Below is feedback from the Crit. I have elaborated based on the general conversations and thoughts I have had since. Please ignore the poor formatting, it has come straight from Word.

Reviewers – Alex, Alice (feedback AK), Sam and Julia (feedback JU/SV)


 The approach of the WMC being closed which allows a table to be stolen is good.

    • Don’t fixate on the council framework aspect; it feels counter to the scheme and can be developed later.
    • What would be issues with working with the council? Is there a particular dynamic that needs to be established?
  • Leaving traces: topography, wildlife and materials as agents having spatial consequence
  • Relational aesthetics/playground/art – lack of program.
  • Interesting Graphic experiments – some work more (in terms of being conceptually adherent) than others.
  • What counts as imposition/enhancement?
  • Activation rather than control.
  • Designing for behaviours, not function
  • Different kinds of behaviour/perspective of the actors is crucial to testing designs and designing the scheme.
    • There is an intimacy to be explored; Keep the design close to the actors, the idea of movement and bodies, this idea of somewhere for certain people to use, a special space
  • What sort of language (visual and linguistic) is appropriate?
  • Could the entire scheme be based on designing a license, a policy etc?
  • Rituals, traces, behaviours, movements are crucial to the scheme.
  • Actor specific designs – subversion of acoustic deterrents to sounds that are good for specific actors?
  • The construction process could be key to this idea of keeping the ort hidden; smaller objects easily transported, is it in pieces? Do you do it at night, or from a different direction? Will this affect design and detailing?
  • The scheme feels like a response to heritage and conservation – not wanting places to be developed architecturally, but (unlike heritage) enhanced and developed for the users of the space.
  • Test spatial and material ideas, but do not fixate on that the end product must be x, y & z; it could finalise in a policy or procedure, as Sam’s Forgotten Spaces entry could be?



 An inventory of materials may be useful – materials found on site that influences design.

    • Natural materials could extend to elements, as well as building materials.

 Keep as close to the physical aspects of your actors as possible.

  • Think as artist/architect, rather than Architect in the strict sense of the word.
    • Start from the actors and agents and work backwards, don’t fret too much about how the (a)rchitect gets involved.
      • Considering the role of Architect too formally will form a hypocrisy and undermine the idea of a real lo-fi approach to design.
  • Would you want to keep the spatial qualities? The idea of being secretive and hidden being kept in an architecture project could be interesting.
  • When considering the actors using the site, don’t design from their perspective, but as a designer working with the actor.

 Perhaps my design is to create policy/licensures, using physical design to test the rules.

    • You could do interventions that are not obvious to other people, but come because of these tests.

 Try and avoid professional terminology such as ‘entrance’ and ‘access’ etc. It goes counter to the project and the verbal language of this scheme could really help a reader get in the frame of mind.

    • Could this be a piece of work?
  • Make more of the ideas you had relating to Goldsworthy’s Land Art, carving in the grounds etc. and the physical consequences this puts on the actors. This could form the basis of many of the designs you use to test.
    • Cuts in the ground require stepping over, and when you step over you apply more pressure on one foot. If you walk somewhere windy, you brace yourself until you reach a calmer area etc.
  • Think about construction – how could you get materials/people/etc. to site without people noticing, without the council getting suspicious etc.?
  • Do more work to demonstrate the qualities of the site. The photos are too small on the wall to really represent this, and you already have other images demonstrating this magical sense; so, make us believe it as much as you do by showing it graphically at an appropriate scale. The viewer needs to be absorbed into the space, believe in the users and how the navigate spatially, otherwise the project falls. Get the viewers engaged, then you show them the rest and how important it is to enhance the site.

My reading of crit response and next steps

  • I’m on the right path, with a conceptually different and quite strong approach.
  • There is definite scenario work to be developed, but that can come later.
  • The key to this scheme is intimacy – looking at how a cat claws up some banking and eats, looking at how kids grasp the rope swing etc, the sound underfoot of crunching leaves or slippy mud.
    • But from this, focus on behaviours, not function. Designing for functions will force a program to the scheme, which undercuts the ideas (inspired by Relational Aesthetics).
  • How do you enhance without imposition?
  • Start to design with the idea of materials and topography as agents, with natural elements having agency such as fire, water, wind etc.
  • The product of the scheme may not necessarily be physical, but is informed by physical testing and, perhaps, built, architectural intervention.
  • I need to do more work to demonstrate the qualities of the site.
    • This could inform my exhibition design, the idea of being in a hidden, special space where you can see out but others don’t necessarily know you’re there.
  • Where is the role of (a)rchitect?  I understand the role be more that of artist/architect, but in terms of narrative, I’m currently unsure.This relates to scenario development which will occur soon. 
    • This leads into not using technical or professional terminology when discussing my scheme, designing, or writing about the project.

Further reading

  • Terrain Vague
  • Foucault – Heterotopias
  • Sophie Handler
  • Propositional Architecture
  • Immaterial Architecture – Jonathon Hill (reference Yves Klein)
  • Land Art – Andy Goldsworthy

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