FLUMMOXED

Alternate Savannah, GA

There seems to be a need for order and regulation within our current mindset, particularly in the realm of design, and that is translated in to our manifestations. Our architecture and urban designs try to force a deterministic agenda when the surrounding in terms of buildings and more so, people are indeterministic in nature. What is ideal today may not be the case tomorrow as environmental, cultural, political, and economical constructs are constantly ever-changing. Architectural design serves as an answer to programmatic, contextual, and lifecycle attributes that are predicted to occur. However, this does not allow for flexibility when the complexities and transformation of the surrounding arise; and the ease of change is much more prevalent today than ever before due to technological advances. The works of Archigram established a discourse of the uncertainty within architecture: as Peter Cook states, “buildings with no capacity to change can only become slums or ancient monuments.” This applies to the discourse of historic preservation as well. Historic preservation should to take into account the elements of uncertainty, and to focus on adapting to time more regularly and correctly in order to satisfy mindsets of current and future generations.

A Palimpsest of Events

A Palimpsest of Events

Cities are made up of urbs and civitas, and both are dependent on one another. That goes on to smaller scales as buildings and people that inhabit them are mutually dependent. Thus, when buildings lose their use value, or even exhibit weak characteristics of use value, they do not contribute to the civitas holistically. Weak characteristics do not address social, political, economic, environmental, or religious aspects of current or future generations. When the main focus of historic preservation solely concerns visual elements of a building; when we strive to restore a building to an image of its former glory or leave it to age aesthetically and disregard its possible usage to current and future situations, then they become tourist attractions that serve temporary flocks of usage rather than fulfill the needs of a thriving community. So, What happens when our role in historic preservation and architecture refrains from the stagnant effects of nostalgia? Do not rely solely on the visual elements of historic, age, and art value and instead fuse it with use value? And most importantly, accommodate to change and unpredictably of the environment? We do not need to domesticate or tame disorder but in fact embrace pandemonium.

Adapting to Destruction

Adapting to Destruction

Alternate Savannah attempts to infuse these points into the city of Savannah. The Great Depression crippled many businesses in the city, and as a result, it declined over the subsequent years economically. Only by the late 20th century did is starting growing again. The project thus demonstrates an alternate reality to the city of Savannah; one that shifted direction on the historic timeline by 1930. What if people took a different approach around that time? Instead of passively reacting to the economic downturn, what if people were more direct, active, and took risks by adapting to the abrupt change in society? What if people took to the streets to address their grievances with the banks and governments and slowly destroyed parts of the city in the process? How do we adapt to that? 

An Alternate Timeline

An Alternate Timeline

The mindset of Alternate Savannah is one that adapts to abrupt changes. People do not care about visual aesthetics and do not care to demolish partially destroyed buildings; they make use of the situation to meet their current needs and will find ways to accommodate when things change in the future. They are radical adapters.

Radical Adapters

Radical Adapters

Of Timelines

We can walk down a straight path and live out this timeline. We can take a left, walk a different path and live out another timeline. We can overlap one another; experience a simultaneous timeline. We can choose not to live out either, stay still, and observe all timelines.

Of Timelines.jpg

Of Unreachables

Of all the qualities to describe a window, unreachable is a nefarious one.

The picture frame has set the stage; at this moment in time, what is inside has taken up most of the vision. High reverberation proves an existence within the space, but step closer to the window to let the glass pane slowly take more of the periphery and release the surrounding. Blinding light unravels and begins to muffle sounds of the interior. A transition is taking place as the white light turns into familiar objects: that abstract shape of a tree is indeed a tree, that figure-ground of a snake, well no, that turns to be a couple laying on a grassy field - their shapes overlapped and gives resemblance to anything the imagination wills in the absence of clarity. Nevertheless, a transition is still developing. It is that moment when the outside is a place desired, the destination.

But this window is unreachable so forget about that transition.

of Quarter Rests

You know when you repeat a word, over and over, it loses some of its meaning? It is the same feeling writing a symbol in the frantic of a thirty minute spell. I started to practice writing the quarter rest symbol; that turned into questioning the things I do every day, time and time again. Perhaps a portrayal of the mundanely routine leading the character's definition to wither away.