Precipice




Maggie Cochrane


Fictitious Space

STUDIO

Keith Mitnick

ADVISOR


As urban populations increase across America, rural communities are suffering from neglect. Infrastructure is falling apart, fresh food is more difficult to obtain, and young people join those increasing urban populations and never return. This project explores a fictionalized, symbolic version of the rural mindset in the midst of slow abandonment.

A curious case of rapid selective erosion has affected the town of Elgin, with a nearby river carving through sandstone beneath the town, destroying it piece by piece. At first it seems to avoid houses and roads, leading to sinkholes, fresh cliff faces, and widening gaps between neighbors and friends. Eventually the erosion turns to houses and roads, and in a matter of months the town is a patchwork of what it was. The State does little except for urging Elginers to leave. Many do, but those who cannot or will not begin to develop a vocabulary of makeshift architectures. They begin with optimistic temporary dwelling efforts, but as time goes on and more of the land falls away, it is evident that all efforts to dwell are temporary when there is nothing to support them. Some choose to live amongst the rubble. As the town crumbles into dust, the people of Elgin manifest both the hope and stubbornness we feel when faced with the inevitable descent into chaos.