spatial experimentations

drawing machines to parasitic structures


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The following video showcases the impacts of light and water on my intervention in Kensington Street. The documentation tries to project the concept of the actual structure in the street, and the impacts on the ground below, the impacts of the structures to the materiality of the building and the impact that the natural phenomena will have on these intervened structures.

The nature of the triangular structures act as a mediator between above and below. The structures link the water that lands on the roof, and seemlessly drips it onto the pavement below. The structures basically reiterate the run down nature of the building, by not hiding the fact that it is a desolute building, but enhancing and exposing its decaying nature, by enhancing and focusing on the notion of the drip. Ultimately, the triangles allow the drip off the roof to be more controlled and systematic, but still, the environment and the natural element of rain completely impacts and ultimately yields this structure. The drops created from these intervened structures link to the prior concept of the drawing machine through the mark in which they create.

This intrim model addresses aspects of spatiality. The final model that will be created will basically look the same as this, with some iterations done to the triangular structures in order to make each structure vital in the concept of moving water off the roof structure.


Written by katmcmahon

May 27, 2011 at 1:41 pm

the project: in full

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My final site intervention and somewhat parasitic structure is based off the conceptual nature of the previous interventional drawing machine. The roof on 26 Kensington Street, like the drawing machines that were situated around the Kensington Site both act as mediators within the natural environment. The drawing machines allowed the wind to draw and map its general nature, as a basic reading into its direction and intensity was made. The drawing machine highlighted how this natural element impacts the overall materiality of this urban street environment. The roof on 26 Kensington Street has one main purpose- to be a shelter and a structural element for the rest of the building. It solely prevents elements such as sunlight, wind and water from coming directly into the building. Instead of once again studying the impacts of the wind, I have chosen to study the natural impact of water and rain on this building. Rain falls onto the roof, and moves down the slopped structure into the gutter, and then eventually into a drain. Ultimately, the functionality of the building does not work as well as initially intended due to the run-down nature of the build. Instead of trying to prevent a natural pattern of decay into leaking drainpipes and gutters the structure that I am planning to embed onto the building will accentuate and draw on these impacts. Through implementing triangular structures onto the roofline and embedding them into the front façade of the building will help enforce drips and water to flow down these metal triangular structures, thus emphasising the process that normally happens on this roof in heavy rain. The marks that are created by the drips from the existing roof and the conceptual intervention structure will have a direct link to the results seen and mapped in the drawing machine intervention. Furthermore, the new roof and façade structure that will be situated on 26 Kensington Street will serve as a protective structure to the front face of the building.

The intervention will link the both the interior and exterior through the embedded nature of the structures on the front façade. This will thus emphasise the slopped roof that is ultimately one wall of the top story. Along with linking the interior and exterior, the site intervention will create a medication with above and below by reinforcing the flow and movement of water down the building. This will thus, eliminate the awkward limbo that exists within the building.

Ultimately the triangular form was not embedded in my initial drawing machine, but aspects and results from this parasitic intervention links to the readings seen from both the initial drawing machine and the existing building itself.

Written by katmcmahon

May 23, 2011 at 12:18 pm

sketch model: site intervention

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This video highlights the concepts that will be showcased in the final intervention structure on 26 Kensington Street, Chippendale. The triangular structures will be embedded into the front facade of the building, providing a shelter for the front of the building, but more importantly, the triangular forms will emphasise the natural movement and patterns of water and rain- a natural atmospheric quality and substance that is embedded into the urban streetscape. Instead of ignoring elements of decay, and trying to hide leaking drainpipes and structures, this intervention will draw on these aspects, thus reiterating the structural nature of the building. This short video is footage of one of my first models. The video was taken as I was spraying water onto the model- focusing on the drips that came from each structural triangular element.

Written by katmcmahon

May 23, 2011 at 12:17 pm

atmosphere as the subject matter of architecture

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This article ultimately addressed the nature of talking about architecture and the difficulties that are related to this concept. Architecture, and I guess in a sense, interior and spatial design will always be linked to the art form. Bohme addresses this throughout his article. He furthers his argument by addressing the differing perceptions of architecture, and the differences between architectural space and architectural place.

