File: position statement
Fragments from proceedings (‘artefact submission’)’:
This project addresses the transformation of a large warehouse of about 1000sqm built between 1900 and 1970 in Molenbeek into a single family house and a shared artistic workshop. The project addresses various issues and themes, amongst which the environmental impact of the construction and of the future consumptions. The artefact is not limited to the design outcome but comprises the design process. /…/
Architecture; Transformation; Reuse; Design Process; Sustainability
The threefold presentation explores a possible medium to create artefacts which somehow can be considered equivalent to the project itself. Through the embodiment of a network of inputs and outputs in a creative act. By enlarging the scope to the entire process and to the stimuli surrounding it. While respecting the subjective nature of such networks. In order to provoke the interpretation of the project by the audience. Resulting in statistic objectivation through the endlessness actualization of graspable combinations.
Fragments from proceedings (‘artefact submission’)’:
Since its invention in the Renaissance, linear perspective has dominated (architectural) representation and spatial understanding in the West, providing a geometrical tool for a two-dimensional rendering of space. This doctoral design driven research however argues that there is a hidden potential to perspective as we know it and that it could be employed as an actor in the process of (three-dimensional) space-making as well. Furthermore will this generation of new spatialities provoke further reflection on how we look at space.
In a search for revealing the assumed formative features of perspective, this research operates within the Paduan Scrovegni chapel, more particular within the frescoes that are painted on the interior walls by Giotto (c. 1267 – 1337), a Proto- Renaissance painter/architect who is considered as one of the predecessors in the evolution of perspective, hence the pictorial style as we know today1. St. Anne’s house, depicted in The Birth of the Virgin is a first selected piece of architecture to undergo an initial reversal of projection: through performing analogue perspective drawing interventions, we are able to penetrate the picture plane and (re)construct possible versions of the depicted architecture – a transformation from 2D rendition into 3D reconstruction. This new spatiality can subsequently serve as accessible looking machine. The flexibility and instability of this fictive field allow for a context where confusion and ambiguity (characteristic for Proto- Renaissance depictions) are tolerated and, moreover stimulate the emergence of creative insights.
As artefact we would like to present the intermediary output of our dwelling behind the surface: the confrontation with Anne’s house after being subjected to a perspectival disclosure. Central is the drawing showing the house, a peculiar oneroom- building, approached as an autonomous architectural object but at the same time brought into relation with the physical reality of the chapel. Accompanying the drawing, modelling and video work will be included as well, addressing both the 2D gaze and the 3D experience. This mixed media approach has a propelling effect in the empirical research and enhances not only the comprehension of the physical outcome, but also the accessibility of the mental space. The objective is not the reconstruction of Anne’s house as such, but the chances that this fiction enables. For this explorative research is an enquiry into the potentiality of (un)expected spaces beyond the representation and the ensuing knowledge production.
Perspective, analogue drawing, proto-renaissance, design driven research
PROPOSAL ARTEFACT As artefact we would like to present the intermediary output of our dwelling behind the surface: the confrontation with Anne’s house after being subjected to a perspectival disclosure. Central is (1) the drawing (pencil on tracing paper) that shows the represented house, approached as an autonomous architectural object but at the same time brought into relation with the physical reality of the chapel that incorporates the fresco. The original drawing will be physically presented at the conference. The paper measures 90 by 200 cm and should preferably be laid down. The extra (2) drawings and (3) models that accompany this centerpiece will be displayed in relation to it: placed on the paper, integrated within the surface area, so to form one whole and not to exceed the 90x200cm borders. (If there is possibly an empty wall available next to the table with the drawing, I would maybe opt to project the video of the model as well.) [The work here presented is still in progress, for the exploration within this fresco has not yet been concluded.]
Fragments from proceedings (‘abstract submission’)’:
Multigenerational living environment as an alternative to existing institutionalized living environment of older population presents the main field of research. The high level of elderly segregation remains ever present despite constant developments in the area of institutionalized care. Necessity of elderly integration into general social environment reminds us of importance of active presence for all age groups in order to provide quality living environment. Furthermore, it opens numerous questions concerning the unexplored or underdeveloped potentials of living environment, when the needs of users of all age groups are taken into consideration.
