Room + Body, City + Eye

Core Architecture Studio 3

Fall 2012

Charles Eldred, critic

In Edward Hopper’s “Morning Sun,” a lone woman, eyes black, stares through an open window, towards the City and its light. Hopper’s New York subjects say little, but their postures betray a distant intensity, emotion without expression. Is it fear, uncertainty or longing? It is for us to guess at their secrets, and to empathize.

Buildings also have secret lives: the value of their apartments, based on a fluid blend of parametric variables. Size, view, layout, neighborhood and location–each room, each unit, each building in the City competes against all other buildings, blocks and neighborhoods.

An isolated, vulnerable Body and an integrated, infrastructural City; unbearable human emotion and abstract asset valuation, these are the apparent extremes of both scale and perception that Housing must reconcile. But such extremes are not alien to one another, they are in fact completely intertwined. Hopper’s bodies and windows reveal the circularity of Value: individual emotional responses to space anchor monetary worth, which funds specific materials and configurations, which frame space that moves human emotion.

How can we filter the material and spatial practices of Architecture through the competitive scales of the City in order to construct Value over time, to benefit people’s lives, on a site in East Harlem?

Geof Bell + Rong Zhao A/B
Laura Buck + Hajeong Lim C
Ray Wang + Talene Montgomery D/E
Zachary Edelson + Whitney Starbuck Boykin F