The Architect and the Collage Maker
2017-2018 Architecture MArch ARB/RIBA Part II Year 5 Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London Unit 25, Tutors: Nat Chard + Emma-Kate Matthews
"Just as the constant increase of entropy is the basic law of the universe,
so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy."
- Vaclav Havel, 1986
The proposed architecture is an installation within the Pompeii Archaeological site that embodies the architect's sense of order and perception of the world through careful assemblage of domestic elements. Meaning is constructed as objects are brought into relationship with each other by the infrastructure that is built around them, allowing the visitor/inhabitant to read or imagine the designer's drive behind such composition just as one would read a collage. Here, architecture becomes the architect's medium to give meaning to the void that exists between elements. It is the collage maker's glue that allows the designer's stories to be told through fragments. The crumbling ruin surrounding the installation becomes a reminder of the inevitability of decay and disorder, which is being fought against through means of architectural preservation. Just as a cell tries to withhold energy within its membrane, architecture is the human's mean for such endeavor. The house is our outermost layer of membrane that protects us from withering into oblivion.
The design process begins with a series of explorations that allow myself to tease out my own sense of order and thus understanding the way I perceive the world.
01 Reorganizing the Studio
Through the act of reorganizing, I began to understand the different level of order: one that concerns with the geometry and volume of elements, one that concerns with functionalities and context, and one that is purely aesthetic that brings the pleasure of ordering.
02 Wood block Assemblage
A series of wooden blocks are made to further explore the pleasure of order. Brass elements are added to act as mediator between elements, filling the empty space between objects with the composer’s voice.
Context is introduced into the exercise by implementing a program - the bathroom - where a number of fixings and components are required to work together to cater the body. The bathroom is designed from the elements that we touch and use everyday and as such the architecture evolves from the designer’s judgement on how relationships between elements should be set up. The copper armature becomes the glue of such spatial collage.
A 1:6 model of the house was built to establish relationships between elements that are meaningful to the architect.