Experiential Turbulence

The idea of presence is one that eludes definition. It falls into the trap of being an abstract concept that sits on the edge of our perception and yet is intrinsic to it. A particularly strong presence can suddenly capture the attention and demand its focus, and conversely, a weak but pervasive presence can distract the observer, sapping precious attention to satisfy it. Observing presence is like trying to draw one’s own hand while drawing with that same hand, possible, but not without a degree of projection…

Permanence and Change

The Natural world is one that is neither stable nor permanent, and the built world by contrast is often thought of as its opposite, concrete and stubborn. These two opposing environments have served as the inspiration for the architecture I have studied and as the focal point of my artwork regarding nature and the built environment. However, to say that I am interested in the differences between the natural world and the man-made one would be misleading. Even when compared semantically “natural” and “man-made” are two words that are not necessarily opposed…

No Stop System

Archizoom’s No stop city is a proposed dystopian conclusion to consumer-driven architectural development. In No stop city the box store is the template applied to the entirety of occupiable space, resulting in the endless interior, a space that is so all-encompassing that it defines even the horizon. The project conveyed this notion of uniform regulated space in a series of drawings and installations in the nineteen sixties and seventies that expressed the group’s general discontentment with the homogenizing effects that capitalism was having on the world around them. These drawings included endless architectural column grids that wash over natural landscapes, perverse depictions of consumerist products artificially populating these spaces, and dystopic depictions of the alleged gridded falseness of a system that claims to be natural. What is perhaps most disconcerting is that the group insists that we are living in this world and not even aware of it. This is perhaps the most significant attribute of No-Stop City. Because it never ends, it would be impossible to recognize one was living in it.

Austin’s Neighborhood Issue

Densifying central city districts are often pointed out as hotbeds for gentrification, a term for development that implies a displacement of lower income communities for the benefit of high- and middle-income groups. This pushing out effect often occurs due to rising property values, which in turn drive up property taxes and rents thus pricing out the previous homeowners and tenants. The phenomenon has been identified in several major cities, but in this paper, we will be looking at the unique circumstances that surround the phenomenon in the context of Austin, Texas. We will then move on to identify some of the major related factors that have set the stage for this problem, and then offer some suggestions for how both policy and practice can help address these issues in the specific context of a north Austin neighborhood that is in danger of being gentrified.

A Natural Architecture

An exploration of how architecture has emerged from the natural environment and has then redefined what was natural to begin with. The nuance of this relationship is one that I attempt to dissect from within and then offer some examples of how this seemingly subconscious sensibility has manifest itself in the built environment.