a pace more suitable to the thesis work schedule Quickness as an attribute will at times be highly valued in the drawing work and at other times less emphasized. The objective is to keep the work from becoming overly self-conscious. Intention should always be clear, but the work should always be able to move forward. The theory is that these generative drawings will provide the criteria by which to engage each site [irone ore mine, nanofabrication facility]. It is in the making of the drawings that latent spatial concerns will be exposed. Once exposed, these concerns can be exploited by the “architecture of augmentation.” (see Design Research Through Generative Drawing _ Wallick)

/J. Wilson

“Lightness,” “Quickness,” “Exactitude,” “Visibility,” and “Multiplicity”

41 “The drawing method discussed here is not for autonomous and independent production, but as a means for rallying the multiple intelligences necessary for rich architecture.”


[precedent, technique]

Perry Kulper’s drawing techniques, Strategic Plotting, and Thematic Drawing, will provide possible techniques for generating design work through documentation of site and exploration of themes. These drawing exercises are intended to support the primary thesis work of material studies and research through making. It is expected that these drawings will liberate the design work and generate triggers to keep the work moving forward.

“The Strategic Plot oscillates between concrete spatial proposals and notations for further development. Representational borders are opened with the hope of sustaining a more fluid ideological, critical and material amalgamation. The interventions are generated as ways to augment, qualify and occasionally negate, existing island conditions. Additionally, there are several relational characteristics that propagate the new and point toward the unforeseen, continually qualifying the emergent temporal dynamics of the island.” -Perry Kulper

/Perry Kulper: David’s Island, Strategic Plot, Fast Twitch Site Plan

Carlo Scarpa’s technique of working a problem out through drawing will inform the method of generative drawing to be utilized in the thesis work. This technique will be especially useful in the early stages of research on the processes of iron ore mining and nanofabrication.

/Carlo Scarpa

“laying bare its guts and innards”



[precedent, technique]

James Corner’s map-drawings are an attempt to express more than just the way a landscape looks. Corner is concerned with the invisible aspects of landscape - how it works, the temporal processes that shape it. This technique will inform the site documentation work of the thesis. In order to intervene in spaces of material production it will be necessary to understand more about the sites than just how it looks. Drawings that describe, in conjunction with photographs, the latent processes and invisible characteristics of the iron ore mine and the nanofabrication lab will allow for a fully informed design process.

/James Corner: Taking Measures Across the American Landscape

“The most successful map-drawings display invisible aspects of landscape, supplanting how it looks with a knowledge of how it works as a physical and cultural process.” -Julia Czerniak

45 “Multiplicity is about the various orientations, projections, programs, sites, conditions, scales, layers, and references within a research topic and design’s ability/responsibility inclusively. to find correlation.”


The objective of the work for the production of the 81 second film, Intangible, was to explore video and sound as alternative tools to represent a sample of various intangible spatial qualities of several spaces of material production. The attempt was to situate the work in an intermediary zone betwen the literal and the abstract. The video footage of various sites of material production serves as the underlying, literal read of the film. Videos of several sites were collected: the quarry, the stonecutting shop, the excavation site, the metal shop and the building construction site. This footage was “harvested” from YouTube and edited to create a quickly paced rhythm of changing perspectives. The set of textures and graphics layered over the video footage serves as the abstract visual read of the film. These overlaying graphics were edited and composed in such a way as to emphasize the themes of repetition, accumulation, and sensory overload that are characteristic of the sites depicted in the underlying video footage. The final application and layering of sounds serve to add a further sense of rhythm, repetition and crescendo to the film. The pulsing rhythm of the film moves from moments of consistent evenness to fever pitch moments of uneven sensory overload. Time-based media will play a further role in the thesis work. Quick film or audio projects will be conducted in order to produce triggers for the work. (To occasionally shake things up.)

