Liz Galvez – Theatre in the Earth: (Im)material Matters

Architecture, today, experiences a rupture that divorces the art of material tectonics from the mechanics, climatization, and making of buildings. That is – material and immaterial matters of concern have little reciprocity between one and the other. Rather, an ‘other’ culture of builders – comprised of plumbers, subcontractors, and consulting engineers – resolve the inner workings of our buildings.

Examining the tension between material and immaterial architectural matters, the studio will begin with the premise that the theater is located on the Earth as its most relevant site. Such architectural artifacts, shall aim their thinking away from problem resolution or integrations of good intentions. Rather, proposals should focus on utilizing a distinctly architectural imaginary to bring forth questions while rendering visibility and discussion towards problematics in our discipline.

Playing on the relationship between performer and audience – Architecture itself will perform. With material and energy as the theater’s main protagonists, special attention will be given to material experimentation and processes to establish typological corrections through forward thinking (Im)material allegiances. Not only focusing on architectural enclosure but on its ever changing relationship to the immaterial, such as time and energies, students should ask, how do the material and immaterial interact? How or under which process does materiality occur? Why does it occur? What is its value? And for how long?

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Student Work

Casey Ash – “Haptic Field: An Architecture of Air”

Through the movement of air, a lightweight architecture emerges. Four theater spaces provide flexible space for community-based performative gatherings at various scales. These spaces operate as individual event spaces or cohesively as one space. Along the perimeter of the theater, more informal areas provide for spontaneous community gatherings. Covering the site, the threshold between exterior and interior blurs. Functioning as a dynamic system, this architecture of air offers operators ease of control via software application. Operators can adjust flows based on event type and guest comfort level.

Yuxin Lin – “Insulated Theatre”

Materials are no longer finishes that provide closure to a building. Instead, they are critical starting points that open new possibilities for improving building performance, for structuring the experience of space. Thermal insulation in buildings is a significant contributor and obvious practical and logical first step towards achieving energy efficiency. The reason why I want to put this material out of the wall is that isolation can be achieved by insulation. In a world where everything and everyone is connected, it is worthwhile to have an isolated theatre. It can help us avoid the interference of outside world like traffic noise, climate change, or even a protest, just focusing on the show and finding peace and love.

Wing Lam Christy Au – “The Theater in the Earth – Made by the Earth”

“The Theater in the Earth – Made by the Earth” is the result of natural materials manifesting according to its specific angle of repose. The architecturally respond to the act of pouring, interactions between each material’s qualities and time traits, is a performance of the nature. This theater is a referential tribute to the first ancient theater that is built on the slope of a hill; by exploring the sensory characteristics of materials, spectators and performers will be connected to the ultimate idea of a theater – a place to wonder and discover what happens phenomenologically through the senses.

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