[Re]Appropriating Value: Constructing Places For The Few & The Many

Written: May 2014


The following is a summary of the ideas and aspirations of my thesis work at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.


This thesis is not about nostalgia. It is, instead, an exploration of a means of creating something that catalyzes change in structure, fabric, and value. It is a search for the means by which architecture (and architects) can create places that privilege freedom of choice, creative development and opportunity to enact traditions new and old.

This thesis is about an architecture that enables the reconstruction of a different, yet familiar, future.


VALUE is a relative concept of worth. A principal concern of architecture is to create added value in a given site or scenario through design. Architecture’s viability is, and always has been, reliant on this fact. This value, for architecture, can be both quantifiable or aesthetically based - the former registered as, for example, affordability, energy performance, or gross to net area efficiencies, while the later is associated with beauty, phenomenology, personal satisfaction, collective advancement, etc.

In 1974, developmental psychologist, Clare W. Graves published a paper that first used the term ‘value system’ to describe the phenomena of cultural emergence through a historically dynamic system of shifts between collective and individual value systems. His findings represent a continued struggle of humanity to address the needs of the few and the many.

Throughout history these collective and individual value systems have impacted the built environment. Architecture’s value add has more times that not been dictated by its relationship to finances, politics, and ethics which are by-products of broader systemic values. In this way, architecture can be understood as a reflection of value - it reflects the principles that bring it into being. This is true at both the building scale and at the and elemental scale.

The creation of the Resort Town in the United States parallels the value system Graves’ notes as egalitarian. Seaside towns got their start in the mid-19th century as the railroad became a readily available mode of transportation for the masses to escape urban centers. These towns were built on pillars of commerce and collective experience. However, they also, quickly revealed themselves as an investment opportunity for the individual vacationer. As the commercial industries grew, so did second home ownership. These towns became a providential place for the extended pursuit of the American Dream, and with this pursuit began the Resort Town’s quiet struggle to ally with both the individual and the collective.


Resort Towns are machines that serve and produce tourism. They are urban scale versions of what Sloterdjik in Foam City calls "collector spaces". They are in direct service of the non-local many - only indirectly serving the local few via the activity of the many. The seasonal economics associated with this activity systematically create a climate of fluctuating scarcity as a result of its ebbs and flows. In the off-season, there is a scarcity of people and events. In season, there is  a scarcity of energy resources sustain demands. And, in crisis, there is a scarcity of both support and funds. These problems are emblematic of the  basic economic principles of American capitalism: more and bigger is better.

This project proposes that when disaster strikes these towns situated on impossibly precarious sites that upraise the values of the American Dream over caution, that there is an opportunity for reinvention by means of "Creative Destruction". Creative Destruction of the existing system as discussed by Schumpeter in Capitalism, Socialism, & Democracy can potentially allow for a new value proposition to emerge through a reappropriation of the Latourian "parliament of things" that exist on any given site.


The site of investigation for this thesis is Seaside Heights, NJ, which is located approx 75 miles from both Philadelphia and New York. It is a similar to the resort towns previously discussed in most regards, and was one of many towns located on barrier islands that was hit hard by Superstorm Sandy. It subsequently suffered significant damage 10 months later when a 10-alarm fire, triggered by unattended to damage from the storm,  burnt 5 blocks of the recently rebuilt boardwalk to the ground.

The boardwalk is, and has always been, Seaside’s most valuable asset. It, however,  has also perpetuated the town’s devaluation, which has steadily increased over time. Regardless, each time the boardwalk has been compromised by a fire or a hurricane it has been restored to its original state. An investigation of property ownership types, zoning codes, comparative property valuations, the existing on-site spatial hierarchy and topography as well as government risk assessments, indicates clearly a need for change.


REAPPROPRIATION is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as the action or act of restoring, giving back; reallocating. It implies a reconstitution or redistribution of parts in order to reformat the whole. It is a strategy for reinterpreting value through a means of what Soichiro Fukutake calls Public Capitalism or “using what exists to create what is to be”.

In Seaside to develop a new value proposition requires the production of a new framework. This thesis posits that through a strategy of reappropriation, the boardwalk, which has historically functioned as both an iconic space and the financial lifeline of the town, can become the catalyst of a new spatial, economic, and social potentials. It argues that a simple reorientation of the familiar path could set into motion a series of structural and spatial changes that would promote resiliency and redefine both the experiential and financial value of a place.

This is a “big idea”. It is an idea that would undeniably entail the use of eminent domain and an extraordinary amount of resources.  It is an idea that banks on the long game and proposes to take a road not often traveled.  It is also an idea that is in service of both the few and the many. It considers the homeowner, who will be afforded an opportunity to reinvest in a more resilient home, as well as the seasonal community that will be provided with a destination for enacting traditions both new and old.  

The idea demands new designs for zoning policy, infrastructure elements, and architectural features that would be charged with operating at the critical junctions between new functional demands and past experiential qualities of the place.  Designs must blend the fundamental essence of the boardwalk - the leisure activities of strolling, viewing, congregating, vending, spending, reflecting, and amusing - with strategies for smart investment and redevelopment - resilience and earning potential.


This thesis calls into question the role of architecture and the architect.  It speculates that architectural thinking has a place in the conversations between financial experts and policy-makers that inevitably define the built landscape. It recognizes natural disasters and shifting social norms as critical moments to re-think both architectural form and its mode of production. It argues that with tragedy and change, perhaps there exist opportunity difference and triumph, And, it proposes that when the damage is beyond repair, architecture can be instrumental in creating new and necessary futures.



Contingent Processing: The Making of Episodic Architecture

Written: September 2012

The following is a series of excerpts from my thesis at the Architectural Association.


PROVIDING A FRAMEWORK  |  The intention of this thesis is to develop a framework to provide knowledge and a flexible methodology for creating episodic architecture – that is by definition smart spatial design to support and enhance temporary cultural events in the city.  This thesis proposes that using this framework will allow for a predetermined and permanent afterlife for design elements that guarantees sustainability as an inherent feature of the process and that the feasibility of multi-phase episodic architecture projects is reliant on simultaneous engagement of both public and private sectors(….)  

Contingent and Processing are two terms that will occur often in this thesis.  Both were selected for the relevant potential of their multiple meanings.  Contingent is defined first as “conditional / varying based on circumstance”, and second as “a collective within a larger network”. The first definition refers to the manner in which the design process of episodic architecture must perform.  A fundamental aspect of this process is the ability to make productive adjustments when necessary and to adapt to evolving conditions.  The second definition refers to the idea that episodic architecture exists in an expert creative network.  When understood as matters of concern, episodic architecture, along with its creators, become actants in the larger network of ‘spatial culture’ (Latour p303).  The second term, Processing, refers, most obviously, to the idea of design as an active and evolving process, which is an argument at the crux of this thesis.  Alternatively, the term can also mean, “to carry out operations on data or programs”(1). This second definition alludes to the importance and influence of technology on episodic architecture.  Without the accelerated technological advances of the past decade these projects simply could not exist.   

REALITY CHECK  |  In 2010, LSE Cities, a Deutsche Bank funded research program at the London School of Economics, published a volume of research on the urban condition.  The circulated research highlighted three important points, amidst many, relevant to the creation of the framework generated by this thesis.  

[1] Why urban? Cities are growing. The United Nations has predicted that by 2050 the world’s population will be between 9-10 billion (UN DESA 2011), three quarters of which will dwell in cities (LEC pg34). This urban growth and densification will require, amongst many other things, that society develop programs to support smart use of efficiently planned spaces.  

[2] Why cultural? Urban human potential is increasing.  The Human Development Index (HDI), which measures education attainment, life expectancy, and economic development, is universally increasing at rates that indicate a more uniform global distribution (LEC pg40).  Higher HDI levels reflect the potential of cities to provide occupants with better hard and soft infrastructure that sustain an overall improved quality of life.  This means that, in addition to improvements in sanitation, and transportation, there will be a demand for new cultural spaces and events in the city.

[3] Why multiple phases? Urban work is shifting.  Major cities across the globe are transitioning from manufacturing to knowledge-based economies (LEC pg264).  Movement away from economies of physical production means increased difficulty in sourcing local building materials for architecture projects in the city.  Resultant transport distances for attainable construction materials will add to projects’ overall carbon footprint(2). The economic transition from industry to information is necessary for progress, and so it is thereby necessary to adjust to these new conditions by developing new strategies.  Adaptive reuse of local spaces and materials will be a key tactic in sustainably navigating the changing nature of 21st century cities.

Consideration of these three points is critical in generating ecological urbanism, a concept that aims to sustain our evolving urban condition(3)(Mostafavi pg17).  Architects, engineers, planners, scientists, artist, sociologist, alongside urbanists have been developing creative projects that explore the conflict between the natural environment and man-made cities for centuries. The current generation of these thinkers has already been set to work: investigating strategies for productive urban landscapes, developing minimal spaces that maximize quality of life, and designing public spaces that intelligently salvage and adaptively reuse materials.  The continuation and further exploration of these core ideas is fundamental to the development of episodic architecture.