/J. Wilson: Intangible

“Nothing we use or hear or touch can be expressed in words that equal what is given by the senses.” -Hannah Arendt


[technique, site, generative work]

“Instead of attempting to capture these nuances, most unpretentious `trueto-life` films not only ignore them but make a point of using sharp, overstated images which at best can only make the picture seem farfetched.” “I think in fact that unless there is an organic link between the subjective impressions of the author and his objective representation of reality, he will not achieve even superficial credibility, let alone authenticity and inner truth.” -Andrei Tarkovsky


[precedent, technique]

The development of a research practice based on making and material studies is a prime objective. Intense experimentation with material is expected to push the work forward, informing the ultimate form and phenomenal qualities of the “architecture of augmentation.” The working methods of IwamotoScott will be referenced for support in developing regular practices of material investigations. The ultimate goal is to learn how to leverage the material studies to support the design process. This portion of the thesis work should always be performed with design applications in mind.


“pursuing architecture as a form of applied design research”



Gordon Matta Clark’s large-scale “building cuts,” like Splitting and Bingo are triggers for this thesis work. In both of these projects Clark seized existing architecture, which was either neglected or condemned and slated for demolition, as his material. The re-arranging of materials, as in the Bingo project can be viewed as a sort of alchemy at full scale. These works not only create new and interesting spatial conditions and experiences, they force the viewer/ user/ inhabitant to question the way we think about the materials that make up our built environment. The thesis work is concerned with exploring various methods for intervening or engaging pre-exisiting spatial conditions. Specifically, the thesis will be investigating techniques for acting within the spaces of the iron ore mine and the nanofabrication lab, but a framework for engaging a variety of spaces of material production is expected to emerge from the work.

/Gordon Matta Clark

“reorganizing structure by drawing through it”


[precedent, technique] generative drawings strategic site visits interviews film narratives Arduino Processing material studies



A series of research-based material studies will form the bulk of the thesis work. This research through making will be influenced and supported by the drawing work to be conducted parallel. It is expected that the two techniques will continue to inform each other throughout the project. Initially, the material studies will be focused on metal, specifically steel, as it is a major iron ore product. Experiments with carbon nanotube-based products [nano-ink] will also be conducted in order to propel the design of formal and programmatic features. (see Metalworking Tools and Techniques _ Bray; Smart Materials and Technologies in Architecture _ Addington)

“Metalworking is the process of working with metals to create individual parts, assemblies, or large scale structures. The term covers a wide range of work from large ships and bridges to precise engine parts and delicate jewelry. It therefore includes a correspondingly wide range of skills, processes, and tools.”

/Charles + Ray Eames / Decker Yeadon

53 “Metalworking’s historical roots span cultures, civilizations, and millennia. It has evolved from the discovery of smelting various ores, producing malleable and ductile metal useful for tools and adornments. Modern metalworking processes, though diverse and specialized, can be categorized as forming, cutting or joining processes. Today’s machine shop includes a number of machine tools capable of creating a precise, useful workpiece.”


55 [technique, program]

The Arduino platform offers opportunities to generate, in conjunction with the Processing software, representations of the physical inputs of a space: temperature, light, sound, movement. The theory is that these representations will provide additional fodder for the design work. The Arduino also serves as an aid in the development of interactive, responsive environments. (see Programming Interactivity _ Noble) Experiments with the Arduino platform will produce techniques for the design and fabrication of interactive and dynamic spatial environments that can act as “architectures of augmentation.”

“Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform, designed to make the process of using electronics in multidisciplinary projects more accessible. The hardware consists of a simple open hardware design for the Arduino board with an Atmel AVR processor and on-board I/O support. The software consists of a standard programming language and the boot loader that runs on the board. Arduino hardware is programmed using a Wiring-based language (syntax + libraries), similar to C++ with some simplifications and modifications, and a Processing-based IDE.”

/Super Nature Design

“Arduino can sense the environment by receiving input from a variety of sensors and can affect its surroundings by controlling lights, motors, and other actuators..”


[precedent, program]

quoted from the CLUI website: We believe that the manmade landscape is a cultural inscription, that can be read to better understand who we are, and what we are doing.” “The Center engages in a number of interpretive projects in the field that are designed to draw meaning from land use sites and phenomena. Many of these projects represent extensions of traditional interpretive techniques, and are designed to expand the methodology into new fronts. Extrapolative Projects can be ongoing or momentary, physically realized or in the design stage. They involve outdoor displays and signage, sitespecific interactions, and other permanent or ephemeral activities. Some projects can be considered as a sort of “R&D” of interpretive practice at the Center.”

