The Disassociated Helper: A 500-Mile Armature
An armature, a construct, an architectural product that extends 500 miles, this thesis is an examination of how the responsibilities of Architecture shift when this distance is introduced as a consideration, an advantage and a constraint simultaneously. This thesis is of the belief that Architecture has the ability to operate as a physical and temporal disciplinary matchmaker as it stands on the shoulders of architectural work proposed by Archigram, Archizoom and Superstudio that spanned, traversed and fabricated similar distances. It is the intention of this work to similarly engage in elements of propaganda, policy, industry and environmental stewardship to continue challenging the often figurative and default expectations of the architectural discipline.
The embodiment of this challenge is a 500-mile armature that spans the distance from Washington D.C. to Stuart, Iowa in tactically placed reflexive segments. This effort is structured through the specification of anatomical components, such as the Propaganda Release Valve, that lend the work the ability to make connections between historical materials and their media translation methodologies like the Homestead Act, landscape paintings of Frederic Edwin Church and Budweiser ad materials from the 1950’s. Through this sort of fluid relational structuring, the thesis has found interests in the formation of design methodologies, the slippage between conventional architectural drawing techniques and their photorealistic counterparts and the scientific inexactitude of cartographical documentation.
A method actor at its core, this thesis has been taken on in hopes of developing a way for architecture to engage the world in a similarly reflexive way. Without this work being dressed up as a solutionist silver bullet, its 500 miles and the considerations that come with it hope they have something to offer the discipline as it hopefully pursues a larger role and responsibility in altering the world that we find around us.