Citation
Image + Subject of and Urban Culture

Material Information

Title:
Image + Subject of and Urban Culture
Creator:
Dever, Alexander
Publication Date:
Language:
English

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
Architectural design ( jstor )
Cultural institutions ( jstor )
Image processing ( jstor )
Persona ( jstor )
Philosophical object ( jstor )
Public space ( jstor )
Rhetoric ( jstor )
Skin ( jstor )
Streets ( jstor )
Urban design ( jstor )
Architecture
Cultural landscapes
New York (State)--New York--Manhattan
Genre:
Undergraduate Honors Thesis

Notes

Abstract:
The investigation of an urban environment unveils a variety of characteristics. Satiated with conditions and assemblages, what is Architecture's role in this urban culture? How has image + subject infiltrated urban culture? In analyzing site conditions and experiencing Manhattan as place, the nature of urban culture is uncovered. A repetitious amount of overbearing structures creeping to the edges of unbound space, subjects [I + others] traversing from one structure to the next, underground and across opaque asphalt, social praxis stripped to cordial chats along the traces of tradition and culture. Is this the way to construct urban culture, where working and residing mesh to shape a hybridized way of dwelling? Is this the cultural ideal [essence], or can novelty be discovered in the image + subject of an urban culture? Can there be innovation in a culture where subjects are prone to responding to the market image? Architecture needs to strive to be the mediator in a network of ideology, designing an image that depicts the subject. ( en )
General Note:
Awarded Bachelor of Design; Graduated May 4, 2010 magna cum laude. Major: Architecture
General Note:
Advisor: Levent Kara
General Note:
College of Design, Construction and Planning

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
Copyright Alexander Dever. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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OBJECTIVE PROGRAM CONTEXT EXPERIMENT PROCESS CONCEPT DESIGN DISCUSSION

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OBJECTIVE The investigation of an urban environment unveils a variety of characteristics. Satiated with conditions and assemblages, what is Architecture's role in this urban culture? How has image + subject inltrated urban culture? In analyzing site conditions and experiencing Manhattan as place the nature of urban culture is uncovered. A repetitious amount of overbearing structures creeping to the edges of unbound space, subjects [ I + others ] traversing from one structure to the next, underground and across opaque asphalt, social praxis stripped to cordial chats along the traces of tradition and culture. Is this the way to construct urban culture, where working and residing mesh to shape a hybridized way of dwelling? Is this the cultural ideal [essence], or can novelty be discovered in the image + subject of an urban culture? Can there be innovation in a culture where subjects are prone to responding to the market image? Architecture needs to strive to be the mediator in a network of ideology, designing an image that depicts the subject. It is necessary to establish that the mechanism of repetition and difference that underlies works of this type is exclusively the result of an operation that begins and ends in the subject. This result reproduces for us a metaphorical image of the subject's own recollection, bathed in the solitude of the anguished situation where all lessons of history have apparently been discarded, and nothing other than individual talent has replaced history to provide guidance for the architect. Sola-Morales 1995, 110 Focusing on contemporary urban conditions, assemblages, and culture, the evolution of dense urban fabric in Manhattan is to receive a responsive collection of buildings. The nal design is to be a medium-scaled urban multi-building project. Accessibility, sectional qualities, and skin in relation to urban conditions are to be studied. A cohesive public space intrinsic to the buildings is to be implemented. The project is to discuss issues regarding economic and civic rationalizations for the critique of zoning and the separation of functions. There is to be effectively intricate interactions of public and private spaces, including their response to contemporary urban conditions. Building envelope is to be explored in relation to scale and environmental conditions of the urban context. Investigation through programmatic issues concerning conditions of Manhattan in relation to public and private sectors, circulation through the horizontal and vertical, and function of spaces is to be approached. Contextual conditions affecting scale, environment, economy, and society are to be evaluated responsively. An experimental project is to be conducted in order to grasp pre-existing urban conditions with the intent of applying research and technique to the nal design. Process and concept will support one another through traditional and contemporary practice along with theoretical thought and intention to form a cohesive methodology, upon which a nal proposal will be presented discussing implementation of design, with consideration to programmatic, contextual, and conceptual thought.

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PROGRAM Programming a collection of buildings in Manhattan calls for intentional articulation of functions. Program begins to discuss the experience, or tangibly, the image, that a project will display. This gives program the ability to become conceptual, beyond relation of function, which is not to be disregarded. The program then establishes a resonating echo throughout the context. Program allows subjects to experience, creating memories and traces of space in time. The relations of functions create experience, as a subject dwells within the object, a formulation of ideas, tied to function, creates a network of relations, establishing and reinventing culture. Program must respond to context and it must respond to culture, allowing novelty and neo-experience to permeate. The urban culture is diverse and contains a variety of differing functions. Urbanity becomes a hybridized way of dwelling: working, residing, eating, socializing, learning, enjoying, and playing. Thus, a hybrid project in which subjects have the ability to dwell within one object [collective buildings] becomes the essence of urban culture. A project containing residential units, commercial spaces, general public spaces, theater and performing spaces, gallery and exhibition spaces, open air space, and recreational parks enables subjects to experience and develop urban culture. "Time is distinguishable but not separable from space Phenomena, which an analytical intelligence associates solely with temporality', such as growth, maturation, and aging, cannot in fact be dissociated from spatiality'. Space and time thus appear and manifest themselves as different yet unseverable." Lefebvre 1974, 175 "Form only affects our feelings through what it represents" Pallasmaa 1986, 449

