Through my research of the doppelgänger and the act of pastiche, I investigated these themes by placing them to our site in Anaklia by creating a mind map.
Anaklia is a rural town located in Western Georgia on the Black sea coast with a small population, apart from seasonal tourists. Since the 1960’s Anaklia has been promised a new deep-sea port that would bring a new city, new jobs and a new life to the people of Anaklia.
While waiting, the people have no choice but to absorb the propaganda about their future. The main source of the propaganda is the ‘Anaklia Magazine’ as it works as autonomous element. There is a distinct difference of perceptions and expectations between the private sector that is selling this future idea and the locals as the sector receiving it.
There is a lack of ownership of ideas by the locals and they are allowing this propagandist myth to unfold..
While trying to understand tis propaganda I used their existing magazines and analysed how they are trying to persuade the locals on how this is what they want.
The project proposes a mockery approach to the propagandas of the deep-sea port and uses them to generate the “dream lifestyle” in Anaklia. The ideology of the ‘Anaklian Dream’ will unravel through the way it is produced and propagated in a neo-liberal way.
It is a gesture that is selling architecture as an image, that projects the dream lifestyle, by propagating architectural needs to residents of Anaklia.
The site will be located at between the coastline development the previous president had started that now is mainly abandoned hotels and between the end of the old town road. This is to enhance the irony of the “propagated” idea that is to be sold to the locals.
There are instances in America and Japan where after the war their needed a quick solution for their housing problem. Their introduced the model house that could be shipped to you within 2-3 weeks and you were available to select the colour of your roof allowing people to think that they were part of the design process but in real life they were propagated to think that way.
Conceptual collages of house the dream lifestyle could be propagated.
Studio DS3 began the semester by exploring the themes of monument, infrastructure, spectacle and duration.
Through these themes, I researched other ways of commemoration of a monument, that developed into the analysis of two buildings, San Marco in Venice (the original) and Piazza Batumi (the copy/ doppelganger). The research was further expanded upon my individual drawing as the reinterpretation of the theme of the doppelganger.
In addition to my individual drawing, we had a group drawing task in which we utilised our ‘common’ themes to create the projective view of our themes, “the monster” and the “copy”. Further information will be presented below.
Monument, Commemoration, Copy, Doppelganger, Pastiche
Through the exploration of understanding the terms of doppelganger and the act of copying the façade works as a device and a tool to read the buildings as it constitutes more as a “result” than an “architectural form” (Koolhaas et al., 2014). The main theme used to read the site is the act of the Doppelganger to further read this political territorial condition.
To further my research, I looked into specific examples of the doppelganger. These two examples are San Marco Piazza in Venice and Batumi Piazza in Batumi.
It is clear that the Piazza Batumi is a “doppelganger” of San Marco in Venice.
Batumi is a tourist town that in the last decade has been through a tourist boom. The need therefore, of something spectacular was developed throughout the city with extreme types of architecture. Batumi’s contemporary efforts to create links with Italian architecture are evident through various examples, as previously mentioned (Baniotopoulou, 2015).
There is a specific combination of images, symbols, capital and organizational interaction that not only functions on a semiotic level, but also directly references the literature of the network society above by highlighting Batumi’s efforts to secure its global city status. The act of the doppelganger adds a mythological layer to Batumi as it is a way of reading a projection of a “fake” reality that exists in Venice.
Batumi is an example of how our world is increasingly populated by spatial products, or the built manifestations of commercial formulas; (Easterling, 2014). Furthermore, Easterling lists a number of “unorthodox auxiliaries,” or techniques in which we can redesign infrastructure space: “gossip, rumour, gift-giving, mimicry, comedy, remote control, meaninglessness, misdirection, hacking or entrepreneurialism”. These techniques affect the stories, the disposition of infrastructure space, therefore makes up the act of copying/ The doppelganger (Easterling, 2014).
