Wednesday, October 19, 2011


\\Thesis prep design pin-up 1

Reality is radical; rad. This is reality after disaster; r.a.d.

Earthquakes. Floods. Landslides. Poverty. Crime. Riots...All reality, all radical and presumably, all found in Los Angeles; The City of Angles. Los Angeles has an explosive and radical history.  This puts LA in a unique position of being highly susceptible to a “worst case scenario” urban condition.  This threat was highlighted during the riots of the early 90’s.  Additionally, projected threats of sea-level rise, global warming, overpopulation all present themselves here.  This thesis does not seek to solve a problem or even answer a question but rather ask the question: what the hell are we going to do?

 First mapping of LA + design sketch.  Liquefaction; fault; income; neighborhoods; LA river.

Mapping of Long Beach port; aerial photo of containers.

Additional Precedents.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


\\Thesis prep assignment 1 


Before architecture has even a site, it is a citation; a borrowing; a reference.  All architecture references its predecessors, whether intentional or not.  What cam before inevitably influences what will come next. This assignment seeks to cite the idea before you site the idea.  This was also our first "public" presentation of our thesis proposal to our peers.  A majority of the presentation was directly from the proposal with the exception of some reformatting and additional images and paragraphs (found below). 

Complete Assignment 1 Presentation

Rivers of Conflict, Sectional inquiry/experiment

On Performance
     Increasingly, architectural discourse has begun to obsess about “performance.” This is evident in Landscape Urbanism and Ecological Urbanism. No longer are conversations in academia centered around archaic notions of form and function or of composition, place and light, but rather on a notion of performance. So, what is performance? As it stands, notions of performance stem from Corbusian ideas where “architecture as a machine for living”, transformed into “architecture as living machine”. Thus “performance” often refers to mechanical performance; efficiency, production and consumption all terms in architectural zeitgeist. Additionally, the “sustainability” or “green” bandwagon engage dominantly mechanical or resource centered ideas. Yet, performance has many connotations, where mechanics are only a small portion.
     In the artistic sense, performance may refer to an exhibit or spectacle, more related to ephemeral concepts like elation and entertainment, rather than objective measurable performance. In a similar sense, performance may also refer to an exaggeration of a particular process, i.e making a performance of something rather mundane, which implies an utter lack of efficiency.
     While mechanical performance is important for obvious reasons, I am interested in the combination of all of the senses of performance. In essence, a performance of performance. In particular, I am interested in performance that requires a cultural performance, in effect altering cultural norms and replacing them with new and exciting cultural processes.
     For example, Bjarke Ingles’ Waste to Energy plant in Coppenhagen contains measurable and cultural performance, both spectacles. CO2 emissions are measured by ton, and performed as a gigantic one-ton carbon smoke ring released from the crown of the building, while the roof of the building serves as a public ski slope, altering the traditional sense of roof, mountain and skiing. Renderings of jubilant skiers are coupled with analytical diagrams of CO2 emission and storage.

Selected Bibliography Citation/Annotation

Allen, Stan, and Marc McQuade. Landform Building. Lars Muller Publishers: Baden, 2011.

“Landform building is less interested in the imitation on natural form and more interested in new programmatic possibilities that are opened up by the creation of artificial terrains . Landform building favors program, process and affect over formal similarity.”

-This book is a collection of projects which run in the vein of “Landscape urbanist” ideals, but challenge the discourse by retaining “building” as the central focus. Whereas Landscape Urbanism promotes urban landscape systems, Landform Building finds value in the distinction between landscape and building. Matters of site and ground are central to form and program making

Also, see below post thanking my [IN]Arch students for two additional resources.


From: Raveevarn Choksombatchai; Assignment 1: Citing + Sectional Probe

L. citare to put in motion, rouse, summon
1: to call upon officially or authoritatively to appear (as before a court)
2: to quote by way of example, authority, or proof
3: a: to refer to; esp: to mention formally in commendation or praise b: to name in a citation
4: to bring forward or call to another’s attention esp. as an example, proof, or precedent


As part of the process to identify both design thesis parameters and methodology, you are asked to prepare the following:

1. Re-investigate your past projects, then cite specific sections/details of the work where they posit the most architecturally
poignant set of inquiries closely linked to your thesis. Bring these projects to the class next Thursday.
2. Cite at least two excerpts from the bibliography of your thesis based on this particular assignment; please bring one hard copy
of each excerpt into class on Thursday as well.
3. Bring at least three case studies of architectural projects, which are exemplary of the inquiry stated in your thesis proposal.
4. Re-write a one-page (minimum of 1000 words) description of your design thesis proposal.

-Zoom-in images of those citations and create a collage of which the relationships among them are clearly defined and represented.

-One-page (minimum of 1000 words) description of your investigation
Selected list from your bibliography and distribute your list in class

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Playing Catch-up

Back from Japan.  Koichi, Kayo, love you guys!  

Needless to say, traveling halfway around the world and back in a week has put me behind on work, so I'm now playing catch-up.  I intend to post everything I have done up to date in the next couple of postings an (and days).  

Yesterday we had a pin up of progress of our studio work, so I find it a good opportunity to post that here. Our third instructor and mentor Wes Jones has finally arrived in Berkeley and this pin-up was an effort to catch him up on our other "hut" iterations.

Jones asks the question "WTFDYTYAD" or "What the F%$# do you think you are doing?"

Below are my answers: 

\\ID: I am wandering lost in the desert.

 Desert Navigation Device: Beakon

 Precedent: White Noise/While Light: J. Meejin Yoon: MIT; Bus Station: Zaha Hadid; Co2LED: Jack Sanders, Robert Gay and Butch Anthony

\\Ego: I am trying to find my way. (Am I chasing my own tail? Am I stuck in a worm hole?)
What is the ideal man?

Hut for walking in circles to ponder.

Precedent:EVOLVER: ALICE studio: Switzerland; Serpintine Pavilion: Olafur Eliasson

\\Superego: Why are you asking?

We came from caves...can architecture be cavernous?

Precedent: Ensamble Architecture: Truffle House; Ryue Nishizawa/ Teshima Art Museum