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simultaneity in architecture

simultaneity in architecture

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Published by la_raine
thesis statement of intent
thesis statement of intent

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Published by: la_raine on Sep 13, 2009
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04/18/2013

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 //////////////// graduation project 1 / statement of intent
larraine henning08.01.09
 
1/// miscellaneous insights and speculations 
a narrative of simultaneity in architecture
2/// eld of inquiry
I want to use this project to challenge my own cynicism and disbelief of architecture’s capacity to
inuence human behavior. I intend to prove that architecture is, in fact, a series of speculative operations with
the intention of implicating meaningful relationships with its users. The pursuits of my project will also addressthe reconciliation of abstract theoretical and phenomenological underpinnings within the pretense of a fairly
conventional program. It is my belief that even the most banal human activities and exchanges can inspire anarchitecture that is relevant to the human condition and the constitution of our everyday spaces. Seemingly“regular” people, being both habitual and mundane, are denizens of eccentricity and peculiarity.I am interested in the ways in which architecture might instigate human behavior and spatial / socialrelationships, and how programmatic adjacency can be used as a device to establish those connections. Canarchitecture have some kind of consequence on the daily lives of its occupants, and can those reactions beused to likewise inform a kind of architecture? How can the occupants of space become active participantsin the life of a building, wherein space could become the reection of the dispositions, culture, attitudes, andfears of the inhabitants? In the case of my project the “building” is an existing structure which will become anactive agent in the unfolding narrative of my investigations. The building will be re-appropriated, and serve as areceiving fabric to new layers of time and space. The reclamation of a derelict and forgotten site will provide ahistory and context to legitimize and direct design decisions.
3/// architectural issues
My research is concerned with how two arguably disparate programs, housing and farming, canbecome synchronised, establishing a simultaneity where one becomes dependent on the other and viceversa. As my interests lie in the banalities and routines of everyday activities, I propose the reintroductionof food production into ones daily life as a strategy to provoke emotional, physical, architectural and socialengagement. How can farming and housing re-establish an adjacency as it once did historically, and how mightthat relationship inuence architecture? Is there a way to consolidate the two in a manner that is not nostalgicor utopian but rather non-prescriptive and incendiary? As a secondary agenda the idea of indeterminate space
supports the notion that space can elicit reactions from its inhabitants which thereby alter the constitution
of that space. This phenomena then becomes a continuum, wherein a space can be constantly undergoingchange, thus becoming indeterminate. The result could be a kind of living architecture which behaves asan organism might, being both unpredictable and speculative. I think “exibility” is often used superciallyin design creating overly autonomous and ambiguous spaces. My pursuit is to develop a project where thedweller and the architecture negotiate with one another simultaneously, resulting in a space that is perpetuallymutating and unnished.
4/// precedentsa.
 
My afnity for the notions of the “everyday life” and its banalities was inspired by two highly inuentialphilosophers of the mid 20th century, Michel de Certeau and Henri Lefebvre, who both write of the beautyand poetry in the day to day gestures and activities of the common man and woman. Henri Lefebvre writes of the wealth of knowledge and insight that lies in the simplicity of everyday life, and that this potential is oftenoverlooked in comparison to more extravagant and complex forms of inquiry.
“We are caught in a hybrid compromise between aesthetic spectacle and knowledge.
When the ight of a bird catches our attention, or the mooing of a cow, or a shepherd boy singing,we think we are being very clever and very concrete. But we are unable to seize the human facts.We fail to see them where they are, namely in humble, familiar, everyday objects; the shape of elds, of ploughs. Our search for the human takes us too far, too “deep”, we seek it in the cloudsor in mysteries, whereas it is waiting for us, besieging us on all sides. - All we need do is simply 
 
to open our eyes, to leave the dark world of metaphysics and the false depths of the “inner life” behind, and we will discover the immense human wealth that the humblest facts of everyday lifecontain”.
Lefebvre, Henri,
Critique of Everyday Life, Vol 1
. London: Verso, 1991,(p132). }
 
The ideologies of both writers compel me to believe that an architecture can be derived from thehumility and simplicity of one’s daily rituals, possessions and relationships.
 
b.
The notion of simultaneity and indeterminacy within the realm of architecture, is the other conceptualidea framing my research. Dr. Yeoryia Manolopoulou, recently completed her PhD in architecture at theUniversity College London, which explicitly deals with the ideas of chance, indeterminacy and synchronicity in
architecture.
“This architecture, call it architecture of chance, is all architecture: it is the architecture of themoment, indeterminate, vulnerable to accidents, but constructively so; it gains from failures and imperfections, and accepts chance as an essential element of existence”.{ Manolopoulou,
Yeoryia,
The Active Voice of Architecture
. September, 2007. Field: a free journal for architecture, Vol 1, Issue 1. July, 2009. http://www.eld-journal.org/uploads/le/2007_ Volume_1/y%20manolopoulou.pdf }
 
The work of Yeoryia is particularly relevant to my research, as she touches on how exibility andunpredictably can be employed in design in new and positive ways, and how these phenomena could be usedto explore how built space and its inhabitants, engaging in multiple programs, could develop in sync.
c. 
The work of Cedric Price pursues the idea of indeterminacy and demonstrates that human behavior and programmatic spontaneity are incredibly important to how we conceptualize and produce spaces. Price’s“Fun Palace”, a paper project from the early 1960’s strived to create an open and adjustable building that couldbe manipulated by its users performing various activities. { Mathews, Stanley.
From agit-prop to free space : the architecture of Cedric Price
. London: BlackDog Pub. Ltd, 2007.}
 
d. 
John Puttick from the University College London, received an RIBA award for his project “Land of Scattered Seeds”. The design project explores the routines of one’s everyday life and the use of narrative ina proposal for how two brothers passively establish an urban garden in the courtyard of their housing blockin Austria. The project is an illustration of how an activity such as agriculture, even on a very small scale, canCedric Price : “Fun Palace”, 1961.

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