Archinect
Michael Villegas

Michael Villegas

Philadelphia, PA, US

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FANTASTICAL SOCIALISM

As part of a group investigation this research begins by articulating and expanding on the commentary that the US President, Barack Obama, is a Socialist.  The research aims at understanding both the culture of Obama and the culture of socialist (or leftist) architecture as a means for speculating the future of this built typology in the context of the current political atmosphere.  A global catalog of monumental socialist or quasi-socialist work helps to define socialist architecture as it pertains to this particular line of inquiry.  A magnification of Latin America goes beyond geographic labeling to include quantitative statistics for each piece (name, architect, location, and size), iconographic relationships, as well as a relative timeline for their construction.  Separately, President Obama’s socialist profile is dissected through a series of individual filters.  In this case basketball and its pronounced presence in his life exposes types of preferred environments for play.  A collaged stitching of these sample spaces suggests scenarios for Obama’s very own basketball city where in which all the qualities for each location are contained within a comprehensive site plan.  Finally, the mapping and profiling exercises combine to propose a single visual interpretation of the hypothetical notion “what if” Socialism took ground at the US Retreat site of Camp David.  A relocation of Camp David to the politically neutral territory of Antarctica provides a site for importing, hibernating, exposing, and repurposing the architectural relics typically neglected by failed socialist regimes.  The floating sculptural playground exhibits these large ice replicas one final time before sinking to the ocean floor. 

 
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Status: School Project
Location: 65°51'49.29"S 88°35'25.94"E

 

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