SCI-Arc (Steven Purvis)



Sep '05 - Dec '05

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    The End

    By Appleseed
    Dec 25, '05 1:11 PM EST


    • Francisco David Boira

      Whose the boss!!! That seems quite clear from the print screens right?. I can understand how a studio critic will influence our work while taking part of their studio (I was part of Hernan's, Greg Lynn's, Jeff I've been there). Perhaps you could elaborate on your project's formal approach and why even on a graphic level, it becomes a close facsimile of his style.
      Was this part of his studio imposed restraints? Do you feel this is your work and perhaps he was just the perfect mentor? Honestly I am just curious.
      Thanks Steven.

      Dec 29, 05 3:54 pm

      Eh? I've interned at J,P:A in the past, I suppose that's where you're coming from? The 'style' is as much a relation of the 'clients' aesthetic and my reading into the otaku subculture, as much as it is my own. The studio itself was taught by Greg Walsh at Kyoto Seika Univeristy in Japan. But yeah, halftone, graphic numeration, hardline shadows; I suppose I've been illustrating and rendering like this for quite some time know.

      Dec 29, 05 7:30 pm

      I enjoyed your simester coverage. Well orchestrated and consistent photo log. Congratulations.
      I want to muse over the renderings beyond their graphic expression. What's the program/project for the above?
      Welcome back to the hole in downtown LA.

      ~marlin watson

      Dec 30, 05 12:49 pm
      Zoë Coombes

      Steven, I think fDavid has asked a poignant question.

      Your work is so intensely in the manner of an already established Architect (Wes Jones) that I think there should be a clear reason stated for your mimicry. Either that or you must at least attempt to grow a method of representation of your own. (This could reasonably be an evolution; you don’t need to start from a blank slate.)

      By not addressing the ‘style’ as you say, shows me that you don’t think it is an important matter. It sounds to me as if you believe the graphics are completely distinct from your ideas about program or ideas about Otaku subculture.

      I don’t think that ‘I’ve always worked like this’ is good reasoning either. You can’t be on default mode. That is why we are at school, no? To produce, not as if we were in an office assisting someone else with their vision, but to experiment with our own body of work?

      In my experience, the ‘style’ of a design has a lot to say about how one conceives a response to context. I think it is OK if you learn a lot from a mentor, but ultimately, in order for a project to really come from you, it must be at least, be an evolution of your mentor’s manner not such a close replication. This is practically grounds for copyright infringement. Frank Lloyd Wright used to call Louis Sullivan his ‘Lieber Meister’ (his beloved master) but his style was clearly of his own hand.

      Any ways, I say this all with a grain of salt. I firmly believe what I have just outlined. However, do you think differently on this matter of ‘style?’

      The renderings are very beautiful and I liked very much your photos and reflections on Japan.

      Dec 30, 05 2:26 pm

      Housing for the Shinjinrui
      Otaku Duplex : Site 2

      Superflat revelations, Japanese subculture, and why you won’t find any Japaneseness without post-war American pop culture.

      Drawing a parallel between historical perspective of Japanese art, starting from contemporary manga subculture to traditional arts. The term of Japan’s own past pop culture and where we are today. A pessimistic look at the confluence of Edo art and post-war Americanized pop culture. Basically the same consumptive strategy. No contemporary Japanese culture exists without a reinterpretation of Westernization.

      The architecture will thusly be a series of contrasts. A reinterpretation of contemporary Japanese (America -> Japan) and American cultural characterizations. Superflat is an inevitable outcome in today's mindset. Breeding grounds for Universal Space.

      No camera eye. Nothing profound. No hierarchy = Modernist = everything is enveloped in sameness. No hidden feelings = exposed intention. And in some cases, no humans. Networks and movements. The public face of otaku subculture belies its deep connections to global commercialism. Superflatness is the new cultural export. Less Zen and more motorcycle. Bigness and lightness, while contradictory, epitomize the Superflat, through the loss of the third dimension. Focus on the expressiveness of the building skin. Simple volume, interesting facade. 2.5 dimensionallity. Urban condition is a relation of the figure/ground. This turns into the outside/inside, the green/and much less than green, and translations inbetween.