THE ARCHITECTURE THAT WE KNOW  |  Architecture has historically operated within innumerable contexts across scales, philosophies, cultural ecologies, political movements, and economic models, consistently undertaking not only edifice but also objects and space, itself, as an entity to be designed.  The 1932 International Exhibition of Modern Architecture at MoMA New York, married architecture and technology in the public eye through Modernist ideals and from that point forward technology became an inextricable part of the making of architecture.  Digital design tools have since defined and redefined the style and formal qualities of architectural projects infiltrating ideas about fabrication, ornamentation, project management, and conceptual design.  Still, despite these explorations, an unwavering image of the architecture is that of brick and mortar, and with the exception of a few temporary installations traditional architectural typologies have remained unchanged. Episodic architecture aims to counter this stagnation and re-envision the potential and shape of the typical contemporary architectural projects that exist in our cities.

THE LIVES THAT WE LEAD  |  The 21st century city is a complex dynamic network thriving on systems of interconnected domains of capital, which contemporary urban theorist Charles Landry (2008, p60 & xlvii) separates into fields of human, social, cultural, intellectual, scientific, creative, democratic, environmental, leadership, financial, and time.  It is the capitol of time, that allows (or disallows) for the construction, usage, and longevity of urban spaces.  The acceleration of time, via constant updates to digital technology and the over-saturated information landscape that we traverse daily, has propelled society into a culture of rapid speed and endless flux bolstered by the ubiquitous shifts and flows of urban transit systems, global economics, and cyber technologies(4).

Cities and their occupants have adapted relatively quickly to this new pace perhaps because our transient nature is not so much a coincidence. Movement is, after all, a part of innate human stasis – meaning that if ever the electrons, that constantly move about every nucleus which comprise all matter that construct our physical reality, came to a halt, then our reality would cease to exist as we know it(5).  The argument then is that if human-life is engineered by movement and transformations, then the built environment in which it exists should reflect this fact. Episodic architecture is designed to accommodate this societal need.

NEW SPATIAL NEEDS  |  Sustainable evolution requires that we understand and actively respond to our surroundings. In order to generate appropriate responses, it is necessary to consider all scales from the planet, to the built environment, down to the way in which individual members of contemporary society live. The current conditions at each scale, outlined above, call for environmentally conscious projects that may transform in order to generate various spatial designs for cultural exchange at urban centers. Episodic architecture answers this call by creating event(6) spaces, where the events are made of an indeterminate set of occurrences (Tschumi, 2000, pg13). For the purpose of this thesis, event space exists specifically at the intersection of a happening and spatial design.  



FINDING BALANCE   |  In Chinese philosophy, opposing forces are considered to be interconnected in a reciprocal relationship where one gives rise to the other and vice versa.  Episodic architecture embodies this principle as it addresses matters of permanence and accessibility – creating private temporary cultural event spaces pre-processed for a permanent public afterlife in the city(...)

What if….the Basketball Arena at London 2012(8) was reconfigured into hundreds of small public contemporary arts centers,  or the stall structures from Curve NY(9) fashion tradeshow were able to be converted into handicap accessible playground equipment in low income neighborhoods, or the dinner tables/market stalls from AoI 40°3° found new form as a rainscreen one of the new construction project at Matadero Madrid(10).

Each of these transformative scenarios represents a potential Two-Phase Design project, which aims to find balance between temporary and permanent projects by combining separate episodes and linking them through a common design lineage and shared materiality.  It proposes that privately-funded temporary events which require physical spatial design can be adaptively reused in alternative ways to create permanent public works that better urban communities; and, in this way two-phase designs provide a two-fold multi-demographic solution to increases in the Human Development Index noted in Part01. The process necessary to successfully generate these complex projects is reliant on a flexible design strategy, thorough design engineering, and intensive project management.  This process is defined as Contingent Processing.

THE DESIGN CONTINGENT  |  A core principle of episodic architecture is that collaboration produces enriched results within a well-managed framework.  This belief presumes that the disciplinary autonomy customary to architectural design must be abandoned in order to more efficiently and effectively produce quality work.  However, abandonment does not mean that architects should become “multidisciplinary” themselves and further exploit their stereotypical generalist role.  Rather, it calls for the development of an interprofessional team that taps into the expert within-discipline knowledge of each member, who ideally hail from various professional fields and global locations. Individual team members with ‘deep smarts’ from their field will speed up workflow by efficiently completing profession-specific tasks thereby freeing up space for group creativity (Napier  pg29).  Innovation and creativity can then be generated as a bi-product of the team’s collective intelligence(11).

The composition of the design contingent defines the potential of its collective intelligence and is therefore critical to its success. When assembling a team to create episodic architecture one must consider profession and persona, as both play a fundamental role in collaboration.  However, profession and persona are not mutually exclusive, so it is important to define all roles and then select individuals for the team based on ability to ideally fulfill at least one persona type in addition to their profession.   Personas tend to be related to people skills, work ethic, and life experience, while professions are directly related to fields of study and practical application.  The following are the 5 core personas necessary to create episodic architecture(12).

  1. Explorer(…)curious visionaries(…)worldly extroverted researchers(…)

  2. Inventor(…)creative intellectuals(…)concept designers(…)

  3. Strategist(...)pragmatic problem-solvers(…)goal-oriented realists(…)

  4. Conductor(…)quiet leaders(...)confident logistical planner(…)

  5. Nurturer(…)patient caregiver(…)the people person(…)

In addition the specific personas, episodic architecture also requires that all team members be “T-shaped” meaning that they have a depth of knowledge in one field, but enjoy a breadth of knowledge in many fields (Kelley 76).  A team of “T”s make cross-pollenating between disciplines and ideas easier because the “T-shaped” individuals tend to be inclined to be both teachers and students(…)  

The design contingent is proposed as a 12-profession assemblage with varying professional expertise.

1. Urbanist(…)reports on the city at a micro-scale(…)

2. Economist(...)is a macro-scale advisor(…)

3. Philanthropist(…)investigates social problems and cultural opportunities for public projects(...)

4. Architect(…)designs and organizes spatial layouts and constructions(…)

5. A|V Artist(...)uses performative elements to create atmospheres and experiences(…)

6. Designer(…)creates human-scale project elements(…)

7. Graphic Designer(…)produces printed and web-based materials to communicate the project(…)

8. Engineer(…)solves technical issues to ensure practicality, safety, and cost are achieved...

9. Operations Manager(…)oversees accounting, legal matters, facilities maintenance, etc(...)

10. Project Manager(…)organizes, manages, and plans each project from start to finish(…)

11. Event Manager(…)manages necessary connections to external collaborators(...)

12. Public Relations Manager...manages marketing and social networking(…)

The structure of the design contingent defines the many aspects of the design process - the most important of which is group decision making.  The entire team is involved in Networking and Design Processing, and these phases, not by coincidence, are the most instrumental in fostering the overall direction of the project. They require that the group reach agreements, not compromises, regularly on matters large and small. Success is achieved when all contingent members are able to contribute in order to shape a project that embodies the richness born of their collective intelligence. Collaborating in this way provides a passive quality control mechanism during ideation, as no idea will pass through the process without being considered by each professional discipline represented in the design contingent. This fact ensures that episodic architecture will never be one-dimensional and will always be in tune with its surroundings.

ACHIEVING CONTINGENT CONSENSUS  |  (…)Individuals arrive at group consensuses regularly in their daily lives. Consensus is the typical process by which decisions are made on what to do, where to go, and when to act in a social setting.  Often times, several ideas or suggestions are made and the group agrees on one.  This is, of course, not a scientific method and there are many instances of disagreement based on individual expectations, motives, opinions, and desires.  However, generally, it is an accepted method for causal group decision making in scenarios where the stakes are low.  If, for example, the group decides to go to a restaurant that a particular individual is adamantly opposed to, then he/she can simply decide not to go with little or no consequence.  However, as stakes increase, so too does the level of difficulty in reaching a consensus.

Nemawashi (根回し) is a Japanese term, which is often translated to ‘laying the groundwork’.  In 2003, Dr. Jeffry Liker, a University of Michigan Professor of Industrial Operations and Engineering wrote the Toyota Way, a profile of the manufacturer’s lean management principles. The 13th principle is to “make decisions slowly by consensus, thoroughly considering options; implement decisions rapidly - nemawashi”.  The process, though time-consuming upfront, helps to increase the breadth of potential solutions by collecting ideas from all parties involved and then subsequently allows for rapid execution because all parties are in agreement on the path forward (Liker pg40). Nemawashi promotes communication of ideas and their consequences across project networks, relying on flexibility in order to synthesize design.

If the design contingent can apply nemawashi to collectively define the project’s concept and overcome the typical barriers to consensus that arise when creative individuals have personal attachments to a priori ideas, then moving forward to design development will become a fluid process(13).

PROCESSING NETWORK ENERGY  |  Being and staying flexible is an imperative of postmodernism. If you’re flexible, you relate – to space, to themes, to your own time, to history, politics and people(14).

In the late nineties, there was much discussion of how to navigate the new technological terrain. The discourse often broached the topic through speculations in formal potentiality validated by theoretical writings of the poststructuralist generation of French thinkers that include Jean Baudrillard, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Michel Foucault, Jean-François Lyotard, and Jacques Lacan.  In the haze of excitement aroused by the ability to produce never-before-seen 3-dimensional shapes and spaces, the approach regularly failed to recognize the relevance of process required to produce these new forms.  In 1998, Mark Goulthrope of dECOi wrote an essay on “Technic Praxis” in which he hypothesizes the experimental process energized by the internal dynamics of an architectural design project (Goulthrope 44). He proposes that time and force are inherent aspects of the “new” creative process and that force itself propels design into a new realm of cultural potential, in addition to opening the gates to the boundless spectrum of latent forms.  This notion of a force-based paradigm need not be limited to computation i.e. within-device technological processing. If instead, the principles of dynamics are applied to the entire project network, which may include computational processing, the potential for new forms of cultural projects exponentially increase.

