Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Thesis origin

This update is to explain (to any of you dedicated to reading this far!) a little about my thesis process.  The advice from the university tutors when beginning the thesis was to begin with a location you felt attracted to, with an intrigue to study and understand it.  The first step of this was to create a collage.. (a little artsy for my tastes but I have an open mind!)

I chose the study of the hillside / mountain terrain in Ireland.

The collage(first image below) seeks to convey the qualities of this rural hillside.  Northern Ireland has a significant hillside topography for its size; the Sperrin Highlands, Antrim Hills and Mourne Mountains each create memorable identities for the places where they are found.

The untamed hillside has deterred cultivation through its reduced fertility and hostile conditions both structurally and atmospherically.  This condition of wildness and untainted natural beauty appeals to many people.

What is it about this condition that we find appealing?  The harshness of the place, the sense of risk and the physical exertion involved in traversing it are intrinsic to physical and mental health.   Is it also an escape from the neurosis, scale and tempo of a developed society?  The level of control in a city condition agitates our aspiration towards a sense of personal freedom.  architecture too has succumbed to a loss of freedom, heavily  controlled by planning and building regulation.

This notion of freedom breeds a romanticism associated to the hills that has provided a fertile subject for artists For example the works of Laura Butler, David Livingstone and Lesley Sharpe shown below respectively.

Often the tumbling stone wall is the only relic of human intervention in these landscapes. does architecture have a role in such places? Can the condition that makes these areas what they are be interpreted into an architectural response that enhances this existing condition?  This is what I intended to explore throughout the thesis process.

No comments:

Post a Comment