The question my thesis seeks to answer is how to improve urban quality by introducing new ways to build structures for civic life. I envision a future in which the people will feel ownership of their city by proposing new functions for public space and by being the designers of it. This thesis also re-frames the relationship between artificial and natural. Pavilions, city gates, fountains, rostra and obelisks are artifacts which express the character of the local civic society and constitute the social infrastructure of the urban environment. These places are the sites where public good is produced and represent significant contact points between the institution and the citizens. My research will result in a manual and a kit of parts for building six new typologies of public objects in contemporary cities.
The Holistic Urban Objects are prototype scaffolds for participatory public-ness. Public is intended as an extensive concept that accounts for other species of beings and networks of objects. The Holistic Urban Objects will create awareness and social responsibility. Their physical structure acts as catalyst of inter-species exchanges and will express new unexplored civic functions as chosen by the citizens. By publishing an online set of drawings for CNC router fabrication, this project creates a globally networked process which directly involves the audience in the physical making of the objects themselves. The SKIN of the fabricated object, built by CNC cut ½” plywood sheets, can be infinitely customized: from the use of local materials (wood, leaves, building scraps, plastics, etc.) to the deployment of abstract or sensory features (sound, light). The architecture, therefore, reflects the ecology of the place because customization is enacted by humans and other species that decide to inhabit the structure.
If you want to participate to the project, see submissions of other world citizens of their ideal pavilion and design your own lick here:
Location: Massachussets Institute of Technology
My Role: Thesis