The impetus for this ‘fast twitch’ project is an interest in working quickly with a limited framework of ideas and intentions. Partially a form of self-reflection, the approach is meant to augment other methods and techniques for the spatial production, specifically the ‘content to form’ approach evident in some of my earlier work. Linked to pedagogical and practiced interests in broadening the architect’s versatility (both the methods and results), this work is meant to open analogic and intuitive means for producing architecture in short periods of time.
The architecture, garden and landscape proposal lie somewhere between a camp-site, a survival kit and a ‘house’. My interests developed and found bearing through speculations on ground, horizon and sky relations. As a result of beginning simply, a number of things occurred. Interests in ground, sky and horizon blossomed into a range of considerations through the making of the drawings, yielding a range of ideas not originally foreseen or predicted. These interests include the potential for hybrid archetypes, diverse subtleties in perceptual awareness in a desert landscape, a tensional play between exile and place, ‘stranded’ temporalities, incompleteness and a movement between rhetorical structuring and embodied experience.
A series of conceptually and materially ‘milled’ garden-like surfaces, objects and architectural elements attempt to structure these potentials. Initially, the garden surfaces and some cactus are milled by landscape scale milling machines. Then, chromed shadows with materialized building reflections (of three future buildings) are constructed followed by the arrival of a cast bronze bi-plane (10’ wingspan), a 6’ diameter billiard ball, a wench and ‘real’ cactus. Finally, the three buildings are built. The buildings are physically coordinated with the previously constructed chromed shadows, but are ‘mis-coordinated’ with the building reflections that were materialized in those chromed shadows. More recently the project is evolving through forms of material erasure (in the three buildings) towards increasing the sense of ‘stranded’ temporalities, amplifying the sense of domestic vulnerability and furthering qualities of indeterminacy in the desert.
Analogic references (important and advantageous in the ‘fast’ parts of the work) and architectural/ landscape elements include paired cocoons, storage sacks and ‘petticoats’, an empty game board, wind ‘throats’, an oscillating/ vibrating ‘occupant’, a permanent rhetorical shadow, continuously re-milled garden surfaces and three domestic ‘housings’ (sleeping/ dreaming, food preparation/ storage/ consumption and wondering about/ at a ‘distance’… a space of/ for exile compliments this triad of functional dwelling elements).
New - Bedfordshire city council was formed in response to the collapse of Bedford council after the City fell into a state of detritus & abandonment as a result of sustained flooding & the failing of district infrastructure, transport networks & national grid energy supply.
The outcome is an inter-parish run constituency which deals with flood risks through an adopted infrastructure of canal systems, integrated floodwater filtering systems and polders.
The boundaries of each parish are in constant transition and are dependant on seasonal activity, climatic conditions & constituency policies regulated by a democratic voting system at city hall.
The Landscape activates & is activated by the distribution of flood water which is utilised as in infrastructure for transport, clean water production & clean energy production through algae farming. In turn this informs a city dependant on its relationship to nature the immediate environment & wider climatic conditions.
Ada Summer School London: Final Exhibition. Friday, August 2nd from 7:30pm. Flood at 8:00pm. BYOB. 31 Alfred Place, Bloomsbury London WC1E 7DP Goodge Street/Tottenham Court Road tube.
After a first week of intensive one-day workshops on subjects as diverse as pattern-cutting, inflatable structures (below), animation, casting and baroque ornamentation, students are spending the second week assembling a large scale dynamic installation piece, Come down on Friday evening to see the results, and arrive before 8 to witness the flood!