Each two-phase design is situated within a project-specific network comprised of the people, objects, processes, settings, regulations, etc, that actively influence Design Processing.  These active elements and circumstances originate from sources either internal or external to the Design Contingent and exert a force on the form of design. Force, with respect to both time (sequencing and duration) and scale (magnitude), can then be considered as a variable of the creative process. It is the various combinations of these forces, when productively used as mediation tools that ultimately generate the look and feel of the final design.  Intelligent flexibility is required when working with network forces, to allow for the shaping and reshaping of the resultant output design while still maintaining an alliance with the previously established project concept.  In this way the project is never compromised by its flexibility, it is merely recalibrated.

For the production of episodic architecture, specifically two-phase design, network forces render the event spaces to the fullest of their cultural potential. Understanding the difference between internal and external forces is crucial to using them constructively.  Internal forces are relegated primarily to the design contingent members and the physical/digital tools as well as facilities that they require. External forces, then, include elements such as the public and private client entities essential for each project, design network partners, city/site specific policies, budget, schedule, and even weather.  Internal forces typically will have a greater magnitude than their external cohorts because they are the forces that ultimately sustain design processing.

EMERGENCE OF THE DESIGN LINEAGE  |  Roads may fork or by-ways be opened along which dissociated elements may evolve in an independent manner, but nevertheless it is in virtue of the primitive impetus of the whole that the movement of the parts continue(15)

At the onset of the 20th century, French philosopher, Henri Bergson, wrote extensively on the relationship between process and life, proposed that objects and occurrences alike are inextricably tied to the dynamic system of processes that brings them into existence(16).  Bergson hypothesizes that ‘pure mechanism’ is not plausible because in the wake ‘accidents’, life manufactures ‘divergent lines of evolution’ (Bergson 54). Considering then the force-based paradigm proposed by this thesis in Processing Network Energy, a singular and pre-determined project is not possible because the project’s internal and external forces will inevitably result in a non-linear trajectory, where junctions of digressive designs arise out of network opportunities and contingency plans.  This trajectory is the Design Lineage.

There are 4 categories for junctions in the Design Lineage: Tangential Work, Contingency Planning, Network Opportunities, and Multi-life Engineering.   

Tangential Works are the most divergent of all four junctions and accordingly they possess the most potential for experimentation. Tangential junctions occur at moments of traumatic phenomena during the Design Processing phase.  Traumatic phenomena can be defined as events that result in injury, damage, distress, disruption and/or termination.  Their subsequent tangential works are born of this incurred misfortune and attempt to translate negative incidence into positive opportunity by supplementing the design process with additional side or tangent projects – in essence finding good in bad situations through design. The end product of tangential works need not be aligned with the original project concept; however, it should serve to bolster the Design Contingent through increased within-discipline knowledge.  Tangential works also do not require a client – a fact that combined with their experimental nature and pursuit of new expert knowledge may result in the wrongful identification of the projects as independent and research-based.  This perception is most certainly false, as even in their most nascent state the work is treated as a new design project complete with a new concept to be subjected to the same Design Processing that it was born of(…)

Contingency Planning junctions occur when deadlines are nearing and things have not gone, per say, as originally planned – as they most tend to do. These junctions are moments in the Design Processing phase where creative adjustments must be made to move the design forward.  Contingency Planning requires that materials and methods be altered in pursuit of the project concept. They are typically tailored to have fast and tangible results.  If Tangential Works are forks in the Design Lineage, then Contingency Planning can be thought of as a bend.  Contingency Planning maintains the project’s original client and project goals, but represent an instance of necessary, yet still designed, mutation in the formal qualities of the final project(…)

Network Opportunities manifest themselves in the Design Lineage as extensions of other physical designs generated during Design Processing, Component Fabrication, or Phase 1|2 Installation.  Network Opportunities are afterlife scenarios for artifacts of the Design Lineage via a fecund re-appropriation process. They are the bi-product of network connections and usually require an agreement between network partners. The benefit of these opportunities is the great net gain from minimum input work for maximum exposure, a feature that augments the potential for additional future projects. These opportunities may include, but are not limited to, the creation of alternative temporary or permanent event spaces independent of their project of origin, the sale of an idea or artifact, or the public showcasing of formerly private work(…)

The final type of junction is Multi-life Engineering or the embedding of multiple designs into the project’s physical matter during the Design Processing phase.  Multi-life Engineering is not about reactionary design and retrofitting.  It is focused on pre-planning and prototyping to manufacture intelligent designs. The Multi-life Engineering junctions represent the major points along the Design Lineage logging the culmination of each phase of a project.  Multi-life Engineering is a fundamental principle of 2-Phase Design, as each project is structured to have at least 2 lives: a private temporary event followed by permanent public works project. The Multi-life Engineering junctions rely on digital technologies to predetermine two different formal approaches to solve different design problems using the same materials.  In order to achieve this goal, the Architect and Engineer must work closely together to resolve fastening and bracing scenarios in addition to component sizing, such that the solutions are flexible, removable, and/or adjustable to preserve the aesthetic nature of the assemblage(...)

The development of a catalogue with typical details to accommodate potential flexible scenarios for different materials will serve as a design reference, similar to Architectural Graphic Standards(19), in order to accelerate production time and sustain continuous innovation.  Innovation in Multi-life Engineering is reliant on an up-to-date knowledge of available materials, fixings, and technologies for custom fabrication methods required for the translation between the preset phases.  The catalogue of the information should be an ongoing piece of research that continuously develops with each element of each Design Lineage.  

Each junction on a project’s Design Lineage is a sustainable tactic.  Without waving a Green flag, junctions employ responsible design practices through their passive pursuit of an afterlife for project materials and methods.  Junctions do not have to proclaim their sustainable temperament because they can boast, instead, a robust quality design born of the Design Contingent’s collective intelligence. Multi-life Engineering broaches the topic of episodic architecture with a sustainable attitude with respect to the ratio of material life to project duration; and, in doing so, it becomes the singular most important part of 2-Phase Design.  It undertakes the necessity of embedding intelligence into structure beyond what is standard for architectural practice – an action that yields opportunity for both private events and public works.  The Robinhood-esque(20) scheme provides a mutually beneficial product for both client entities involved(…)

In general, lives seem to veer abruptly from one thing to another, to jostle and bump, to squirm.  A person heads in one direction, turns sharply in mid-course, stalls, drifts, starts up again. Nothing is ever known, and inevitably we come to a place quite different from the one we set out for(22).

Like the coincidences, chances, and occasional failures of Paul Auster’s plots, the junctions of Design Processing motivate action.  They pave a road map for the making of Episodic Architecture, actively calling attention to conditions that have always been a part of the production of architecture and resolving to capitalize on each part of the process regardless of circumstance.  The Design Lineage is “the sum (of) contingent facts, a chronicle of chance intersections, of flukes, of random events(23) ” that declare outright the importance of elasticity in the Design Processing.

NECESSITY OF A FIX POINT  |  For all of the agility and flexibility that Design Processing boasts, ironically the pinnacle of a Two-Phase Design is the Fix Point.  The existence of the Fix Point poses a time-based limitation, or control, on Design Processing.  This control is both an operation and a parameter.  As an operation, it transmutes the tasks of the Design Contingent morphing the looseness of their processing into a structured production program.  Conversely, as a parameter, the Fix Point represents the constraints and realities of deadlines. The Fix Point’s parametric manner renders it a constant and passive force akin to those previously discussed in Processing Network Energy.

By virtue, Fix Point is the point of ‘no return’ in a Two-Phase Design project when fabrication of components commences and construction/installation follows closely behind. At the Fix Point there is no longer need for design engineering, as all components have been thoroughly considered and prototyped during Design Processing.  From a practical standpoint, the thoroughness of Design Processing is an exercise in optimization that will mitigate the Sketch Revisions (SKs) typical to the construction administration phase of a standard contemporary architectural project and, in an architectural utopia, it would serve eliminate the need for corrections, clarifications, and changes following the Fix Point(…)


Part 03 : Managing Mutability

RULES OF ENGAGEMENT  |  Rules of Engagement (ROE) is a military term that refers to responses permitted in the course of duty that comply with the law of armed conflict initially established at the Geneva and Hague Convention(24).  There is no political agenda behind the use of this term.  Its relevance to Episodic Architecture is rooted in the mission of ROE to provide a legal framework in which military personnel should behave. This framework takes into consideration circumstances that may arise which require action outside of the ‘rules’ and allows a degree of tolerance for these actions with proper justification.  The same level adaptability inherent to ROE, as well as Design Processing, can, and should, be applied to the managerial sector of Episodic Architecture(...)

HURDLING DESIGN PROCESS BARRIERS  |  Bringing together people from different backgrounds to work together creatively to produce a singular project is anything but easy.  There are many barriers, stemming from issues of location, system, psychology, and physiology, which need to be overcome in order to create Episodic Architecture(…)Understanding that barriers will always exist in a project is crucial to productively negotiating them. The solution will rarely be the same, which is why establishing Rules of Engagement is the optimal.  Episodic Architecture is not produced by a leaderless Design Contingent; rather, it is the product of a rotating leader that adapts, much like Design Processing itself, by empowering particular individuals during the different phases. Thereby, the mutability of Episodic Architecture’s project management will work in tandem with the Design Processing that creates it.

