Thursday, May 27, 2010

Concrete Geometries

Few weeks back Me and Kostas participated in a call for exhibition put out by the AA, called Concrete Geometries Spatial Form in Social and Aesthetic Processes.
Below is our entry which consisted of repackaging of our Master's thesis. We didn't get through, which may be one of the signs that we need to stop hamming around our thesis and find something new....I have also a put some text along which was submitted for the competition.

The world as we know it is being rapidly shaped by two major processes Globalization and Urbanization. These two processes are able to bring about social, cultural, political and physical changes within geographies that they touch . These changes in turn transform the geography into yet another specialized terrain constituent that fits within the mega mechanism of global processes, developing in trajectories different from rest of the surrounding region.

Metaphorically the form and mechanism of the Rubik’s cube allowed imagination of an object that drew parallels with this condition of transforming and shifting terrain through globalization. This was imagined to be a spatial experiment, where we could simulate conditions of symbiosis or parasitism between two or more geographies and social structures that cross path due to the turning of the Rubik’s cube. Each surface was imagined to be a city designed through Italo Calino like narratives designed based on our present conditions of existence and at the same time fractured by the rotational mechanism of the cube, that allowed for a deconstruction of these narratives similar to Calvino’s “If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller” opening up numerous possibilities of interpretation based not only on the object to be read but also on the reader, the authors and the city outside.

Each surface of the cube was to be one city, thus the 6 cities were:
1)Panopticon: The city of Surveillance
2)Heterotopia: The city of Gardens
3)Noah: The city of Archives
4)Alice: The city of Labyrinth
5)Leviathan: The city of Hierarchy
6)Celestial: Struggle against gravity

In the book “The Architecture of Deconstruction” by Mark Wigley the writer traces the architectural translation of the philosophical term deconstruction based on Heidegger’s rethinking of building in Destuktion und Abbau. Destruktion means “not destruction but precisely a de-structuring that dismantles the structural layers in the system” and Abbau means “to take apart an edifice in order to see how it is constituted or de-constituted”
With the above abstract as a prologue it is easier to clarify what the cube supposed to insinuate as form and structure. In remobilizing these terms we are trying to advocate that the cube is trying (at least) to construct first a series of contradictions between systems and forms.

Creating these crucial conditions of ambiguity each one of the cities that occupy the 6 faces of the cube they don’t remain attached as binary systems but they are subjects to external forces of un-building. Near the edges of the cube where the cities form the first inaccessible limits, each organism-community reached points of weakness, Weakness of adapting and merging with the other. So for us the process of contamination through the transformations of the Rubik’s cube is the construction of inner penetrations cracks and flaws. This is an operation that demonstrates the extent to which the structures depend on both of these flows and the way that are disguised.

The 6 cities were designed as narratives where one of the many forces that shape a city became crucial and amplified to an extent that it shaped the social and physical geography of the city. Thus the cities have been designed to a detail of a day in the life on a citizen in each of the city, witnessed by an observer who travels along all the cities that shift, collage, and re-assemble to generate parallel geographies of our global landscapes and at the same time speculative geographies that are in waiting....


  1. This is really a fun, ambitious, visually intriguing project. I enjoyed reading about it and looking at all the photos (nice big ones at "hamming"). Hope it'll find a bigger audience in the future. Thanks Saurabh!


  2. Thank you Hiroyuki, you are too kind and its a pleasure having you commenting on our work.
    We certainly hope to continue working on this through some opportunity in the near future.

  3. Beautiful work. I'm tempted to turn it into a cartoon.