D R I F T E R S
KUKU is 6 individual white coffee tables that can be (re)configured to become one whole. Inspired by the infinity puzzle, it aims to allow the user(s) unlimited freedom in how the tables are organized and ultimately used. Unlimited flexibility and ephemerality of the tabletop geometry can be explored which allows for not only a stagnant piece of furniture but rather a spontaneous, playful nature.
K U K U
The Japanese term 区々 can be defined as small diverse entities that cannot function alone. Architecture can utilize such concepts demonstrated by KUKU. Individuality of objects with unique features can come together as a collective whole.
The concept of roaming architecture was explored by the avant-garde English architecture group Archigram. Challenging the Vitruvian notion of static buildings, the group had offered mobile, technologically advanced, and “modern” solutions back in the 1960s. The philosophy of “indeterminacy” was further developed where buildings become vague with an all-encompassing notion of freedom. As modernism attempted to become technologically determined, Archigram proposed truly fabricating the “machine for living in.” There were numerous proposals that showcased this ideal in the Plug-In City, Walking City, Living City, and Living Pod.
This thesis project will be sited in Tokyo, Japan which will be transformed into a new landscape for drifting architecture. It will afford individuality to citizens who live a highly regimented lifestyle, allowing for more freedom and distraction. This will be achieved through the creation of kinetic urban elements that allow individual users to constantly re-author the city’s organization and image – transforming the modern city into what William Mitchell termed a “city of bits.”
R E S E A R C H
T O K Y O D R I F T E R S
The Situationists and Henri Lefebvre articulated critiques for the modern city, believing that the dynamics of society were hindered by capitalism. A strategy called the dérive was developed as a form of drifting movement that allowed for playful-constructive behavior. The drifters were not mindless but were people that practiced spontaneous interaction and movement through the city. Rather than rely on such a transgressive action, free roaming architectural elements integrated with the city are potential means to integrate the logic of the dérive into urban form. Roaming architecture could afford occupants spontaneity, but also can make the city itself into a drifting entity, an ephemeral character rather than a constant machine.
K A N A T A Y A M A Y O S H I
Fueled by capitalism stemming from the Industrial Revolution, the modern city has become a machine that emphasizes efficient production over human experience. It was intended to correct the “inefficient” elements of the pre-modern city that failed to accommodate production by rationally segregating individuals and uses into discrete zones connected by a transportation network that promoted efficient flows of goods and people for the economy. However, this division of people and activities into zones limits the potential of spontaneity and social appropriation. This is problematic because unplanned experiences and encounters that juxtapose the routine and repetitive movement of the citizens are necessary for social awareness.
However, architecture can intervene on this condition by developing new urban objects which continually re-organize the city, and thus open it up to new experiences and actions.
Therefore, by introducing free moving elements to destabilize the urban organization, this will defamiliarize the city, re-engage people in their context and with each other, and make their occupation of the city more conscious and creative and less routine and mechanical. This thesis will demonstrate a resulting urban condition that disrupts the modern city’s organization, rationality, and production with movement, spontaneity, and ephemerality.
Radical reconstruction requires new principles of aesthetics that are consistent with the contemporary ways of habitation. It diverges from modernism notions of rigidity and permanency by embracing life in all its organic aspects. The architecture should be “writhing, twisting, rising, and pinioned to the unpredictable moment.” This new aesthetic utilizes specific characters of that are fluid and change constantly: scab, injection, scar, and freespace. To provide safe haven, the ability to adapt to satisfy new needs of the inhabitants is required, essentially giving up the artificial functionality and predetermined programs of use for a self-acclimating system.
DRIFTERS // KANATA YAMAYOSHI // JACKSON STUDIO