Project overview

Question: The project examines aspects and philosophies of time in relation to the act of re appropriating/ reterritoriliazing space, how the functions of buildings mutate (as opposed to evolve) over and through time, and how the fabric of the building, both on the level of structure and surface, reflect these mutations, if at all. The project wishes to question what is authentic with regards to these mutations, as well as examine issues regarding gentrification and the projection of image.
Proposition: To examine forensically, through a framework developed through philosophies relating to time, the change in use of buildings, and how we as architects can retroactively piece together the history of a site, and in turn accentuate these changes to create a cluster of images which act as a poetic reading of history. The exploration study examines this through a technical lens, focusing on construction and joints between layers of time presented materially.
Languages: The method with which drawing and making is carried out will reflect the notions of time that I will and have been exploring. The portfolio itself will reflect these through changes in material, as will the drawings. Transparencies, joints, fixings etc. will embody temporal philosophy through transfer techniques, layering, printing on acetate, and examining layers of time through a three dimensional lens.
References: Philosophy regarding through Henri Bergson and Gaston Bachelard (dialectic of duration, Bachelard and the Epiphanic moment). Rubbish Theory and how we generate worth in our environment (environment in the broadest sense) (Rubbish Theory – Michael Thompson). Criticisms of film and architecture as well as message through medium style philosophies (Walls have feelings – Kath Shonfield). Articles concerning materiality (ARQ), authenticity (ARQ), time, preservation (Jorges Otero-Pailos, Rem Koolhaas). Also poetry is beginning to be examined due to the close relationship between poetry and Bachelard’s philosophies.
Site: The site where the project finds itself is in Brooklyn’s historical DUMBO district in New York, namely a 19th century industrial warehouse at 68 Jay street. The whole district was an industrial manufacturing area in the late 19th Century continuing through the 20th century, and as a result, is home to a number of buildings produced specifically for industrial use (warehouses, power-stations, making brillo pads, paper, cardboard which was actually invented in DUMBO, and machinery).
Materiality: So far the project has focused on transparency, in order to provide a materialization of the philosophies and references discussed. These materials have created a kind of feedback loop in which the understanding of the theories involved is expanded through making and testing, particularly through the book and the portfolio as a way of layering time and moments. In terms of actual materials, masonry, stone, and the connections between materials are being questioned and forensically examined. The project is spatial in that it uses space (68 jay street) as a fixity through which issues of temporality can be fleshed out and examined.
Provocation: The project aims to be a real project, as in examining change of use, gentrification etc. with regards to architecture, and hopes to expand outwards into looking at possible changes in function, accommodating these changes constrained within a physical site. The exploration project sits within real material constraints, ie. masonry, reinforced concrete frames.

One thought on “Project overview

  1. What’s the title of your project? Is the act of understanding a building solely retroactive or doesn’t it warrant an ongoing understanding of how the building changes, completes, evolves and authentcates as per your theories of time? I think its less about history and more about the building being placed in a sort of continuum – where time collapses and expands at various moments to allow us to understand the forces that have shaped the building. How does the project expose these changes over time and through its materiality and design manifest questions about authenticity and completeness? The transfer technique and formatting information across a series of transparencies that you use in the portfolio are great but how do they correspond to a material strategy on site – how do you play with opacity and translucency (in addition to transparency) through the accumulation of layers (of time, material, information etc). Looking forward to seeing how you bring all your site research together for Tuesday and start speculating on what your version of a museum of time would be. Can you elaborate a bit about why you started looking at joints for the exploration study? I know you were documenting them while we were on the trip but what’s the relationship between material joints and the questions you pose within the project about time and authenticity – is it about dating different materials to different time periods and seeing how they amalgamate? Is the joint evidence of an embedded narrative of change within a building?

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