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Olympia: Alchemical designs of spatial decadence

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Architectures were thought to be designed and placed in a very physical place: the architectural site. However, a large majority of designers overlook the complexity of our environment’s continuous adaptation and mutation. This deficiency of a design needs to be addressed through a greater understanding of the feedback from the environment. It could be said that design does not need an active interfering designer, as it is an inherent part of the universe. A more assertive designer would treat a design in our environment as a giant simulation and just allow things to happen. Through this article, I will present a series of design strategies that generate a spatial complexity informed by the rural environment of a seaside pier, a theatre of the bizarre – a freak show, a chemical photographic process and a cyborg, a storefront in an urban environment. Through my practice all these spaces are interconnected through a creative language of spatial representation. Using my creative language of spatial representation I aim to celebrate the ordinary through the environment’s continuous transformation. The binding and separation of the various sites come together through experimentation with the wet photographic techniques in a darkroom. The research speculates on the various ecological fluxes of an alchemical design. Hidden in the arcane of film chemical photography, I extract, reintroduce and reinvestigate a contemporary architecture with a fresh approach to architectural drawing. The potential is not only within time delays and the composition of the image, but also in its chemical substance.

Keywords: artificial; decadence; desire; ecology; hybrid; inanimate

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: October 10, 2011

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  • Design Ecologies foregrounds the inextricable connection between human communication and ecological accountability in architectural design. This burgeoning field has the potential to become a far-reaching discipline, bonding a community that crosses over into and out of architecture, environment, interaction, urbanism, and performing arts and communication.
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