University of Illinois at Chicago
critic: sean LALLY
suckerPUNCH: describe your project.
christopher SAVANELLI & ivan OSTAPENKO: As metropolitan economies outgrow their bases in industrial manufacturing and trade into global markets for cultural production and consumption, large tracts of now disused land are being redeveloped to serve contemporary cultural institutions.
Because of its siting, scale, and programmatic requirements this competition provides an opportunity to gage the disciplinary standing of architecture in an environment where distinctions between once clearly demarcated ﬁelds of architectural, urban and landscape design are becoming increasingly blurred.
Pop Music and Marine Culture are understood as elastic categories, encompassing various activities that change with time. For example, Marine Culture can be used to designate industrial and economic activities, as well as biological ecosystems that may be seen as threatened by their expansion. Understanding that the two are not mutually exclusive systems (industry and nature), one of the aims of the project is to structure an environment that allows for both to occur simultaneously.
The project’s design internalizes object/environment or ﬁgure/ﬁeld relationships through articulation of a thickened urban surface and distribution of program into a campus plan. Strategies from landscape design are used to create a range of shifting microclimates that are brought together in a network. Surface, thickness, and protrusions of the artiﬁcial ground condition and are conditioned by bodies that occupy them. In other words, as the intensity of activity in one zone of the project increases or decreases, other zones respond accordingly. Topography acts as a structural field allowing a degree of control over ﬂuctuations in climate and program.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
cs & iO: Sean Lally (for his interest and work in climate design), John Hejduk (for handing us figuration as a disciplinary project), Jeff Kipnis (for handing us Hejduk, and much more baggage than could be described here), RE Somol (for posing the problem of a cartoon practice), Andy Zago (for wanting to see less images and more drawings from architects)
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
cs & iO: reading: 150+ pages per week of the history of Italian modernism, pragmatic manuals for landscape designers, Sculpture in the Expanded Field by Rosalind Krauss, Differential Gravities by Greg Lynn
listening to: James Brown, Kanye West, Phoenix, Rush, Swashbuckle, Gogol Bordello, Do Make Say Think.
watching: the Sopranos, Curb your Enthusiasm, East Bound and Down, Trailer Park Boys, Modern Family
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
cs & iO: Carme Pinos, Julien De Smedt, SHoP, Daniel J Kirk (http://dksmind.com/) . . .
Critic: Sean Lally