XYZ : Unknown Variables and Events

Gary Yeow
The University of Strathclyde Department of Architecture, Glasgow, Scotland
United Kingdom

Project idea

This proposal set in an imaginative scenario of ‘what architects will be in 2050’, where the role of the professionals are no longer constraint and limited in a specialised circle of scope, but flourish into wider understanding and scope in architectural practice.

Seeing the potentials of motorway and its infrastructures all around the world, this mobile tectonical structure will be held as an universal experiment, grounded for the architectural students and practitioners to celebrate an attempt to dive into various positions and emphasize the engagement with the people, in a grassroot basis, rather than top-down hierarchical system. While the events and programmes are suggested in align with globalised framework for the ease of logistics and construction method, the internal activities will be contextually sensitive and organic, in correspondence to the local community and participated by local architects and institutions.

It is also an idea of bringing in multidisciplinary and alternative practice to challenge the existing, prevailing conventional modus operandi in the architectural field. Despite the renderings are ‘architectural’ curated, the imageneries are intended to be abstract and extract the essence of event (software), and architectural tectonics (hardware) to implement its effect.

Project description

"... this is more of a work borne out of frustrations and worries that... what if architects will no longer be an architect? I mean if we deconstruct the job and scope of an architect, from a generalist into a series of specialists - project manager, designer, finance manager, philosopher, educator etc... that would be very collaborative in a way that we must admit and acknowledge that this could be a way for us to move forward, instead of over-glorifying or self-congratulating the architect as an absolute leader or power, yet recognizing the multi-disciplinarian knowledge."

What if architectural graduates could fit what they have learnt into coffee brewing or streetwear culture? How about mapping the cities and archiving the history of a place? Can architects collaborate with demolition company for construction materials recycling? How can the designers assist the non-profit organisations in improving community welfare? The outcomes can be archi-archaeologist, archi-biologist, archi-fashionista, archi-scientist, archi-mechanist, archi-tattoist... the combinations are infinite.

And this project yearns to be an open, hypothetical experiment on testing the synthesis of an open business model like sharing economy, and also liberate the fear of trial-and-error in challenging and mixing architectural knowledge with other sectors, especially the general public. Therefore the presented idea is a parasitic one, with a transportable, transferrable and movable architectural proposition... referring to precedent studies such as Yona Friedman and Cedric Price to emulate the essence of events and festivals to propagate the joy in the accessibility of a democratic architecture.

Technical information

The site chosen as Kingston Bridge is particularly interesting and strategic because the undercroft spaces are often neglected. This phenomena is not limited in UK but rather an universal element since modernism, where motorways are seen as a flowing vein into the heart of a city. Therefore this project potentials are expanding wherever the motorways are, and the construction components and methods can be installed easily, with the headquater in Glasgow to supervise and advise on the business model in different parts of the world.

Cone-shaped pavilions like performing stages for various uses, cladded with double layered plastic to allow light ventilation. The containers are suspended from top, to allow the freedom and open spaces for the ground networking. The steel truss systems are supported by the skeleton framework above the motorway, like an independent ceiling system. The construction details emphasize on the honesty of joints and connections from the components to assembly.

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