The aim of research is to explore and understand how diverse needs of users of all ages can influence the development of wider living environment, building typology from urbanistic point of view, and on architectural design of living units. The goal is to develop a structural model of multigenerational living environment and test its applicability in diverse situations.
The basic research frame of structural model development is defined by the key properties of multigenerational living environment from the social and spatial point of view. How do these properties affect the content of an environment, how are they regulated and how do they relate to each other in order to establish multigenerational living environment of higher quality? These are the focus questions of the doctoral thesis. Research includes all of the users of a living environment of all the age groups as well as multigenerational living environment in itself.
Research terms will be inducted through analysis and categorization of the users needs. Study of relations among users is to be performed, exploring relations among the members of the same age group, as well as with the members of other age groups.
Based on established research terms, the further study should be conducted, how users interrelations are expressed upon living environment and what kind of relations does the living environment generate towards its users, thus forming a foundation of structural model development.
Structural model of multigenerational living environment as a system of social and spatial relations has three primary roles. Firstly as a system of initial design, secondly as a system of review in the planning stage and finally as a system for evaluation of living environment in use. Diverse modes of application include transformation-of or addition-to an existing living environment and establishing of a new living environment. Scale adaptability of the model enables application on the level of wider living environment, building typology development and architectural design of living units.
structural model, multigenerational living environment, age group
Fragments from proceedings (‘artefact submission’)’:
Collaborative poem-drawing is a verbal and meta-graphical expression of spatial thoughts and feelings. The works represent an unfinished dialogue of memories (and design dreams) that are related to a shared (and imagined) urban experience. They are fragile platforms of carefully layered traces of discussions between the two authors, from day to day. They are “remnants” of dialogues about places that are experienced (through derive sessions) or imagined (in design drawing sessions) not as entities outside ourselves, but between ourselves. As dialogic devices, these collaborative poem-drawings are bringing together two different ways of looking at the spatial reality, while avoiding closure of the finite meaning of the processed material.
Graphically representing the conceptual background of our desire: clouds of spatial amorphous envelopes (dreams and memories) are hovering above a semi-permeable membrane (our senses and our sensitivity to the given reality) laying upon vertical columns that rise from the “orthogonal” ground. These clouds are fragments of urban interpretations related to a specific place: their inscription into a format of collective poem-drawings represents the process of juxtaposition of the interpreted maps in scale (plans, photographs, sections) and their resonance in the present moment of re-creation of memory. They are a palimpsest of different degrees of reality: the tension between the Clouds of memory and the “Reality” in scale is what generates an abundance of meaning, each time a spatial memory is re-evoked into presence.
Finally, these collective poem-drawings are tools that aim to cultivate liberation from the Known in the present moment of inscription. The exhibition would include: 1.a discussion upon the artefacts (reflection on the process of making and reading the maps); 2.a collaborative drawing performance; 3.a (graphical and verbal) contextualization of the collective poem-drawing in the wider context of the PhD thesis. /…/
collective poem-drawing, dialogic, derive, urban interpretation, distortion of memories
Unlike the poem-drawings that are processual tools in a design task (few of them will be exhibited at the conference), the artifacts introduced in this sequence are flowers which sprouted from a trembling soil: without precise aspiration, without „why?‟ and „how?‟ and „what for?‟ They are there because they emerged as an urgent need to cultivate a spatial dialogue through means other than purely verbal meditations. Communicating in silence contributed to our thorough mutual understanding in relation to spatial doubts and questions. At the same time, we created a notation/artefact of that discussion that is transferable a wider range of indirect interlocutors.
The contribution to a collective learning environment, that such a research can bring, is the stimulation of the following points through search for order by the growth from the inside and releasing a particle of truth from the unrepeatable moment of creation: 1. learning to listen responsively (creative and critical compassion); 2. bringing a design decision / spatial judgement built upon such self-softening; 3. continuous recording and erasing of experienced spatial values: a simultaneous cultivation and destabilization of the value system, beyond any authority. /…/