The Crack In The Wall_A Manifesto For Connectivity
The Crack in the Wall’ approaches Architecture as an entity that does not sit in isolation but rather holds the power of continuous transformation.
The project addresses ‘The Architect as Project’, and we as architects never work in isolation. Buildings are designed and built as a series of fragments, referencing multiple scales and materials, with architects continually dealing with different scenarios.
But what happens in-between those seemingly discontinuous moments?
The project interrogates the spaces of transition and the moments of connectivity between the individual islands of events, artifacts and protagonists, which all together assemble one continuous Archipelago.
Using as a foundation the surrealist game of Exquisite Corpse or “Cadavre Exquis”, the project argues for an Architecture that is constantly changing by transforming itself to create new architectural readings. In the beginning of 1900s surrealist used as a reference the phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole and took as a starting point a plain sheet of paper and invented this collaborative game, which means Exquisite body. By understanding form as a 2 things as shape and as the idea that lies behind the shape, in exquisite corps the idea remains the same because we are always looking for either the head, the torso or the legs to complete a whole.
However, because of the crack on the paper the shape changes and so does the body’s Identity. Similarly to the drawing technique Architecture is NOT static.
Through physical and visual transformations this continuous archipelago takes us on a journey of a set of relationships. The architect uses the frame as his medium/tool to construct spatial continuity. Instead of using the frame to isolate, the architect uses the frame to incorporate with what sits outside the frame. The frame constantly swifts the relationship between the object and its function. Even though the shape remains the same, the idea of the object constantly changes and the space changes.
The object defeats its self and it becomes something new.
By reconfiguring and unfolding, the project explores architecture as a medium of change and transformation as opposed to a static immovable object.
Through these continuous transformations we see that the object doesn’t lie in its form, nor it’s shape or idea, but it is lies between the form and the performance.
With every move, architecture recreates itself, defeats its previous purpose and becomes something new.
Perhaps a new fantasy, but definitely a new reality…
The project is not a building. It is a manifesto about connectivity and assembly that uses architecture as a threshold as opposed to a terminus.
Who influences you graphically?
I am not limiting my self with a particular graphic style, but rather seek to find specific languages of representation to communicate each idea. I have always been inspired by artists and designers from different backgrounds that are usually beyond the field of architecture. From artist like Olafur Eliasson. to fashion designers like Olivier Rousteing.
I am fascinated by the beauty, you find in the details of small scale projects, be it furniture, a sculpture, a painting, a dress or a scene from a movie. I strongly believe that in order to create a new language for Architecture you have to look at other creative fields. I also love the challenge of exploring new graphic styles while trying to draw something intangible, like sound, smell and time.
In terms of architecture, I have recently been very attached to the works of, Luis Barragan, Ricardo Bofill, Carlos Scarpa, David Umemoto, and Mark Fischer.
What defined the graphic language for this project?
Using as a foundation the idea of the surrealist game “Exquis corps”, the project explores a graphic language that embraces the act of spontaneous creation.
In the begging of 1900s surrealist used as a reference the phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole and took as a starting point a plain sheet of paper and invented this collaborative game, which means Exquisite body. Someone draws on a piece of paper, folded it and passed it to the next person to draw on until finally the sheet was opened to reveal a calculated yet random composition. Surrealist in this way embraced the act of spontaneous creation in order to unleash their creativity.
Your manifesto really explores the notion of ‘The Medium is The Massage’, How inherent is this in the world of architecture nowadays?
In my manifesto the form of the medium embeds itself in the message and it creates a symbiotic relationship by which the medium influences how the message is perceived. The content it carries, was never the focus of study, it was the medium itself. In terms of architecture not only nowadays but looking back at in time, it is also the medium itself that shaped and controlled the scale and form of human association and action. Nowadays, the most recent and successful example I could think of is that of Airbnb. The content is again not the focus, but the implications of the medium, are responsible for changing completely the way we access and experience space today.
You explore a variety of mediums from drawing to, animation to model- How did each come into place in relation to what you were trying to say?
The project is a response our units brief “The Continuum”.
The brief was asking to explore context in relation to the Continuum’ How can a line interrupted by points, elements, events, or islands, become architecture? Even though I have explored various mediums, I think the most successful medium to deliver the message of this particular project is the archipelago or otherwise my device. (I am not describing it as model because when you talk about models you have to talk about scale and in this project scale was irrelevant.) From the very early stages of the project I created a prototype that could constantly transform and build affiliations between discontinuous narratives and subsequently describe and form the world of the project. The inspiration behind the performance of the device (funny enough) was a unique greeting card a friend gave me. Just using one sheet of A4 paper and with a specific folding technique you could perform the card in a continuous loop through consecutive stages that revealed different stories.
The folding technique played a critical role for the development of the project. It helped me experiment with the three dimensionality of the project and the performance of the archipelago. Moreover, it allowed me to talk about fragments, interwoven linkages, sequence, time and connections.
The drawings played also an important role, in terms of the evolution of the narrative and the sequence of spaces. Finally, the animation was key to figure out the choreography of my performance during my presentation.
If you could have another month working on the project what would you do?
If I could have another month I would continue working on the design of the archipelago, including more spaces, building more connections and experimenting with different materials. At the end of the academic year where finally I could see the progress and the conclusion of the project together, I felt excited by the possibilities of the performance and the potential for future development.
What defined the colour palette for each type of representation?
The monochromatic palette helped me to focus on the purpose of the project.
Even though, I have included different narratives within the archipelago, varied shapes, multiple scales, and spaces, the white colour brings everything on the same level, the Continuum. I used monochromatic palette for the design of the archipelago, because I felt colour would distinguish each individual story, where the aim was to design one continuous world.
On the other hand, while working on the drawings I used multiple colours because each drawing was a different narrative and a different space. The drawings meant to be read in layers and sequence, each time you flip the drawing another space is revealed. You never have the change to see them on the same level. As a conclusion I would say that the monochromatic palette highlights the continuity of the project and the colour the discontinuity and the fragments that sit within the Continuum.
Maridia studied Architecture at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. Her final thesis “The Crack in the Wall” was awarded with the AA Honours award and nominated for the YTAA award by Fundació Mies van der Rohe and the RIBA Silver President Medal. During her year out after completing the AA Intermediate School she gained practical experience as an architectural assistant at Zaha Hadid Architects and Falconer Chester Hall.