From the intangible to the tangible!
In this project, a critical synthesis of the research undertaken through the Stage 1 will be analysed. In particular, I will describe the way I carried out the first project and how I developed my skills in terms of innovative ways to explore a site, as well as, ways to undertake research and collaboration. In addition, I will discuss the way I have applied the theory to the design process and my experimentation with various processes in order to understand the site and proceed with the site analysis and representation as a final outcome.
In regard to the first act, we were asked to select a site on our own and then proceed with the site analysis. At the beginning of the project, I conduct a literature review in order to understand the theory and the analytical methods in terms of the site analysis. During the literature review, I figure out about the “Non Places” as it is stated by the French anthropologist, Marg Auge, in his theory about “non places”; which are cannot be defined as relational, or historical, or concerned with identity. Marc Auge noted in his book, “Non-Place” about the Introduction to an Anthropology of Super modernity, which define the non-places as not anthropological places and places with short memory. (Marc Auge, 1995 ) Therefore, I selected an underpass as a site which is based on the “non-places theory”. Also, through the literature review I focused on cartography methods. Larissa Fassler is one of the most recognised artists in terms of socio-political and cultural aspects. Fassler’s maps are based on everyday practices that take place in the cities. (Ouranos, 2009) As, Ouranos stated in his investigation in 2009, Fassler use cartography analysis in order to keep maps record for the number of people who walking, cycling, as well as, the changes in weather and others culture-social aspect of the cities. Moreover, in the Act 1 I have been inspired by Fassler and I decided to concentrate my research in cartography analysis. After conducting the literature review, I proceed with site analysis by using a photo, collage, and videos; whereas the site analysis focused on cartography and physiographical maps methods. More specifically, I started the site analysis based on a research which it is further based on the theory of Non-Places by Marg Auge. Yet, I proceed with the journey description based on physiographical methods.
The selected site analysis was a gap between two main roads and the project was focused on the gap, taking into consideration variant weather conditions, such as a rainy and sunny day. However, during the act 1, I made cartographic maps in regard to rainfall analysis and representation. Moreover, the rainfall analysis continues with an interactive cartography animation, which represent the rainfall within the gap. In addition, act 1 was based on the artefact production, which means the use of a molten casting plastic as the key material to represent the analysis of the occupants. At the end of the Act 1, I presented the analysis based on cartography, physiographical methods, animations, videos, and molten casting plastic artefacts.
For the Act 2, we were provided with a series of sites that vary in scale, functionality, age, location and form. My allocated site is the Salt Dome in Glasgow. Yet, for the Act 2 I used the same analysis methods as the Act 1 such as cartography and physiographical methods, as well as, molten casting methods. In addition, in the Act 2 we had been asked to begin with a site exploration, focusing on the shape, material and texture, as well as, the structure and the function of the site. Similarly, with the act 1, I proceed with the cartography analysis for the design of the site and plan and then I created the physiographical maps for the representation of the site. In this Act, I had the opportunity improved further my site analysis skills by analysing a given site, as well as, learn new methods in regard to site exploration based on the kind of the site such as shape, material and texture, and functionality. Moreover, in the Act 2 we were asked to proposed an intervention and function for the allocated site. The concept of the is based on the “Memory Identity” and the “Place Identity” of a site. During the literature review I found out that the theory of place identity is based on a combination of memories, conceptions, interpretations, ideas and related feelings such as sounds, smells and other of an environmental. Also, a memory of place is directly linked with the sense of place and the key to achieve a memorial experience and establish a sense of a place to a visitor within that space to be memorable.
However, in regard to Act 2 in order to achieved the memory identity of the place I decided to use alt as the key material for the proposed intervention. Thus, I conduct a literature review about molten casting methods that I used in Act 1 in order to develop a salt tile for the dome. Through the research, I explore the techniques of the Israeli designer Erez Nevi Pana, which has created a vegan furniture using crystallized salt from the Dead Sea. In particular, Erez design animal-free objects that are aligned with his vegan ethics. (Rachael Stott, 2018) Also, the architect Motoi Yamamoto created salt installation in memory of his sister. (Kara Petraglia, 2014) In particular, Yamamoto use seven tons of salt for each of his installation; whereas in each installation his drawn tiny circles as a way to symbolize the sense of his sister memory. However, in Act 2 the used of organic material such as salt help me to be creative during the synthesis of concept for the proposed intervention.
Overall, the key stages in my design process were the site analysis using the cartography and physiographical methods and molten casting technics; whereas the main lessons of the project are the development of the appropriate skills for the right site exploration, as well as the actual representation of the site. Finally, through Stage 1 I will present the innovative techniques I have used for the site analysis and representation in terms of materiality, scale and function. Furthermore, it is important to note that in this project, I had the opportunity to improve my skills in terms of designing procedures, site analysis, conception of materiality, presentation and performance skills.