HYPERIMAGERY & HYPERCLUSTERS: Conceptual vs. Materialized ideas.
Professors: Daniela Atencio, Arch. M.DesR & Claudio Rossi, Arch. Dr.
Advanced Studio__Thesis (Unidad Avanzada)
Universidad de Los Andes_Departamento de Arquitectura
Based on the need of exploring and rethinking the way how the field of architecture has been continuously developed, as well as the constant need of human beings to be changing and updating the processes in which they operate and that somehow they demand the ‘monotonous’ in terms of representation and design, the idea of reformulating these processes to generate new and advanced ways of thinking is brought into discussion in this course. The thought of reversing these processes is formulated, reimagining the discourse of contemporary architecture dominated by a mixture of digital and analog, both in theory and in practice. It is also within this discourse the development of a new form of representation of matter in the evolution of the post-human, seeking and deepening the correlation and non-correlation between the physical and the digital, the past and the future, the permanent and the temporary, the real and the fiction, the theoretical and the practical. This is called by Bruno Latour materialism as an idealist definition of matter and its various agencies or what can be also called by Laruelle a mixture of ontologies as a non-correlation philosophy, which can only be achieved generating a new way of thinking, breaking certain parameters to which the human being is familiarized, as well as unlocking and revealing new meanings of those that may be hidden and have never been explored or analyzed before. For this reason, the coherent relationship between new ways of representing architecture in this course comes also into discussion: the compilations of services or functions in dense, complex and convulsed urban sectors (clusters) - focusing on their complexity in the city of Bogotá as a new ontology of representation-.
The Latin-American city and specifically the large capitals, compress services or functions in dense, complex and convulsive urban sectors. These apparently monofunctional sectors have specific characteristics and a series of singularities that give it coherence and consistency as a Cluster.
The diversity of these areas refers to activities such as automotive (I.e.: 7 de Agosto in the case of Bogotá), carpentry / furniture, universities, financial, art or health, even small antiques enclaves or large market clusters (Gamarra, Lima; San Victorino, Bogotá), among others. They are constituted as a series of associative relationships that coexist (i.e .: mechanics, brass workers, painters, spare parts sellers, etc.), as a part of the same social, cultural and economical ecosystem. The approach of the studio will be from the reflection of urban renewal starting from the understanding of these clusters, to propose from the architecture the transformation of these territories. Based on these ideas, we propose to challenge the idea of architecture as an landscape infrastructure that enhance the future of our cities. Is it possible to define a Hyper-Clusters as a result of enhance, mix, densify, hybridize and reformulate some of the current monofunctional sectors? Is it possible to alter, transform and make these territories sustainable and diverse? Is it possible to re-program the soil?. The idea of the Hyper-Cluster is ultimately an exploration from the informed architecture and the research trough design speculations.
Operating from the complexity allows architects to speculate on the future of the city but at the same time to investigate and speculate on how complexities can be approached and represented. It is for this complexity composed of parts, successions and groupings, in this course students investigated as part of the research process through a type of compound representation or Hyperimagery, based also on Bergson's argument “matter is an aggregate of images” and as a term initially used by Peter Sloterdijk as "a hyperimagery makes our highly artificial, highly abstract world accessible to a no less artificial contemplation".
Seen from this perspective, a hyperimagery synthesizes an accumulation of complexities in a single way of representation. This is why the materialism of the recent past now looks so idealistic: it takes the idea of what things in themselves should never stop staring at the way that makes them ‘resemble’ in their geometrical reproduction in drawings. The whole notion of mechanism is a twice-idealized definition of the way we know and of the behavior of what we know. Although the conventional system of representation is left down in the way that it is limited only to a flat image, where the three-dimensional volumetric fails and loses its quality, the images generated allow the initiative to the representation of three-dimensional flatness as a single unit retaining both volumetric and flat qualities.
The objective of this core course was primarily to speculate and represent the complexities of the city in a particular way, generating a representation composed for both physically and digitally, synthesizing using unique techniques of each student for their project and part of their discourse and research, but at the same time replicable in other similar conditions through theoretical, practical and visual means. The explanatory diagram conceptually tells what is intended to be done in their projects, including abstract conceptual ideas, volumetric iterations, project programs, visualization, exploration and research. Using advanced modeling and representation techniques (solid projections, image extrusions, remapping, image manipulation, data collection and post-production techniques) the students represented as a new normal collision of concepts their projects in which multiple layers of information were compiled in a unique diagram as the engine and strategic point of the investigation.
Aims to open the discussion around the informal city’s urban processes within the Colombian context. Especially, this “informal” approach to architecture that Manuel Gausa explains as “a dynamic that releases energies” (p.343, Metapolis, 2003), could drive the interrelation between the community’s Know-hows and territorial complexity to ultimately design these urban clusters.
The conventional idea of slums as an attachment to the formal city has undervalued its informal counterpart’s input to the Hybrid city, one with a transformative nature, a high social identity and compact densification. This proposal challenges genericness, land speculation, and political oblivion within these informal hubs in order to create a contemporary Hypercluster.
Is there a way to reconcile human activity and nature? How can we rethink the way cities work in order to chase development but also biodiversity? In a planet where cities and industries are expanding rapidly, decimating crucial ecosytems for ecological balance, humanity develops a system of High-Rise Topology buildings as vertical machines that bind human industry and ecosystems as one natural and cyclical system. In the case of Bogota, the building is projected in a very diverse but deteriorated industrial sector in downtown. Given the proximity to the growing skyscraper’s area, it makes sense to pick up all these horizontal industrial warehouses in one vertical infrastructure, avoiding segregation, allowing the exchange of materials between them and freeing up soil for the city.
The cluster is usually defined as a set of elements that are related to each other. This is how I thought of the set of “full” that are connected by means of “voids”. If we interpret the full as occupation and the void as public space, this takes shape when we see a Noli map of the cities. In San Victorino the fillings have been fragmented by the shape of the San Francisco River. Element that changed the reticular layout of the colonial blocks and originated an irregularly shaped plaza that would act as the end of the main access road to Bogotá. This generated that the street acquired its main function: the exchange of objects.The project is the result of fragmenting the filled space just as the river did in the past. As the fragments are assembled in space, they are intended to create a unique set of objects, producing an illusion of a singular piece. By using the contrast, the method of representation seeks to materialize the duality between the fragments of filled and empty space.
Our cities continuous growth and transformation leaves urban voids, decaying sites apparently forgotten; loaded with what has occurred, but somehow oblivious to the dynamics of the contemporary city. These “Vague Terrains”, as De Sóla Morales defines, are places where nature breaks borders in different scales conquering the void and exalting the inevitable ruin of architecture in time.
These abandoned sites represent the void as a place with the potential to unveil new ways to address urban renovation. The project aims to reprogram this post-industrial landscape as a hotspot for public life, setting in motion the revitalization of the neighborhood as a new cultural cluster while visualizing how the altering characteristics of the ruin enhance matter and architecture.
The echo cave is a center for knowledge diffusion, in which used books can be reborn. It also puts contemporary forms of knowledge within everyone´s reach and blurs the limit between city and building, making one an extension of the other. The exploration and sense of discovery create an architecture that shares knowledge through its physical presence and the showcase of the activities taking place within, in order to embrace the spirit of information democratization that drives the program, and results in spaces that, instead of being for humans only, becomes the spatial articulation between human and book.
The project explores architecture through utopic and dystopic imaginaries which primly shaped the main idea of the investigation. It evolves by considering the positive and negative space within a city, the full and the vacant. The project analyses vague spaces and therefore creates a new surface that both plays and contains the emptiness, transforming the uncertain space into a livable one. The modular system as public infrastructure pretends to create a bridge between what’s already there and its new surface, it also explores the possibilities of urban sprawl considering the human scale its main design source.
In the heart of Bogota, a city of limits, in which it is increasingly common to drive people away from the streets, there’s a place that stands out for doing absolutely the opposite: San Victorino is a commercial cluster within this immense city in which the imposition of its own rules take over the entire space. Tides of vendors, buyers, commuters and visitors invade the surface. The architecture suddenly blurs behind layers of products and merchandise. The hyper_street takes these elements that synthetize the essence of San Victorino and extrudes them through space and time, allowing the commercial activity, that is currently completely dependent on the activity of the ground floor and its time slots, to link the upper floors, attract new actors and inhabit the public space in the different temporal scales and scenarios. The value of this project lies in the way to create an urban system that evolves and adapts at the pace of San Victorino; it is an architecture that ends up in a secondary plane allowing the image of the place to be completely visible and exalted.
Guided by the intuition of errors, the architectural project is modeled through two programs that seem incompatible but fundamental for citizens: water and violence, considering that, in an erratic place like the San Bernardo neighborhood in Bogotá (Colombia), these two things unite us.
This project resists with a Punk attitude to the groundless speculations of the city planners. With this idea in mind, the proposal is to build a series of artifacts that are articulated like a "water machine" to promote more democratic spaces that allow erratic behavior in the city. The artifacts are connected to the irregular infrastructure that carries the underground waters of the San Agustín river, to make use of a common good that will be scarce in the coming years: water. Also, the project promotes spaces where violence can be manifested in the shape of partying or fighting, acknowledging this is a condition that runs through us all.