Sep '12 - Oct '13
A large part of my “Leaving Grad School and Job Hunting” phase has been spent accumulating grudges. I have grudges against the notion of architecture school, partisan journalists, unpaid interns, memes of Olympic athletes and that squirrel who dares me to make eye contact at Union Square Park. This blog could easily have been a rant, but to avoid whining, it is going to be about how to make your own space, wherever, whenever. Lets call it Insane Cities because the more I indulge my ‘tortured architect’ side, the more I notice how mismatched we are to our surroundings and to those surrounding us. From the pavement that does not bow down when I want to cross the road to the really cold but shiny handrail on the subway.
The spaces in a city are more often identified by their collective subjective notions rather than by their physical characteristics. When I think of Times Square, I think crowds; a part of me says Broadway Shows. Someone else says Tourists. (Insert repulsed face and nervous shudder) Visitors to the city cite the lights, the glitz and the fabulousness of it all. One of my professors though, was more nostalgic about it and never failed to remind us how filthy, dangerous and notoriously R rated Times Square was.
It would be interesting if we were to make a map of these different Times Squares, in my words a 'multi-subjective' depiction of the place, layered and compelling.
My first attempt at this kind of map making was in grad school, a simplification of buildings, roads and practices to a kind of manual. Like the one below that shows how a planned socialist scenario slowly ‘descends’ into appropriation and modification. And the bases of these changes are always subjective, always selfish; more to do with individual and communal requirements than planning edicts and visual delight.
I have seen interesting representations, like a food trail or an “Ugly Buildings Manual” of cities. Lets see how far we can take this without being accused of Objectivity.
There is a firm discourse, opinion and even a strange complacence about our knowledge of the city, people, space and time. Labels abound; traditionalist, modernist, building, design, blog. What if critique or opinions are pointless because of a clear disdain for objectivity. How would I describe the world around me if I countered every POV with a logical argument? The blog will be a glimpse into everyday practices, with a strong bias towards un-designing urban-scape.