muse

Reconstruction

I had the pleasure of creating some light-hearted illustrations to accompany the work of art historian Alex Stumm in his recent interview for Pulp #52 (Pulp Architecture). In his book “Architectural Concepts of Reconstruction” (translated from Architektonische Konzepte der Rekonstruktion), he discusses five categories of ‘Reconstruction’ and the different ways architects have approached renovation of, additions to, or for lack of better word, reconstructing a ruin. While I am still teetering between drawing a connection between the large urban scale to the micro detail scale, another spectrum of
thought came to light from this exercise. That spectrum being ‘time’, the scale of ruin to rebuild. There are a lot of things to explore not just in historical architecture still standing today, but also the added layer of the invisible ruin. But let me move forward a little bit and speak to the buildings that are still physically with us today. Rather, what piques my interest is how architects address the dichotomy of working with both new and old buildings.

New building + old building = ?

Downtown Toronto is ripe with reconstructions. UofT in particular, is quite special in that it has such a historically rich campus of old buildings yet also has an alarmingly large number of renovations and additions to said historical buildings. (A personal observation. It happens all over the city obviously, but I happen to notice it more within the university) It seems oddly fitting then, that my last post discussed the new School of Architecture at UofT as it is quite a fine example of some form of reconstruction. While the original home of Knox College and then the Connaught Laboratories, the new building at 1 Spadina Crescent which opened for the 2017-2018 school year has been transformed into the new home of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, with a bright new addition designed by architects Nader Tehrani and Katherine Faulkner of New York based firm NADAAA.

What are the design strategies, principals, approaches, etc. involved with additions or renovations, particularly with a historically significant building? What are the details that exist in that intersection between the old and the new?

Test 003 will explore this new spectrum to my AR/tifact collection

Standard
test

a test 002

image

A test 002 —
1 UNIT: built space
OCCUPANCY: public
TYPE(s): architecture, public plaza, landscape
AR/TIFACT(s): 05

IDEAS: xx

My launching point is the Mies TD Towers in the financial district of downtown Toronto. Note my pilot post & logo. I feel that if I were to pick a starting point of notable buildings in the city, this is an ideal place to start. A Classic, with significant historical backing as well as poignant details to select from. The modular and orthogonal shape of the towers also provides a great testing ground for analysis. Maybe. I quite possibly really just wanted to include the cow(s).

Standard
muse, test

a test 001

My thoughts have all just been mindlessly floating around in my brainspace without getting churned or developed to maturity – whether it’s is a mature dead end or a mature launching point. And so, this rolling journal is here to take on many forms and stages throughout the lifespan of the project.

At this nascent stage, this is an incubator for ideas. Thoughts; Challenges; SWOT analysis; Writing (but actually mostly in the form of the sketch below) As I learn, I will iterate. It is
highly possible the project will take many pivot points before reaching a state of stability, and even then, it has to grow. I want to also document any attempts at frontend development I may have. Further along, you may even see some working demos.

A bit more on ‘a test – 001’ (pretentious, implying I have 999 more exercises to attempt)

A test 001 —
1 UNIT: built space
OCCUPANCY: public/semi-private
TYPE(s): urban infrastructure, landscape, architecture
AR/TIFACT(s): 06

IDEAS: xx

I start with one unit of built space the idea to take place. What if, wherever you are, let’s say you enter this unit of built space, you have access to a whole new layer of information and media. It is not quite physical space and it is not quite virtual space. It is both in my mind – that’s what makes AR so interesting. Have you ever used Waze when driving? I think that would be a neat experience, at the scale of a pedestrian, to interact with your surroundings and having access to a database of information about all the things that are constructed around you.

I have more ideas to expand here for sure. But something to think about for now.

Standard
muse

Pilot

Three years ago, I worked on an independent study with my classmate studying Architecture of the Virtual. We explored VR technology and developed a playable ‘level’ that altered gravity to manipulate a user’s perception of architecture. Architecture of the virtual is expanding more than ever.

Two years ago, I collaborated with another classmate designing an urban strategy and development for a strip of land adjacent to the Tonghui River in Beijing, China. This proposal stemmed from an early exploration of a community driven database of building information through Augmented Reality. (see our first unsettlingly ugly collage proposal) The idea was later shelved as both of us lacked the time, resources and knowledge to take it to the next level.

One year ago, I worked on myself – my working experience and connection building within the industry. I wrote my licensing exam and I continued to hone my tools of the trade. I did some small competitions with no results and I started some minor drawing and writing projects for fun.

Today I’ve decided to take all those experiences and ideas and take them off the shelf. I’m excited to take a stab at bringing an idea I cooked up those years ago, to fruition. Whether I have a viable and usable product in the end is completely unknown, but what I can guarantee is that I’m going to do a lot of learning and a lot of failing to get somewhere farther than right now.

ARTIFACT Laboratory is my new project.
I’m starting small but trying to think big.

My vision utilizes the technology currently available in AR development with combination of GPS tracking to bring a new layer of community driven social interaction within the city. We’ve seen it in action already through the infamous Pokemon Go where your location allows you access to different pokemon to catch. There’s also several notable AR projects in the AEC industry for displaying and visualizing design projects on real sites such as Darf Design’s ARKi. My interests lie somewhere in between.

Stay tuned

Standard