2007 - 2008
Ghost in the Machine
Ukiyo-e, fictional representations made famous by Hokusai and Hiroshige each captured fleeting parameters from the real world, depicting extreme social and economic change through cultural happenings and changing habitats. This became our starting point, which followed a journey from material experimentation to critical invention. Propositions focussed upon London’s Kings Cross and considered the physical and social impact of its current transformation.
Scissors/ Paper/ Stone
The year began by exploring the latent potential of materials through folding, melting, casting, laminating and other techniques. Each artefact began to reveal a number of unexpected material effects: delamination, slippages, expansions and cavities. Emphasis was given to propagation of specific qualities through the iterative development of patterns or taxonomies. .
Sectional representations of each construct offered a topological unravelling, revealing pockets, interconnected cells or nested elements. Representational techniques were tailored towards the clarification of material outcomes and their inherent formations. Inhabitation studies and reconstructions were used to unearth the potential of each.
Tokyo: Floating world
A field trip to Tokyo, Japan gave the unit an opportunity to study the urban territory of Shibuya. Built situations interwoven with infrastructure and analogous to the earlier models were studied through their patterns of use, topology, or organisation. This fieldwork yielded an alternate scale and drew out specific narratives for consideration. It also provided a framing of programme, inhabitation and temporal criteria at the intersection of fleeting situations and a previously abstract material context.
The unit operated both individually and as a collective to research and publish strategic propositions for a site in the shadow of Kings Cross station. Individual proposals formed into a range of different approaches: new layers of public realm or amenity in response to the current deficit or provided variegated constructions accommodating otherwise incompatible uses. Others have inhabited redundant rail lines with new linear accumulations of cultural programmes or nested formations responding to St Pancras, Eurostar and the new and varied influx of travellers.