Sunday, September 19, 2010

House as thesis

The contemporary notion of travelling is inseparable from transportation vehicles and digital recorders like cameras. The panoramic and all-encompassing are mandatory selling points. Vehicles speed through aerials, moving frames and single-point perspectives, while cameras instantly flash on nearest surfaces in accordance. The act of occupancy necessarily mean passive capturing in replacement of active engagement.

Yet, such "realistic" measurements render only a highly biased selection of existence. These technological extensions of our body prove only limited and retreat back to brain activities to complete the reconstruction. Surfing on the surface of a city, the recorder picks up sufficient cues to convince himself of a civilization in real existence beyond his visions. To the viewer, a photograph presents not a captured moment, but an atmosphere opened up for an imagined generalization. Not only the selection images, but the order of presentation may also greatly affect the impression of a space, such as people, density, weather conditions. The city is a result of collective hallucination of mistaken spaces.

The ambivalence in our engagement within the urban condition is analogous to our ambivalence towards the environment, reluctance in full utilization or total surrender. But extreme weather conditions propel a decision and intensify urbanization. In occurrence of extreme weathers, like typhoon in Hong Kong, activity pattern is removed from the surface and urban conditions are exaggerated and pushed to the extremes. The population retract from open air and open water, condense into points and form edge conditions.

Movement in response to extreme weathers is not simply a distinction between outdoor and indoor, but refuge in the underground system and confrontation with the storm at the waterfront. The interest therefore lies in the possibility of investigating storm-sensitive spaces and housing storm activities.

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