ENTERING THE VOID  |  Tomography is a technique that uses transmitters and receivers to pass electromagnetic waves through matter to determine a materials compositional massing.  The process is used by geophysicists to locate oil and other natural resources that exists below the Earth’s surface.  To do so, the scientist typically drill boreholes on the perimeter of an area they are interested in surveying, fill them with the electromagnetic devices, and then measure the frequency and velocity of the transmitting waves to determine the porosity of the zone. Permeability is then measured by tracing fissures in the matter that enable the flow of material, such as oil, between voids.  In her book The Creative Discipline,  Nancy Napier compares this geophysical method to a means of managing creativity (Napier 191).  For the purpose of this thesis, tomography can be thought of as a metaphor specific to managing Design Processing.

In this comparative process, the bounded matter can be likened to Design Processing and the located voids might be seen as spaces for profession-specific ideation. Void spaces will manifest themselves as design charettes and circulating representations of ideas. The fissures in the system are analogous with the essential flow of ideas between the different professions involved in the making of Episodic Architecture, while the boreholes themselves can be considered the Design Contingent (transmitter) and Two-Phase Design projects (receivers).  In this model, more fissures equal greater permeability, which can be equivocated to increased flow of ideas between the team; and so, just like the geophysicists, where natural cracks are not present it is necessary to artificially induce them to create connectivity. The primary intension is to create a network of voids the enable a productive dialogue between the interprofessional team.



At the core of this thesis is an argument for assembly – the making of a of parliament of objects, processes and people that can produce Episodic Architecture (Latour MTP 27).   Without ever conjuring a complete specific instance of Episodic Architecture, in a deliberate attempt to leave its formal potentials untethered, the thesis explores the means and methods needed to produce urban episodes.  These episodes, which are defined as smart spatial design to support and enhance temporary cultural events in the city, are the by-product of a curated assemblage that is situated in both the public and private sectors.  Acting as a guidebook, but not an instructional manual, the thesis first explains the contextual relevance of these projects, second outlines the type of necessary human design input, then sets forth a strategy for design technique, and finally suggests how to facilitate the proposed ever-evolving process.

Translation is defined as the process of change or conversion to another form or appearance(26).  In addition to the Angles of Incidence event series, this thesis proposed Two-Phase Design as a category of Episodic Architecture that specially focused on the potential for temporary architecture to navigate the public/private threshold.  Within the last decade political scientists, have brought forward several theories on the “Third Sector”, which can be described as the intersection of the elements, goals and methodologies of the private (industry) and the public (government)(Napier 16).  The Third Sector is required to address issues that are not covered thoroughly by the operations of either sector.  The mass dissemination of culture is an example of an issue that commonly slips through the cracks. This slippage occurs because it is not clear who exactly should be sponsoring cultural events and accordingly both the public and private sectors fund a spattering of culture with a loose agenda.  In light of this problematic lack of clarity, many emerging businesses are now implementing Public Private Partnership (PPP) within their new corporate structure (Napier 16).  This means two things for Episodic Architecture.  First, the notion that there is market for temporary events in the city is valid; and, secondly, that the desire to create architecture for events navigate both private and public sectors, essentially solving multiple issues via one design path, is a powerful argument that positions Two-Phase Design very well to engage with the new PPPs as potential clients.  

In the Fall of 2008, the Harvard Business School and the Kennedy School of Government launched a ”fully integrated joint-degree program in business (private) and government (public) that represents an innovation approach to preparing leaders for a growing area of practice important to global society”(27).  The program is undeniably geared towards finding solutions to Third Sector problems that bridge the gap between private and public. This thesis argues that design can be a powerful medium to solve many of these issues addressed by the program through interventions in the built environment.  In this way integrating Harvard’s Graduate School of Design as a participant in the joint-degree program could be a lucrative initiative.  Doing so could pave a way for Episodic Architecture.

Simplexity is a theory about the relationship between complexity and simplicity. In his 2008 book titled Simplexity : How Simple Things become Complex (And How Complex Things Can Be Made Simple), Jeff Klunger proposes that complexity actually exists between the states of chaos and stability and typically appear simple (figure 30 – Complexity Arc) (Klunger 28).   As this thesis has described, the making of Episodic Architecture is complex.  It requires many purposefully moving parts to come together to produce two projects under a blanket one, which exists at the top of Klunger’s Complexity Arc.  The framework provided by this thesis aims to manage chaos and control stability to allow for complexity to resolve itself in smart and simple designs in the city defined as Episodic Architecture.



1  Definitions for ‘contingent’ and ‘processing’ taken from Dictionary.com

2  Carbon dioxide emissions from buildings are set to rise from the 2004 level of 8.6 billion tons to 11.1 billion tons in 2020 (UNEP 2011).

3 Ecological Urbanism is a term coined by Moshen Mostafavi, Dean of The Harvard Graduate School of Design, in a 2010 publication.  The term calls to light a new sensibility about the environment and the city, where the conflict between ecology and urbanism is resolved through design innovation rather than conventional solutions.

4 The Lives That We Lead is a summary of research from my previous coursework for the AAIS Cultural Generators Term Paper submitted on 23-Apr-2012 titled Permanent – Not Fixed: A Time and Space for Slivers.

5 The condition of the Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC) is a state of matter of a dilute gas of weakly interacting bosons confined in an external potential and cooled to temperatures very near absolute zero (0K or −273.15 °C) proposed by Satyendra Nath Bose and Albert Einstein in 1924–25 (Arora pg43).  At absolute zero, material is in BEC where it is hypothesized that particle movement stops, wave functions of electrons would disperse through the material and it would breakdown.  In BEC chemistry is  meaningless, thereby rendering material properties non-earthly.  However, 0K has not yet been reached, so actually no one knows (information from a survey internet-based physic forums).

6 In Architecture & Disjunction, published in 1995, Bernard Tschumi raises the question “is (there) no space without event, no architecture without program?” (pg139).  Also notable in the lineage of the architectural ‘event’ is that this concept was borrowed from French theorist, Guy Debord. and Situationist International (S.I.) of the 1960s (pg255).

7  The Blur Building was defined by it’s creators as ‘the making of nothing’. For the temporary Expo project, Diller and Scofidio considered how the architecture of a impermanent nonentity could have a permanent effect.  The team resolved approach the creation of a lasting architecture through the distribution of documentation that described the process of making the indelible spectacle of the blur (Diller 2002). Publically circulating this information was, for Diller Scofidio, to create an aftereffect long after it’s fog-infrastructure and bridges were dismantled.

8  The Basketball Stadium at the London 2012 Olympic Games, designed by Wilkinson Eyre, was conceived as a temporary structure erected of 20,00 sqm of lightweight phthalate‐free and recyclable PVC components and a portable steel frame. The intention is to relocate, and potentially reconfigure, these materials into a new arena after the 2012 Games have concluded (information from 22 July 2012 ArchDaily internet-post).

9  Curve NY is one New York City’s largest fashion tradeshow held biannually at the Javits Center. Every year Curve hosts over 250 different international and domestic sellers, who either rent pre-fabricated stalls or design and build temporary booths.

10 Beginning in 2005 with renovation work to the 148,300 square meter facility on the Madrid's newly developed riverfront, Matadero Madrid has become a living, changing space catering for creative processes, participatory artistic training and dialogue between the arts. It was created as a reflection on the contemporary socio-cultural environment, as well as to support processes for constructing the culture of today and tomorrow.

11  Collective intelligence is a concept explored in depth in the late 1990s, with the rise of Internet technologies.  French media scholar, Pierre Levy, a pioneer of the topic, noted that it is born of the idea that “no one knows everything (and) everyone knows something” (Levy p14).  

12  The idea for 5 personas was derived from IDEO’s 10 Faces of Innovation developed by Tom Kelley, the general manager of IDEO. The formulating of each character draws on Jung’s individuation theory written in Psychological Types, 1923.

13  An alternative to nemawashi, is the manner in which AAIS 2011/12 arrived at a concept for the Angles of Incidence project.  In a meeting with the “fresh eyes” of external tutors, the studio used a method of distillation - viewing each individual’s ideas as an entity of potential.  This method affords the opportunity to distill the ideas down to their basic make-up.  Once all of the ideas are exposed in their raw form, they can then be juxtaposed and overlaps can much easier be identified as well as agreed upon.  Fundamental differences can much easier be revealed when ideas are in this pure state.  It took the AAIS studio 6 months to arrive at a consensus for a concept; and, it only came about after each student’s design project was decomposed to its most basic intensions and those intentions were then compared with course goals and objectives.  In that moment, the concept became almost obvious (fig. initial project decomposition).

14  M. Heller, ‘A Matter of Posture’, in Sagmeister: Another Book about Promotion and Sales Material, ed. C. Prod'Hom, New York, 2011, p. 64

15 H. Bergson, ‘The Evolution of Life -- Mechanism and Teleology’, in Creative Evolution, trans.  A. Mitchell, New York, 1911, p. 54

16  Writings refer to Creative Evolution (1907) and Matter and Memory (1896) by Henri Bergson both translated to English in 1911.

17  Steel is the world’s most recyclable material.  Worldwide, steel scrap is regularly collected, re-melted, and formed into new usable steel forms.  In 2008, more than 475 million tonnes of steel scrap was diverted from the waste stream into the recycling stream. This figure is greater than the total combined amount reported for other recyclable materials, including paper, plastic, glass, copper, lead, and aluminum.  In a 2010 report by the World Steel Association, it was estimated that by 2050 the steel recycling industry will have the capacity to recycle an additional 38 million tonnes - a figure that implies 90% of all steel used for construction, automotive, machinery, appliances, and shipping containers will be recycled.  The paramount recyclability of steel combined with advancements in production techniques that mitigate carbon emissions, make it a smart choice for sustainable design (World Steel Association pg3).

