Opening & Boundary

Saturday 18th November § Leave a comment

Opening & Boundary

Here’s a quick sketch of my current idea for the ‘Opening & Boundaries’ project. The problem is that I really like it, despite the fact that it’s so timidly/obviously Hadid-esque that it’s verging on plagurism. I can imagine the professors first question when it comes to review: ‘Explain where you got the idea for this. Have you heard of Zaha Hadid? Yes. You don’t think you’ve been a bit too… similar? ‘. And yet I like it too much to completely abandon the idea.

The real question behind that is more fundamental. ‘Where should architectural ideas come from?’ Which in turn spurs another long debated question: ‘What’s the difference between architecture and art?’

Starting blankly in the morning with a pile of card on the desk I automatically started to create shapes that came naturally to the cardboard. twisting folds that double back on themselfes, guided by a slap dashed artistic whimsy, but essentially meaningless crap. I built two early models based on the cardboards structural/modeling properties before realising that it was this process that was leading me astray.

The third model, that I have now, came from the idea of a curve which twisted along it’s length, and that led to another mirroring curve, and that lead up to a roofline, so another curve to get a horizontal, and so on. Step by step I built up my current concept from a series of logical and artistic steps, almost without thought, so that when I stepped back at the end of the process I found I had a complete (corner of a) building. It fulfils all the briefs requirements quite neatly, but the initial decission to start off from that one curve is still comicaly arbitrary. Why that curve and not another? Why any decission? But then again why not? It’s just a general uneasyness about the lack of purpose behind the idea. I’d far rather be inspired by finding a solution to a practical problem.

Now that I have filled in most of the blanks I can see other reasons for things to be the way they are. The inward slopes on the canopy lead the eye into the building, the slight taper in the walls creates an enhanced perspective. It will always be possible to find reasons to justify the design. As long as it’s not too impractical then the validity of the design still stands.

I think I’ve come to the conclusion that using the process is a valid way to generate ideas, but that it’s important to make that use of process a conscious decission. I also think that there will always be a small influence from the process of translating our ideas into a drawing or model. Between the idea in our heads and the finished model or drawing is a medium, and while we work out the details of our idea through these mediums. Whether it’s the quick sketch, a plastic monstrosity, or moulded clay, but particularly with the use of 3D modeling, influence from the medium will percolate through into our final ‘product’ (I hate that word) whether we are conscious of this fact or not.

This is an issue which I can tell will rear up from time to time. I’ll return to ‘what’s the difference between art and architecture?’ at some later date.

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