Friday, December 15, 2006

FAT architecture

Mike Denison, my co-worker, presented his master thesis he did at OSU at today’s studio critic. I was quite impressed with his brilliant ideas as well as seductive graphics. The argument is that from Vitruvius’ ideal body to Le Corbusier’s Modulor body, architecture has always been related to human body. He then drew an analogy between popular culture and architecture: the fascination of a perfect build body without any fat v.s. modern architecture reduced to only skeleton and skin. Fast food, the desire of having more and speeding up v.s. fantasy places like Las Vegas or Disneyland, as a fast projection of desire, where the boundary between reality and dream gets blurred. While the real ‘Fat Architecture’ he talked about here is neither a ‘fit’ space following a disciplined diet, nor a ‘cheesy’ space as a result of gluttony, but a fun space with its unique taste and variety. The example he chose is MVRDV’s Dutch Pavilion – stacked layers of different space offering people defamiliarized experiences.

I think fatness is not about form-marking, but an ATTITUDE - The attitude of relaxing, experimenting, opening up to infinite possibilities, pursuing the richness in architecture…. FAT is the excess, the surplus beyond the symbolic order of architectural reality.


JL said...

FAT on a woman's body can be much likely used to seduce, while on a man's body, is a huge fun to played with and joked at.

XENIA said...

at the end of the presentation, Mike said that he is FAT and he enjoys being in such a natural and positive condition, welcoming different things around him. the way you look at you own body and yourself does relate to the way you view design (the architectural body) and the world.

when you talk about women's body, i think architecture & erotism is also an interesting perspective - architecture can be very sensual, seductive, creating 'pleasure' on different levels of perception, like the western nudity paintings where beauty and erotism coexist.