University of Hawaii Manoa: Architecture School

Visiting Lecturers

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    Ila Berman & Mona El Kafif

    By hsieh
    May 6, '13 8:43 PM EST

    Berman and Kafif walked into today's lecture with the goal of spreading awareness about the development of public spaces without the limits of function. They stress about the evergrowing privatized spaces that are limited to certain users. However, they hope to reverse this by creating more public spaces that allow a variety of occupants. They provided several examples to justify their point such as Way Beyond Art, Pulse Room, OPspace and iLounge.

    Through Way Beyond Art, Berman studied how different disciplines work together: Architecture, Sculpture, Interior, and Landscape. Some examples she gives are seen in PS1 installations. PS1 is an exhibition that allows new and innovative minds to occupy the space with their installations. These installations show how the same space can be renewed and used in several ways with a variety of users. We were able to see some familiar projects by our previous guest lecturers such as IwamotoScott's REEF and Voussoir Cloud. Through installations, we can begin to see how sculptures become habitable, thus creating space.

    Through Berman and Kafif's endeavers, they created the pulse room. This room contains many light bulbs that light and react according to a person's heart beat. In turn, this intrigues the user and encourages others to participate in the space. The next project that intrigued me was OPspace, a 12 ring installation inspired by the human body. The purpose of this project was to trigger occupation. The space was interpreted differently and thus transformed according to its occupants. It was used for wine tasting, fashion shows, a playground, and even a stage performances. The installation proved to be successful as many people started implementing different occupations towards its usage.

    Mona describes a space being composed in four design strategies: Hardware, Software, Orgware, and Brandware. With these components, a space can be revitalized and be used for a variety of reasons. This research is shown through iLounge, yet another innovative installation that promotes social interactions amongst users. Inspired by the topography of the city, the space is seen used as a stage, a resting area, an exhibit, etc.

    Berman and Kafif provided a large picture to the general audience: There are many "waiting lands" or unoccupied (wasted) space that can be used as a temporary space. Since it will take another 15 years or so to actually build a building there, why not use the space to promote a social cause? As architects, we should see each space as a having potential, and should be open for everyone to enjoy and interact in.

    (Author: Cynthia Miao)

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About this Blog

Guest speakers visiting from different places coming together and lecturing about their projects, groups, and firms at the University of Hawaii Manoa: School of Architecture.

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