Thursday, March 29, 2007

March 29 2007

Shared Stories and the Body (also other stuff)


I think I forgot to bring my brain to class with me today.

This is a diagram of the wood/steel nightclub table that I talked to you about earlier. Details aside, this is more about my intentions of the wood and steel coming together, sort of the wood table and the steel table interlocking as we talked about.

I’ve been thinking about the question of what it means to dwell in my project. The apartment house? The subway? The nightclub? This might seem kind of obvious, but more and more, I think the answer is that one dwells in all three and it is the moment of experience that defines the program as the narrative unravels. In response, I have been thinking about how the “shortcut” and the party wall act to define the moments. Looking back at my detail in the courtyard from last semester, I think that the party wall may need to have a certain amount of flexibility so that, for example, sometimes a lounge room is actually a living room that belongs to the apartment and other times it belongs to the nightclub.

Returning to the discussion of the table, maybe the “extra performance” it needs to have can be found somewhere in that ambiguity between what is apartment and what is nightclub. If I think about a coffee table in an apartment, they usually have some sort of drawers or shelves for books, magazines, remote controls, whatever, and a coffee table in a lounge is usually much simpler because its intended purpose is to serve as a place to put drinks. If one did put a coffee table with extra shelves/drawers in the nightclub it becomes that place to hide things or pass notes as we discussed. If I go the route of the wood table/steel table interlocking, this extra function should probably find its place in a gap between the two.

As far as a thought on detailing the table, you’re right about the awkwardness of the wood being flush with the steel. When I bought materials, I made the decision to only buy 1/8” thick strips of steel because I wanted to express the thinness of the cross section in contrast to the thickness of wood. That is why the welded the angles instead of buying them. It didn’t come up in the conversation but I didn’t weld the entire length of the seam so that the thinness of the material would read in corner seam. I think the wood/steel leg can still work but maybe the materials need to be held at a distance from each other so they read more as separate components.

Also the reason why I intuitively wanted the piece to touch the floor with wood instead of metal has to do with the potential of this piece to touch a wood floor. I don’t think metal should come down onto a wood floor. This also has a lot to do with my esoteric preference as a maker to use a wood-bodied hand plane instead of a metal one. For me, the experience of using the wood-bodied block plane is infinitely more satisfying. Mine is made of rosewood and its high density makes it have a certain resonance and in use it almost sings like a musical instrument.

midterm response

I think what I need to work on right now is looking into the scale of a few crucial moments. I need to start zooming in and work out exactly how each piece of installations enhances the space, and not the other way around. I am planning to work on perspective drawings for now. I also should work on the positioning of the walls; how can they better act as sound buffers/ insulations. These walls are also acting as linkages between the “pavilions”. I definitely have to look further into the kind of tensile or ‘hung’ structure I mentioned, and of course the type of materials. The decision on the structure and materials will definitely help clarify the characters, also experiences, of the space.

Overall the comments were helpful. However, when Michael mentioned the part about ‘selective seeing’ as a form of blindness, that certainly shifted my attention. I agree that it might have made a stronger thesis, but then my project would totally be about the one sense; the sense of seeing. And is this idea really “stronger than merely bringing other senses to light”?.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Notes from Day 3 of Midterm

