On longing: rendering architecture through a consciousness accommodated by a collapse of time in space by Ephraim Joris

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Abstract

On Longing: Undertaking this research has transformed my practice radically.

In the past five years research only gradually merged with practice. At first, research was something that happened late at night after everyone had left the studio. The process of the PhD however accommodated a major shift changing the nature of my practice allowing a new focus on self-initiated work and for research to become much more integrated. With this work I evaluate the idea of an architectural phenomenology recasting history as the experiential content of speculative architecture. Such work and research is structured by architectures unique mode of intellectuality where the intellectual act cannot be separated from aesthetic experience.

Through the course of the PhD my practice (integrating research and practice) nurtured the development of a drawing process, which I describe as a ‘Practice by Replay’; very much a protocol for producing architecture through the recollection of history to explore the possibilities of continuing historical experiential spatial qualities in new architectonic constructions. This drawing practice has brought forward a tool through which I can evaluate old work and produce new work as part of a reflective practice.

It is at this point (whilst producing such drawings, mostly in the second half of my PhD) a particular dynamic quality in my practice emerged. Through drawing I find myself engaging with various levels of perception (personal viewing), avoiding post facto representations in favor of using drawing as a primary investigative resource. At the same time I actively use historical archetypical elements in my work to explore aspects of duration freed from historical classification and taxonomy. As such my current practice holds a paradoxical emphasis on the congruence between intuition and tradition. It is this emphasis that drives my current practice in order to produce architecture through a heightened awareness (developed through the research) accommodated by a collapse of time in space.

‘Longing’ stands for the incorporation of many ideological believes in the pantheon of architectural deities insisting on avoiding moral conflict yet expanding on formal encounter and divergence. Such promise, to gain strength trough a practiced economy of forces, is experienced through drawing, set as a stage exploring theatrical configurations with various levels of preservation. Although this alliance of material form is important the sudden and overwhelming shadows of new and hidden spaces (discovered through a process of subtraction) mark new areas of access, both physically and conceptually. The drawing is thus equal mind as it is material.

Year: 2015
Examiners: Gabi Seifert, Kester Rattenbury, Vivian Mitsogianni  Supervisors: Professor Leon van Schaik

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