This is Moganshan, a mountain about 3 hours southwest of Shanghai. It was discovered by expat Shanghainese in the early 20th century and became a villa retreat from the hectic life of the city. I visited here from the 16-17th of July. The bamboo forests were impressive, but, as I learned later at an ecological fair I went to recently, these bamboo plantations were a relatively new introduction. Previously, the mountains in this area were covered with pine and other evergreens. You can still see them in the valley below where this weed tree that is bamboo has not yet taken hold. Read More »
I have six concerns and one method of making that I think will continue to appear in my work. Two concerns began developing as an undergraduate in sculpture: awareness of presence and moments of pause. They may be a part of who I am; I've been attempting to explore these concepts in a related piece of writing. Adventures around the corner, awareness of grade and the experience of discovery are concerns that developed during the program at RISD. An iterative process, or repetitive disposition, first started appearing in college as well, and has developed to a strong undercurrent. The use of mass plantings and a repeated material palette are indicative of this process.
In my sculpture work, one example of this repetitive disposition is what I term a sculptural investigation. It was an assemblage of plasticine panels that recorded a particular process of making as a landscape. The panels were photographed and bound in an album which I titled: "System: Elevation".
Constructed Landscapes - Fall 2008 - Emily Mueller De Celis and David T. De Celis
The studio objectives for this course were to integrate our emerging knowledge of...
- Perceptive site analysis
- Constructive mapping
- Innovative tectonics and systems
- Applicable theoretical issues
- Relevant cultural precedents
- Precise material investigation (both built and natural)
...into a cohesive design agenda.
The studio was split into two parts. In the first part we attempted to design a roofscape for the Central Square YMCA in Cambridge, MA. We understood that this roofscape would lead us into the second part, which was to design a multi-program urban park in the back of the building on a several acre parking lot. We first researched green roof precedents and then worked on the roofscape for 3-4 weeks. The rest of the semester was devoted to the urban park. The emphasis on framework and precedent allowed efficient familiarization with the site before we moved into a larger scale and program.
For both the YMCA roofscape and urban park I took the position that the site was a refuge of inter/personal discovery. I attempted to be consistent in this position throughout the studio. The terms that I started with from initial concepts carried through to the urban park and played an integral part in the program, despite the many revisions.
I started with the term "enlighten" to envision this idea of "refuge of inter/personal discovery." Eventually I came up with a thesis:
Enlightenment can be defined broadly as wisdom or understanding enabling clarity of perception. This enlightenment can range from a sudden, highly localized epiphany to a life-long journey. Therefore the experience of the roofscape necessitates multi-sensory experiences that are clarified through the use of moments of adventure around the corner.
It later evolved into: Comfort created by moments of pause, yet having enough energy for a sense of adventure around the corner. This is a diagrammed and defined below.
I had first approached the program as "zonal entities." Each"zone" held a component of the program and there was little overlap. This is illustrated below:
I soon realized that thinking of the program in zones was very constrictive. We were required to design spaces for 1,2 and 10+ people on the roofscape. I could not design each space simply for "adventure" or "comfort" or "enlightenment." Furthermore, these were qualities of presence and not program. That is, a space created for adventure could be used for self-reflection; so I was doing no more than contradicting myself: Read More »