Critics; Marc Schaut, Dan Buscescu, Michael Eng, Jeffrey Hogrefe, and Lex Braes

Kyung Sic -
Have you looked at Tando Ando's temple in the water? It is very graceful in terms of the descension.
Is this merely an extension of the MET?
Is the obelisk moved? So it's a little bit moved. 5 meters
What is the connection between museum, obelisk and the park? What is the importance of this? Why does the obelisk NEED to be IN the museum?
You are using a VERY moral language, this should be here, and there. You are creating a movement from the museum to the obelisk, its a utilitarian answer. You are saying there is a connection, but why should it have anything to do with the museum?
The existing glass box is solid = very unfriendly.
Lex was happy that the obelisk is where it is and is seperate from the museum and no access to it.
The obelisk might be a red-herring.
You are installing a kind of machinery of vision, sensation into the park. The obelisk is a cultural artifact, you mention the sun god relationship. It's a history of colonialism, empires conquer and bring back artifacts, they are given to us.
The museum is an Interiority of identity, build boundary around yourself. The Egyptian wing, is an illusion of transparency, see outside/inside yet the reality of construction is opposite. It is quite solid. Are you trying to make it more fluid? park > museum, museum > park? Just cause you can? Should you or not? Why?
It is a critique of inside/outside. Why does it follow the axis of the existing building. Maby bring in something that doesn't follow the grid.
Fundamental answers that motivate your decisions, those are cultural decisions.
You want to bring in other vitality into the museum, cyclists', runners, park tourists, through the museum.
Through this you are creating and talking much about the different speends of experiencing. This has alot to do with the horizontal but you should be thinking of this in the section and elevations, you talk about levels.
Think about the figures at different levels, maybe at different levels in water.
For most, the obelisk should remain exactly where it is, talk to Brian Jones, he seems to have a good bit of knowledge on what it would take to move one of these.
Undermine the obelisk, look at the foundation, design a new foundation, look at it in a new way, come up under it.
You also need to qualify the bodies of water, higher/lower, how does it move, do we hear it is it still, reflecting or not, and sometimes moving.
Shouldn't the architecture be more friendly to the park, you are breaking up the rythm of the park contours with hard edges, which could work but you need to think of the quality of the space. Be more sensitive of how the park contaminates your project, subtle, and sensitively.
The stairs from for the runner, will cause them to concentrate on their feet, and miss the entire museum, which is against what you want. Where is the landscape, the vegetation, materials, trees. It might not be the formal moves, but the dialog that needs to be looked at.

Zach -
Why just put 3 of those square volumes into the rectangular space, shoudln't you redisgn, it was stronger as 1, there was dialog. And the more similar they are, the one in bunker and the one out in the water, the more different they will perform, one is about water, the other about sky. You are trying to bring attention to the erosive quality.
Effemorality and loss, different than temporality.
Monumentality is unmasterable.
There are relationships between different sites within your site.
The flipping of God's eyes and being within the earth, the detail is important, specifically commented on your section drawings through the building.
Stable structure VS unstable one, that racks and moves. How is the steel treated, does it rust? The wood will rot. Come back in 100 years, will it be there? The hard lines of your geomety are parrelel with the existing, and reminiscent of the Holocaust, rails/crematorium.
Look at Paul Barilia, Bunker Archeology.
The weight of the collective memory is here.

Namtip -
the programs don't necessarily need to be governed by the artists' work that is to be displayed.
There is an equivocation of architecture/work
issue of materials can address that which creates the synaesthesia.
It really is difficult to keep the senses seperate, yet we believe that we can seperate them, your project reinforces the seperation.
Vision is a form of blindness, architecture is also. THis idea is stronger than merely bringing other senses to light.
Architecture is complicit in the ways of seeing. You don't need to amplify these senses individually. Concentrate on the tactile quality, materiality. Look at Richard Serra, scale, it HAS killed people.
You can critique lines of sight.
You dont want this to become just another museum.but dont forget the criteria that allows the audience of people who dont normally visit. You need interaction with the park, as you walk, are there plantings along the paths, how do they invoke the senses.
Rodney Graham, Sylvia Kabowtsky? check them out.
technology of the body, makes you experience what the architect wants you to experience.

Carrie -
The gridwork is a bit too rigid, in terms of being in line with the existing. Tracking/tracing, your hand is working more closely to your idea, get off the3d rendering. be more primitive, there is too much tracks/wheels. Think about the lightness of it, the model shows very well the space between, the drawings flatten and you assign a thick black line to what is the track. work more in model, full scale. Lok at Elieen Grey. and Walter Benjamin. the emergence of the World's Fair in the rising Metropolis, we began to commodify the city.
museum is about the commodification of cities.
not ypical at all, but is in line with the idea of museum, museum without walls.
Look at Margaret Ross's work.
you shouldnt be giving people another place to buy something. What is the relationship between space and commodity?
work/leisure, weekend/weekday > dialog.
what is the rationale in your track system. it closes the system and there is less spontenaity or free-quality, there is no freedom of organsization. the width of the track is the width of a parking space, okay good. there could just be parking lines and not tracks. and the wheels maneuver and then at tijmes fix themselves at some point. you could get off the grid at some point, that is a commentary on the commodity issue. dont forget this is a flea market/museum.

