Week 10

Toby’s questions:

1) NAME: Does the project have a name?

Not yet
2) QUESTION: What is at stake in the project? (Something political/ social/ economic..?) What is being questioned and why? What is the research question?

The issue of ‘pause’ is being questioned, first in the study of the bench as my object, and it will be further explored through the museum – a place of countless pause, both by the inhabitants and the exhibitions. Having discussed the issue of whether a museum is correct in the attempts to create a timeless situation (of imperceptible change; striving for eternal pause), my project will question this.


3) PROPOSITION: How is the question answered: what is the proposition?

The nature of the museum will answer this, from the collections to the way it is inhabited – but I have not begun to explore it yet.
4) LANGUAGES: Drawing languages/sound model making or film technique: how do these languages support the project?

Individual drawings/models do not necessarily specifically support the project literally, but the format of the portfolio does as it is an article meant to be paused over.


5) REFERENCES: Are there art/architecture/literary/historic/unit trip stuff or other references used?

The museums on the field trip have played a big part in this (fledgling) idea. The original work by Cardiff obviously sparked the conversation, and the city of New York itself has furthered it.


6) SITE: What is the approach or relationship to site? Is there a site? How well is it understood? How does this knowledge inform the project? Is there a reinterpretation of site in some way?

The site is Grand Central Terminal and the surrounding context of Park Avenue, Park Avenue Viaduct, Vanderbilt Avenue, East 42nd Street, and East 45th Street. Although I have not defined a single area of the site, Pershing Square – located opposite GCT on Park Avenue – is of particular interest. Within GCT itself the most intriguing features are the ceiling, use of light (including the current lack of light due to development on all sides blocking the windows), and the ‘walk through’ windows at the end. The site was selected as a place which encompasses constant flurries of movement alongside stillness. It is a place of luxury on the surface, but utilitarian grime underneath.


7) MATERIAL: Materiality (or immateriality): what is the approach to physicality in the project? What is the approach to time? Is the project spatial? What is the ‘space’ of the project?

Permanence is an issue the materiality will exploring. Whilst responding to the solidity of the marble used as the primary material in GCT, my own materiality is likely to follow a lighter touch. Spatially, GCT is vast in the main concourse, but somewhat claustrophobic once you disperse. This, combined with some of the museums we have seen, makes me lean toward an economical spatial response for the majority of the museum, and also appropriateness in responding to the site.

I have looked at the issue of material degradation in my research, so this will feature in my design, but I’m not sure how yet as that will depend on the museum itself. Possibly the museum revealing more of itself as the years go by, creating an ever changing building.


8) CLIENT: Who is the proposal for? Is there an audience in mind? How is this made evident?

Undefined – but much like the station the audience will probably be everyone – whether they want to stay for a minute or five hours. The element of passing through should be embedded within the scheme.


9) PROVOCATION: How real is the project? Is it a paper project in the sense of a provocation or a ‘real’ project with practical constraints such as planning, construction strategies etc.?

As the area of Grand Central is currently being redeveloped, I think that a scheme could be ‘real’ if it can feasibly be built – but I want to consider the element of material change, which may cause some constraints. The nature of the museum and what it explores about museums will be more important, as will the issue of time, so it may not be a conventional museum and therefore not something that could currently be built.


10) PRESENTATION: How is each piece of work to be presented? How does the physical paper/any physical models work with the on-screen parts (if any)?

In issues of a magazine called ‘Pause’/’The Pause’, to create the scenario and connotations of reading a magazine
11) SPACE: What is it like to be inside your project? Is there logic to the spatial arrangement you are proposing? Can you tell a story about the relationship of one space to the next?

Light, structurally and visually, but not transparent. The spatial arrangement will be based on how I want the objects to be viewed, so in part this will be in a corridor style layout, to incorporate the ability to rapidly pass through the museum.


Summary of points to discuss in the cross crit (not final):

  1. Site – Grand Central Terminal, encompassing movement and stillness
  2. Different speeds of experiencing the museum, enforced through spatiality – ie. passing through or lingering. The breaking down of obvious routes will be pivotal
  3. Spatial qualities – linear in sections, featuring holding spaces in others
  4. Materiality – light, to contrast that of GCT
  5. Material change – smoke and smog, use by visitors. An ever changing building or exhibition?


One thought on “Week 10

  1. Nice answers to these questions – I think you do have a title for the project and you should push yourself to define it. What is it about the pause that interests you? or that first drew your attention? You are on to something with looking at the speeds through which people move through Grand Central and how your intervention (or museum) can slow or still them to make them pause. Do you make them pause through obstacles, moments of awe/ surprise/ wonder? Think about what your strategy would be to slow them down, to make them stop. Where you situate your interventions within the station could be defined by waiting areas, by circulation through the space etc, all of which you documented when you visited the site. Light is an interesting material to introduce as a contrast to the material degradation studies you were doing with the bench studies. I like how you describe the lack of light within the station because of construction projects on all sides blocking the windows. Where do you start to bring light in? Light vs. Smoke is also interesting – and how the two move through air within the station and around the building differently. How can you harness the terrain of the ceiling and the inhabitable window as the potential sites for you to intervene – to draw people’s attention to and make them pause? Looking forward to seeing your site research drawn and the beginnings of a proposal for a lingering museum of pauses on Tuesday!

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