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Architecture in the age of Trump

In our tumultuous present architecture must make operable one of its defining features, stability. Similar to Vitruvian firmitas but not necessarily so solid or even rigid. This inherent stability makes the practice and image of architecture acutely relevant in the coming times.

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The Museum of Capitalism

The Museum of Capitalism should serve as a sounding board for the conflicts and contradictions engendered by capitalism. Issues such as alienation, class tension, and commodity fetishism should be directly explored and experienced by visitors. A flexible, poly-iterative museum will be necessary to achieve this goal. For this example, I will focus on just one of the major contradictions in capitalism, and therefore only one of the many forms the museum may assume. Specifically, the conflict between capitalism’s concrete manifestation and its fluid aspirations. Capitalism constantly attempts to mitigate the inefficiencies of its physical existence by forcing commodities and labor to take on increasingly liquid or virtual forms1.

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Demolition Proposal

I propose disassembling all ground floor, non-structural elements of buildings taller than 3 stories. Designating the resulting voids as extensions of sidewalk, road, or any adjacent public property. This would operate as a return to the innate tendency of demolition, the creation of openings. Unprogrammed, public, non-accumulative space.

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Innovation Districts as the next Rust Belts

It did not take long before the once glittering, shiny, transparent towers of creativity became smeared with dirt and pollen, streaked with untested compounds. These Babels of innovation still twist and torque into the sky in order to maximize roof garden space, roof gardens which were intended to solve most social ills, if not all. The broad promenades and “piazzas” deserted now, the movable furniture intended to foster creative discussion has since become part of the janitor’s living room. This generation rejects these idealistic swamps and their false freedom.

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Asymmetrical Performance

With density, the qualifier of the city, there comes a feeling of being perceived, observed, of ubiquitous performance.This is an engagement with performance unique to the urban setting. There is potential for true seclusion, non-performance, in low-density settings, but the city assumes the awareness of others. This awareness often results in a perpetuation of social norms. Urban habitants are subject to an extra-judicial surveillance and scrutiny with no nucleus to focus retaliation. The urban effect is exacerbated by a proliferation of digital recording technology and sharing networks. The combination of an assumed audience, and potential for extreme extension of that audience, generates a new realm of performance. This realm may be described as asymmetrical performance, a phenomena which enhances the latent effect of any performance, yet weakens the status of the individual performer.

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Ultimate Monument to Time

Allegedly, the building referred to as 513 Grand Street still exists because it is an exemplary specimen of the building techniques and architectural styles of its time (c. 1827)1. It is considered valuable to preserve this specimen despite the engineering, architectural and anthropological information having already been extracted and efficiently stored years ago.

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La Esponja

Christopher Ruby Gallery
530 W25th St.
New York City, NY

February 25, 2015

Immediately striking is the non-extraordinary scale of this work. Placed on a pedestal with a brown and black speckled marble top, La Esponja is an unassuming 9cm x 6cm x 2cm rectangular prism. The spectacular marble pedestal this piece is offered upon is indisputably indispensable to the majesty of La Esponja, however there is no confusion for the viewer, it is clear that the focal point is the small form placed on top.

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