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  • Cybernetic Assemblages

    Dance Center, Printers Row: Cybernetic Assemblages
    chicago ILLINOIS

    Illinois Institute of Technology
    critics: steven BRUBAKER, harry MALLGRAVE, tom JACOBS, martin FELSEN, & dan WHEELER

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    nikita TROUFANOV: “Dance Center, Printers Row: Cybernetic Assemblages.” The proposed project explores the idea of superimposition and cybernetic assemblages. By combining and overlaying organic, natural, smooth systems with machine-like, synthetic, rigid ones, a deeper experience of architectural space is achieved.

    Cyborg as an idea and image has informed much of the process where new nature, transformation and time are central themes. Through exploitation of cyborg vocabulary such as plug-ins, prosthetics, new skins and add-ons an architectural Cyborg is developed.

    The 4 dance spaces are conceived as organic chambers or organs, for organic activity of the body. These spaces are connected by a ceremonial staircase of machine character – a prosthetic device much like the retrofitted fire escape stairs on buildings from 19th century. Each dance space / organ is shaped to cater to each unique dance style in terms of size, interior finishes and relationship to the site.

    The Dance Center captures and expresses cyborg nature of the surrounding buildings with their mechanical equipment ‘plugins’, escape staircase ‘prosthetics’ and curtain wall ‘new skins’ – as a Cyborg in a neighborhood of Cyborgs. The massing of the building is determined by 2 goals: free up the ground plane and maximize sunlight exposure. Most of the mass is placed at the top of the building, touching the ground lightly at street level. The cantilevered mass is then carved to allow sunlight to penetrate deep under the building. The resulting open space is turned into an urban plaza and outdoor garden for the community. The paving of the plaza is seen as new urban skin which not only covers the plaza but also the blank wall of the neighboring building to south as well as the south facade of the Dance Center.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    nT: Cyborgs from fiction and non-fiction, Medieval armor, Steven Brubaker’s psychoanalysis

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    nT: Reading “Cyborg Manifesto” by Donna Harraway; listening to brutal Dubstep; watching Ghost in The Shell.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    nT: Peter Zumthor, Olafur Eliasson, Zaha Hadid Architects, R&Sie(n), Snohetta, and Trahan Architects.

    Additional credits or links
    [troufanov.com]

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