Landscapes, Identities and the meaning of life

Rephrasing of project

My project is re-examining the landscape through identity.

The focus of the unit being the continuum, the project that I’m presenting to you is the continuum of a series of machines culminating in the ‘landscapes of the I’ The design is focussed around understanding space, in specific landscape, in a new way that is relevant to the contemporary context in which I argue landscape is not only bound to its geographical limits but perceived as an experience, transcending the material into the ephemeral and immaterial. I see our identity as being a continuum of landscapes, of sites. Each of our lives consists of many sites, mine exists at the AA, my flat in London, in The Netherlands, my commute over Waterloo bridge, on a holiday, in a way the site is a very disparate and disconnected landscape and yet it is connected through the continuum of my life. Our personal landscapes come into contact with identity other defining landscapes and start to collide and intermingle. My designed landscape is a multiplicity of sites taken from different people, essentially a collective landscape. The model that you see here is my current investigation of how to make these places spatially meet, interconnect and how they are displaced forming a space that is ever in flux. The apparatus of my project is landscape (the site) and the machine is the delivery of the it.

My designed machine reflects our identities as I see them, a string of landscapes merging and meeting with other(‘s) landscapes forming new spaces with each action.  

Why I think this is of importance to architecture, is because how we see and understand our environment is how we shape it, our cities and our landscapes, and in turn our environment shapes us, thus becoming an ever changing portrait of the collective self.


Current: Ghost in the Shell and why it’s relevant

The following is an excerpted transcript from Ghost in The Shell: Identity in Space, a video essay by Nerdwriter. It’s a good analysis of the ideas behind the movie and and quite relevant to my topic of identity and space. For inspiration purposes:

[…] Since most bodies in this future world are at least partly artificial, people locate their identities in their ghosts or their minds, but with the troubling knowledge that these also can be hacked. Memory, identity and humanity are all called into question. “All your memories about your wife and daughter are false, They’re like a dream. Someone’s taken advantage of you.” So how can a meditation on space illuminate the problem and theme of identity in Ghost in the Shell? Well, maybe the first thing we should say is that spaces, like identities, are constructed. Though space often feels neutral or given, like we could move anywhere within it, our movements, our activities, our life, is always limited by the way space is produced. In most places, but especially in big cities that production is controlled, not by the people, but by gigantic moneyed interests, state governments or both. And the same is true for identity. Spaces and identities are constructed and not always by ourselves. […] Cyberpunk has always featured these uneasy composites of multiple cultures. These are not utopias, but they don’t have to be imagined as dystopias either. The philosopher Michel Foucault called spaces like this heterotopias, places that exist in a dynamic state of layered and changing meanings. Heterotopias don’t succumb to those forces that try to make everything the same. They are marginal spaces for the voiceless to construct identities for themselves.

ghost in the shell

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