18 The Nigerian Hospiality House was sponsored by New World Nigeria, an initiative by the Bank of Nigeria, designed by Mappamundi Design collective.  The project brought together different professionals from across the globe to create a temporary event space that was exemplary of Nigerian culture.

19  First published in 1932 by Wiley, Architectural Graphic Standards (AGS) is a comprehensive resource for architects, builders, draftsmen, engineers, students, interior designers, real estate professionals. The book is a visual reference of typical architectural and construction data as well as details, which continues to change and expand with each new edition as it takes into consideration advances in the field.

20 Robin Hood was a vigilante in English folklore. His motto was to take from the rich and give to the poor.

21 The contemporary arts program at Matadero Madrid consists of a reading center, a design center, a cinema with an archive, cultural & art center, a music facility, a performing arts center, flexible exhibition spaces, restaurants, and cafes. During my time in Madrid, there were discussions about the potential of opening an architecture center/school in one of the undeveloped Naves. This is the site of the presented speculative Phase II Multi-life Engineering project for 40°3°.

22 P. Auster, The Locked Room, Penguin, New York 1988, p. 87.

23  P. Auster, The Locked Room, Penguin, New York 1988, p. 35.

24  J. Stewart, “Towards a single definition of armed conflict in international humanitarian law: A critique of internationalized armed conflict,” IRRC Vol. 85 No 850 (June 2003): 313-339.

25  The best option for dispersed creative collaboration is ConceptShare, an online collaboration environment that allows teams to live edit and discuss any file type. It handles video, image,  text, vector files alongside organizational tools and a text/video communication interface. Although ConceptShare does not allow for live editing of computation design it does have the capacity for file sharing. Frankly, the only pitfall is the cost, which unfortunately is more geared to its corporate client-based – HBO, BestBuy, EA, Sainsbury, etc. (Information taken from http://www.conceptshare.com/)

26  Definition for ‘translation’ is taken from Dictionary.com

27  Quote from HBS/HKS Joint Degree Program mission statement at http://www.hks.harvard.edu/degrees/masters/joint-degrees/harvard-university-joint-degrees/hks-hbs-degree


References (in order of appearance)

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AUSTER, P., 1947-, 2006. The New York trilogy – “Part 3: The Locked Room”. New York: Penguin Books.

BERGSON, H., 1859-1941., 1998. Creative evolution – “Chapter 1: The Evolution of Life -- Mechanism and Teleology". Mineola, N.Y.: Dover.

BURDETT, R., SUDJIC, D., LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND,POLITICAL SCIENCE and ALFRED HERRHAUSEN GESELLSCHAFT FÜR,INTERNATIONALEN DIALOG, 2011. Living in the endless city : the Urban Age project by the London School of Economics and Deutsche Bank's Alfred Herrhausen Society. London: Phaidon Press Ltd.

DILLER, E. and SCOFIDIO, R., 2002. Blur : the making of nothing. New York :London: Harry N. Abrams.

GOULTHORPE, M. 1998. The Active Inert: Notes on Technic Praxis. AA Files, No. 37 (Autumn 1998), p. 40-47

JUNG, C.G., H.G. BAYNES, and E.E. CUMMINGS, 1923. Psychological types, or, The psychology of individuation. London :New York: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co.; Harcourt, Brace & Co.

KELLEY, T., 1955- and LITTMAN, J., 1958-, 2005. The ten faces of innovation : IDEO's strategies for beating the devil's advocate & driving creativity throughout your organization. New York: Currency/Doubleday.

KLUGER, J., 2008. Simplexity : why simple things become complex (and how complex things can be simple). 1st edn. New York: Hyperion.

LANDRY, C., 1948-, 2000. The creative city : a toolkit for urban innovators. London: Earthscan Publications.

LATOUR, B., 1999. Pandora's hope : essays on the reality of science studies. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

LATOUR, B., WEIBEL, P. and ZENTRUM FÜR KUNST UND,MEDIENTECHNOLOGIE KARLSRUHE, 2005. Making things public : atmospheres of democracy. Cambridge, Mass. :Karlsruhe, Germany]: MIT Press ;ZKM/Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe.

LIKER, J.K., 2004. The Toyota way : 14 management principles from the world's greatest manufacturer. New York: McGraw-Hill.

MOSTAFAVI, M., DOHERTY, G. and HARVARD UNIVERSITY GRADUATE SCHOOL,OF DESIGN, 2010. Ecological urbanism. Cambridge, Mass.] :Baden, Switzerland]: Harvard University Graduate School of Design,Lars Müller Publishers.

NAPIER, N.K., 1952- and NILSSON, M., 1967-, 2008. The creative discipline : mastering the art and science of innovation. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers.

TSCHUMI, B., 1944-, 2000. Event-cities 2. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

TSCHUMI, B., 1944-, 1996. Architecture and disjunction. 1st MIT Press pbk. edn. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

UN DESA. World Population Prospects, The 2011 Revision. 26 April 2012

UNEP - UN tool for measuring energy use and emissions may become industry standard

Permanent, Not Fixed - A Design Challenge

Written: March 2012

A slight woman dressed in traditional Indian garb peaks over a tall bushel of Autumn’s red and yellow chrysanthemums fresh from Columbia Market. A tall hipster in Wayfarers with hair that resembles Tom Waits in Down By Law weaves through the crowded pavement. A young urbanite couple strolls slowly, steaming coffees in-hand, perusing the vintage storefronts to escape the norm of their cash-rich time-poor lives. Each finds their way through the worn brick facades into the Ely’s Yard entrance of the Old Truman Brewery. The market is a buzz with buyers and sellers. The space, which from Monday to Friday is packed with white vans and black luxury vehicles, is overflowing with the brilliant colors of artisan crafts and scents of cuisine from around the globe.  

A boy bounces on one wheel of his bike. He pedals the circumference of the partially elevated pavers and explodes into the air. The bicycle frame rotates about its headset below him. The performance is in plain view from the windows of Museum Ludwig. It is early Spring and the sky is blue. His dance on the circular stage of Heinrich-Böll-Platz is broadcast via architectural reflections visible to the strolling patrons of the neighboring the Dom, Rhine, and Hauptbahnhof. The boy prepares for July. He prepares for the wooden ramps, synthetic surfaces, and steel rails that are laid annually in July at Jugendpark. The boy, a bit squirrely, grinds the short concrete curb in Ludwig’s reflection and focuses on what lies ahead. The BMX Worlds.   

A mother and child peruse a sculpture exhibition warmed by slivers of light piercing through the open steel shutters of Nave 16. A group of teenagers lounges on wooden chaises typing away furiously on their laptops in front of Intermediea’s office. A film by Luis Miñarro flickers under the dimming striated lights of La Cineteca and electrobeats escape from Nave de Música quietly thumping in Plaza Matadero under the animated conversations of its café’s clientele. The sky is magenta in the twilight causing the terracotta-colored bricks of the former slaughterhouse’s Neomudejar architecture to almost glow.  It is Friday 18:00.

Urban Analysis  Urban public spaces are the ventricles of cities. They activate and stimulate the city’s principal resource – its people, its ‘lifeblood’ (Landry 2008). People need spaces to accommodate interaction, engagement, and exchange in their day-to-day lives. Regardless of whether it takes the form of shopping at weekend market, attending a festival, or simply rendezvousing for a coffee in a public square, these experiences in physical space are crucial to the health of both the city and its inhabitants. In addition to these enrichment-based programmatic demands, the diverse occupants of cities require public spaces that create room for the various cultures, professions, politics, and speeds that define our urban environments.  

In housing the extensive variety demanded by cities for their urban public spaces, it is essential to compose what Karen Franck and Quentin Stevens have defined as ‘loose space’ (Franck 2007). Loose space is characterized by the ability of physical form to facilitate various activity, both planned and unplanned.  Loose space capitalizes on the potentials and possibilities of public space.  It relies on public appropriation of urban spaces, variation of tension in the built landscape, resistance to economic, social, and political forces, as well as the discovery of these spaces through urban experience and exploration (Franck 2007, p28). What loose space does best is address the issue of complexity in urban place - by considering the specificity of usage as undefined and then performing an analysis of local spatial needs, a framework can be generated for flexible urban public space.  This framework affords opportunities for fixed, permanent, portable and temporary spatial works to be created in the built landscape.

21st Century cities are complex dynamic ecologies. They are systems of interconnected domains of capital, which contemporary urban theorist Charles Landry (2008, p60 & xlviii) outlines as fields of human, social, cultural, intellectual, scientific, creative, democratic, environmental, leadership, financial and time.  These forms of capital are the bio-matter necessary to construct urban public space and in their countless compositions they can provide a wide-array of spatial works.  Within urban ecologies the most important of these commodities is time because it is directly linked to every other domain through its inevitable impact on communication, production, and opportunity for activity. It is time that allows (or disallows) for the construction, usage, and longevity of urban spaces; ergo, it is time that truly dictates our urban experience.

