Wednesday, October 22, 2008

portrait of a brain on degree project

The social, political and financial networks in which architecture is embedded have grown increasingly complex in every imaginable context, and will most likely continue to do so. Within these layered, and therefore progressively less transparent, networks, the building becomes an unstable pawn, a social tool, a status symbol, a mover of capital and risk. It bumps up against and infiltrates a myriad of exteriors. Rarely is a work of architecture purely introspective and self-contained; why then should we allow, as is often the case, a single work to feign self-absorption?

Instead of merely attempting to restore its solidity and wholeness, we can benefit from the condition of architecture as a set of plural and decentralized processes by allowing them to grow and make use of their full potential. How can an architectural process make nebulousness positive by taking on a more active role in the creation and manipulation of the systems that surround it, thereby inverting their power structures? How can it take greater control over the form of its own condition? The provision of housing infrastructure could create job skills, a construction cooperative, savings groups, a new economy. An analytical embrace of surplus and unused potential energy can lead to the reevaluation of intellectual waste within the processes we use to sharpen the navigation tools we carry: poetic, literary, technical and ethical.

This understanding of the physically constructed as only one component of the discipline implies a reconceptualization of the porous walls that signify where our work as architects and providers of dwelling begins and ends. There is a new design process to be found, and a new design, not the ether but of the ether.

and a little extra...

Scaffolding of process has the potential to design its own demise within the artificial confines of a single project, but take on a generative life of its own within the larger and intangible web of layered networks in which architecture is embedded and by which it travels. How do we responsibly make it grow? What do our poetic tools tell us to uncover from the surplus? What can we make?

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