Wednesday, January 30, 2008

An Architecture of Four Economies*
Excerpted Statement

The idea that the ground today has become an ecology of architecture in Reyner Banham’s sense now seems so familiar that we find it hard to imagine that this was ever not the case. But in fact this notion first arose less then a century ago. Long a subject of critical projects, the ground’s recurrent physical, programmatic, and semantic emptying rendered it a ‘mass without qualities.’ The emergence of projective practice has instigated a renewed interest in ground conditions and their inherent operative potential. Through engagements with ecology, infrastructure, and event space, architecturally developed ground has emerged as a performative catalyst defined by its operational rather than formal effects.

The research herein interrogates the potential of ground morpho-logics in the production of innovative horizontal organizations supporting new relationships between architecture and the city. Secondarily, the interrogation of ‘logics’ – rather then global strategies or procedural techniques – is purposely suspended between the general and particular, with the understanding that ‘logics’ are inherently capable of adaptation, morphogenesis, and mutation within the integrity of their original organizational code. Finally, ‘logics’ have particular immutable attributes that persist independent of morphogenesis. The research is intended to decode the potentials and limits of three ground morpho-logics: mats, fields, and surfaces, and identify zones of difference and similarity capable of supporting mutations. The accepted singularity of the three morpho-logic species will be challenged in seeking contaminated varieties and hybrid logics.

A new convention ‘grounds’ – a multi-functional program of exhibition, hotel, service, and public spaces – will serve as a test subject for investigating and deploying these mutant morpho-logics. The disparate functions and typological constraints of the convention complex traditionally rely on the 'generic' - vast container and sheds. Within this infinite sameness, where function is achieved through absence, space is as uniform as it is neutral. Operative morpho-logics and their emergent mutations are the tactics for reengaging the multivalent programmatic requirements of convention grounds and developing alternative spatial and structural organizations between architecture and the city.



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