The P1 brief was focused on the creation of a temporary observatory on Higger Tor, site situated in the Peak District, Sheffield. The proposed construct contains a meeting/ educational room, connected with the mezzanine floor, where a telescope can be used through the dome opening. Moreover, it can accommodate up to 2 people for short periods of time. The temporary character of the construct is achieved through the use of stilts as well as through the use of pre-fabricated materials, easy to put together on site. The natural landscape became an important part of the design, setting perimeters and such as the preservation of the existing, while taking advantage of the views and topography.
Centre for contemporary theatre and culture
Theatres are based on social interaction, spreading culture in an informal manner. It is a place for deterritorialisation, a place for escape and spiritual revival. Thus, it an enabler for the segragated individuals to perform, to act freely and outside the pre-established boundaries of the current hegemony. Moreover, it is a gathering space allowing individuals from different backgrounds to meet discuss and collaborate to each others cognitive process. The brief seeks the creation of a small community performance space, alongside with other facilities which enhance the theatrical act. The proposed ‘Centre of contemporary theatre and culture’ is situated in Sharrow and wishes to perform as a facilitator for emancipated individuals with interest in art and its wider socio-political implications. The proposal questions the actor-spectator relationship and tries to situate the last one in a participative framework, allowing it to act freely, have an impact and indulge itself to become part of the wider spectacle within the society. Spatially, this translates into the creation of a flexible social space which encourages self-promotion and a molecular spreading of knowladge. Facilities such as the collective audio, visual and book library work as ‘educators’, revealing the inter-disciplinary character of contemporary performances.
“Revolution is not ‘showing’ life to people, but making them live. A revolutionary organization must always remember that its objective is not getting its adherents to listen to convincing talks by expert leaders, but getting them to speak for themselves, in order to achieve, or at least strive toward, an equal degree of participation.” Guy Debord
P3: Heeley cohousing
The contemporary housing is based conceptually, psychologically and economically on ownership. This generates an individualistic society, in which the care for “the shared” is diminished. Statistics show that civic participation, understood as the involvement in the democratic processes of a community, continues to be the most common form of civic engagement, however its levels significantly decreased from 41% in 2012-13 to 30% in 2013-14. Chantal Mouffee states in “For an Agnostic Public Sphere” that ‘the blurring of frontiers between right and left that we have witnessed in Western countries constitutes one of the main reasons for the growing irrelevance of democratic political public sphere’. I believe that architecture can offer an alternative to the ‘equilibrated’ centrist lifestyle.The creation of a contemporary ‘polis’, understood as a platform for confrontation and debate, would have positive effects on the establishment of a strong community, engaging it and giving the users a sense of control. Translating this idea into the housing project, I wish to achieve an inclusive design which encourages social interactions, as well as debates. If the ‘shared’ was to become communal ownership, that would imply the need of a consensus on the principles which governs it. This way, the space itself becomes political. It encourages a democracy reached through deliberative processes, and before offering a leeway for independent living, it situates the user in a participative framework.