“interested in understanding the nature and extent of human interaction with the earth’s surface, and in finding new meanings in the intentional and incidental forms that we individually and collectively create”

/Center for Land Use Interpretation



[precednet, technique]

This thesis is concerned with sites “imbued with myths, desires, and symbolic capital.” It “resists the dream of one globally legible world.” It seeks to “provides new tools for practitioners sensitive to the political composition of urban landscapes.” Additionally, it seeks to “offer not a totalizing theory about world systems but, rather, critical evidence arranged with the help of storytelling techniques. ...this ‘footnoted fiction,’ or ‘faction,’ persuades and theorizes by sequencing facts and orchestrating voices so that supposition meets its contradiction, gravity and frivolity share space, and piety appers next to a broad gaffe.” [Keller Easterling] (see Enduring Innocence: Global Architecture and Its Political Masquerades _ Easterling)

“AT-TVA creates counterfeit USGS maps and aerial photography in the area between the Appalachian Trail and Tennessee Valley Authority land. The new maps identify a set of sites between highways and parallel strands of utility and transportation infrastructure. This contested territory in the midst of segregated networks is a reservoir of speculation and negotiation for a variety of programs.”

/Keller Easterling



[lexicon, technique, program]

Labor atmospheres social craft histories narratives archeologies reactions ethics representations interpretations shifts frameworks cycles rhythms collectives interactions dilemmas crisis Intangible practices taxonomies open source feedback non-linear collections recollections Phenomenons interventions adaptations projections experiences sensations perceptions

“conceives of a world of infinite variation, one which is immanent, both hierarchical as well as non-hierarchical and a “mesh work” of linear and non-linear progressions, and thus one which can be most accurately modeled using the tools provided by complex systems, emergence theory and other related fields of study”

61 “sees all phenomena as ‘emerging from’ a core set of abstract (yet real) dynamic systems which are themselves multiplicitous and in constant flux”



[correspondence] “Architecture is a communal act.”

Lisa Iwamoto / Craig Scott Architecture Department, UC Berkeley Architecture Department, California College of the Arts Olafur Eliasson Institut für Raumexperimente Universität der Künste Berlin Ellie Abrons / Adam Fure Architecture Department, UM / Richard Sennett Sociology Department, London School of Economics Michealeen Kelly Philosophy Department, Aquinas College (616) 632-2839 / Richard McCluskey Geography Department, Aquinas College (616) 632-2192 / Jennifer Dawson English Department, Aquinas College (616) 632-2828 / Perry Kulper Architecture Department, UM Eric Meshot Materials Engineering, UM Sandrine Martin Lurie Nanofabrication Facility (734) 763-6719 / Empire Iron Mining Co. Palmer, MI (906) 475-3400 James Corner Field Operations Marco Frascuri David Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism Tom Buresh Architecture Department, UC Berkeley Mick Kennedy Architecture Department, UM Metal Shop

“intended to sustain speculation”



[precedent, technique, program, schedule] “ a perpetual construction site”

November_ site visits / field work begin generative drawing 1/3, site a begin material study 1 [structural. modualar] begin arduino experiments December_ site visits / field work generative drawing 1/3, site a begin generative drawing 2/3, site b continue material study 1 arduino experiments publish thesis workbook Edition 02 January_ review drawings 1/3 and 2/3, material study 1 begin generative drawing 3/3, site a + b begin material study 2 [textural, aesthetic] arduino experiments quick film project February_ review drawing 3/3, material study 2 arduino experiments continue work on drawing 3/3 publish thesis workbook 03 MArch_ begin final production phase review drawing 3/3 begin installation work april_ final drawing review finish installation work

/Sagrada Familia

“one of the largest building laboratories in the world because it is far removed from the standards of construction and many of the methods used are unique”


