Architectural Beginning Design Studio 02




Exploration 07 – Thoughts on Translation



As we’ve been discussing, the architectural design process may be considered a rhythm of questioning and making that transitions through multiple modes of abstraction and realization.  This quarter has focused primarily on our abilities to read, or take apart, any given perception, working on the premise that any one moment is the result of a composition of very particular pieces.  While this has very much given you all a richer understanding of how architecture works, we have not yet begun to exercise this understanding to a particular end.


As we begin what could be considered the first design project of the year, we must begin to ask the question: In what ways can an idea generate a spatial experience?


You’ve all been required to begin developing a specific definition of, or position on Observation.  Ultimately, this quarter will culminate with the design of A Place for Observation – A spatial experience which facilitates a certain perception which could be considered as metaphor for the position taken.  To make this transition, to diagram most effectively, and to position yourself well for engaging your site, it is important that a certain step be taken.

Upon arriving at a clear, concise definition of Observation, a way to consider the next step, which will be explored primarily through written and diagrammatic means, might be to come up with organizational 'requirements’, or qualities, that might facilitate your specific definition.  If the definition of Observation could be considered a condition, or state, what are the parameters of that condition?


A key might be to consider any definition, any specific condition of observation, as being the relationship between two primary components – The “Observer” and “The Observed”.  And not simply a formal placement of the two relative to each other, but a process or act through which the two become defined relative to each other?

For example:


-    If your definition is based on the observation of one's self, ie: meditation, the place might require separation.  What type of separation is required and possible?  (In a situation such as this, be wary not to jump to “it should be a dark space, or a quiet space – This might direct the design a certain degree of insensitivity to the context within which it is placed).  Perhaps it could be a discussion of a transformation from one singular condition to two separate conditions?

-    If your definition is based upon a particular act of visual observation, then perhaps the place might involve a frame, or a process of framing.  What then is a frame?  How might there be a primary, single directionality between these that which is being framed, and the observer?  How might a process of distancing be explored?

-    If the definition of Observation is based upon the notion of the observation of a holiday, then perhaps the place might involve the establishment of prominence?  Could this prominence be discussed in terms of a hierarchy?  And again, not simply the “look” of prominence, but the process of something becoming prominent?