An Evolution Of Recordkeeping

Exercise Take a narrative structure and translate it into an object. What stories do objects tell? What is the story your object is telling?

Lascaux Cave Paintings, estimated to be up to 20,000 years old.


The majority of the paintings chronicled animals believed to be native to the region.


The Egyptian Dream Book: This papyrus has been dated to the early reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 B.C.).


An early printed version of the King James Bible, dated 1613.


Captain’s Log, R.M.S. Oceanic, 1912


The training logbook of WWII fighter pilot Walter Dove.


Final flight recordings of Air France Flight 447 in June 2009

Flight transcript of “Miracle on Hudson” in January 2009

Daily Practice entries.

Daily habits and how they tell stories.

  1. The ability to chronicle speaks to leisure time and class.
  2. The plotting of these points reveals a lifestyle and level of predictability that is already concerning.
Is my legacy a bunch of color-coded iCal entries?

Structured Interaction: A Field Guide To The Chairs of ITP

Exercise Make something that is inspired by some of the themes in the presentation and relating to the idea of INTERACTIVITY as engagement.

  1. Response to A/D/O interaction with community.
  2. Choice of chairs: doubly significant. We spend our time in them and we often use the motion of sitting and leaning in to signify real attention and presence.
  3. Familiarity of space -how to change behavior with a community that is intimately familiar and ritualistic?
  4. What do the choices that we make regarding the objects that are around us and the items at our disposal signify in terms of identity?

Materiality –> I enjoy the streamlined combination of leather and wood in this mid century modern chaise. I shall have it.

Personality (anamorphism) –> This chair reminds me of a fluffy bear. I’ll sit in it.

Functionality –> I am a minimalist proletariat. Give me the same chair and make sure it’s sturdy.

Aspiration & Personal Branding –> this Herman Miller Chair makes me look both savvy and practical. I’m in the know; a coveted demographic.

Subconscious –> true chair choice represents our ID!

Reaction: How To Assess A Would-Be Interaction

To measure the exhibition on display at a/d/o last week against Hugh Dubberly, Paul Pangaro & Usman Haque’s definitions of interaction (as posited in their co-authored research paper What is interaction? Are there different types?would be to measure the magnitudes of failure on behalf of theLondon School of Architechture students responsible for its existence.

What seemed as though it could have been a thought-provoking exploration of a shifting neighborhood demographic instead became a static fabrication that left little to the imagination and at least this attendee hoping for a larger emotional connection. Their documentation was also terrible.

The machine -effectively a glorified bicycle (which as a process from blueprint to working prototype within the span of ten days was the lone accolade anyone could offer the project) -collected (as opposed to collects because it is no longer in use nor was it built for longevity) samples of neighborhood “artifacts”, and then displayed them in a fabricated museum setting.

What the machine didn’t do was interact with anyone or thing in the environment from which it was collecting said artifacts. What appeared to be a valiant attempt to decipher gentrification and its myriad effects (some positive, mostly negative) was instead a myopic execution without mission or vision beyond its literal purpose.

Rather than focusing on the minutia of machinery -in this case their literal wheelhouse- I would have liked to see the students question the presence of their collected artifacts within the context of the neighborhood. Why are these artifacts so important? Why do we care to see them displayed? What do they represent and how could the answer to that question spark a conversation? The mission should have been more anthropology and less machinery. More connective and less observational. We should have got a conversation piece. Instead we got a non-starter.

Exploring Materiality: Traces & Remnants

Exercise Make your own material – explore the “materiality” of substances.

I took two approaches to this assignment. One was to create a material from many other materials, that was more structural and geometric, and that might stay in place if executed successfully. The other was to focus on the material itself, and think about materials that are around us every day, that might not be considered materials or that might be used differently than the application I’m interested in.


In nature


Cy Twombly at the Centre Pompidou

I’ve recently acquired some triangular paperclips that, for whatever reason, I find to be so much more satisfying to use than regular paperclips.

Though I was really interested in making some sort of mesh out of them and then gluing them together with either hot glue or crazy glue, it quickly became clear to me that the triangles themselves were not cut precisely enough to allow for a smooth line beyond several clips in a row. For this reason, I abandoned the project early on.

Smoke & Mirrors

I have always been interested in the remnants left behind by materials -oils, smoke, fingerprints. I find them beautiful if not ephemeral, and tend to document them as well. For me, this was an obvious point of exploration for this week’s prompt.

The first law of Thermodynamics states that the energy in an isolated system can neither be created nor destroyed. Energy can only be transferred from one form to another.

Bearing in mind the first law of Thermodynamics (which, for existential/atheist reasons I find to be comforting) and thinking about what happens to elements when we burn them, I wanted to focus on using the “smudge” generated from burning different materials:

I attempted to capture the different smokes of different materials in a glass jar.

I then used whatever coating was left as a material to “erase” in order to make patterns/shapes.

Conclusion Though not an entirely satisfying end, I think further experimentation (different vessels/different materials) will yield different results. I look forward to working with more effective materials to burn and surfaces on which to glaze/coat them.

Further Exploration I also thought about how we can use different oils and the ways they bleed as a new material. Though a not entirely developed idea, it’s worth posting some photos here if not for anything else than their aesthetics: