Advisor: Professor Silvia Acosta
On Volatile Ground: The Divergent Monolith
“The exercise of power is determined by thousands of interactions between the world of the powerful and that of the powerless, all the more so because these worlds are never divided by a sharp line: everyone has a small part of himself in both.” - Václav Havel, Former President of Czechoslovakia
“The ball is round, a game lasts 90 minutes, everything else is pure theory. Off we go!” - Herr Schuster, Run Lola Run
This thesis interrogates representation as a generative model in the production of architecture. The work revels in the craft and impulsiveness of an available material palette, historical precedents, and an archive of fragments. The thesis does not intend to explore the capacity of drawing in the creation of form, but the latent, real, and speculative relationships related to inhabiting the indeterminacy of a drawing. Therefore, the work seeks to identity indexical attributes of an architectural proposition that shapes a spatiotemporal reality of incompleteness: an architecture that keeps the possibilities for settlement faint.
Confronted by a demand for architecture that is efficient, conceptually pure, and that relies on a translatable-operational methodology, the thesis relies on empirical experimentation to create, observe, and inhabit the idiosyncratic allure of (1) thinking and making, and then pursuing of the conceptual embers to (2) material configuration, and (3) future inhabitation.
The work positions architects as storytellers, cultural geographers, acupuncturists, and taxidermists: conspirators with a predilection of augmenting a collection of the petrified past.
6-way folding book, collage of books 1-3
6-way folding book, collage of books 1-3
Digging (a drawing), This drawing was featured on Super-Architects in June 2015
This drawing was selected "Best in Category - Student Hand" in the 2015 Ken Roberts Memorial Delineation Competition hosted by AIA Dallas
A relic of digging
Devil's Slide Topographic Survey, Plan, 1:6000
Chiral Inversion, Inverse spherical projection of land mass
"New" elevation of ground
Fusu/Frustrum, mediating temporalities of context
Waiting, A moving body
Digging, Model, 9" x 12" x 2"
Excavating, Model, 9" x 12" x 2"
Piling, Model, 9" x 12" x 2"
Devil’s Slide is a coastal promontory near San Francisco. Historically, the land has served as strategic defense of the West Coast of the United States in the height of World War II. Today, it is infamous for it’s steep cliffs and seemingly perpetual landslides. After decommission of the base stations that once punctuated the landscape, there has not been any sanctioned construction on the site. The proposal seeks to explore the architecture, as building, as a means to define a fixed temporality. A reality that exists between the drawing and material configuration as a way to “augment, qualify, and negate conditions.” The timely fragments of war once served to protect and allow for projection outward; a vigil held for the horizon. The Observation Center attempts to creatively invert the infrastructure of drawing and spatiality simultaneously: drawing thickened, space thinned.
The lone dweller, a park ranger, has been tasked with the collection of geological and synthetic artifacts before they fall into the sea. As the land falls away, the ranger retreats, digs, and waits. The ranger values the latency of qualitative information more than analytic domination. The ranger serves as the nexus for defining spatial sequences: cyclical and intermittent. These include the curating and maintenance of artifacts, monitoring and repair of the unstable ground (drawing), interacting with tourists, hikers, and occasional campers, general maintenance, particularly graffiti removal (or preservation), tending to public and private garden spaces. The Ranger has been extended the freedom to curate his/her own private dwelling through personal choice.
The proposition is hypothetical and is an exploration of the practice and influence of representation.