YEEEEEHAAAAA!!! Our team project was selected as one of the 10 Honorable Mentions!
Chris and I entered a student competition called "120 HOURS" last month, thinking that it would be fun to work on a project within the span of 5 days (120 hours). We were also quite fed up with the mundane projects of our school, so we hoped this would be a good rejuvenating experience. The competition, dubbed as "one of the worlds most important student competition, for and by architecture students," particularly appealed to us as its main focus was on a conceptual design – no technical drawings, no construction details – pure creativity.
The prompt of this year's task was the following:
Design a structure on the festival site that can function as a meeting point and attraction that communicates a sustainable statement. The project should present an immersive experience within the structure itself, as well as deliver an impact beyond the festival site.The word that got us really struggling was "sustainable". It's one of those words that has been thrown around way too many times within the past few years that the word almost lost its value, becoming on of my least favorite words. Nonetheless, sustainability is what the world needs more than ever today, so we seriously thought about what message we want to give regarding sustainability through our design proposal.
Our stance on sustainability:
It seems odd that advanced technology and our lack of understanding of it, has put us in the situation we are in now. Yet, society continues to invent technology as a solution to combat these problems. Why are we trying to dig our selves out of this hole?Our design description:
Sustainability is a way of thinking, a perspective. It’s an understanding of materials and your surroundings as a part of a process. Things come from somewhere and eventually must go somewhere, a process that needs to be managed from beginning to end. During the lifespan, they should be efficiently used. Creating things that are environmentally sustainable become of little use when they have no societal value. They must be of value to us, but also economically accessible.
Constructing a large structure to demonstrate sustainability seemed contradictory. Our idea was to strip it down to the bare necessities and use the existing structure of the trees. With hemp rope and loosely woven ramie fabric, a series of intimate and open spaces are created. This fluid structure is not completely open, giving the illusion of intimacy. Our meeting point is clearly visible, while leaving no footprint on the site. It is temporary in existence and temporary in appearance. Delicate, flowing, open, and closed. It is flexible to movement, fluid and serene. This structure can be easily set up and then taken down to be used again.
Sustainability is not using solar-panels and titanium nano-particle filters, but it is more like the way we built forts out of bedsheets as a kid.