Aleatoric Neo-Vernacular – Catalogue
University of Westminster
Final 5th Year Project
This year of study began with a some what diversionary route via the strange landscapes of silence, avant garde music and chance operations. Inspired by the composing techniques of the twentieth century musician, John Cage, the design brief incorporated an engagement with the ancient Chinese Book of Changes, a 5000 year guide for living, otherwise known as the I Ching. The premise involved nearly every part of the architectural project to be generated through these chance, or aleatoric processes.
In the same manner that Cage assigned values of timbre, duration, tone and volume to the I Ching symbols (hexagrams) as means of composing music through chance, the brief initiated the same with architecture and programme. Scale, function, material, form, detail, use and site were all to be determined by chance, and chance processes of our own design. Unusually for a Masters architectural project it required an abandonment all existing values, tastes, preferences, preconceptions and rationalizations, in other words, to recognize that you know nothing, in order to embark on a sometimes exciting, sometimes boring and sometimes scary voyage of discovery through the architectural subconscious.
This catalogue contains a collection of images representative of a sememester’s studio projects and a field trip to Marrakech, Morocco. The production, collection and representation of this work attempts to explore the utilization of chance in the development of architectural proposals, components and moments.
This catalogue attempts to initiate a non linear and variable reading of this collection of work that is in keeping with the fortuitous nature of its conception.
Due to the construction and transmission of this catalogue several connections are less likely to result but it is important to note that these are a chance result of its production in itself.
The catalogues construction enables an unfolding and refolding of pages within the catalogue at will, several arrangements will fundamentally obscure pieces of work that others illuminate in an attempt to connect and intersect elements of Marrakech and studio work.
A small rapid prototype of the initial construction idea was made at a small scale. This test highlighted paper formats and efficient printing practicality.
The 32 sheets of A1, 64 sides, that make up the catalogue were laid out on the computer. Images of Marrakech and the first semester’s work were then compiled into one source. Each side of A1 was then grided to show some of the potential cut and fold lines post printing.
The collated files were then one by one imported into the document showing the 64 sides of A1. They were scaled and arranged across the sheets with only a small regard for a reasonably even distribution. The individual scale and location of each image were placed quickly with only a fleeting considerations to the sheets individual composition.
Several different paper types were selected for the catalogue, some with reference to earlier pieces of work and others because due to personal taste and interest.
The resulting 7 types of paper were then placed in an order using the I Ching along with the 64 sides. This created a print order that dictated what page was printed on what paper.
The print outs were then cut and folded again with a slight consideration to its content. The cut and folded pages were then arranged into the catalogue with a primary consideration to a construction that inhibited some of the problems with the prototype, such as a continual inward fold.