Monday, March 26, 2007

These are the projects I was able to catch in my sketchbook, I wasn't able to get everybody, sorry to those I missed.

Jon Lee

your design arrives already formed before it reaches the site
how does the design (in particular) do what you are saying (not in general)
look at the tomb itself
what is the program next to tomb
could go in two directions
1. could sink
2. could form a dark humor that is very charged (don't allow it to be benal)
you need a matrix of info that can be referred to
the work has to speak for itself as well
your drawings are too timid to show what you are talking about
you could use monument as conceptual site, or you could physically enter into the site
you did the second
right now photo of tomb is most provocative thing you have on the wall
it is a staged moment
narrative begins as soon as you see building in landscape
you need to make more interpretational drawings
memory machine - thats what the tomb is
you set up a conversation with the monument and then turn your back on it
should it be 20' away or 300' - you need to ask these kinds of questions
what is access to the monument?
seeing it? being in it? seeing only a portion? you need to answer this
staircase is very important
does it become an architectural topography?
you traverse it and it allows you to move through memory moments
could increase and decrease speed
[you need to stop reading and start drawing]
bring in grant more
there is a no play about him
you are not presenting your project as a satirical project
when you cut a section you must take a stance about what you're talking about
don't survey, take risks, experiment
use drawing as an opportunistic endeavor
all your work from here on needs a clear agenda
shadow - new york blackout - alziemers - deja vu
you need to draw a shadow - erasure drawings?
its you on the wall - scream through your work


you need to be more clear about your agenda and program
why so many programs?
you need to edit to make it convincing
they need to collide with the moments you are creating
very expensive real-estate you are dealing with
how does it become essential what you are doing?
needs to be very convincing
central park (could) be thought of as a huge waste of real - estate
you need that kind of intensity (importance central park carries)
as an example: building in dense space - you could make it so you never feel this density
your program doesn't lend itself to your idea
architecture should... - this is how you start a thesis
model isn't helping you
you need to enter problem of architecture
draw plan and section of existing building, put in k mart and find project from that


you need to show what you are doing more
your relationship changes to inside/outside as you walk through
why is base more translucent?
your project is more of a programmatic exploration than an architectural exploration right now
you are constructing space from ground up
where is a qualitative feel?
it is still diagramatic

Kyung Sic

why should obelisk have anything to do with museum?
maybe obelisk is less important than you are making it
cultural question - you need to confront this
relationship between museum and park
right now at met there is no connection between inside and outside
obelisk doesn't have access now that you want to give it
obelisk might not be your big thing
what is the big reason for all of this architectural "machinery"
don't want it to be like an amusement park ride
museums are about colonialism (stolen items)
in egyptian wing, there is an *illusion* of transparency and connection to park
there is something here that is not being critiqued
museum is in question
speed in your project dislodges inertia of monument
[your project appears the way that you talk about it]
think about moving water and still water
think about reflection - materiality and immateriality (like obelisk and sun pillar)
whats in the water?
is your thing too severe right now?
be more sensitive about how park leaks in
geometry recalls museum more than park
you should start zoning things: saying things like "architecture is hard here and landscape is soft and vice versa)


question proportions between elements
the more similar, the more powerful
different from context
think about air and uplift as opposed to water and sinking
death, temporality, and ruin
how does all of this link to synaesthesia
architecture and death in terms of emphemerality - ruin leaves a trace
bring attention to erosive quality
death is anonymous
death is about loss of control and about instability
monuments try to counter this through stability
which system do you occupy?
stable or unstable?
do you move up sometimes on the bridge and down others?
can you flood axis of ruined building
maybe set your tower on fire
read bunker archeology


contact doesn't have to be physical
is it a permanent exhibit?
spaces should incorporate senses (not works so much)
synaesthesia - it is difficult to separate senses
separation of senses is a spatial concept (even separation on the body)
[vision is a form of blindness]
stronger statement
cuts out other ways of seeing
once you say what will appear (in architecture) you are saying what won't appear
don't just amplify instruments
think about the spaces you are putting them in
scale is important here
richard serra
in section models, think about scale and what kind of experience happens
in childrens museums people interact with works
don't let it turn into a typical museum
why central park?
pavilion scheme
were you thinking park supports your thesis somehow?
how do you deaden sound?
not yet taking full advantage of park
aren't parks and museums fundamentally the same thing?
central park is not natural
maybe be more specific about moments
think about landscape
is your project just as good (or better) empty?
rodney graham, silvia rabowski (?)
don't make a gimic - a gimic makes you experience exactly what the architect wants you to experience
maybe use different plantings/seasonal ideas


lex like the idea
not sure if this system is really pushing the idea
maybe make it full scale
might be too complicated right now
too many tracks and wheels
work on the quality of your computer renderings
think about space between things
Eileen gray
Everything in your project is about the body
Mike Eng likes the site
Walter benjamin talks about world fair and modern metropolis
we began selling cities to eachother at the world fairs
"work of art in the age of technical reducibility"
project isn't critical about commodity and museum
martha rasser (?)
don't just give people another place to buy and sell things
what is it about public space and consumtion?
what is it about progress - the world's fair is about building a ghost city
mine the site even more
dialog between work and leisure
tracks can be thought of as infrastructure
takes away flexibility that is in system
markets have a certain free quality to them
why couldn't these be just parking strips just painted on
Think about work and leisure
work - carts are on strips
play - they are off grid
could work as a portable gallery space for artists as well
work with only 1 or 2 materials
get rid of refrigeration boxes - too complex
make distinctions between objects
some people may need more than 1 cart to sell bigger objects


i completely agree with the issue of material and weight in the booth, i cut out cardboard yesterday and even though it was a pitiful start (very flimsy..i don't think so.) just to see the entire length of the booth was actually kind of scary to imagine the whole thing. especially with materials i was hoping for. the sample booth i made is going to be much more open i think, lighter. the tracks on the ground as opposed to parking lines, i guess my take on the tracks was that they are a way to lock the thing in as a property of the park and not some free spinning shopping cart (literally) flying away. the computer renderings, yeah they look bad. dan wanted me to do a "full-scale model" on the computer and draw on them. it made me figure out some things but perhaps slower than just sketching them, but seeing that whole thing rendered helped me realize a little how bulky it was. what dan was sayign about the objects needing perhaps larger than 10 by 10 spaces, well i don't know if i want to just diagram where objects are, i designed the booths so that some of them can team up, or some can use from another space, or some are very empty and spacious. i think i need to categorize the spaces of the booths and maybe permutations the booths can form with each other. and yes i will get a better title. and i will make a full scale. and work out generally all the booths better on a bigger scale. and post more thoughts because i can't remember other stuff

From the Review...

I need to create a personal separation between myself and the project in order for the project to really expand. This is something that I seem to have difficulty with, being that the inception of the project came from something personal, something that I always thought my thesis project would be.
A good way to create this distance would be through discussion with our critiques and fellow classmates, who could see the project from a different perspective.

I need to start thinking more about the train and how my project connects literally and poetically to it.
One connection is that the train is used for the transportation of goods where as the study hall is used for the transportation of information. This is especially true for the Oral Torah as was discussed earlier.
A physical connection is also needs

If not now, then when? If anyone knows any books or internet resources where I can get easy to comprehend information on materials and how it reacts to sound please send it over my way…thanks

Friday, March 23, 2007



you need to post.
you need help.
i believe it would be in your best interests at this point to move exclusively into perspective for a bit.
you need to get away from your orthographic projections.

i think your plan is difficult and very aggitated.
is this appropriate for these occupants?
it maybe so, but you arent really discussing this.

you were asked about putting these people on and is(eye)land...
i think you could reverse this negative perception if you are clear about why this relationship to the city and water is theraputic in some way to the users...

Notes For Jon Lee

listed in order of appearance:

-seems to be general right now

-needs specificity of instance where the program & architecture make a statement obout your thesis

-what is the semi-dark humor about the bar next to the grave
____dark humor/shadow

-how do you charge it and make it humorous
it feels neutral right now...a little detached

-be less timid in the moves you make by drawing to produce your commentary

-you could do it two ways: move away from the site or into it as you have chosen to

-if in the site you must participate more in the site....not just an observer but participant

-section is critical your work does what the photograph you presented does

-landscape is essential

-open up the flesh of the existing condition

-think of the audience that perceives this opening up of the flesh and participates within it

-is the project - the monumental memory machine vs. your proposal

-right now your project appears to turn its back on the existing conditions

-what is your building's tactical approach? does it perceive or deny presence of the monument?

-this acces to the monument is also critical

-consider the importance of the staircase does it become an architectural topography?

-the stair returns your project to it's departure point____maybe this is the bare form of your thesis?

-do you provide alternative navigational roots for the visitor....alternative choreography to the present landscape?

-do a little dance on the stair case

-make your method as profound as the way in which you are able to verbalize it....make your method of presentation speak for you

-no more reading.....just draw and build....okay maybe a little bit about grant's biography if you think it could help....but no more reading

-sat·ire /ˈsætaɪər/
the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.

-take a risk...if it kills be it

-monumentality- what is it to you in your site and in your project? what does your architecture say in response to monumentality or how does it pronounce your position?

-are you subverting? celebrating?

-how do you utilize the shadow?

_radiating shadow_
After presenting, I realized how fragmentary and unorganized my thoughts were about what I am doing. It was obviously difficult for the critics to give good feedback when the project was not clearly presented to them. Dragana said that I should maybe do a traditional theater, Blough said to stick with Artaud. I agree with Blough on this issue because otherwise, I think the project will lose some of its potential provocativeness. So in order to simplify, I am going to just ask the simple question: "how can the 4th wall be broken architecturally?". Marc, I agree with your thoughts of the proscenium. The reason I was putting it in was to still differentiate between what is stage and backstage. I realize now that this may be of secondary importance right now. The question that remains for me to solve is how the original character of the space can be kept while still allowing for the support structure needed for both actors and spectators in the theater. Over the weekend I will work on schemes that I believe may be able to use architecture to break the 4th wall in a simple way that will not clutter the main space left by the void of the switch box.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

from the review

from the review comments, i need to clarify what exactly i want the building to activate, in terms of creating relations through sound, and have a stronger stance on how it fits into the greater context of the site, making sure not to overpower the surroundings. i'm going to break the building down to its most essential elements and start developing a stronger site strategy through a site plan. additionally, i have a lot of drawings to do. blough mentioned how i shouldn't want the building to do "everything", and i agree, so the next step is clarifying how it fits into the passage through the site as a piece and joint.
a lot comments were raised concerning how the building responses to the site, surrounding it would screen itself off yet at the same time opens itself stragetically to make the internal spaces sensually pleasant, an experience of multiple senses....a way to do it is by layering the spaces, one zone nesting within another, as studied in the smaller 1/32 model and sections...i feel this is an effective stragey but it could be stronger by intergrating more into the landscape, the park which i started in the intial overall scheme at 1/16 the immediate going to explore in sections how the park's elements (ie..water, playground, trees locations..) could help to screen off the traffic noises...for example....

review notes and responses

the rest of you need to post responses...
Moving Forward,

In terms of the midterm review, I feel like I received a lot of great feedback on where to take the project. It appears that the project has a strong foundation to support the greater ideas and goals that I speak about but don't necessarily show. It's going to be my goal and focus for the rest of the semester to solidify the project and show through models and drawings that synaesthesia can be experienced. I want the drawings to convey the emotions and sensations within the various programs that I'm trying to promote.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A couple more thoughts about Shared Stories

I still not entirely convinced that the hotel is the right answer over the apartment house. I think that pushing the encounters between the different activities would make the apartment program less "habitiual."

