Typological and Topographical Speculations

Architecture is but the distance between ones position in space relative to the celestial and terrestrial and the interlacing of public space and institutional formation in what constitutes civilized space. Somewhere between the viscera of matter and the ephemera of media, architectural production in the early 21st century is accountable for new conceptions of social-civic enterprise. This studio explores the potential of architectural enterprise, the many voices involved in its production, and new spaces for the social-civic body. The Theater of the Absurd and The Theater of Cruelty frame and stage a mirror to society, often triggering acts of contestation within the social-civic body. From acts of anarchy, to adherence to codes of ethical conduct, architecture is located between where these oppositions collide. The studio develops parallel methodologies in notational and the visceral that enable the range of locating and acting on architectural atmospheres and worldmaking within the political contours of time.

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Student Work

Hannah Kirkpatrick – “Theater of Our Environment”

The Theater of Our Environment realigns the relationship between controllable and uncontrollable world making. This new theater’s architecture designs experiences of moving through spaces and architectural elements that re-approach our relationship to our environment. As conventional theater mediates a story, the architecture mediates the relations between itself and the site, allowing temporary or continual visitors moments of attention to their surroundings. The connections between volumes of space and planes become an integral part of realigning these relationships.

Lyse Messmer –

“Theater of Stars: a Place to Mourn, Meditate, Wonder”

In troubling times, cloudy times, what practices should we reimagine, reestablish? “Trouble is an interesting word. It derives from a thirteenth-century French verb meaning ‘to stir up,’ ‘to make cloudy,’ ‘to disturb.’ We—all of us on Terra—live in disturbing times, mixed-up times, troubling and turbid times. The task is to become capable, with each other in all of our bumptious kinds, of response. Mixed-up times are overflowing with both pain and joy—with vastly unjust patterns of pain and joy, with unnecessary killing of ongoingness but also with necessary resurgence.” – Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble (2016)

Waylon Richmond – “Listen + Respond”

…Is an experimentation toward a new type of theater, encompasing subtle shifts from a conventional theater model. Programmed “Agency spaces” are created to mediate the separation between interior and exterior of a theater. These spaces are projections from different parts of the theater, which have dialogs with both the inside, stage, auditorium, and the outside public. Apertures generated with agency space act as the “fourth wall” between the inside and the outside urban space. Ultimately, the entire theater becomes a stage–agency spaces become a stage–and the people around become the urban audience.

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