What if the freeway wasn't a dead programmatic space, instead, it was a highly saturated strip that engaged both public and private realms. Instead of a clogged city artery serving only motorist, the strip proposes a specified zone of diversified programs. The strip uses the freeways ability to cut through the city as a productive space for programmatic and typological disruption, by introducing re-imagined versions of the city itself. The strip becomes a space with specific and constant parameters (the dimension of the freeway) for typological experimentation. The freeway serves as a highly productive infrastructure for intervention, because it allows for a monumental structure to be overlaid with minimal physical disturbance. The freeway has already made its incisions in the city's composition, at times acting as an urban wall, cutting off neighborhoods, and leaving in its periphery a no-mans-land condition. The strip transforms this condition into a deliberate and desired space.
The programmatic and typological insertions of the strip give the freeway ahighly graphic quality. It also introduces an uninterrupted public boulevard above the congestion of the traffic below. The Strip seeks to offer the opposite experience of the freeway, one which is caught in a pseudo-public territory. If the freeway is the city's most dominant and frequented 'public space', why not make it a desirable place to inhabit?
The graphic qualities, like the typological, are informed by existing conditions in the city. . Like other existing strips, where the periphery is highly aestheticized and a promotional image for adjacent programming, the new strip functions as a graphic promoter for the new lifestyles it proposes.
Historical monograph? Can such an old-world, academic, and precedent-laden concept claim to embrace so unprecedented a human phenomenon as this city of our lady queen of the Angels of Porciuncula?--otherwise known as Internal Combusion City, Surfurbia, Smogville, Aerospace City, Systems Land, the Dream-factory of the Western world.
Reyner Banham, Los Angeles: The architecture of Four Ecologies
With Mathew Vibberts. 2015
Our design for the 2015 Ragdale Ring is a product of what we see to be three essential qualities of Ragdale; history, craft, and the garden. These essential qualities come together to create a unique opportunity for design, one which we believe should naturally embody the spirit of the space.
Ragdale’s history is the starting point for the concept, with Howard Van Doren Shaw’s design that marries architecture to landscape, through special attention to view’s, natural light, and material choices. But most of all it is Shaw’s original design for the outdoor theatre, which used elements of the landscape and garden to define space in a way that was especially of that time and place. This seamless blending between a typical architectural space and the landscape is where our concept for the 2015 Ragdale ring is born.
Our concept for a new performance and leisure structure, like Shaw’s, occupies a space somewhere between garden, landscape, and architecture. The structure, which is not unlike a typical residential deck, allows audience and performers to occupy the same space that new elements of the garden resides in. The structure becomes a container for people and place simultaneously. Punches in the deck structure allow for a simple seat that puts the spectator at the same level as the natural world that surrounds them at Ragdale. Over time, the deck surface allows for a controlled growth to emerge from below through it’s special joinery techniques, furthering the melding of the garden with structure.
with Viktor Forchammer Mortensen
The pavilion constructed during the Residency at HomeBase Berlin is a space for Working, Performance, and Leisure(and a variety of activities in-between). The residency is host to creatives from around the world who represent different disciplines(visual art, writing, performance, etc). The pavilion, which is situated in the inner courtyard of a former brewery which the residency now occupies, acts as a condenser of these activities in a semi-public space. The summer residency culminated in three days of festival programing, which included exhibitions, lectures, performance, and open studios. The activity of the festival gravitated around the pavilion space, with nightly performances. The pavilion is designed as a flexible framework for creative production. It's impossible to predict the desires and uses of a space that hosts such a variety and quickly rotating group of artists(residencies last 3-4 months, 3 times per year), so structure is intentionally unspecific, and is defined by the users projective programming.
With Miles Mendenhall. 2013
With Tamara Kalantajevska and Margo Zalite. Berlin. 2013.
Digital print on canvas
60" x 96"
With José oubrerie
This proposal for a tall building questions the idea of a tower being a solid mass with a typical (plan) stacking of space and program. Instead, it proposes a collection of heterogenous volumes that are united within a transparent skin and connected by a common circulatory core. This collection of figures, held together by a common core, is a product of the city itself. If the experience of being in the city is one of independent figures simultaneously competing and supporting each other, then this logic can be extended to the composition of one the city's most dominant types, the tall building. Both autonomy and contingency are dominant traits of the building, and this interior conflict is displayed through the vitrine-like transparency of the skin. The interior figures are further united in the common-interstitial spaces, which are a product of the loose-fit between non-normative interior figure and normative outer container. This formal contradiction is productive in its ability to create public spaces within the building. These interstitial public zones are both occupied and unoccupied space, with the idea that even the unoccupied space is productive in its potential for atmospheric qualities and it's atypical dimensional scale.
Through their programmatic animation, the interior figures become abstract characters within their common container. The container displays moments where these characters snuggly nestle together, intersect to create connections, or tensely hover above one another. This new family of figures is inwardly focused through these characteristics, but at the same time leaving these sets of relationships exposed to the city outside, thus the introverts also become the exhibitionists.
Pankow Free Jazz
To design for sleeping, eating, working, and relaxing in the 21st century, is comparably different to the early 20th century, where these activities were often broken up into different entities. In general, work was a space for work, and home was the space for the remaining parts of a private life. This basic dichotomy was a fundamental understanding of most design that had any significance on lifestyles through out the later half of the 20th century. Postwar architecture, planning, and industrial design mostly reinforced this basic divide. The suburbs, the corporate work place, and the furnishings that supported these were the products of this ideal.
However, today this delineation between work and domestic environments is starting to blur, the suburb is a diminishing urban form, and our domestic objects are beginning to serve both professional and leisurely realms, all while serving as a set for the broadcasting of our 'private lives' via social medias. The objects an environments young professionals chose to surround themselves with is increasingly an act of branding and political aligning.
The proposal for the Bauhaus Residency is to examine this process of dilineation, and the potential paradox this brings to the objects and environments of our working and domestics lives. This research would be performed through the lens of the Bauhaus, given its significant contributions in shaping the designed environments and objects of Modernity. The historical and physical context of the Bauhaus would play an essential role in performing this research and producing the work given its defining contributions to Modern design, but also the polemical performance embedded with in the discipline. Historical cues will be taken from the Bauhaus' ability to affect and propose alternative lifestyles through the act of design. Design's ability to affect lifestyles leaves it inextricably tied to larger political themes, which gives it an important role in illustrating and influencing history. There is a rich history to be drawn upon in design as provocation at bauhaus.
This, in conjunction with the school's historical interest in the Gesamtkunstwerk, makes the bauhaus residency an extremely fitting environment for such a project where living, working, and everything in-between is now performed as one.