cornell university, b.arch studio 102

Teaching Associate w/ Vince Mulcahy & Aleksandr Mergold, Cornell University

Student work by Rachel Tan

This second semester of the frst year studio sequence began with the design of an object for documentation.  This object, left intentionally ambiguous in definition, allowed the students to explore the role of tools in collecting, recording, framing, measuring, and guiding the exploration of their surroundings.

Students were then taken on a field trip to Hammondsport, NY and asked to use this object to document the city in a capacity of their choosing.  The project featured here shows a black box camera with collection of small sliding apertures which can be angled and focused independently.  This camera was used to capture the city of Hammondsport and create a series of photographic montages.

This documentation was then used to conceive the architectural design project, which consisted of two volumes, in dialogue with the gorge landscape.  Much like the camera on site, the tools were forced to interact with an extreme typographic state after experiencing a shift in scale.  The multi-aperture camera was transformed into a series of inter-connected rooms, each of which frames a unique view of the surrounding landscape through the thick, almost opaque wall of the exterior shell. The play between light and dark, exposure and visual perception, object and surrounding site material and immaterial, creates an exemplary metaphor for the overall aim of this design studio.

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