Art of Living

  1. Taking ownership of time

Post crit, I dive into the philosophy of the British Pavilion – “To design first with time, as opposed to space; To overturn the functionalist perspective of architecture and reinstate a rationalist understanding of dwelling”.

The British Pavilion not only explores time, but also themes such as shared space, functions, ownership, privacy, regulation, policy, finance and most importantly, who we design for? Its interesting to read the backgrounds of the architects behind the creation of each space.

Julia King (the toilet girl) designed the House for Years with Naked House on the basis that homes can be made more affordable by stripping out non-essential finishes and fittings, the developer profit, marketing/sales costs.

Hesselbrand created the House for Decades that allows a person to live out his entire life and create generations, thus, the house has to be flexible and is designed as a single room. Instead of specific segregated spaces, the house is designed with spatial qualities (light/dark, open/closed, private/public, wet/dry, soft/hard)

I really like that the British Pavilion was interactive and immersive – allowing the visitors to be exhibits. Right after the crit, I thought of an idea that I could have done to make my presentation more appealing – to turn the presentation space into a pinhole camera (projecting a moving image of Dungeness in the background). This follows my exploration of turning my bedroom into a camera obscura. For my next presentation, I will strive to make it more experiential for the audience.

2. Chaptering definitions of home/house 


My definitions of home/house (so far) are :

  • The home is the theatricals and life of a house – The play
  • The House is a physical envelope – The stage set
  • A home for hours or days is not about the space, it’s about the world you bring with you
  • By placing the camera in the house, we know how a home sees Dungeness – The home becomes our eyepiece
  • The home is sculpted by time, followed by spatial needs. It’s identity is composed of the occupant’s rituals, memories and domestic objects

So, with my definitions of home/house, I could stage the episodes of how a camera arrives, nests, captures, develops, aggregates, and disintegrates in Dungeness. One week in Koolhaas House is staged in chapters such as ‘the curtain’, ‘the windows’, ‘the stairs’, ‘the recycling bin’. The house unfolds with every step Guadalupe (the cleaner) takes. She brings the home to life.

3. Building Behaviour

In the picture below, photographer Bogdan Grbovan reveals how differently people live in identical apartments in Bucharest. Each home is given a unique character when the occupant (the actor) stage it with life.

Almost all the cottages in Dungeness look alike and the duration of stay is pretty much the same (all occupants stay for years-decades), but the homes contained within are different. So are the names of the houses.

It will be interesting to draw the behaviour of inhabitation and the unique character of the current houses in Dungeness (through imagination and memory from visiting an artist’s studio). And how this changes when various duration of time is applied.

I will be also studying Alison and Peter Smithson’s designs for dwellings.

4. Living – An art or science ?

I am interested to push the economics/politics element of my home project. I will study how designing the home, first from time then space (from inside-out) could be a process with no obligations to current planning rules.

My December inspiration menu :

  1. Soane Museum
  2. Geffrye Museum of the Home
  3. Victoria Miro

One thought on “Art of Living

  1. You might also be interested in Peter Blundell Jones and Jeremy Till’s book: ‘Architecture & Participation’. You can read a lot of it via amazon – look inside.
    There is a strong thread through the book on what makes a home, and social cohesion through design.

    Have a good Christmas!

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