Constant updates to digital technology and the oversaturated information landscape that we traverse daily have propelled us into a culture of rapid speed and endless flux. Smart phones, mobile apps, social networks, and the Internet have morphed our universal societal values – shifting gratitude and desire from designed objects to fleeting experiences – a fact that further emphasizes the necessity for loose space.  However, we cannot be blamed for our altered, seemingly shallow, sentiments when it comes to desire for quick-fix experience instead of extravagant artifacts. This attitude is the direct result of our routine interaction with technology: every iDevice that we purchase is outdated in 3 months, every App is old news by the end of the week, and every new social networking service is instantly a fading fad.  In major metropolises where mobile connectivity and web access are ubiquitous, this transient state is grossly exaggerated. With the emergence of this inherent temporality in our everyday lives, comes a curious condition where experience, space, and architecture become haphazardly misaligned. In this misalignment arises a conflation of the terms ‘permanent’ and ‘fixed’.  

Spatial Strategy   Permanent and fixed are nomenclatures that describe stillness. They are words that conjure architectural images of the Pantheon, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Kremlin. These words portray objects that are heavy, rooted, and thereby static. By definition, to be permanent means to exist perpetually, to be everlasting, especially without significant change. Similarly, to be fixed means to be definitely (and permanently) placed, to be rendered stable, or be stationary. In the definitions of these two synonyms, there is an important discrepancy - permanence is a quality of time, and fixing is an attribute space.   

By considering fixed-permanent as a space-time construction, we can evaluate the necessity of their synonymous relationship and explore, in it’s deconstruction, the terms’ disassociation with each other. In doing so, we afford ourselves the opportunity to apply the disassociated words to the dynamic ecologies of our 21st Century cities. The series of urban illustrations that began this essay are depictions of three different types of fixed-permanent scenarios across Europe. The scenarios are examples observed in the three cities that the Architectural Association Interprofessional Studio is working in during the 2011/2012 academic year.  

Type 1:  Permanent Program | Fixed Architecture | The first scenario is taken from London’s Brick Lane during its Sunday markets in the mid-October. It reveals a diverse cross-section of people that visit this weekly marketplace, which is housed in the architectural conversion of The Old Truman Brewery. The physical conversion of the architecture was minimal, as the walls are still composed of primarily original brick and aside from the occasional addition of a storefront window system, handicap accessibility upgrade, and a few essential contemporary fittings, the physical space remains quite similar to original brewery space minus the large copper vats. The serious alterations occurred in the programming of the space. The new architecture is dual-functional and provides space for two specific programs. From Monday-Saturday it functions as private car park primarily utilized by professionals hailing from the nearby skyscrapers of the City. Then every Sunday, the space is taken over by the Sunday(Up) Market - stalls are erected and filled with local artisan crafts and a plethora of ethnic culinary vendors line the eastern perimeter. The space for this Sunday market accommodates two permanent programs within a fixed architecture where the space acts as a container for stable programs that reflect the urban context in which it is set.

Type 2:  Recurrent Program | Adaptable Architecture | Scenario 2 initially depicts the misuse of an urban public space in the center of Cologne. It demonstrates the potential for unplanned activities to occur within the urban context ie loose space.  In addition to depicting the boy on his bike using various existing urban edges and forms to practice his skills, the second scenario also notes that the reason for the boy’s practice is the BMX Worlds 2012 in Jugendpark.  Jugendpark has a rich 28-year history of national and international BMX events, and since 1994 the Worlds has been a steady guest at this Rhineland metropolis. The event is composed of the temporary structures build–up of wood, steel, synthetic surfacing, and rammed-earth that create a wonderland of obstacles in the park that resemble various urban furnitures and spaces. These constructions compose the competition zones, “Dirt, Park, and Street”.  Additionally, festival-style food stands and music tents clutter the competition landscape.  After 3-days of intense program, the Worlds is broken down and the park returns to its normal state. This type of fixed-permanent project showcases a temporary architecture that is erected specifically for a particular event that will occur at multiple points across time. This scenario allows for architecture to develop in parallel to programmatic demands, and promotes the evolution of program-specific architecture with each new slightly different annual installation.

Type 3:  Flux Program | Fixed Architecture  |  Much like the first scenario, the third deals with a on-going conversion of early 1900s architecture. The renovation of an old slaughterhouse into a center for contemporary arts at Matadero Madrid has created a public stage for a multitude of creative projects in various mediums.  The Matadero is an excellent example of fixed architecture that can accommodate program that is in flux. The projects that occur within the Nave 16 are confronted by few regulations and vast open space for design, while the other Naves have been updated to specifically address programs of cinema, theater, music, food, and creative networking/management. The variation in programs within the fixed architecture of the Matadero allows for creative spatial overlaps and a constantly changing public program.

Each of these examples utilizes program as a means of analyzing permanence and architecture as a mode of measuring fixed space.  The different combinational levels of program and architecture define a wide-range of design projects that are focused on supporting the public activities that are demanded by the city’s dynamic ecology. Understanding that the city is constantly evolving and that the design of transient space is essential to both growth and regeneration, is essential for creating viable urban spaces that harbor the fourth-dimension of the city – time (Bishop 2012 p19).  In his book with Lesley Williams, Peter Bishop (2012 p189) imagines that new strategies for urban planning will “promote looser visions rather than idealized end states” and that these visions will be made possible through a ‘tactical approach’ that acts as a framework which can respond to contemporary shifting urban conditions.   

Architectural Means & Methods   Thus far this essay has been an analysis of the fixed-permanent in urban public spaces. It has provided arguments for the necessity of loose spaces that can be the product of many different combinations of ‘fixed’ architecture and ‘permanent’ program. The second part of the essay, will propose the various means and methods for creating permanence through the media, material, and spatial residue of temporary architectural projects.  The means and methods of these projects prove that through processes of projective misuse and adaptive reuse, temporary cultural projects are essential to the continued cultivation of 21st Century cities.

Architecture of An Afterlife   In 1851 Joseph Paxton completed a project, dubbed the “Crystal Palace”, as the centerpiece of the first World Expo, the Great Exhibition in London’s Hyde Park. The Crystal Palace was designed as an icon of architectural innovation located at the beginning of a century-long lineage of pavilions and monuments, which have served to demonstrate a global commitment to the application of technological advances in the built environment.  With the exception of a few icons including the Eiffel Tower in Paris (1889), Mies van der Rohe’s Barcelona Pavilion (1929), André Waterkeyn’s Atomium in Brussels (1958), and Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome in Montreal (1967), Expo pavilions are usually showcased for several months and then are dismantled and removed from the site as debris. Although, the issue of the permanence of these structures began immediately in 1852, when a mere 6 months after the Great Exhibition opened there was royal panic over the need to relocate the Crystal Palace to Sydenham Hill in order to preserve it; the issue of permanence has never had such an international spotlight as it had for “Better City, Better Life” Shanghai 2010.

The Shanghai Expo featured projects by 190 countries and 50 international organizations and all but four Chinese pavilions were slated for demolition or removal following the 6-month show (Plafker 2010). “Better City, Better Life” was the first of its kind to exist in an actual global economy, take on the urban condition as its explicit theme, and wholly consider a ‘sustainable’ relationship between natural and technological systems (el-Khoury 2010 p13). These factors played an inextricable role in the development of Heatherwick Studio’s design of the UK Seed Cathedral.

One of the most interesting design elements of The Seed Cathedral, known to many as Dandelion, is its creative approach to developing a strategy for permanence. A partnership between UK-based Kew Royal Botanic Gardens and Kunming Institute of Botany in China, supplied the Seed Cathedral with 260,428 seeds from 900 species of wild and domesticated plants, which were then inserted into the end of each acrylic rod that formed the ‘hairy’ surface of the pavilion (Goodwin 2011 p80). After the 6-month show when structure had been dismantled as previously planned, the seeds from the 60,000 rods were publicly sold for the price of 200 yuan with the help of Taobao.com. The seeds sold out in 2 minutes. China Radio International’s Andrea Hunt reported that originally the seeds were to be sent to schools and research institutions so that the UK pavilion could sponsor continued education in biodiversity, but auctioning the seeds off to ordinary people allowed for greater dissemination (Hunt 2010). Through execution of this strategy, each new plant that is grown from the sold seeds will become a permanent part of the Seed Cathedral project.

Other examples of addressing permanence in world exposition pavilion projects can be found in Peter Zumthor’s Swiss Sound Box at the Hannover Expo (2000) and Diller Scofidio’s Blur Building at the Swiss National Expo in Yverdon-Les-Bains (2002). Both of these projects also considered their permanent legacy to be of great importance and developed interesting strategies to ensure a lifespan beyond the typical 6-month period of an expo building.

The Swiss Sound Box, curated as a ‘physical, sensual event’ to exhibit Swiss history, culture, economics, and politics, was erected of 12 wood-stacks on 10/20 cm beams rotate to each other to form a labyrinth (Hönig 2000 p5).  The wood stacked in the North-South direction was extra-hard Douglas pine and those spanning East-West were made of highly-water resistant Larch (Zsolt 2006). After the Expo, the Swiss Wood Industrial Association sold nearly every cubic meter, totaling 135 km to 5 different countries including England, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Half the sold wood was used in the construction of prefabricated homes, an additional 30 percent was used for small scale design projects including domestic flooring, garden furniture, and children’s games, and the remaining hundred plus cubic meters were donated to local non-profits (Zsolt 2006). Through carefully calculated distribution of the project’s materiality, The Swiss Sound Box will live-on in the form of many projects across Europe. It will have permanence in physical form, but also through the potential of the shared stories regarding material history via its new owners.

