January jury notes & thoughts

Notes from jury:

– Project is too wide in its ambition at the moment, doing too many things. Grid/box as city-forming device, and shopping-city are two different things and the danger is that the shopping narrative may overtake everything else. Shopping should be instrumentalized in the project and not become either protagonist or conclusion. Also the link between the formal argument and shopping is not there yet.

– Shopping is overrated. (I agree).

– I really liked the way Maria summarized the aspect of duality in the project: that there are two cities; one thinks it is living a normal life whilst the second one revels in its own artificiality, almost mocking the first city whilst consuming it at the same time. The second city percieves the first one as a product. Perhaps the first city is not even aware of the second one’s existence?

– Project reads more as about the grid at the moment, rather than the box. If it is to be all about the box this should be more apparent in the design and the drawings (drawings are too conventional at the moment – if about the box I should be drawing only that and never the grid). What is the relationship between the two, does one enhance the other’s role?

– Need a better argument about the size of the box’s definition (1 mile x 1 mile), which currently is arbitrary.

– What is the geographical and political context? Although I am arguing that they are not relevant, will giving it a specific context challenge the project more? (not convinced).

– Is the city ultimately a massive Big Brother? The Truman Show? Like Celebration? If I am designing a dystopia, it needs to be grounded more in reality, to highlight the dystopian aspect of it. If an architectural dystopia, what are my real precedents? What are my city precedents, and mall precedents? Shin suggested that having a critical analysis of a precedent city in terms of its organization can help me design a more extreme scenario. In terms of a dystopian narrative, does context become even more important?

– What is the urgency of the project? Why is it important today to discuss alienation in the city?

– Maria said not to lose the subtlety of the recon, the ultimate incapacity of anyone or anything to break the box. Box cannot be anything other than itself and does not tolerate ruination. Is the ultimate argument of the project that you can not break the box, that it endlessly reconstructs itself?

– What is in ruin?

– Ricardo’s suggestion of some sort of material orientation device for this dystopia. How do you orient yourself in the space, how does the architecture become connected to what it offers, what is available? What can be the vehicle for this orientation (a catalogue?)?

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