Zagnanado_Not Just A Project But A Human Experience

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Zagnanado_Not Just A Project But A Human Experience 
Mathilde Dewavrin & Eva Feuillard with the contribution of Marion Konirsch

 

Project

Zagnanado is our ultimate student work. Developed during one year in duo, it has not been just a project but a human experience. We communicated all year long with lot of different actors of the project, from anthropologist to urbanist and most of all with the initiators of the project,
Located in the southern part of Republic of Benin, the project of Zagnanado is being developed with the Diocese of Abomey. The idea is to create a center for active listening and other psychological concept, between western practice and local culture. The whole purpose was to understand the territory in its totality, facing the programmatic ideas of the Diocese. We proceeded with a pluri-scalar study of the historic anthropology and physical aspect of the territory for example.
Last student project, we have build with it our own system of thoughts and vision of the architecture. We want it to be seen as part of a complex mechanism and phenomenal experiences. The project is built as an experience. More than the final object, we will consider the whole system of thoughts as the most important part of the project.

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Interview

Who influences you graphically? 

We like to see representation in Architecture as a process in itself. In one hand, we are inspired by Painting. From the naive universe of Douanier Rousseau to the surrealist work of Magritte we like to take references in the great names of Painting. We try to understand how they deal with light and vegetation, where are the limits between nature and construction and how is it revealed to the public. On the other hand, our work must be in some way connected to reality; with the process of collage, we try to bring a touch of realism to our composition. To represent an idea then, we mix worlds and images. Of course, working in Benin has been a very powerful source of inspiration as well, and a lot of our ideas literally came from Wax fabrics.

What is your take on the axonometric as the most complete form of drawing?

We would definitively use axonometric as a master piece in the project, the one that get everything in order, makes everyone understand it and bring the most comprehensive approach on the concept. But axonometric can also be a huge help in the conceiving part of the project, helping us figuring out the tridimensionality of every design.
Axonometric appears to be helpful for our apprehension of spaces as much as for everyone’s comprehension of the project.

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The axonometric is regarded as a very objective way of representing the proposal, if talking about experience why did you chose this form of representation? 

We choose axonometric for most of our representation really naturally. First of all, being a student project, we had to communicate quickly and easily with teachers and everyone who contributes to it. Axonometric was a way to put together atmospheres and reality of spaces in a very short time. It also helped us to combine a lot of different layers of component to really give birth to the project. Then, the design turned out to be a lot about combinations, associations and multiplications of a single structural model. We figured out we could play with it as a puzzle game. At the end, axonometric helps us to link metric space with living space.

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We live in the age of experience, how does this influence the way you think and build a project? 

Experience means failure and success. It means that doing something the wrong way is not only tolerated, but is also the key to understand truly a problem. Being part of this « age of experience » may force us to go out of our comfort zone and totally helps us embracing new projects. We also know we are not alone in this process, we stay connected with a lot of other experimenters by parametric design and open source softwares for instance.

What defined the construction of the perspective views? (parameters as -view point-figures included-what you chose to reveal etc)

The perspective views bring us close to the project, helping use to understand the human scale, the links, how we play with the complex topographic background. The two views are also here to express the temporality and phases of our project. Being represented from outside they embrace the complexity of relationship between outside and inside in Benin and particularly in the project.

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