Gernot Bohme opened this essay with the links that have been formed and created between art and architecture. Ultimately, the work that has been intervened into Kensington Street has combined art and architecture, in both a metaphorical and non-metaphorical sense. Drawing machines were created in order to map natural phenomena. These structures I guess can both be seen as an architectural and design intervention, but the products in which these machines created were ultimately an artwork. The next intervention of a parasitic structure into the Kensington Street site potentially has the nature to do the following, which is outlined by Bohme. He stated that “presuming that it is correct to argue that the architect…creates a work of art that must couple the artistic with the useful, then one is naturally tempted to interpret the artistic character of architecture by borrowing from other arts and drawing comparisons with sculpture, painting, literature and music”. When reading this section, connections were made to the intervention and structure that will be housed and showcased in Kensington Street. Ultimately, the structures that are going to be embedded into 26 Kensington Street will structurally change the facade of the building, but conversely, they could be viewed as a sculptural instillation instead of an architectural and design piece. Despite this, there is something interconnected, and almost individual about creating a facade structure that could work in both a design sense, and also an instillation sense. Bohme continues throughout the opening part of his essay about the interconnected nature of art and architecture and the similarities that are seen through the writings of both forms.

The article further addresses the nature and importance of design documentation and iterative design. The perceptions of architecture and spatial design are ultimately the representational work of photographs. Bohme highlights this concept as he states that the workings of a photograph “has become just as important as, if not more important that, the building itself”, photographs that are showcased in magazines, newspapers and brochures are “vital to establishing a reputation”. This perception of the importance of the representation of the building is highlighted and reiterated throughout Bohme’s article. Furthermore, Bohme highlights the concept of marketable appeal, as the third factor that determines “architectural creation”. Architecture must be both functional and useful but it must also be a work of art. It must appeal to the audience, as it is a product that needs to be bought and paid for- it needs to have a marketable appeal. By deriving certain aspects of art into architecture thus enforces a consumerist nature and appeal.

This article tried to address the concepts of space and how an individual actually inhibits and shapes that space. The article addressed the nature of the space, and ultimately the physicality of an actual space and the atmospheric qualities that are embedded within the space. These atmospheric qualities are predominately determined by man, as man is really the only measure of architecture, as he emanates these embedded structural qualities. He states that “we must be physically present”, in order to experience the space to its complete entirety. Ultimately, photographic representations and articles written by other designers and viewers of a space will never compare to the individual interaction with the interior and spatial structure and design.

The differences between art, architecture and stage design has also been addressed in a sector of this article. Bohme alludes to the concepts of the connectivity between these disciplines. Stage design, like architecture provokes emotions and atmosphere. This atmosphere is ultimately enhanced through stage design due to the aspects of light, sound text and colour. Emotions and feelings emanate through these qualities are what ultimately forms a scene. Therefore these spatial qualities which are embedded within stage design, and which are ultimately imperative to stage design have been translated into architecture. An example of this is simply seen through light- in both a natural and man-made sense. Light within a building gives a build a greater structural quality, thus enhancing spatiality, materiality and atmosphere. The concept of the interdisciplinary is then furthered as Bohme links art to architecture, and the natures that are derived out of the art sense into the design sense.

The entirety of the article addressed different concepts about the nature and contextuality of architecture and design. The points that were outlined throughout the essay highlighted connectivity with architecture itself, and uncovered the hidden and I guess underlying concepts that are embedded in architectural representation and perception.

Written by katmcmahon

May 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm

teresa stoppani- dust

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FORWARD: sourced from UWS (2008): Dust traditionally denotes the familiar, the sheltered, the comfortable but often stifling space of the bourgeois interior. Dust settles in time, measures history, preserves the past and its values, but at the same time it destroys and erases its objects from within. Through an analysis of images from mythology, classical painting, the visual arts, film and advertising, the paper aims to show how readings and representations of dust and dusting offer contradictory interpretations and inhabitations of space that blur the distinction of interior and exterior and expose the permeability of their boundaries. Dust becomes a vehicle and an index of these crossings.

This week, Teresa Stoppani hosted the All Program Lecture. Her lecture addressed the aspect of dust within our society and the concepts in which are linked to this matter. She highlights dusts implications and relations to architecture in both the metaphorical and physical sense of the matter. She highlighted how this element relates and can ultimately shape space. She wanted to depict a different perception of dust- challenging the subject matter and moving this concept away from dusting, vacuum cleaners, and war machines, but moving it more toward the interior and perhaps the disappearance of the interior. She highlighted how dust was the result of something- some other object that has been crashed, smashed or ruined in some particular way. From this statement, she stemmed onto how could we reconsider dust, and move it away from these perceptions- especially if dust is the result of something else, it will therefore always have those underlying connotations. Through challenging this notion of the originality and the specimen of dust thus represented her perception on the ambiguous nature of dust in both the interior and exterior.

