Dissolving The Edge: Fragmenting The Architectural 'Norm'

Jade Celeste Boyle

Intervention/Site Plan.

"Norm is a room or dwelling, as giving residence to bodies." —Sara Ahmed.

Dissolving The Edge: Fragmenting The Architectural' Norm' explores the idea of the 'norm' in terms of being gendered and neurotypical and then seeks to unravel what the spatial conditions of the 'other' may be and apply some of these to architectural thinking. The architectural vehicle and site for this investigation is the current Metro Centre and proposed Sky World renovations by Warren and Mahoney in Aotea Square, Tāmaki Makaurau.

Animation stills: plans and sections of metro centre obscured.

Dissolving the edge, this thesis finds comfort in shifting and fragmenting the 'norm'. This thesis questions the proposed built condition of Sky World, as well as the empty existing Metro Centre in central Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, through forming a drawing methodology, that fragments and discomforts our understanding of what might be considered an architectural 'norm'. It does so by continually translating the site through mixed mediums, which seek to unravel the ‘other’ and propose an alternate definition of drawing and designing towards inhabitation.

Sky world analysis carvings.

The drawn design instances of the Sky World cause the viewer to find themselves caught in a loop of constantly trying to find themselves in drawn representation. A loop of being able to locate yourself, but not fully at the same time, as the edges of the drawings dissolve and intersect, creating discomfort as they can immediately read the form within the imagery. The collaging, sculptural elements, and projection of the animated lines that come just as fast as they go demonstrate what can exist outside of the normative.

Animation still of obscured metro centre

Theoretical resources have been drawn from queer theorists such as Sara Ahmed, Judith Butler, Beatriz Colomina, and Naomi Stead, who look to 'queering' as a process of looking askance, of not taking social or political or creative conventions for granted, of rethinking and resisting 'normal' ways of being in the world.

The main intervention based on carving below.

Taking on the design strategies carried out in 'Stalled!', carving these corroded forms that look like ruins but are modern interpretations is used as an instrument to find and create an alternate space that actually allows for varying members of society to have a public space that facilitates their needs. We seek to dispel the prevailing assumptions that bathroom design is shaped into. The use of an agora-like precinct is based on the understanding that restrooms are a universal activity. The corrosive entrances are both lounge or resting places that not only break down the social preconceptions of a bathroom, but also allow for passive surveillance, no longer making the ‘other’ feel trapped or cornered. The toilet cubicles are treated as privacy units, thus allowing us to take away the barrier that typically divides adjacent men's and women’s rooms, as well as the wall that separates them from the thoroughfare. Those who want privacy can retreat into curtained alcoves for breastfeeding, administering medical procedures such as insulin injections, meditating, and engaging in private prayer.

776 BFCB0 745 A 4 F0 D 9131 76079 F58 A542 2
Left: wax carving of perspective, Right: bathroom intervention caring in concrete.