Inevitable Indeterminacy or the Uncertain Certainty of Our Mortality

Advanced Architecture Studio 5

Fall 2012

Karla Rothstein, critic, with Jennifer Preston

This advanced studio explored architecture in dialog with impermanence, urban archives and our unsettled relationships with memory and identity. Contemplating absence and remembrance, our work pulled the present forward and informs the shape and substance of imminent urban society—redefining what it means for a civilization to be civilized and for mortals to be connected by mortality. Studio work focused on the future of life in cities and the transcendent spaces that emerge between the indeterminacy of urban life and the inevitability of death.

From the highly pragmatic logistics of what we do with dead bodies, to temporal repositories of public and personal archive, to the eviscerating intensity of grief, new spaces of mortality contribute to the civic life of the city. Misaligned with—yet networked through—quotidian urban tissue, design explorations questioned societal notions of the proper while serially navigating intimate experience in concert with the pulse of metropolitan life. Projects engaged the objective, material world, no longer bound to conventions unsuitable to megacities and their diverse mega-populace. Conceptual and operational positions critically contend with time, duration, transience and the liberation of letting go.

Aya Maceda A
Jen Eletto + Kimberly Nguyen B/C/D
Yehsen Su + Shu Fa Pai E/F/G