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PROGRAM

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CONTEXT The site for the project is situated in Midtown, Manhattan between 10th and 11th avenue and W 53rd and W 54th street, across from De Witt Clinton Park. This area of Manhattan could be described as underdeveloped, but not limited to an insignicant amount of urban conditions. The density innate within an urban fabric is evident in this portion of Midtown. Factors of commercial industry, residential high-rise, recreational public space, and populated foot and vehicular trafc weave a string of conditions in which to dwell. This fabric of urban dwelling strives beyond the pragmatics of relational situation, creating a network of various functions that affect one another. Will the application of something new react or inuence this urban fabric? Will it create something new, or will it be something innovative? If the context is understood as a weave of conditions, the addition of a new strand to the weave will only innovate the fabric. There will still be the trace, or the memory, of tradition and precedence in the fabric. As Freud states, "in which nothing that has come into existence will have passed away and all the earlier phases of development continue to exist alongside the latest ones" "A weave always weaves in several directions, several meanings, and beyond meaning" Derrida 1986, 578

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CONTEXT from De Witt Clinton park northeast on 11th street northeast on 10th street 11th street 10th street De Witt Clinton Park

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EXPERIMENT In order to understand the conditions of Manhattan, an experimental intervention was designed from a precedence set by David Chippereld in BBC Scotland. A fragmented/holistic section was created considering the importance of public space and its role on the section of a building. The "bracketing" out of the minor spaces revealed a connection between ground + sky, and a relation between the primary spaces. Through manipulation of the BBC Scotland section, an intervention was situated, responding to the urban conditions of Manhattan. Concepts from the BBC Scotland still remain within the intervention, leaving a trace of eminence. The relation of ground + sky is formed through the approach and dialogue between the circulation and atrium. From this experiment, a strong presence of public space on the ground elevation was evident, while also enabling subjects to move through the intervention vertically. The series of images on the top of the page portrays a subjects' journey through the space in time, highlighting tectonic traces through circulation. This experiment developed questions of the urban condition, asking: How does a subject traverse through a site? How and why does a subject travel vertically? How is image portrayed internally and externally? Also questioning issues of program discussing the relation of spaces and experience. "Experience occurs continuously, because the interaction of live creature and environing conditions is involved in the very process of living" Dewey 1934, 36

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EXPERIMENT BBC Scotland David Chippereld

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PROCESS Process is critical to the project, revealing a trace of the journey taken from point A to the nal design. Gregotti describes the design process as a descent into the netherworld, a void packed with memory, symbols, and unexpressed needs, which cannot emerge through methodological process but which forms the very substance of architecture [Gregotti On Procedure 1996, 90]. There is no formula for creating Architecture; it is a process, which becomes a sensory experience. Tschumi describes two facets of architecture, the pyramid [traditions and cultural constructs of ideas] and the labyrinth [a body's experience of space]. Rhetoric inltrates culture. Words become concepts that are culturally accepted. Architecture can become more than building' with the concept attached to it. The idea of library as a structure to store books becomes all there is. The idea of library as a condition where knowledge and wisdom are gained reveals new possibilities of library. It is at the point where cultural concepts are dropped, or dislocated', and experiential senses are unleashed to invoke something new. Peter Eisenman's example of, cat as an animal that walks around on four legs and meows, and the relationship of the structure of the word c-a-t, promotes this idea of dislocation'. The rhetoric of cat makes the concept, but by rearranging c-a-t [a-c-t], the concept is lost [Eisenman 1987, 177]. Is it possible that though the pyramid [tradition] a concept is held within, but by deconstructing the pyramid and reconstructing [rearranging] it, the concept held within is lost? And can reconstruction be something new or is it still something from that which once was? It seems that the rhetoric remains but the concept is new. What is trying to become a new, the rhetoric of the concept? Through the deconstruction of rhetoric, there can be no invention, simply innovation. Is it through the act of thinking and making when new thought is achieved? An act of process, by which challenging what is culturally understood, where something is painfully pleasurable for it's rhetoric has not been established and it's experience has yet to be sensed. One is found between two edges of the pyramid and the labyrinth [Hays 1998, 216], where architecture becomes something new, connected by concepts and conditions. Through the process of thinking and trying to comprehend, through production, newness is achieved. "The only successful attempts to bridge this philosophical gap were those that introduced historical or political concepts such as "production" Tschumi 1975, 219

