It's been a while since I've blogged, or written anything substantial for that matter, but as we approach the midway point of thesis at Taubman College, I thought I'd share the experience, as well as the particular trajectory of "Project: Territory."
Perhaps Taubman College's biggest asset is its size. There is far too much going on in the school to fully absorb everything; students learn early on that their particular trajectories are self-inflicted, and seeking out mentors is paramount in avoiding a generalized body of work and research. Project:Territory, with Rania Ghosn at the helm, situates architectural investigation in the Corn Belt, a territorial definition used to define the productive agricultural landscape of the Midwest. The studio has been hard at work creating "The Corn Belt Atlas," a combination of production, exchange, and consumption analysis, with the studio's individual spatial narratives as a secondary phase of research.
In October, the corn belt crew embarked on a road trip through Iowa, with the assistance of Nadia Anderson and company from the Iowa State School of Architecture. After a barrage of endless corn fields, ethanol plants, John Deere equipment, and yellow #2 kernels, the 5-day excursion left an indelible mark on our perspectives of the corn belt. In short, the region is far more complex than we imagined, and its subtle dominance of the American landscape lies contradictory to an intellectual detachment from the region, especially amongst urbanites on the periphery of the country [myself, a Miami, Florida native included].
Over the next six months, Project:Territory's spatial narratives will play out, identifying opportunities for architectural positions within the region. The thesis research to evolve from Project:Territory should prove to be far-reaching, lofty, quirky, or all of the above.
This blog likely arises from an over-abundance of architectural theory courses this semester. There are far too many thoughts ruminating in the atmosphere at Taubman College to not transcribe somewhere.