Content tagged: acting on social cultures and conventions
Marianne Mueller and Fran Cottell talked about how spaces, their shape and configuration affects people’s social behaviour at ‘Rethinking the Social in Architecture’, a research symposium by ‘Architecture in Effect’ at Umea University in Sweden. The projects they presented experiment with the ‘social’ in the form of shared experiences and create modes of sociability through the micro-articulation of spatial form at the people scale.
6.-8. Febuary 2013
Umea School of Architecture, Umea, Sweden
The article The Exhibition as Social Ground appears in Oase 88 Exhibitions. Showing and Producing Architecture. The essay reflects on the exhibition ‘The Relational in Architecture’ held by the Concrete Geometries Research Cluster at the Architectural Association in 2012. OASE 88 examines the role of the architecture exhibition as a site of production. Bridging theory and (…)
This garden designed for the Jardin de Metis in Quebec, changes the viewer’s fundamental spatial relation to the plants. Whereas in most gardens, visitors walk on a path beside the plants – a primarily visual experience – Dymaxion Sleep rotates this relationship by 90 degrees, so that visitors are suspended horizontally over the garden in a hammock-like structure, placing them in an non-visual olfactory relationship to the aromatic plants they lay above. The project seeks to encourage pleasure and sensuality in the context of the traditional garden festival – a type of public intoxication – and explores how doing that while lying prone with strangers could infringe on the social conventions of garden tourism.
Jane Hutton and Arian Blackwell are a landscape designer and an artist/urbanist/architect based in Canada. Photography: Robert Baronet, Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens
This mixed-use building in Berlin uses spatial complexity to encourage social interaction at various levels. Densely packed interlocking living, office and commercial units create a socially mixed community of tenants and owner-occupiers sharing one single staircase. The building acts as a place of social exchange and contact. Internally, the sectionally highly articulated units offer open living and work fields, organised as three-dimensional zones rather than closed rooms. The unusual spaces challenge processes of inhabitation and communication. A ‘second architecture’ of stairs, ramps, sliding walls and cabinetry initiates their appropriation. Access from half-landings allows for small units to be split from the main apartment, accommodating the changing circumstances of its inhabitants.
BAR Berlin (Base for Architecture and Research) is an architecture and research practice based in Berlin. Photography: Jan Bitter
Antony Coleman’s photographs explore social clusterings in everyday spaces, whether in an infants gym where the protagonists ‘find a space’ to operate independently of each other or in the urban setting of Canary Wharf. The processes that structure these geometries can be practical such as a need to function unhindered or be based on the desire to maintain a personal space. Space and people are rendered entirely dependant upon each other – people’s behaviour is determined by their shifting surroundings but space, too, is provisional: it is human activity that defines, informs and qualifies space, ie that articulates it.
Anthony Coleman is a photographer based in London.
Connecting Corridor is a temporary architectural intervention between two buildings in the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. The project plays with the notion of personal space and the fear people experience of one another in public places such as subways or tunnels. The new connecting space first gathers, then bifurcates before its two strands unite again. Its cross-section is dimensioned to cause unexpected encounters. Studio Elmo Vermijs works on the intersection of visual art, architecture and design. Photograph: Gemma van Linden.
For this offsite project of Café Gallery Projects London, a raised platform was built through the densely inhabited household of the artist, functioning as a walkway for visitors, a sculptural system and a concrete space. Maintaining its level and negotiating and framing objects and people; the platform creates unusual proximities, manipulating the comparative levels of display of ‘the museum’ content. Occupants and visitors discuss their relative status, within the still functioning spaces; bringing into play conflicting and contradictory power relations. The installation serves as a ‘social experiment’ to see which prevails – visitor or intruder.
Fran Cottell is an artist and senior lecturer at Camberwell College of Arts. Photography: Terry Watts.
Changes in urban form will lead to changes in urbanity. This bold thesis is challenged by re-adjusting the geometry of the Palm Jumeraih, the built diagram of an exclusive luxury refuge, now the basis to imagine a socially integrated urbanity. ‘Re:form’ and ‘Re:block’ open up, connect and make permeable, ‘Re:lock’ and ‘Re:gain’ transform a culture of exclusion into a culture of thresholds and appropriation. ‘Re:plot’ cuts domiciles in half to allow for private and public alleyways, ‘Re:use’ turns the villas inside out to provide shaded courtyards. If the question is whether social cultures can be patterned through formal configurations of space, the Palm’s straight answer is yes.
SMAQ is a collaborative studio that operates in the field of architecture, urbanism and research.
‘On the Relational in Architecture’ Friday, 17.6.2011 6.30h @ public works, 1-5 Vyner Street, London E2 9DG A round of presentations and discussion followed by a book launch, accompanied by drinks. With Rochus Urban Hinkel, from Urban Interior, a research group at the School of Architecture,
RMIT University, Melbourne, Dr Hélène Frichot from Architecture + (…)