Design Research Seminar (Sparkman)

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Archive for September 2011

Lexicon 3

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PLACE is entangled with issues of territory, identity, and boundary. Place is a phenomenal condition that emerges with the marriage of an ideology, its spatial practices, and an expressive and resonant form. A design intervention must resonate with the fullness of place.
preconditions (n) – the enduring geological, material, and social conditions of earth, mountain, and river.
“The earth is our world city. the sacred mountain is our home. They are ordered and governed with the urban elements of the city, combining to create a foundatino for an evolving urban terrain where form and material dreams are of equal value.” in William Morrish, Civilizing Terrains: Mountains, Mounds, and Mesas (San Francisco: William Stout, 1989), ii.
excavate/replace (v) – to remove ground, replacing it with a physical construction or perceived void.
“In the case of the modern terrain the materials come from the quarries and cliffs in distant locations… As we continue to build these grand pinnacles and peaks, one wonders; what is becoming of all the sites of excavation? In the urban terrain the building of each new mountain results in the making of a new geomorphic excavation.” in William Morrish, Civilizing Terrains: Mountains, Mounds, and Mesas (San Francisco: William Stout, 1989), 5.
time, weathering, and memory (n) – often, Modernists did not account for weathering and its effects on construction and memory. Due to time and weathering, places now exist in our imagination as forgotten layers beneath the city. Designers must be attentive to how buildings weather, how memories weather, and how collective memories of past cities manifest themselves in place.
Mohsen Mostafavi and David Leatherbarrow, On Weathering : the Life of Buildings In Time (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1993).
Colin Rowe and Fred Koetter, Collage City (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1978), 1-4.

Written by csparkman

September 30, 2011 at 12:10 am

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Lexicon 2

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spaces of production (n) – long-ignored by architects and historians through the 18th century, productive spaces take the physical form of their systems of production. Thus, spaces of production are rendered as the industrial theatres of the 20th and 21st century.
Anthony Vidler, The Writing of the Walls (Princeton: Princeton Architectural Press, 1987), 23.
uncanny space (n) – a metaphor for a fundamentally “unhomely” modern condition: spaces void of perceived past, which generate “individual and social estrangement, alienation, exile, and homelessness.”
“The cities I speak of… are towns without a past. Thus they are without tenderness or abandon. During the boredom of the siesta hours, their sadness is implacable and has no melancholy. In the morning light, or in the natural lucury of the evenings, their delights are equally ungentle. These towns give nothing to the mind and everything to the passions. They are situated neither to wisdom nor the delecacies of taste.” Albert Camus in Anthony Vidler, The Architectural Uncanny (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996), 177.

Written by csparkman

September 23, 2011 at 12:08 am

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Lexicon 1

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SPACE exists from the scale of the detail to the scale of the city. Spaces are not only physical; there are also ideological spaces and spatial practices. A synthesis of spaces (real and virtual) renders place.
site (n) – the intersection of a physical construction and its ground, including its cultural (ideological), and haptic (lived) space.
Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space (Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1991), 51.
W.G. Clark, “Writings,” in Clark and Menefee, Richard Jensen (New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 2000), 13.
smooth and striated (adj) – oppositional ways of perceiving space: as nomadic or sedentary, unknown or known, immeasurable or measurable, amorphous or rational, etc. It is important to recognize that the grid striates and orders the city, yet its flows and spatial practices are smooth. Thus, the smooth and the striated only exist in proportion to each other.
“The primary determination of nomads is to occupy and hold a smooth space.” in Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, trans. Brian Massumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1987), 410.
social space/the production of space (n/v) – a spatial triad of conceived space (the symbolic, ideal space of a map or plan), perceived space (optical, physical, architectural space), and lived space (haptic space). A social space must fulfill the triad to endure.
Henri Lefebvre, The Production of Space (Malden, Massachusetts: Blackwell, 1991), 38-9.

Written by csparkman

September 16, 2011 at 12:05 am

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Space/Place/Urbanism

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Written by csparkman

September 9, 2011 at 11:06 pm

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Lecture for Lessons of the Lawn: Mapping and Monastic Space

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I’ve attached a .PDF of the lecture slides I gave to Peter Waldman’s class on Lessons from Paris, based upon my research.

LessonsoftheLawn1

Written by csparkman

September 9, 2011 at 4:46 pm

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Design Research Precis

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Preconditions:
Each generation has perceived the Beaubourg Plateau, “the heart of Paris,” as a void. Since the first Gallic settlement, Parisians have persistently raised, excavated, and filled the site to accommodate their utopian imagination. As a result, the site exhibits a layered condition: each strata tells a narrative of Paris’ shifting ideologies its spatial origins. Today, however, the site remains dejected and restless, untouched by the current generation of urban thinkers. Moreover, the site’s capacity to tell its story has been hampered by neglect, which has obscured—rather than revealed—what lies beneath its surface.

Scope:
I will research and envision ways of responding to current urban forces on the site: mass movement, geological preconditions, ecologies, issues of territory and identity, and an interest in revealing the massive infrastructures that underpin the city. I will develop a series of urban manipulations: from a tactile scale (that might catalyze larger development), to the scale of a building, landscape, and master plan. Many of these strategies will be strategic incisions meant to reveal the depths below the city as well as its rich social and ecological past. The goal is to turn the Beaubourg Plateau into a vital public space: one that resonates with the present and past city, yet allows the site to continue operating as an urban laboratory.

Written by csparkman

September 2, 2011 at 11:35 pm

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