Likewise, the Blur Building, which defined itself as ‘the making of nothing’, considered how the architecture of a temporary nonentity could have a permanent effect.  The team determined that the only means of creating a lasting architecture, in addition to the indelible wow-factor of the Blur Building, was to document the process and sell it as a piece of the project (Diller 2002). Publically circulating process was, for Diller Scofido, similar to distributing the wood stacks of the Swiss Sound Box.  And although, for several months prior to the building’s demolition in Autumn 2003, the locals outnumbered visitors at the site and argued that the project should stay because of the beauty of it’s spectacle was so closely tied to the spa-town of Yverdon’s livelihood; it’s fog-infrastructure and bridges were eventually dismantled and only the books detailing its process remain (Hill 2006 p96).  

All three instances of expo architecture described above provide an example of how temporary projects in the built landscape can create permanence through the creative physical dissemination of media and materials. They underline how the processes of projective misuse – the design process whereby artifacts are utilized with the intention of having an afterlife as something else  - can create an enduring architecture.

Conclusion   This past month I found myself in Manhattan sitting at the MoMA’s Modern restaurant starting out the large panes of glass at people milling about the Sculpture Garden. The garden looked very different from the last time I took a step back to observe it in the summer of 2007 while Richard Serra’s “A 40 Year Retrospective” was occupying the grounds. Serra’s towering metal walls all but scream permanence, and yet they had been installed in first in 1993, then in 1998, and now again in 2007. The reinstalled versions of Intersection II (1993) and Total Ellipse IV (1998) had a very different presence in the space than did Picasso's She-Goat and Calder’s Black Widow, which comprise the permanent collection currently on display. I looked down at the names and years on the wine list in my hands, then back outside, and it dawned on me that “like a fine wine some things get better with age, but all things change with time”. I was sitting in an institution dedicated to showing the best that modern art and architecture has to offer via both permanent collections and temporary exhibitions, and what became increasingly apparent was the fact that the projects being displayed were increasingly a part of the past. At that moment, it occurred to me that in a world where architecture is shifting from the permanence of the Coliseum to temporary events, such as the AAIS’s Angles of Incidence, there is a need to understand how things will endure. The continued cultivation of our cities will be reliant on loose spaces with varying levels of fixed-permanence.  Endurance is fast becoming our principal design challenge.  



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Gordon-Matta-Clark-City-Slivers,&nbsp;High Line,&nbsp;New York (1976)

Gordon-Matta-Clark-City-Slivers, High Line, New York (1976)

Sliver Space: A New Strata in Architectural Design

Written: December 2011



Definition   I believe that, however anachronistic it may sound, it is important to ask the fundamental question: ‘what is architecture?’. The creation of architecture must be a criticism of the problems of today. It must resist existing conditions. It is only when one faces up to today’s problems that one can really begin to deal with architecture.” -Tadao Ando in 1990 (Ando, 1996, p23)

The beauty of architecture lies in its plasticity, in its ability to calibrate to any particular context. The contextual information, which historically has defined the many forms that architecture has taken, is the product of perpetually changing technological, anthropogenic and climatic forces. And while a broad definition may constrain architecture to the design and construction of physical structures in the built environment, the necessity to respond to its context has never afforded architecture the opportunity to limit its ambit to material constructions. Instead, architecture has consistently operated within innumerable context across scales, philosophies, cultural ecologies, political movements, and economic models undertaking not only edifice but also objects and space itself as an entity to be designed.

Beginning with the primitive sedentary dwellings of ancient Jericho dating back to 9000 BCE, architecture has always concerned itself with utilizing contemporary technologies to cater to human behaviors. These constantly developing technologies include brick/mortar construction, assembly line manufacturing, prefabricated systems, audio/video projections, algorithmically generated geometries, physical/digital environment simulations and everything in between.  The development and/or application of these technologies to address a particular context is the very mechanism that has enabled architecture’s evolution; since the onset of Modernism, technology has been an inextricable part of architecture. Without projects that have designed and implemented new technologies similar to the Weissenhof Estate (1927), Buckminster Fuller’s mathematics of tensegrity for the geodesic dome (1940s), the bent plywood chairs and Case Study House of the Eames (1950s), USCO’s intermedia events (1960s), Tschumi’s follies at Parc de Villette (1983), and the temporary architectural installations sponsored by MoMA  at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (2000s), the experience of the built environment as we know it would be far different.  Each of these projects found its success by eluding its iconic potential and embracing a technological advancement as a design tool for the production of spaces and objects that subsequently informed future avant-garde spaces and objects.

Predictions   Up until the late 1990s, the relationship between architecture and technology was copasetic; however, as the world became more and more inundated with digital computer-based tools, i.e. apple products and the burgeoning World-Wide Web, there was an epic change in context and harbingers predicted a radical shift in architecture. They proposed that accelerated development of technologies specific to information exchange and globalization would demand an entirely new type of space in which to operate.

In 1998 Virilio (2000, p11) proclaimed that “The real city, which is situated in a precise place...is giving way to a virtual city”, which he terms the ‘meta-city’. Virilio paints a new image of the built landscape as he warns that globalization will inevitably enable the creation of a virtual ‘hypercentre’ allowing for the ‘desertification of rural space’, followed by ‘the decline of medium-sized towns’, and finally the dominance of ‘human hyper-concentration’ as the spatial norm (Virilio, 2000, p11).  However, Virilio’s future city is a space of hyper-concentration without physical interaction as “the aim is to make the computer screen the ultimate window” (Virilio, 2000, p16). Of particular interest to architecture is Virilio’s prediction for the alteration of the perception of reality, which we currently understand in three dimensions, with the addition of a “third dimension of matter itself: after ‘mass’ and ‘energy’, (enter) the dimension of ‘information’.” (Virilio, 2000, p119). It is this dematerialization of ‘real space’ as a byproduct of increased information technology that initially placed pressure on architecture to recalibrate in order to address a new context.

Virilio was not alone in his forecast of hyper-modernity. Likewise, architectural theorist, Sanford Kwinter (1996, p91), warned that “this boundaryless new medium of ‘virtual’ reality is… not a simulated environment… but a new space altogether… a new total institution, made possible not by confining walls and political, social and medical decrees, but by the seemingly ‘natural’ evolutionary convergence of telephones, data banks, computers, and televisions.”  In a similar vein, in 1996 Manuel Castells (2010, p407-459) proposed a theory for the future of spatial design and organization in The Space of Flows, which describes the transformation of space into a highly connected network of nodes and hubs as an effect of the current information technology paradigm and contemporary anthropogenic forces.  Castells (2010, p449) explains that the hyper-connectivity of space of flows will serve to blur the distinction between architecture and culture creating an ‘acultural architecture’ in ways that historical structures of stone, concrete, steel, and glass have never before been able.

Reactions   Although technology has continued to move forward at an accelerated pace, the predictions for the forecasted future city composed of this fluid digital space made by Virilio, Kwinter and Castells have not yet become a physical reality.  Despite the fact that the image of architectural spaces we experience have remained for the most part unchanged, it must be noted that the process of their development has been greatly altered by aforementioned technological advances, globalization, climate change and anthropogenic developments.

Over the past decade the production of architecture has been transformed.  Digital design tools have defined and redefined the style and formal qualities of architectural projects. Beginning in 1990, publicly affordable two-dimensional computer-automated design software quickly became three-dimensional, and over the next two decades, 3D tools rapidly evolved with developments in object-oriented programming allowing for the use of graphic user interface (GUI), NURBS, and boundary representations (BReps) to digitally create complex geometrical shapes and spaces. By 1996 individuals such as Patrik Schumacher, co-founder of the AADRL, were exploring new technologies through concepts for design research processes and ‘data-scraping’ as a means of translating parameters into architectural form and ‘abstract synthetic environments’ (Schumacher 1997).  Professional workflow also underwent transformations during this period, as changes to designs could be made quicker and more seamlessly using Building Information Modeling (BIM) technologies. Finally, project delivery techniques such as Bridging and IPD or Integrated Project Delivery, which restructures the traditional construction model by altering incentives and allowing for digital document and data sharing amongst stakeholders in order to eliminate issues with schedule, budget and quality, were being tested throughout the industry.

These production technologies along with globalization allowed for architects to work remotely all over the world; in the early part of the 21st century, it was not uncommon for an architect to have never stepped foot on the site which he was designing. Additionally, the demand for responsible sustainable designs to combat massive carbon footprints of construction projects was created by public awareness of climate change and resulted in new implementation of ‘green’ technologies alongside the development of eco-analysis software specific to architecture.  These new sustainable techniques also resulted in both formal and process-based changes in contemporary architectural design.  

Also during this time period, architects were challenged to address new anthropogenic developments specific to our new digital lifestyle.  Problems regarding scale and speed became pertinent spatial issues.  Architecture was met with two obstacles on this front. The first being the inability to overhaul current infrastructural systems, which hindered large-scale advances in developing the future spaces predicted by the harbingers of hyper-modernism.  The second being the accepted design solution, which manifested itself physically in the object design of the iPods, smartphones and laptops instead of the unconstructable predicted digital spaces (Greenfield 2011, p6).  These new devices placed virtual reality in our pockets instead of in our surroundings.  Susan Greenfield (2011, p6), a neuroscientist at Oxford University, explains that the placement of the portable screen has begun to liberate us from the “haphazard world of in-your-face three-dimensional life”, and yet it has only just begun the process of fusing ‘the cyber-world and ‘reality’”.

