Unlike the static, labelled, fragmented, and contained space of the West, the Japanese understand space in relation to time; it is an “emptiness or void that gains its form only in relation to unseen boundaries created by the activities performed in it.” Like the form of a stream, the form of spaces in a house is the result of process patterns. In fact, Kikutake Kiyonori has said that form is not merely the visible delineation of a space but is rather the total consideration of space plus function. Ma is constantly awaiting or undergoing transformation by the availability of physical components and potential uses.
This spatial philosophy implies fluidity and multivalence, by choreographing programme, space is imbued with time and is enriched.
Excerpts from Ritual and Space by Fred Thompson
Be utopian. We want to build new worlds where fiction is reality and games form new grounds for democracy. We want to encourage creativity, reflection and renew social behaviour. If space is made by dynamics of exchange, then everyone can be the architect of our world. Experiment. As architecture expands into an interdisciplinary field, new tools can be explored. our current recipe: marinate construction with video, music graphic design, photography and gastronomy, without forgetting to leave room for interaction, freedom, informality and unpredictability. Our projects are always in movement, based on interaction between people and their environment. We are here to incite you to be conscious of your environment. React and act. — studio EXYZT’s manifesto
The city we love is that in which anything is possible, where there is still space for spontaneous social, cultural and economic games. A city that resembles those who create and inhabit it. We defend the idea of architecture not as a simple act of design and build but as a tool that needs to be combined with other skills and practices to create new forms and strategies of building and living in the city. — alex romer, nicolas henninger, sara muzio on the southwark lido
southwark lido: changing the setting, changing politics
Do unexpected places create an impetus for unexpected encounters?” with this question Catherine Fiesschi opened her talk on inhabiting spaces and using them differently. “If we come out of our comfort zones does that entail that we find new words, new ways of engaging relationships?” Can we preserve public space and rethink ‘the public’ at the same time? We should think of enhancing the public, private, or political identity by using the space differently.
Southwark’s Lido shows how, within the context of an architectural festival, a physical temporary installation can create opportunities for overlap, encounters with the unexpected. It shows on a small scale how one can respond to real needs, and work within a real existing space. Architecture is here no more than a means, as the bar, the sauna and sundeck are. The objective is to create “space” and “place”; a real place where visitors, neighbours, politicians and artists mingle, meet, enjoy, talk, discuss and create – by doing so – public space again.
Dimitri Messu & Véronique Patteeuw
nytimes essay: relating to the city through the experience of architecture -
‘I did not know until I came to New York how intimately you can relate to your streetscape and how personal and grounding experiencing architecture can be.’
‘It is hard to predict where the eye will focus and find meaning in this restless on-going spectacle of a city, but to make an intimate connection with the streetscape is a way of putting down roots, of asserting your presence in the world.’
New York State of Mind by Elizabeth Hawes
Et Sick In Infinitum (End is Forever) series; artist, Alastair MacKinven
seen at the Saatchi Gallery, Newspeak: British Art Now exhibition‘The scale of these works give the gallery a disorientating effect, overlaying MacKinven’s painted architecture on the experience of real space: as the viewers move around in the gallery their paths replicate the maddening maze in the images… These paintings were originally installed with handrails and grab bars that highlighted the viewer’s performance as they unwittingly took on the roles of Escher’s famous figures, eternally pacing a go-nowhere path and its metaphor for time’s passage and aging.’
Installation for 300 speakers, Pianola and vacuum; artist, John Wynne
seen at the Saatchi Gallery, Newspeak: British Art Now exhibition
‘It uses sound and sculptural assemblage to explore and define architectural space and to investigate the borders between sounds and music. THe piece has three interwoven sonic elements: the ambient sound of the space in which it is installed, the notes played by the piano, and a computer-controlled soundtrack consisting of synthetic sounds and gently manipulated notes from the piano itself… this piece draws on notions of obsolescence and nostalgia, combining early 20th c technology and culture with a vast collection of recently discarded hi-fi speakers… The piece is site-specific, but it also carries traces of its own history: some of the synthetic sounds were created in response to the light industrial ambience of the work’s original location, some in response to its new site. THe mountainous formation of speakers, inspired by the recycling plant from which they were rescued, functions both visually and as a platform for the projection of sound, creating, ‘a soft balance between order and chaos, organization and its rupture’.’