STUDENT WORK / How Might We Live / 2A Studio
2A student Lily Tran shares her class’ model cities that grapple with the question of ‘how might we live?’
Monday and Thursday are studio days. On these days in particular, the third floor undergraduate studio is filled with a frenetic energy of design, research, and exploration. Students can usually be found talking excitedly with design professors and classmates in a habitat saturated with trace sketches, study models, and empty coffee cups. Every week we’ll share a completed project, churned out from this energetic studio environment.
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Project: How Might We Live
Instructors: David Correa & Dereck Revington (co-coordinators) with Margaret Krawecka, Christie Pearson, and Jonathan Tyrrell
How might we live? How might we, who we are now or who we will be in the future, contort to the reigning city – or perhaps mould the city to harbour our novel needs?
The 2A class was assigned to create fifteen new cities from this daunting, enticing premise. The answers are fearful, twistedly beautiful, and morally confusing. The cities created all articulate a story, a narrative which grows with thought.
The following are a few answers to the question of how might we live.
Janus | Caroline Brodeur, Phil Carr-Harris, Yannik Sigouin, Alina Turean, Yi Ming Wu
In the ever-expanding city of Janus, unrelenting material industry and neglected notion of progress creates dissonance between human life and spirituality. This city forces its subjects into a state of debasement, as the notion of something greater remains in the abandoned ruin, and any understanding of it remains just out of reach as the city continues to grow and push it away. As Janus grows boundlessly, the human is forced to carve and nest in its expanse, grasping onto feasible (and sometimes not-so feasible) spaces to instill their identity into. Janus, the city who infects all with disillusionment through the uncertainty of the physical and incorporeal.
Ascension | Vince Chuang, James Kwon, Callum Nolan, Patrick Stephen, Colin Williams
Ascension is a world where light has become a rarity. As a response, light is harboured in glowing columns in which the city is shaped around. The architecture of the city cultivates, manipulates, and is defined by the characteristics of light. The presence and parallax of the layers of light guide movement and program; the city has become a canvas where light paints and obscures, reveals and hides. Ascension, a city that dances with the light, offers a multitude of spaces, all of which rely on the visual, from a quiet place of worship, an open gallery, or a gathering space.
The Temple City | Iris Ip, Magda Kaczmarczyk, Salina Lee, Iris Redinger, Ethan Zhang
“Eight kids kicking a ball, 290 people looking at their phones, 46 young adults dressed in casual business clothes, six joggers sweating profusely, two teenagers singing “Hotline Bling,” 326 Instagram notifications, 13 house plants wilting, 2 students posting about #vaporwave, 19 house plants thriving, 17 introverts reading Vitruvius’ Ten Books on Architecture, 12 extroverts reading Delirious New York, 47 Amazon packages in transit…”
This is how we understand the city. This is how we currently live.
The Temple City, where the profane and sacred are coalesced and blurred. This city is derived from the contrasting notions of the city as being preserved, destroyed, sacred, and mundane. Everyday function is graced with the divine, as the navigator throughout their course on a secular path, comes across places of sanctity, articulated through perfect spheres offering moments of repose. The Temple city frames the sky; a dense urban fabric sculpted to outline the ethereal. Here is where the present and physical meet with abstract and sacred, an encounter that causes them to be understood as separate, but it is also an encounter that allows the two to touch and become one. The Temple City, where the profane becomes scared and the sacred becomes the profane.
The Light Cult | Mayyasah Akour, Leela Keshav, Rushali Patel, Lauren Patrick, Laura Woodall, Elizabeth Yeoh
Act i – The Collective Society: In an authoritative call for order, a foreign mass descended onto our city. Each day, we attempt to rebuild the liberal community we once occupied. Comprised of a chain of homes and institutions, we seclude ourselves from the chaos that challenges our everyday intimacies. We position ourselves in a dense amalgamation of shifting volumes to assemble a community of our own.
Act ii – The Place Below: We build upon generations of scaffolding in search of the better world. Hungry for prosperity, we who remain are devoid of the light necessary to ascend. Although we tower, our attempts are in vain. Meanwhile, we feed off the reflections of the desired civilization.
Act iii – The Cult: We dwell blissfully in intimate quarters as we patiently await the signal of our Leader. It is then that the glow of holy light infiltrates our chambers and summons the beginning of a new procession. The piercing light guides our path as we embark on the slow, spiraling descent bounded by the protective mass. At the base we gather in worship of the light as the Leader’s manifesto ascends to envelop our cells. We live each day yearning for the signal to come again.