Ultimately, I can safely say, that I personally did not comprehend the concept of this lecture series at all, as I wasn’t really attuned to her concepts of the metaphorical sense and aspect of ‘dust’-, which is what her presentation was about.

Due to not understanding the complete nature of this lecture series, I carried out some further research in order to potentially further my knowledge and understanding on Teresa Stoppani’s “Dust Reversals”.  The following dot points are sourced from the UTS DAB

  • She refers to the works of Walter Benjamin and his concepts that are linked to ‘grayness, obsolescence and boredom’. In his “Arcades Project dust seems to blanket Paris like a heavy gray coat. Underneath it, dust nests in the plush and dust covers of the bourgeois interiors.”
  • Ultimately dust is ‘inescapable’, whether invisible or visible it is always there, it penetrates both the interior and exterior- it is “uncontrollable, penetrating that which is apparently ordered, organized, systematized.”
  • Dust covers the redundant and the unused. Items, which are no longer useful to twenty first century society. “ It materializes oblivion, blanketing over that which lies forgotten. It produces an opacity that in concealing protects, but obliterates as well, eliminating the differences of things.”
  • Ultimately, architecture displays this matter of dust- both the interior and exterior aspect of architecture and space houses dust. Dust within the interior wraps around and embeds itself onto items, an “indisputable linear history”
  • “Dust seems to condemn space to stillness and inexorable decay.”
  • Walter Benjamin’s work highlights and deconstructs the nature of dust. He represents what dust deconstructs, uncovers and unearths. Dust uncovers “objects and spaces, reactivating them in new relations of tensions between fragments.”

Written by katmcmahon

May 20, 2011 at 9:50 am

precedent projects: ten incredible instillations and andy goldsworthy

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I conducted a search into instillation art onto a building, and found the following site- ten incredible instillations. Whilst perusing through the site, I found some inspirational images that could potentially be integrated into my final design. Initially I have been working with the triangular form, and integrating this into the front facade of the building, and a couple examples of works on this website do this.

After looking through this site, I remembered the works of Andy Goldsworthy, an instillation artist who uses natural materials from the environment and installs his structures into either their normal and natural surrounding context, or a gallery space. His works challenge the concepts of nature, and the structures that are in the natural environment. All his materials come from the surrounding environment, and he uses no man made joins (such as glue and screws etc) to create his structures. His artistic practice is very much formulated due to his surroundings- he takes opportunities in which the environment gives him, and works with these natural elements. “I take the opportunity each day offers: if it is snowing, I work in snow, at leaf-fall it will be leaves; a blown over tree becomes a source of twigs and branches.”– Goldsworthy. The concept of using the natural items in the natural environment could be somewhat of an inspiration to my final site intervention. The structures he creates in his work are amazing- I would like to create something so structurally beautiful onto a Kensington Street Building.

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Written by katmcmahon

May 17, 2011 at 11:43 pm


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Deconstructivism is a development of postmodern architecture, that came about in the late 1980’s. “It is characterized by ideas of fragmentation, an interest in manipulating ideas of a structures surface or skin”- wiki.  Non-rectilinear shapes are embedded into this architectural form that ultimately serves “to distort and dislocate some elements of architecture”.

See: Bernard Tschumi, Rem Koolhas, Coop Himmelblau, Peter Eisenmann.

Iterative Model Making revolving, remaking, redoing, repetition. The concept of iterative model making has basically being embedded since the materiality class with Eduardo last year. He enforced the idea and concept of iterative design and iterative model making. Yes, sometimes, it does seem completely annoying, almost useless, but the models are always better a second time round (maybe even a third, fourth, fifth….) The examination of a design through a model allows a greater reading into spatiality, materiality and overall structural qualities of buildings. The remaking of such models therefore allows iterations to be made to this structural nature.

Automatic Drawing (within Surrealism) is “a surrealist technique involving spontaneous writing, drawing or the like practiced without conscious aesthetic or moral self-censorship”-wiki

Syntax (within architecture) ultimately, syntax means an orderly system (such as a grouping of rules). The links to this with architecture….well, ultimately it could be taken from the context of the syntax in the architectural process and design process. Meaning, the systematic structure and outline of the design process. Furthermore, a syntax within architecture could be a systematic house or design, which allowed free movement in an orderly and ultimately easy way.

See: Grafton Architects

Minimalism (within fine art and architecture) where a work is stripped down to its most basic and minimal form, highlighting its most fundamental features and potentially structural qualities of an artwork or design.

See: David Chipperfield

Written by katmcmahon

May 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm