Design Research Seminar (Sparkman)

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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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Design Research Proposal

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Charles Sparkman
M.Arch 2012

Les Halles: Urban Laboratory of Paris
Advisor: Peter Waldman

My design research will build upon my work in Paris on the Nix Fellowship. The work will focus on the public space of Les Halles as a laboratory of the city. With each successive generation, Les Halles was leveled, excavated, and reconceived as a manifestation of the current urban ideology. Therefore, the site is layered and tells a cyclical narrative of the shifting ideologies of the city. However, Les Halles remains untouched by the current generation of urban thinkers.
I will research and envision ways of responding to current ideas of urbanity including: mass movement of people, a nuanced understanding of site preconditions, an interest in revealing the underground infrastructures and underpinnings of the city, and issues of territory and identity in a globalizing city. My work will begin where my Nix Fellowship left off. With a spatial knowledge of the entire site history, I can begin to imagine and implement various site strategies. I will define a series of urban manipulations (both large-scale as well as strategical incisions) that emerge from my design research and develop an iterative series of models for the site. The scope of the project is not yet defined, as I believe that I will generate: a master plan for the entire precinct of Les Halles, a building-scale intervention that will reveal the underpinnings of the city, and a human-scale intervention that can be repeated across the site. In the spring independent studio, I will commit several of these strategies towards a more resolved “exquisite corpse” for Les Halles.

Written by csparkman

August 26, 2011 at 12:00 pm

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