LES Vanishing Archives – Brief Development

This week blog is rather thin in content, and most of it relates to the brief I have been trying to develop. (Work in progress!! p.s my ideas are all over the place, much like my post!)


The Brief

The brief is still underdeveloped, as I’m struggling to envisage what my collection will consist of, how will be preserved and how my ‘sites’ (voids) will become an architectural project.

The ‘museum’ will be discovered and explored as a ‘pilgrimage’, this will cover various sites( roofs / voids) across the LES,  becoming a fragmented journey / museum. These voids aren’t defined yet. Im trying to identify worthy ‘voids’ in the area, that mean and represent something, they should tell or have a story! So there is a journey/ pilgrimage with meaning.

Some listed here:

Possible Site Info

I’m interested in developing a collection of ‘UNCOLLECTIBLES’. By uncollectible, I refer to the various elements discussed previously, such as the intangible collective memories, cultural identities, the views across the city , character of the lower rise buildings of the LES; and other more tangible objects that are part of the uncollectible,  perhaps too big to archive, but deserve being preserved, like the many historic façades and buildings of the LES.
Bellow is some images of a Visitors Guide for the LES Vanishing Archives. I will hand this out when presenting the project, as it offers an overview of the project. When folded is the size of a postcard. (Its unfinished and there are missing images)


Guide – Brief


Pilgrimage Guide

Pilgrimage Guide-2

The Pilgrimage

A Pilgrim has expectations, but the journey sometimes can reveal itself to be somewhat undermined to what one is led to expect through pictures, books and magazines prior to embarking on a journey. The modern day pilgrim can visit many places and go on journeys without even leaving the comfort of their home. Pilgrims also have different degrees of devotion and expectations, some may embark on a journey to self- discovery, redemption, or simply checking boxes of a wish list, most pilgrimages are characterized as – see the trophy and leave.The idea of the LES as an open air – city museum- to be experienced as pilgrimage posses questions to be answered as the brief develops and these rooftops become beacons on the landscape. It also makes me think on how the visitor will engage, challenge the building/ structures on the journey.

The idea of the LES as an open air – city museum- to be experienced as pilgrimage posses questions to be answered as the brief develops and these rooftops become beacons on the landscape. It also makes me think on how the visitor will engage, challenge the building/ structures on the journey.

  • Does all of them know what to do with it/ how to react to it?
  • Is the journey as significant as the destination?
  • Who is the collection of ‘Uncollectables’ for? What does it reveal?
  • What becomes the climax of the pilgrimage?
  • How do you travel?
  • When do you take the Pilgrimage, during the day, night or at twilight? Are the different experiences and rewards for different journeys?
  • Do the pilgrims leave a mark or traces on the sites and journeys they take?
  • How long do this journeys may take?

I started reading a book by William Helmreich – The New York nobody knows. In which he tells the story of his childhood; where his father would take him on journeys to the last stop of each subway line and they would explore the areas unknown to them, and this later in life have influenced him to walk over 6000 miles in NYC discovering each area in a different light. Here he makes an interesting point that for him to get to know that area, he should stop there long enough so that to get to know it and truly absorb the area and its surroundings.

The museum collection is never completed, as new memories are added to it, but how are they preserved? In one’s memory? If so, when these stories are retold will they be distorted as the time passes by and from oone person to another?

I seem to have lost track of my stairs and I’m unsure of how this ‘museum’ will physically manifest itself.

Lastly, Im not sure what we should be looking to present at the crits? I was looking to finish semester one items and have a brief for the crit?




One thought on “LES Vanishing Archives – Brief Development

  1. Lots to comment on! I love the idea of collecting UNCOLLECTIBLES – I think that’s a really interesting challenge in how you will give shape to these moments, changes, characters and stories within the site but its also a nice way to expose how the area has evolved over time. Your first list of site is good but at the moment only text based – try to think how you would draw these scenarios/ changes – how could the architecture be a silent witness to what has happened in the area (to bring back your earlier investigation)? It would be a useful to draw what you would like visitors to experience when they visit one of these voids/ scenarios.
    The postcard that unfolds into a guide to the area is also interesting – since its simultaneously the guide to your museum and a souvenir – you can make more of this as a format or use the hybrid format to expose the dual nature of the museum as a route but also a collectible experience.
    It would be good to draw a sort of list of uncollectibles that you would like to collect into your museum perhaps across scales and from really tangible and large (building facades etc) to extremely intangible stories, smells etc.
    By having a sense of the range of things you are collecting it will help determine the pilgrimage route, the experience of the visitor and the constraints of the project which in turn will help answer the questions you pose to yourself in the latter part of your blog post. Understanding exactly what the museum would be interested in collecting would also help you understand how the collection could expand and what ‘memories’ objects or experiences would be considered for inclusion. I would start with these drawings for now and not worry about the stairs just yet since only once you have the route and understand the conditions you are moving between can they really be reintroduced. Work on the rest for now and we can discuss the stairs at tutorials on Friday.
    Regarding what to have for the crit – completed Semester 1 work for sure, and an introduction to your museum, what its collecting and how it is experienced at whatever stage you are at, at that moment. We will send everyone a proper list of what to have next week. Keep going – you’re on a good track and I’m excited to see how the uncollectible drawing/ list will develop!

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