Design Research Seminar (Sparkman)

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Design Research Precis

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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.

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

Posted in Uncategorized

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