Piazza San Marco
Piazza San Marco Axonometric
Piazza Batumi Axonometric
Through the research of the doppelgänger, the act of pastiche and the themes of apperception and duration, my individual drawing was conceived. By exploding the prefabricated elements of the two buildings that have been analysed, one being the “copy” and the other the “original”; I was trying to unravel the question on when do you define something the original and when does it become a copy or if the prefabrication of elements are multiple copies of one original. Does that mean when you take away the generic form that seems to be the main element that makes the it the “copy”, do the prefabricated elements still contain the doppelgänger, as these elements are characterised as the act of pastiche.
Attempt 01// Understanding the themes
Attempt 02// Elements from both buildings exploding from generic form on both sides
Attempt 03// Separating each building’s elements on different sides while still separated from the generic form
Attempt 04// Mixing the elements// adding part of the generic form to show that the elements are devoid of scale
// exploration of grid with “disturbance of grid” //
By using the three of approach by three project, new idealogy of drawing was raised up by using of three element which is consistency of grid, disturbance of grid ( void ) and randomly grid.
This drawing shows that combination of three element (above ) how to create a a historical monument. Based on this oblique drawing, its clearly shows that consistency grid of column, excavation of plane surface and randomly space between another columns shows that’s 3 type of monument and collective memory.
The progress that I made on this task was useful as an architectural exercise however, I still needed to propose an agenda for my drawing. What is the outcome or what is it supposed to achieve? To help me reanalyse my interests and develop an agenda for this drawing, I looked into Piranesi’s Carceri drawings (below) and I took a step back to the IIT alumni memorial hall study. In these drawings, he imagined infinite space in the form of a prison that has a mass repetition of architectural objects i.e. stairs, bridges, columns etc. One quote that I feel is important for my drawing to convey is – “crisis of order, of form, of the classical concept of Stimmung, assumes social connotations.” M. Tafuri, 1976
I began to realise that what I wanted to test in the drawing was how an architectural space can be improved for the workers so that it is still efficient as a place of production, but also has a human welfare driven consideration. I thought firstly, to propose breaking the barriers of the typical plan (the external envelope and the structural grid) so that the architectural elements i.e. the walls are allowed to continue infinitely so this would create what seems as an infinite space however, this needs to be more clearly represented in the drawing. The IIT spaces for circulation would then appear as endless corridors mixed with smaller box like spaces. I feel this drawing begins to express my written agenda although I understand this needs to be less about producing the ideal factory and more about a condition between the mass of infinite architectural elements/connections and possibly the infinite space. I feel it’s also still too simple, could be more wild or abstract and clarified even further.
Also in this week for the Georgia seminar, I was particularly interested in the quote from Lived Transitions Blog – “fake facades with decaying interiors; deliberately aged buildings with clipped bronze ornaments, homogenized and sterile public spaces with cheap old-style street furniture.” Lebu, 2011. I felt this quote was important because it suggested the current architectural style of the capitalist state in Georgia compared to the Tbilisi Chess Palace (which was my chosen precedent building) and has sadly been left neglected due to the fact that it didn’t meet the socialist expectations of the government in the way it contains minimalist facades and the decoration is expressed within the inside – similar to how the game of chess works in the mind.
Finally in terms of research for an architectural element, I feel like a mass reproduced form with some sort of political significance that conveys the prefabrication and standardisation of technology in Georgia is the correct pathway to take. On the King’s cross granary square walk I thought specifically about looking into mass repeated structural connections like steel bolts, cables and plates and how these elements work together to provide a structural system or more importantly, a condition on a wider scale. I would then need to figure out how this structural system is symbolic of the building’s programme or why these elements behave in that certain way. The Georgian pipeline is a perfect example of such system with a repetition of elements and the form of each component can easily change deriving from the landscape so that is probably what I will focus on while at site.
From my interests in the previous weeks of large scale spaces and using the idea of architectural elements and spaces as a game (similar to the extract Chess and go), I decided to thoroughly explore and produce drawings of the Ford Factory in Dagenham and the IIT in Chicago by Mies Van der Rohe. These buildings use a clear structural grid as an architectural act to set out the building elements and a range of spatial layouts incl. double height spaces – even though there is a standardised grid or a “typical plan” which is defined by calculated geometries, the function of each space generally informs the boundary perimeters.
