BLOCK PARTY _ NYC
| Project still in progress |
Often times we alter our character to better fit contextual situations and those around us. These code-shifts in communication can play into how we speak, dress and act around others. This moment of inauthentic behavior can compromise the ego and characters many architects try so hard to maintain. If we have no prior history with an individual, what we hear in conversation is all we have to identify that being with. Perhaps this conversation happens to be the moment when the character is compromised, therefore our impression may deviate from that of someone with knowledge of the individual. In the discourse, architects often meet in gatherings, socializing and speaking jargon... hoping to one up the other. These ego bursts further inflate heads beyond the black turtleneck sweaters, shattering the black frames on their faces (Refer to any architecture institution hosting programs).
Imagine events like this, rooms full of architects, meandering from group to group, spreading the latest gossip. How will Bjarke alter his character after grabbing finger sandwiches with Rem in route to speak with Phillip Johnson?
Now abstract this party and view the room as a block or so in NYC, at this point you realize these conversations happen routinely in the built environment. When we design we consider the surroundings, considering an approach that compliments or contrasts the adjacent sites.
My essay / analytical study will take into considerations these shifts in character and how the contextual surroundings altered the perceived character of the architect. I currently envision the deliverables as a collage / sketch sort of image illustrating the process of “reverse engineering” the rhetoric of the built environment. I wish to select a few buildings in close proximity to each other. After analyzing formal characteristics of the buildings I plan to deconstruct the formal aesthetics and make personified assumptions as to what the building tells of the architect. Only afterwards will I cross examine the results with the actual characters of the architect.
I have been using collage to quickly mark up and visualize the text. The top view of manhattan and the neighborhoods within it have been helpful throughout the process. Using the surrounding context of the building, I can characterize the atmosphere of the “party”.
i.e. Does one wear the same attire/outfit to an apartment party in the East Village as one would in the business district? Is it respectful to dress up or do you allow your personality to compromise the conventional attire?
The reliance on affect and language throughout the project can benefit from the analysis of these conversations between buildings. Personifying the environment and expressions of the design may lead to deeper insight of how the design conversations developed.
It may be humorous to think of Central Park as the dance floor of the party, the space dividing social clicks, yet not interfering with the wandering gazes.