Moving Forward – Choosing a Design and Running With It


Through the multiple weeks that I spent laboring and stressing over how my final pavilion design would come together, I found myself constantly going back to one simple problem – accessibility. My previous field study, the “inhabitable” wall/surface, just wasn’t cutting it. I had designed it with the intention of allowing the user to interact and interpret the form on various levels – it seemed I was more interested with the user’s reaction than my own. But the problem was that there was too much “stuff” – The design was too thick, to convoluted, too unwieldy, and frankly any respectful user would be more distressed and confounded by the design than I was hoping for. “KISS” – Keep It Simple, Stupid. The question was, how? I kept trying to make the structure more interactive by adding on new parts, trying to make the whole system movable or transformable. But the over-complexity of the design, coupled with an inability to get my rectilinear forms to marry with the triangular site, kept sending me directly into a wall. I decided to take my original idea regarding the modules that would be stacked to form the inhabitable surface, but rather than “adding material”, I was now looking to take away.

Now the design had become a hierarchy of parts. The various rectilinear planes would come together to create various forms of “modules”. These modules, just as before, were then to be stacked in various configurations to form a “pod”. Each pod had a centralizing “key” or anchor, evolved from the wooden key of my original design, around which the pod was formed. Once stacked, various planes were shifted or even removed completely, with the intention of opening up the interior so that each pod could then be entered. This created a juxtaposition between interior and exterior, and thus naturally addressed the problem of public vs. private which was handed down to us as part of the assignment. My intention was that each key could be removed from the pod, and then the pod moved to a different location on the site. This meant that multiple pods could be placed together to form a larger surface/structure, or each pod could be its own separate entity. Clearly the moving of such a pod (which now stood at anywhere from 12′ to 16′ tall) was not a feat that any normal person could attempt. But as this entire design was much more conceptual and idealistic, I felt that such an issue was not as important at the time (not to mention that this is only my 2nd semester we are speaking of!). I have held that while the physical world can and will limit what you can build in real life, it should not ever limit what you can construct in your mind.

Below I have attached a rendering of my original pod design. Two sample pods are shown, both separate (at the top) and then combined in various configurations (on the bottom).

The first draft of my pod design. The drawing shows two sample pods from various angles (top), as well as how they might fit together in multiple configurations (bottom).

The first draft of my pod design. The drawing shows two sample pods from various angles (top), as well as how they might fit together in multiple configurations (bottom).

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