[precedent, technique, program]


68 Intro_ The realm of material production is comprised of a vast number of linked inhabited, experienced spaces of human labor. Multiple latent unplayed roles for the architect exist in these spaces. Define_ Describe the role of the architect in spaces of material production: the quarry, the iron ore mine, the oil rig, the logging operation,the oil tanker, the freight train, the steel mill, the lumber mill, the stonecutting shop, the glass factory, the machinist’s workshop, the nanofabrication facility, the materials research lab, the salvage yard... Identify significant moments of architectural agency in one of these spheres. “(Social) space is a (social) product [...] the space thus produced also serves as a tool of thought and of action [...] in addition to being a means of production it is also a means of control, and hence of domination, of power.” -Henri Lefebvre



Augment_ Design program(s) that augment, boost, compound, expand, extend, heighten, intensify, magnify, multiply, reinforce, strengthen, enhance, antagonize, adjust, develop, diversify, doctor, fine tune, modify, mutate, recalibrate, recast, reconstruct, refashion, reform, remodel, renovate, reshape, revamp, revise, shift, transform the existing program and spatial experience without impeding the necessary functions of the site. This architecture projected onto the existing conditions must maintain relevance. Trigger_ -Site Interaction / Documentation -interview, film, sketch, record -Quick Studies Make_ -Modular Material Study [structure] -cut, join, bend, assemble -Textural Material Study [aesthetic] -treat, condition, stain -Responisve Enviroment Mock-ups Draw_ -Process Mapping -Specific Material Production -Site Mapping -Site A, B -Situated Experiences -Site A, B -Relational Cross Section -Site A + B -Descriptive Geometry -Projected Architecture

Schedule_ Week 1-3 Field Work Site Visits (A, B) Mapping Material Study 1 Process Research Site Charette January 21: Review Week 4-6 Quick Studies [in film, drawing] Material Study 2 Generative Experiential Drawings Materials Charette February 14: Review Week 7-9 Cross-Sectional Drawing Program Charette 1 March 7: Review Week 9-11 Review Concept Formal Charette March 30: Review Week 12-14 Program Charette 2 Descriptive Geometries Material Study 3 Week 15-16 Final Charette Editing FINAL REVIEW

topographic profile of Empire Mine, Palmer, MI via Geocontext



{index, precedent]

Gordon Matta-Clark

Richard Sennett

/Gordon Matta-Clark: “You Are the Measure”

/The Craftsman

Olarfur Eliasson

Julie Mehretu

Cy Twombly

/Studio Olafur Eliasson: An Encyclopedia

Perry Kulper Carlo Scarpa

/Carlo Scarpa: The Craft Of Architecture

Keller Easterling

Phillip Bernstein

/Building (in) the Future: Recasting Labor in Architecture

/Strange Details

Michael Cadwell

/Enduring Innocence

Henri Lefebvre

/Organization Space: Landscapes, Highways, and Houses in America


/The Production of Space

Casey Reas, Ben Fry

/Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers

Howler + Yoon

and Artists

Joshua Noble

/Digital Fabrications: Architectural and Material Techniques /Expanded Practice: Höweler + Yoon Architecture/My Studio

SIFT Studio Super Nature Design James Corner

/Taking Measures Across the American Landscape

/Programming Interactivity: A Designer’s Guide to Processing,

Arduino, and Openframeworks

Mary-Ann Ray

/Pamphlet Architecture 20: Seven Partly Underground Rooms and Buildings for Water, Ice, and Midgets


Italo Calvino


/Overlook: Exploring the Internal Fringes of America with the

Center for Land Use Interpretation

Decker Yeadon Charles + Ray Eames Douglas Darden

/Condemned Building

Smout Allen

/Pamphlet Architecture 28: Augmented Landscapes

Ben Edwards Hannah Arendt

/The Human Condition

/Six Memos for the Next Millennium



“For the world to be interesting,you have to be manipulating it all the time.�

Augmenting Labor  
Augmenting Labor  

Spatial Experience in Material Production a body of research collected in preparation for a final architectural thesis project