My final project is titled Interaction and is about harnessing the natural elements to create a space through its own means while embracing the seasons and becoming a space for people to come explore and interact with. The program I was assigned is “play space”, which inspired the idea of a pavilion that could interact with the seasons and transform as its own kind of play, one that took place between the structural element of the pavilion and the temperature changes that accompany the seasons. The idea of “play” is also communicated through the space which this pavilion creates; civilians and students will be drawn to the changing pavilion and feel a need to explore and interact with the space, ultimately interacting with the seasons and participating in the play which is taking place.
This project began with Keith Haring, whose work is full of action and excitement and, upon reflection, also contains an element of play. Through working in a Keith Haring style fashion and embracing the concepts of energy and movement in architecture came the material exploration with wax. Wax being a material which could transform and change with rising temperatures and then freeze in motion once cooled, I found it had a very strong connection with the concept of Keith Haring’s work, which itself seemed to capture movement and energy in a still frame. After the wax exploration and moving into the program phase of the project is when I completed my conceptual drawing. This drawing is meant to communicate the concept of energy and change while paying homage to Keith Haring and translating the idea of play. It feeds into the concept behind my pavilion by creating a visual that appears to morph and is inviting and interactive, just like with Interaction.
Interaction I is a 5×4 metre wide, 9 metre tall ‘floating’ wire structure which is located between the Architecture building and the Mackenzie building in front of the Mackenzie staircase and raised about 4 metres from the ground. It is suspended by wire cables to the surrounding buildings and has a bridge access from the Mackenzie staircase, causing it to have almost exclusively student access privileges, although any civilian who can gain access into the staircase would be able to reach the bridge and find their way onto the wire platform. Located all over the wire meshing that surrounds the platform are water jets that shoot out tiny bursts of warm water, which in the cold months of the year will freeze over creating a massive interactive ice sculpture people to explore and enjoy ultimately causing them to come outside in months that people would otherwise typically spend indoors. In the warm/hot months of the year, the bursts of water coming from the jets would become a cooling mist enveloping the wire pavilion and becoming something like a low hanging cloud providing overheated students with a ‘cooling-off station’ and also giving them the experience of walking through a cloud. In months of moderate weather, the pavilion would become dormant, as to create the suggestion of something to come, giving the onlooker the idea of action and energy through something that is completely stationary.
The jets are fed through a system of pipes which run from a water tank located underground running up into the framing around the wire platform and travelling through small tubes to the jets placed all over the structure.
For me, this studio term was about learning to embrace the conceptual aspect of architecture, which is something that I have always had a hard time with, and looking past the obvious to reach a deeper meaning. This studio term opened me up to let myself explore a concept or idea without a clear end result in mind and finding the ability to come to an end product that will ultimately have more conceptual meaning. It was also about exploring and taking an initial inspiration to multiple different levels and developing my mind so I can look into all aspects of an inspiration to find different ways to interpret it. I think for me my strongest difficulty was starting a project without a clear indication of where I want to go with it, so many of these assignments were very daunting at first. Over the course of the semester though I feel like I have figured out how to work in a way which involves coming from a point with no clear end game in mind and eventually reaching a conclusion through process work.