Massachusetts Institute of Technology / School of Architecture + Planning, 2017
Group: Marisa Waddle, Xio Alvarez
Skills: Rhino3D, Adobe Photoshop + Illustrator, CNC Router
Our interest in the question of the room lies in the social construction of space; we set out to create a flexible architecture that accentuates unspoken rules and relationships of interpersonal conduct. The room is activated by occupation and siting, taking on a form and function based on the configuration of its residents. The landscape of the room imposes itself on residents in return, pushing for positioning that requires conscious thought -- how comfortable are you sharing space?
Exploration of the space is one of joyful discovery. New apertures and relationships are made apparent through pushing against the boundaries of the space as well as those of other inhabitants. From the inside, it is impossible to know the extents of even the local external form; from the outside it is difficult to discern the manoeuvers and interactions of the inhabitants. There is a microcosm of dramatic irony in the observer-observed relationship; both sides possess information that the other can only presume.
Early studies of proxemics informed the dimensions and placement of individual components. Objects in the landscape are designated as “collar” or “sleeve” conditions, though the objects themselves are intentionally ambiguous in their prescription.
From the language of pattern-making we borrowed the concept of repeatability and expansiveness. A pattern provides a set of templates and a set of relationships between part and whole, resulting in a number of unique garments that share a common origin. The rules imposed on the landscape are simultaneously binding and expansive, allowing for controlled tests of the same study.
The room is in response to the crashing waves of suspicion and uncertainty in this historical moment, intended as a disarmingly playful way of reassessing interpersonal relationships in shared public spaces. Simultaneously histrionic and meditative, the room is a spectacle and an oasis all at once.
Physiological attributes of inhabitants affect the dimensions of the room (height, wingspan) as much as social attributes -- interpersonal relationships (and lack thereof) affect the distance between inhabitants and their interactions with the form, compressing and stretching the landscape to its limits.