From this, I decided to research this particular aspect further in order to start a set of ideas for a reinterpretation drawing. The Typical Plan was a theory introduced by Rem Koolhaas which described a repetitive, flexible scheme constructed from a common language in the “external envelope, a technical core and a minimum of supports that achieved maximum profit from tacit human potential.” F.Marullo, 2014
This homogenous system was adopted by many architects and Manufacturing companies of the 20th century incl. Albert Kahn and Henry Ford and built purely on the framework of maximum capital gain/income, production/exploitation over worker satisfaction/quality of life. This was seen as the primary cost-effective approach in many buildings such as, Albert Kahn’s Packard Plant Building, Detroit and Building B at the Rouge complex where the plan is simply one repetitive module that forms a production line for rapid assembly and containing little or even no natural light.
My initial ideas for the reinterpretation drawing developed in the form of using the typical plan in an 8×8 grid (exactly the same spatial configuration as a chess board) where the structural span direction or how the architectural elements, dictate how the user move through the grid in relation to how each chess piece moves. I took this idea further by reinterpreting the chess board into a 3D cube and deleted various structural elements which ran along different paths similar to the chess pieces to break away from the idea of the typical plan. This produced the outcome below.
My interest in the Burning Man festival, the breaking away or setting apart of a people group from the society norm socio-politically and physically, led me to the political theology ‘state of exception’.
“State of exception” is the tile of Agamben’s book in which he explores the theory behind the understated and informal legalities of the state of emergency as enforced by political powers, as presented by his senior contemporary Carl Schmitt. Agamben describes the state of exception existing and directly subject to the rule, and poses that the rule ” lives only by the exception” (Agamben and Attell, 2005, p.58). While the rule of law is often created and enforced from a government administrative position, I will also be exploring a scenario in which the state of exception is created from a bottom up resistance or protest, against the state or powers that be.
To explore the state of exception through the architectural act, I researched two projects; Exodus by Rem Koolhaas and Villa Spatiale by Yona Friedman.
Inspired by the Berlin Wall, the Exodus project positions a separatist region enclosed within a boundary of two linear walls that divides London, and thus creates a space of desire within the walls of whose citizens become ‘voluntary prisoners of architecture’ as the space within the walls is inhabited. The activities within the wall are organised yet unusual.
Koolhaas was interested in the strong psychological and symbolic effects of the Berlin Wall, despite the simple and somewhat careless approach to material, and he argues these non-tangible effects were more powerful than the material physicality that the wall itself embodies (Koolhaas and Mau, 1998).
In the sketch above I was experimenting with the socio-political effects the architectural act as a boundary can have, and came up with associations that the architectural act can result as follows:
- Solid continuous wall associates with rebellion and uprising
- Intermittent arrangement of walls associates with resistance, protest or activism
- Columns associates with transition
- Glass wall associates with hierarchy
A compilation of photographs taken of the Berlin Wall. (TIME.com, 2017)
Sketching elements of the wall.
Ville Spatiale, the second of my research projects into the state of exception, Friedman imagines a “new leaderless world” (Lynch, 2017) where individuals improvise architecture within a skeleton, resulting in an accidental arbitrary facade. The skeleton framework is the infrastructure to support the ad hoc and flexible approach that the architecture needs, to be free for conception by the individual that inhabits it.
Experimentation: Applying Exodus state of exception through the architectural act on the horizontal plane, through floors, in a vertical urban metropolis.
- Agamben, G. and Attell, K. (2005). State of exception. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
- Koolhaas, R. and Mau, B. (1998). S, M, L, XL. New York: Monacelli Press.
- TIME.com. (2017). The Rise and Fall of the Berlin Wall – Photo Essays. [online] Available at: http://content.time.com/time/photogallery/0,29307,1631993,00.html [Accessed 9 Oct. 2017].
- Lynch, P. (2017). Yona Friedman on Empowering People with Adaptable Architecture. [online] ArchDaily. Available at: https://www.archdaily.com/878616/yona-friedman-on-empowering-people-with-adaptable-architecture [Accessed 9 Oct. 2017].