critic: Niall McLAUGHLIN.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Kaveh ARBAB: The aim of this project was to explore and push understandings of my design process—specifically, the relationship between drawing and physical modeling.
My critic, Niall Mclaughlin asked me to create any architectural project on any site in downtown LA. Being a musician and having an interest in how music is performed, I wanted to create an amphitheater that challenges traditional relationships between Performer and Audience. In order to understand this progression in context, I studied classical performance spaces in parallel to the works of John Cage & Iannis Xenakis who dedicated their lives to challenging formal performance procedures. I took the idea of a classical Greek amphitheater and dissected it in to a series of plates stacked on top of each other at two feet. I then disrupted each plate with a diagrammatic drawing process that uses site lines from surrounding points of attraction around downtown Los Angeles. The intent of these disruptions was to create secondary cave-like performance spaces that are attached to the main amphitheater. Each “cave” has views directed to varying points of interest around downtown LA. The idea behind this was to give the amphitheater 2 functions. The first is a traditional large performance space for singular events. The second allows it to act as a a field of multiple performance spaces where the audience can explore different acts from cave to cave. In the latter case, they use the main space as a communal/ intermediary outdoor zone. This condition allows the audience to construct their own performance narrative as opposed to being dictated one single narrative from one stage. In the end, I believe the design also became a subconscious manifestation of my explorations of the rock valleys at Indian Cove in Joshua tree.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
KA: Niall Mclaughlin, UCLA Class on Anonymity by Sylvia Lavin, drawings by John Cage & Iannis Xenakis, Fun Palace By Cedric Price, Electronic music performances such as Boiler Room.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
KA: Reading: Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault. Listening to: Unicorn Kid, Pictureplane, The Underachievers, Joey Badass/ Capital Steez, mixes by Satoshi Fumi.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
KA: Bureau Spectacular (Jimenez Lai), Weathers (Sean Lally), Ozel Office (Guvenc Ozel), Anonymous.
Additional credits and links: