Monthly Archives: June 2013

End of Year Exibition



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Images for Imagination

It seems that image making as a way of thinking has been
long forgotten in architecture. These days images are no
longer ‘seductive’ but ‘sexy’ they are to sell but not to entice
and suggest; they are retrospective makeovers and not
explorative tools. Images can be a practice of architectural
production in themselves and the many unbuildable projects
of the architecture canon can be called upon to testify here
for they have never ceased to inspire because of the forever
giving power of their imagery. Representation can only lead
us to casual relations where as an image for imagination can
lead to a variety of relations that can be connected or
disconnected. Imagery can determine the framework and
outcome of a project and save it from fashion and cliché.
When representation takes over important issues of space
and time are replaced with the empty promise of
programme, and objectified categories such as tectonics,
envelop, and matter. To view and draw architecture in such
reductive terms is to forget that architecture actually
happens in their void.

For Full Essay, see PDF below.

Images for Imagination_Rojia Forouhar Abadeh


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Initial Thesis Abstract: Albion, 1979

The end of the decade of 1970s in England was a turning point towards a new political, social, economic and cultural paradigm that would radically change the way the city was experienced and architecture was thought. The remaining ruins of a dismantled heavy industry become the place to experiment with new kinds of production based on social relations. The thesis will examine how these new conditions produce a new body liberated of manual labour and surrendered to total leisure consumption; a re-eroticized body that will be placed in the centre of the architectural experience redefining its materials, tempos and status.

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Initial Thesis Abstract: Without Here and There – where never will come near and go away from anything all the steps of the world *

Only once home is left behind even destructed, can it be constructed. Reflection on home in exile as a condition of dislocation and displacement becomes a way to escape either nostalgia or amnesia without a physical journey back. The act of writing becomes a journey from site to site, each site constituting a collection of references.

For full text and images see PDF attached.

WHAT IS HOME 2013-06-02

I       n       v       i       s       i       b       l       e                     H       o       m       e       s       ;              W       i       t       h       o       u       t                     H       e       r       e                     a       n       d              T       h       e       r       e
W h e r e         n e v e r         w i l l         c o m e         n e a r         a n d         g o         a w a y         f r o m         a n y t h i n g ,         a l l         t h e         s t e p s         o f         t h e         w o r l d         *

The       thesis       is       a       reflection       on       home       in       exile       as       a       condition       of       displacement        and       not        dislocation:       An       attempt       to       escape       either
nostalgia        or        amnesia        without        a        physical        journey        back.        The        writing        becomes        a        journey        from        site        to        site,        each        site
constituting       a       collection       of       references       that       are       the       devices,       the       means       and       not       the       end       of       the       exploration.       The       escape       lies       in
the       relations       between       each       site       where       parallels       of       modern       art/architecture       with       the       condition       of       displacement       arise.

I              I       N       V       I       S       I       B       L       E

A        construct        built        by        de-­‐struction:        a        process        of        interruption        in        material        continuity        that        in        turn        reveals        that        which        is

The        earthquake        builds        home        through        its        very        loss;        when        I        am        standing        in        the        ruins,        home        leaves        behind        the        physical
bounds       of       the       house,       and       stands       stronger       in       their       absence.       Home       is       not       a       house.

In        the        absence        of        the        house        the        landscape        becomes        prominent.        Landscape,        light,        smells        and        sounds        each        in        turn        substitute
one       another       only       to       reveal       that       what       constitutes       home       is       not       material.

De-­‐struction        can        create        by        other        less        dramatic        means        such        as        traversing        space;        within        the        space        that        home        is        left       behind;
for       home       almost       did       not       exist       before       it       was       left       behind.

In       the       space       of       the       aeroplane       above       the       clouds,       home       appears.       As       if       once       you       gain        altitude,       memory       and       place       become,
and       only       can       be       retrieved       there.

II              W       I       T       H       O       U       T                     H       E       R       E                     A       N       D                     T       H       E       R       E

‘It       is       suicide       to       be       abroad       but       what       is       it       to       be       at       home?       (…)       A       lingering       dissolution’.

The        essence        of        home        takes        an        extreme        form        in        relation        and        tension        with       exile,        not        that        they        are        opposites        and        negate        one
another       and       therefor       can       delineate       the       limits       of       each       other,       but       because       they       both       work       towards       an       impossible       impasse,
side       by       side       –       outside       by       outside.

In        the        formation        of        home        through        this        mutual        relation,        the        space        and        time        of        the        border        are        essential.        Where        is        this
border,       this       margin       that       expands       and       thickens       in       time       and       space?

Distance       is       no       longer       definite       and       cannot       be       measured       but       is       relative       to       time       and       how       one       can       relate       to       the       place       of       either
outside.        ‘When        we        relate        ourselves        to        things        that        are        not        in        our        immediate        reach,        we        are        staying        with        the        things
themselves.       We       do       not       represent       distance       merely       in       our       mind.       Thinking       gets       through,       and       persists       through       the       distance       to
that       location.’

‘Everything       near       becomes       far’.              Goethe       refers       to       the       evening       twilight.              It       is       true       at       nightfall,       the       things       closest       move       away
from       my       eyes       and       instead       the       furthest       stars       are       in       my       grasp.       Created       by       night,       where       the       visible       world       has       moved       away
from       my       eyes,       perhaps       forever,       there       is       space       for       the       invisible.

Near        and        far        are        not        tied        to        location        or        the        removal        from        it        but        what        is        at        stake        is        an        idea        of        displacement,        that        goes
beyond       being       a       mere       state       of       being       and       can       form       a       tool       for       the       exiled       not       as       something       gone       wrong       but       as       a       process       with
its       own       form       and       possibility.        ‘The        only        way        he        or        she        can        cope       with       the       heavy       baggage       of        culture       is       to       subject       it       to       certain
kinds        of        displacement,        which        lightens        its        burdensome        weight.        (…)        In        this        effort        (…)        the        exiled        is        engaged        in        a        work        akin        to
that       of       the       modern       artist       whose       energies       have       in       the       last       century,       been       marshalled       not       so       much       to       represent       objects       as       to
displace       them’.

The       exiled,       the       inhabitants       of       the       thick       expanded       border,       can       subvert       their       displaced       state       of       being       into       a       device       that       can
find       home.

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Initial Thesis Abstract: Planning the Human Habitat

My thesis is about the emergence of the discourse on Habitat and its influence on metropolitan and urban planning carried out in developing countries around the world, particularly those in the tropical regions. The concept of habitat was first used to describe the types of human settlements by the members of Team X, who in the early `50s sought to depart from the modernist principles of the functional city, aiming for a more integrated approach. In 1976, the first United Nations Conference on Human Settlements led to the formulation of UN-Habitat, with the objective of promoting an inclusive and sustainable urban planning through policies, legislation, strategies and institutions. In this way, the discourse on Habitat has ultimately caused a shift in the nature of urban planning itself, from the comprehensive master plans to “bottom-up” collaborative approaches involving the private sector, non-governmental organizations and community-based organizations.

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Initial Thesis Abstract: City From Above The Clouds

By the end of 18th century, the body was liberated from gravity by the emergence of the balloon flights. With the movement of the observing body from the ground to the clouds, came a change in the perception of the city. The growing scale, population and density of the cities that began in the 18th century had already aroused a new interest in observing and experiencing the cityscape from different angles. The opportunity to personally experience the cities from above the clouds, the physical movement of the body in the sky in different altitudes with the presence of the clouds created a new perception of the city as landscape, where the individual’s point of view was now the journey of transition.

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Initial Thesis Abstract: Co-operate Corporation

In the aftermath of World War II, the exigency for urbanization and development led to the transformation of the architecture practice into a corporate model of scientists, engineers, builders and manufacturers to address the Modern needs of people. But soon following decolonization and emergence of economic global exchanges, this corporation took another major turn through its franchise operations, diffusing their models into developing nations. The architecture, which might have materialized from the need of mass production in post war regions, had now turned into a uniform experience of architecture all over the world with a predefined modernity being imported in even unexplored conditions. The thesis reflects upon these changing forms of architecture practice and how they have moulded in the late twentieth century by looking in particular at the present condition in Gurgaon, the millennium city of India.

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Initial Thesis Abstract: Exhibition as a Project: the aftermath of 1976

As the title of this thesis implies, its initial objective is to question the role of an architectural exhibition by contemplating it as a project and finally test its afterlife. The device, through which I evaluate this hypothesis, is the exhibition “Europe/America: Historic Centre – Suburban Alternatives”, which is a segment of the 1976 Venice Biennale. The exhibition becomes prominent for three particular reasons; one, it brings into confrontation the international contemporary architects of two generations; two, it is considered to be the end of a broad discourse on the legacy of the Modern Movement; and three, it presents the so-called “New York – Venice axis.” Looking at this event within a historical perspective and considering it as a project allows a profound understanding of its specifications and an unpacking of its aims and effects.

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Initial Thesis Abstract: La piel que habito / The skin I live in?

The ‘skin’ of a building, as a surface, or as a ‘threshold between inside and outside, has been used literally and metaphorically to communicate different socio-political and philosophical ambitions in architecture. I believe that there is a possibility through the reconsideration and redefinition of the ‘skin’, as a place of distinction and interaction rather than a division, to give rise to ‘moments’ and ‘spaces’, where an understanding of material cognition and the emotive qualities of space at varying scales can be elucidated and nurtured.

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Initial Thesis Abstract: See-through the developing …

With the focus on Dr Otto Koenigsberger’s work, I trace the transformation of the wall in the Tropics. Walls in traditional tropical habitats are typically thick, no matter if the building material is stone, clay, mud, straw, or thatch. The windows are smaller, to keep the heat out and clearly demarcate the intimate inside from the perils of the outside. The arrival of the modernists to the Tropics is marked by the dematerialization of the wall. But these early practices of modernizing the Tropics soon prove to be insufficient to accommodate the unprecedented, accelerating growth; radically different new notions of development are about to evolve. I see the wall as a device, by means of which, I wish to investigate larger implications for the society and its environment. It is also a medium to look at the practice of an international yet ideologically quintessentially western organization such as the UN and its mission to engineer the socioeconomic growth of the underdeveloped or developing parts of the world.

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Initial Thesis Abstract: Please Complete the Form…

The administration of life is an ignorable, yet undeniably present factor in the contemporary narrative. The methods and environments of this necessity are so banal and so innocuous that they do not merit any sincere interest, that is, beyond general frustration and often mutual distrust. However, how and where we administer and are administered to says much more about our place in society than any social media or self-promotion ever can.  Against a trend of slack self-association, administrative architecture is the embodiment of the situational definition: beyond possession, it is a determined position. It is an architecture that lies at the crossroads of statistical analysis and narrative chaos. Usually uncelebrated, frequently un-symbolic, and continually unsympathetic: these are not the spaces of simplistic power, but the architecture of that power’s affect, its policy.

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