Paradigms of observation: Azul Oscuro Casi Negro A Blue That Is Almost Black by Stephen Collier

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A work of architecture holds the observations of the architect, an accumulation of images, feelings and sensations. These remain largely detached and invisible to the casual observer, occasionally becoming apparent as an idea is glimpsed through an external point of observation. The research has looked to redefine the paradigms of observation, that define the way architecture is seen and interpreted, by exploring attachments to places and belief systems. It has followed a journey within practice. Part of this journey has been about locating the aesthetic and metaphysical experience of architecture within its physical and operational realities. The research is an observation of the architect experiencing, as an observer, himself, his place in the world, and of the cities and spaces that occupy his imagination.

By observing the interface between things that have defined career and identity, an architectural narrative has been developed to describe how an architect’s persona, what he lives through and the memories that he carries with him have been and can continue to be condensed into his work. Beauty resides in the interface between these things and ultimately, the fixed reality of the work. The search is characterised by the appearance of The Blue Room. It is a metaphorical place representing both the present and the un-created future. The Blue Room is a metaphor for all of the emotions that rest behind the evolution of an architectural idea and which remain embedded within it as a finished work. It is a metaphor for beauty and a metaphor for loss and sadness, all of the things that exist in-between the idea and the representation of that idea; between the visible and the invisible. It also represents the inherent paradox of the architectural work in that the idea is never the same as it is first imagined; in its finished form it is both the space of the architect and the client.

Year: 2009
Examiners: Bill Fox, Kelly Shannon, Stephen Loo  Supervisors: Professor Leon van Schaik


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