Unbuilding architecture: a non-normative exploration

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

On the following pages are images of an architecture which pushes the limits of design. Conceived as an amalgamation of semiautonomous fragments, the thesis project strives to decompose into complete disarray. At the verge of structural (compositional) collapse, the building asks the question 'where does structure break down, and chaos begin?'. A table I have designed and built is an experiment in spontaneity, and questions the validity of traditional ways of building furniture. Building analysis drawings I have included at the end of the book are compositional exercises and have, from a graphic perspective, some of the density and formal complexity of the images of the thesis.

While I have relied upon Deconstructionist terminology to describe the building represented, I must admit that the building is not truly Deconstructed. It is fragmented. Some visual continuity between design elements remains. If I were to produce a deconstructed building, I would have to go beyond playing formal games and question what forms signify. Then, perhaps, I could find alternative significations; I might also be able to make a new link between the signifier and the signified. I think I would be searching for a new conception of form, one free of convention, of precondition.