In casual discussion this morning with another professor, the question was brought up, "Which program do you actually dwell in?" I think that's something else to think about, particularly in pushing the connections between the programs.

One more thing that I've been thinking about for the past two weeks or so, but didn't want to throw in right before the midterm, has to do with the extent of enclosure with the nightclub. In the subwaym, frequently, eventhough it is "inside" the weather is still experienced in some ways, whether it gets cold, like carrol street on the g train, or rain water drips down from grates or cracks in the walls and ceiling. Maybe in the nightclub, (or possibly in the apartments also) there are places where for example water drips down a wall when it rains. I've also been watching a lot of Tarkovsky lately, so that might have something to do with this thinking, admittedly.
Response to midterm

I feel like I more or less recieved the crit that I needed at this moment. The critics had some good questions about my project, which I largely need to address by pushing the connections between the programs, particularly in a specific, detailed oriented way. Something along those lines was actually brought up at the last review, i think by Karen, who said that my entire project could be wall sections. The idea of the "shortcut" that was discussed is something I should really look at more. I've thought about something like that in a subtle way, but maybe I need to look at it more directly. One of the critics also said something about my project being "too smooth," and being that I have always wanted the program to be a bit messy and disjunctive, perhaps I have lost sight in the past few weeks.

Since the most relevant criticism I recieved seemed to be largely focused on the work I have done, rather than my intentions behind it, I am going to interpret that to mean that my project is developed enough to stand on its own and I need to spend the rest of the semester exploring and refining the possibilities of what I have made. Though I don't have a specfic schedule for this, I am going to complete the assignments I have written so far and also creating several new ones, tayloring their completion to focus on the criticism I recieved. Though in some instances, the representation may need to be very technical, for example I would like to develop some wall sections, I think it is time for me to go back to means of representation that are more experiential/narrative.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

crit list

Here is the crit list for tomorrow...we will be in is absolutely mandatory that you are pinned up and and ready to present @ 2pm. This list does not necessarily reflect the order you will present in. Please make sure everybody in studio is aware of this.

Monday 3.19.07

Brian P
Brian J

monday midterm

i will post the crit list for tomorrow this evening. Everyone should be prepared.

we will be pinning up with lawrence studio in 111.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Spring Break

In agreement with Zack, Tuesday seems like good day to meet.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Meeting over spring break

Having spoken informally with the class, it seems that meeting with Marc and Dan earlier in the week rather than later would be more helpful. Some people will be out of town for different parts of the break so no single day works for everyone, but Tuesday seems to be the best day for the greatest number of people to meet in studio. Does this work?

Monday, March 05, 2007

March 5, 2007

To Consider When Moving Forward (In No Particular Order)

-The project wraps around and under the existing building. Maybe it can also add to the existing building vertically, embedding it entirely.

-Work out the private entrance/lobby/stairs for the apartment.

-Look at the existing stair tower and how it is reused as circulation in the new program. Could it begin to dissolve in the lower levels of project?

-Look at raising the existing ground floor to increase the ceiling height over the dance floor.

-Examine the arrival narratives and also the narratives of people inhabiting the project.

-Look at the relation between the interior bar and the outdoor courtyard. As a “watering hole,” could the bar use water as an experiential element that connects the two spaces?

-Look back at the memory map and identify specific moments where one program bleeds into another and assign “synaesthetic memories” to them that inform the architectural qualities of those moments.

-Consider the possibility of “taking over” a domestic space for use in the nightclub. For example the DJ area could be in a former living room (identifiable as such). If the nightclub serves any kind of food, maybe the nightclub kitchen has some relation to a domestic kitchen.

-Where are the nightclub bathrooms? Do they share a wet wall with the apartment bathrooms?

-Look at the sectional relationship between the sidewalk, the waiting area, the bar, the courtyard, etc. What happens in the space where people line up while they wait to get into the club?

-Could there be more than two apartments, as the program currently includes?

-Choose moments where the programs intersect and look at the experiential qualities of those moments in some kind of drawing. How do the spaces change between night and day?

-Consider materials more.

zumthor...taken from archinect