dialogue #11 ‘reassemblage of layers

'reassemblage of layers'

Making space


Our bodies, consisting of an inside and outside are the vehicles through which we experience the static spaces of architecture. How might these fixed structures be transformed? My aim is to explore the mechanism of creating space within which to imagine movement. A photograph, like architecture is a fixed structure, a fixed moment. For this first act I am cutting into images opening them up and revealing the layers that can be pulled apart and reassembled to create new spaces in which to move, altering our perception of how bodies and spaces interact. If in emptiness – a vast landscape –   movement – the essence of humanness – is possible, what becomes of us in the urban environment? What movement is exposed, hidden or excentuated?

“Only in emptiness lay the truly essential. The reality of the room, for instance, was to be found in the vacant space enclosed by the roof and walls not in the roof and walls themselves […] Emptiness is all potent because all containing. In emptiness alone motion becomes possible”

The Space Within – Philosopher Lao Tzu

20.01.2018 London

send your contribution in reaction to this author

A thousand tries

When confronted with the topic of “representation of intentions”, we were interested in the process of the translation of an abstract thought into a drawing, in the dialogue established between mind and representation. When an architect draws and redraws slight variations of an idea over and over, often on the same piece of paper, layers of lines are put one on top of the other. Each trace is the expression of a series of thoughts, constraints, questions, and intentions. Each line informs the next, and then the next; but also new parameters and possibilities appear, creating a rich density of superimposed layers.


The result is a blur, often indecipherable for everyone but the person drawing it, which is both one, and a thousand projects. The act of repetition, again and again, allows the variable of time to materialize in the final result. Imagine a dancer practicing a move in a loop. Or an actor rehearsing his or her lines. Every time with a different modulation of the voice, facial expression, articulation of the silences, and body moves. The final result of this process is the realization of just one of these attempts, and at the same time, of all of them. It is one of the thousand possible tries, but implicitly containing the other nine hundred and ninety-nine.


In applying this line of thought to an urban context, we were reminded of this photograph of the Piazza del Duomo in Milano, taken by Mario de Biasi in 1951. In it, there are implicit all the footsteps needed to create this paths, even those that are not visible. The geometry that emerges is the representation of a sum of layers, of the traces of people going by, of their needs and choices. It is a captured instant of an ongoing process.


As a result, there is an interesting contraposition between the lines drawn on the snow by a collective of thousands and the underlying pattern of the stone pavement designed by an individual, Piero Portaluppi.



11.03.2018 Barcelona

send your contribution in reaction to this author