      Louvers, expressive steel, singular open blocks of universal space. The mix of the interior and exterior becomes the engawa. Private spaces - otaku are made uncomfortable by physical communication. Privacy gradients. Closed to the street. High windows restrict at grade interaction. Artwork component is going to be primarily storage. Something will be moveable, mechanical, apprehensive, a remote environment, a Mobile Suit, but not an autonomous thing. Movable twin beam lift for privatizing the sphere of influence. Otaku are agoraphobic. The main space may feel too open at times. This requires a mechanical, inhuman intrusion in order to force a more enclosed space.

      Dec 30, 05 2:30 pm

      Materiality is potentially dubious. Not wood, but possible precedent of Kyoto style. Rectangular, but possibly rotationally shifted. Things move to force an interaction that is non-virtual. Human network, mechanical movement and visa versa. Something very introverted. Bufferzone between frontage and units that filters everything like a halftone or Norton anti-virus software. This has now become a clash of the marginal vs. the mainstream. No one but Japan-obsessed foreigners want to live in machiya anymore. Old buildings along the Shirakawa are torn down for medical clinics and love hotels. This neighborhood is a site for transgression. A shift from pre-genbaku old timers into slackers/hackers - a gentrification of a less than desirable kind. Everything will be viewed through a mediating wall of technology/circulation.

      The garden rooftop as a liminal space, much similar to above ground rail lines. Connected to the city through visuals, but a solitary bubble within said space that doesn’t necessarily encourage or enable communication with anyone or anything. An island. Machiya do not have flat roofs. Spec design, space maximized for bullshit sunlight zoning requirements, does not have flat roofs. This is neither and thus is imparted with a different set of urban space responses. There will be no ridge to denote one unit from the other. A physical/virtual/surreal/superdeformed space. The makeup is disassociated machines. Things that function unto themselves, independent of users when in proximity.

      The superdeformed garden. Concept of SD resides in anime/manga character adaptations that takes an existing condition/truth, and deforms it whimsical proportions. Iconic Kyoto garden architecture and overstated technology. SD is used to show an extreme change in a characters state - an exaggeration of some sort. Big Head, small body. Positions are deformed to implicate perspectival relations, as well as be a bit more pragmatic and spacious. The rocks of Ryoanji are mountains floating above the clouds, or are they HVAC units sitting on a roof?

      A network will also exist, conjoining certain points through duct work and cabling. Satellites, condenser, heat exchange, generator, water heater... Forced ‘interaction’ machine enablers.

      Dec 30, 05 2:31 pm

      This is the machinic anti-machiya.

      Program = Duplex housing (loft style) for KSU professors attached to the manga department. Roof garden that is a superimposed composition of HVAC units. Art component that is material storage (comic collection) and wall idolizer. Space is negotiated and mediated in a remote manner.

      Some of this may look familiar. Since it was train of thought for the semester, not everything materialized how it was written. The notions of Superflat served as a beginning, but the social commentary of the associated subculture ended up more interesting to me, and much more informative to the project. The actual studio project consisted of a) living units, b) gallery space, and c) a garden. My reading into the otaku dealt primarily with ideas of disassociation and remote environments/control. The studio members had a choice of two sites, one large and one small. Multi-unit projects vs. single family/duplexs.

      Dec 30, 05 2:31 pm

      So anyone who uses techonology as a metaphor/expression, is riding the coat tails? I actually think that the graphics are not separate from the design work, expecially considering the 'context' of what I was working in; the graphic/representation/fantasy/idealized heavy alter-reality of those obsessed inasmuch. I whole heartedly agree with the notion that 'the ‘style’ of a design has a lot to say about how one conceives a response to context.' I'd personally cut the BS a bit more and say it is simply an attitude one takes, a position in the field. And in the end it is just modernism, elaborated.

      Dec 30, 05 2:58 pm

      The Holliday Bowl made me sad :(

      Dec 31, 05 5:29 pm

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