In the beginnings of history, human created dwellings to inhabit the little corner of the gigantic world. Humans were too powerless to confront the mighty nature and the series of disaster was an endless mystery. A dwelling was the smallest unit of environment that human can control. In relation to this tiny fortress, humans were always conscious of surrounding nature, seasons, and their neighbors.
Now we are highly equipped with the technology and knowledge. As a result, performance expectations toward the spaces we occupy seem to require more than decent comfort. Architectural experience now is more diverse and stronger than ever. Formal complexity required the advancement of technology, and available technology pushed the boundary of formal expression even further. However, as people’s consciousness shift toward an architectural piece itself, on the other hand, their awareness of the larger context is fading away. This thesis seeks the type of architecture which is not about sculptural expression, but about the context it emerges.
Architecture is traditionally concerned with external phenomena such as environmental issues, social conditions, and cultural values. Dislike an art piece that can be displayed in a museum against white walls and neutral lighting, inherently, architecture is not to be perceived independently from its context.
1. What does it mean to belong to the larger context, a city? a country? or universe?
2. Do we even NEED to perceive further than our routine livings?
3. What can architecture do in order not to isolate people from the context they belong to?
INhabit/ habit/ HabitAT .
As people live in a same city or in a certain building for long time, they tend to lose their honest reaction to the context. I’m interested in this process where the human desire for comfort gradually habituates people to ignorance. At the first time a person inhabit a new place, s/he discover many awkwardness and unfamiliarity. It is a fairly honest reaction to the new environment. As s/he becomes more comfortable with the place, s/he starts creating habit and finally the place becomes his or her habitat
Comfort is what humans are chasing after, but inability to renew ones interest detaches people from the surrounding world where they belong to: physically with walls and mentally with unawareness. Architecture should not isolate people from the larger context; rather it should be the medium of experiencing the context.
When I explain about architecture as medium of experience, I have to mention different ways of perceiving architecture. In a city living, we are surrounded by thousands of buildings, but majority of them are mere facades in that we never get over the surface.
When people experiences architecture, especially in a city area, they could be categorized in three different groups: Observers, Explorers and Residents. Observers perceive buildings externally from distance; Explorers experience inside and/or perimeter of the building; and Residents occupy buildings comparatively longer than other two groups. Each category has different experiences in relation to a piece of architecture.
4. What can architects do to create the experience to affect all three different types? Observer, Explorers, and Residents.