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PROCESS skin elevation study [experience, image, program] hyrbid plan/elevation view parameter study transition of object to void + void to object

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PROCESS trace in process through plan study

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PROCESS perspective of public space interaction with De Witt Clinton park diagonal section of object cradling public space canvas for image of urban culture perspective plan revealing public + private space weaving the objects

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CONCEPT The image of architecture depicts a uctuating market image. Image is experienced externally by culture, impressing upon culture. Architecture becomes image within culture. The image of architecture becomes engraved in memory as a concept of culture. Image holds concepts within; in the way relation is made to the dweller. Image then becomes experience, and that experience is formed through culture. The image of culture is portrayed through experience and social relations. How can architecture hold culture together? Through a response to social experience, architecture can establish order through the manipulation of a space. There is unity in culture through the collection of conceptual relations. When a relation is broken, there is chaos, or madness. Madness is not held together. Eisenman calls for the stuff that holds together [Eisenman 1987, 177], being architecture, which can create order in social experience. Thus, madness is controlled through architecture. The subject of an urban culture is formed through responses to the uctuating market image. Creating architecture controls the madness, displaying the market image, which the subject responds to. Architecture responds to the subject to display the uctuating market image. Thus, architecture is a mediator of urban culture. "The totality of market images becomes a primary source of experience and the main material for reection and comparison" Gregotti On Image 1996, 97

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CONCEPT coca-cola market image nike market image Images contain meaning. They contain concepts. Architecture becomes an image and contains concepts and meaning [experience]. skin articulation from nal design mcdonald's market image

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DESIGN The project nestles itself in Midtown, Manhattan as an image of a uctuating urban culture while subjects dwell to compose a network of ideology. The image of the project resonates within the context. The skin articulation is seen from beyond the site and triggers the experience of the object. While leaving a trace, aided with ground expressions, a trajectory shift moves through the site, establishing circulation and view parameter. The notion of public/private and their role with the street edge were explored through programmatic and subject experience. Public zones form a curtain around the street edge and trickle vertically throughout the buildings allowing the experience of community, or social interaction, in relation to the private zones. Connected by experiences within, a weave of meaning is formulated, pushing architecture beyond purely pragmatics and enabling object with an identity, a phenomena, assembling it as a part of culture.

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DESIGN

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DESIGN

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DESIGN

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DESIGN

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DESIGN

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DESIGN

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DESIGN

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DISCUSSION Rectilinear protrusions on the ground in the public space and moving across 11th street to De Witt Clinton Park were developed as a trace of procession and view parameter. It was commented to remove the protrusions since they had accomplished what they were striving to do. However, these protrusions allow a playful public space for subjects to climb and rest upon. They also reveal the process of the object, which creates a connection between subject and object, while secondarily creating the image of the project. The two commercial buildings in the center of the project were questioned as to the shift towards the park, which allows a vivid view parameter towards the park and the Hudson River to the west. These buildings remain shifted for that reason and for circulatory reasons. As subjects move through the site, the shift of the buildings allows for considerate transitions between sectors. The nal commentary was made on the skin of the buildings. The skin is a critical aspect of the architecture creating the image, giving meaning, to the project. The skin gives an identity to the project from within, as well as from afar.

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DISCUSSION ground protrusions building shift building skin

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BIBLIOGRAPHY Sola-Morales, I. 1995. Differences / Topographies of Contemporary Architecture, ed. Sarah Whiting. The MIT Press, 1997: 110. Lefebvre, H. 1974. The Production of Space. Trans. D. Nicholson Smith. London and Oxford: Blackwell Publications, 1991: 175. Pallasmaa, J. 1986. The Geometry of Feeling: A Look at the Phenomenology of Architecture. In Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture: And Anthology of Architectural Theory 1965 1995. ed. K. Nesbitt, 448 453. New York: Princeton architectural Press, 1996: 449. Derrida, J. 1986. Point de Folie Maintenant l'architecture. In Architecture Theory Since 1968, ed. K. M. Hays, 566 581. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press, 1998: 578. Dewey, J. 1934. Art as Experience. New York: Minton, Balch and Company: 36. Tschumi, B. 1975. The Architectural Paradox. In Architectural Theory Since 1968, ed. K. M. Hays, 214 229. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press, 1998: 219. Gregotti, V. 1996. Inside Architecture. London and Cambridge: The MIT Press. [On Procedure] 90. Eisenman, P. 1987. Architecture and the Problem of Rhetorical Figure. In Theorizing a New Agenda for Architecture: And Anthology of Architectural Theory 1965 1995. ed. K. Nesbitt, 175 181. New York: Princeton Architectural Press, 1996: 177. Hays, M.K. 1998. Architecture Theory Since 1968. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press. [Introduction] 216. Gregotti, V. 1996. Inside Architecture. London and Cambridge: The MIT Press. [On Image] 97.

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The featured design was done in collaboration by Jason Aberman and Alexander Dever during the fall of 2009