Despite all of these changes in the discipline of architecture, the unwavering image of architectural edifice, objects, and spaces has prevailed. With the exception of a few temporary installations such as Ernesto Neto’s Spicy Fleshy Wonderland (2010), and Diller Scofidio’s Blur Building, and the occasional Silent Disco, a marketplace still appears as a marketplace; a theater still appears as a theater; and a wall still appears as a wall. In his Requiem for The City at The End of The Millennium, Sanford Kwinter (2011, p42) explains that “Image markets are imposing their logic on social systems and are creating veneers.... design and engineering of images and image environments now provides a privileged lever for intervention, both within critical history-shaping systems of our contemporary world and at an unprecedented global scale. Yet design practice...has not yet even articulated, let alone met, the challenge of these new conditions”. The pressing question then becomes how can architecture express our new ‘social reality’ in everyday spaces?



New Strata NOT Revolution   This research paper proposes that architecture can address the new ‘social reality’, described by Kwinter, through the creation of new spaces termed slivers, which will situate themselves directly into the pre-existing contemporary strata of architectural design.  The term ‘sliver’ is borrowed from Gordon Matta-Clark’s 1976 film City Slivers, which is an investigation of New York’s urban landscape through glimpses and considered vertical frames portraying precise rhythms of pedestrians movement, vehicular traffic, and light against the static facades of Manhattan’s streets. Much like Matta-Clark’s entire body of work, City Slivers is characterized by unconventional aesthetic beauty and insight into the raw potential of space (Jenkins 2004).   

Sliver spaces are not iconic architecture; although, slivers will attempt to engage the eminent uniqueness of their context. Silver spaces are also not domestic architecture; although, slivers will consider how individuals interact with their everyday environments. Sliver spaces are not limited to a particular scale or program, and they are not specific to a particular style; but rather, they use contextual information and available technologies to formulate new spaces and objects that are familiar only because interaction with them is intuitive. Sliver spaces exist in the public realm in places that are under-utilized, unwanted, or undiscovered. Sliver spaces are the permanent physical by-product of cross-disciplinary collaborative efforts to address ‘social reality’ through the medium of ‘spatial culture’ (Kiendl 2008, p7).  

Space for Slivers   Although sliver spaces could be characterized by the physical fluidity and virtual hyper-connectivity forecasted by 90s architectural and urban theorists, they are not necessarily the embodiment of the predicted digital landscape. Alternatively, slivers spaces propose to utilize the technological advancements of the past decade to create a hyper-connective network offering the ability to exchange information, to cross disciplines, and simply to collaborate in ways not previously possible.  The production of sliver spaces, unlike traditional architectural design, will demand a forum of experts from various professional fields and global locations to define both spatial issues and their solutions.  

Unlike the fields of science and politics, architecture has frequently been plagued by a lack of a definitive problems to solve.  Consequently, architects have historically tended to problematize contextual issues and apply those problems to their projects much like the way an artist defines his subject matter.  The problems and accompanying solutions fabricated by architects are not out of societal necessity, and are thereby subjective.  Creating a team of experts from various professions would eliminate subjectivity and assist architecture in extending its creative potential to tackle new socially legitimate problems.  Champions of ‘disciplinary autonomy’ have attacked interdisciplinary efforts making accusations that the work is “limited to projects”, claiming “the blurring of disciplinary boundaries is an idea rather than a reality”, and that “such a dissolution of boundaries would be both unproductive and unsustainable” (Schumacher 2011, p94).  A counter argument is presented via publications such as MIT’s Grey Room, which since 2000 has dedicated its pages to bringing “together scholarly and theoretical articles from the fields of architecture, art, media, and politics to forge a cross-disciplinary discourse uniquely relevant to contemporary concerns” (Grey Room, Mission Statement 2011).  

The benefit of cross-disciplinary work is that the team can harness ‘collective intelligence’, which Pierre Levy (1997, p13) describes as “ a form of universally distributed intelligence, constantly enhanced, coordinated in real time, and resulting in the effective mobilization of skills.”  Collective intelligence is born of the idea that “no one knows everything” and “everyone knows something” (Levy 1997, p14). The production of silver spaces will challenge the convention of the architect as a generalist and rely on his ability to spatialize ideas and fabricate environments spawned from cross-disciplinary collaboration, demanding that the architect define his expertise. In this cross-disciplinary work, the expertise of each contributor becomes increasingly important to the collective whole.  This idea can be paralleled to theories on expertise in science studies that state “although scientific expertise is partial, its ‘gaps’ can be ‘filled’ by others with complementary expertise in relevant areas” (Collins 2002, p94); hence, the proposed desire to create a core-group of experts from various fields to address issues pertaining to our ‘social reality’.  

The concept of leveraging expertise by combining forces is not a new one.  Within the field of architecture, mega-firms such as ARUP, which began as a structural engineering firm, has been operating multi-disciplinary offices for the past few decades employing an array of specialists with expertise in design, engineering and management. On a smaller scale, IDEO is a design consulting firm whose team is built of product designers, anthropologists, computer-engineers, graphic designers, architects, etc.  Even typical architectural jobs rely on collaboration between consultants, contractors, manufacturers amongst others for their end success.  If architect’s could collaborate from the onset of a project with individuals outside of the architecture/design/construction industry, projects would be more efficient and more relevant to the context in which they are situated.

Making Slivers   Part 1 of this essay focused primarily on technology. In addition to playing an essential role in assembling and maintaining of a ‘sliver team’, technology is also undeniably at the crux of our every action and desire, regardless of whether we are attempting to escape its clutches or embrace it with open arms.  This simple fact makes technology a frontrunner for critical contemporary context to be addressed by sliver spaces. The fact that we are so immersed in technology and yet our built environment is still primarily analogue (due to iPhones, etc – see Reactions) creates vast spatial potentials – potentials for new urban spaces, new media spaces, new sustainable technologies, and new rules of engagements.

To date this research has been unable to find a project that fits all of the criteria for the design and production of sliver space; however, the following are likely candidates for the future production of sliver spaces: Latour’s Center for the Sociology of Innovation (CSI), Columbia’s Studio X, and any collaboration stemming from Blaine Brownell’s Transmaterial Network.

Permanence   The permanence of these sliver spaces is of particular importance for two specific reasons. The first argument for permanence is out of necessity to combat slivers’ historical bond to the temporary.  Because sliver spaces aims to create new environments and experiences, they have a logical place in a long lineage of temporary architectural/art installations/performances.  These short-lived works, which Anthony Kiendl terms ‘informal architectures’, are often “tenable counter narratives to dominant paradigms in architectural practices” and support the recontextualization of ideas about “spatial culture” (p7). Kiendl reflects on ‘informal’ projects conceived throughout the past half century that range from the spectacles of The Situationists, to the anarchitecture of Gordon Matta-Clark, to the performance/installations of Rita McKeough, to the photographs from Kyohei Sakaguchi’s Zero Yen House. Each of these projects addressed a particular issue within a particular context and fabricates ‘architecture’ through an unconventional medium; however, all of the projects Kiendl cites are fleeting. Contemporary sociologist and theorist, Bruno Latour might are argue that the fact that these projects are temporary is nothing to be alarmed about because not only are they still a topic in contemporary discourse, but at their inception they served the purpose of connecting the artist/architect to other individuals via the work.  Despite this argument, sliver spaces strive to break free from the short-life span of the avant-garde project and aim to construct spaces that can be revisited in order to reflect on a particular context for which it was created.

Latour’s Actor-Network Theory, and more specifically his work on matter of fact vs. matter of concern, is the second argument for permanent sliver spaces. In his essay “Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam?”, Latour (2004, p232) demonstrates that matters of concern are reality, not matters of fact.  Matters of concern enable us to see everything in its entirety and draw relevant connections between Actants, which are process/innovation, people, and objects in Latourian terms (Latour 1999, p303).  This means that sliver spaces are actants and when they are understood as matters of concern, they enter into a network of ‘spatial culture’. This network contains both slivers and collaborators.  The larger the network is, the better equipped the collaborators will be, and the more impact slivers will have.  In the instance of sliver space, permanence is directly proportional to network size. The larger the network, the stronger sliver and a stronger sliver the more likely it is to achieve its mission aiding in the evolution of the built environment.



Part1 of this research paper propose the following: [1] Architecture must the address contemporary context in which it exists; [2] Architecture by definition includes edifice, spaces and objects; [3] Architecture has historically relied on technology for its own evolution; [4] 90s predictions for the demise of architecture due to technological advances have not occurred to date; [5] From 1990-2010, technology impacted the process of architecture, not its image or  ‘social reality’.

Part2 of this research proposes a means of addressing ‘social reality’ via Sliver Space. It outlines the following criteria: [1] Slivers are a new domain within architectural design; [2] Slivers are public and permanent spaces; [3] Slivers are the by-products of cross-disciplinary collaboration; [4] Slivers leverage expertise and use collective intelligence to design projects; [5] Technology has created great spatial potential that Slivers seek; [6] Slivers are matters of concern, not matters of fact.

Within the ever-expanding spectrum of what may be considered architecture, there exists a latent opportunity for a new realm of spatial design in the evolved and augmented city - one that can only be realized through cross-disciplinary collaboration tapping into the power of collective intelligence born of individual expertise.  In his essay Four Arguments for the Elimination of Architecture: Love Live Architecture, Sanford Kwinter (2010, p23) affirms the fact that “the present is undeniably in a period of radical transition...(and) what is certain is that in the coming age we have lost the option of standing still.” Equipped with an au fait design conscience, Sliver Space will being to fill the gaps in our ‘social reality’.



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