The first photograph . . . I could imagine someone walking in between those two walls, marveling at the walls’s appearances. Eventually, the tilted walls seem to lean forward and begin to enclose him. His breath becomes short as his imaginative bout of paranoia takes over. He crawls on his callused hands and beaten knees to escape an immediate death — or at least what appears to him to be. Finally, the bout of paranoia ceases. The man gets off his knees with onlookers shooting him quizzical looks. He flashes a small smile and walks away as if nothing ever happened.
One of the discussion topics in Material Strategies this week was the Ningbo Historical Museum designed by Wang Shu of Amateur Architecture Studio, pictured above. I described it, on first sight, as looking like “found object architecture.” It turns out that the description was close to accurate, because the various masonry materials cladding the building all came from a Ningbo neighborhood razed for larger scale development. While cladding a “new development” building in the history of the place for which it stands is in itself an act that provokes discussion, I instead have found interest in seeking out other forms of “found object architecture.” I wondered what other innovations were taking place using old, worn out, dumped materials. Taking a studio based on Bio-Inspired design helped to establish a starting point for the search.
The bird’s nest is representative of the way nature finds objects, whether natural or bits…
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