critic: Dwayne OYLER.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Prajakt KARMARKAR: This thesis is about the presence of absence through the lens of drawing.
The specific types of drawings that I am interested in all make use of an abundance of lines—some of those lines convey latent geometries while others convey a more whimsical quality that is less explicit in their origins. The intention while producing the drawings was often to make the readings of the lines ambiguous in order to create an interesting visual and spatial effect. An attempt has been made to take these readings and interpret them into a building that mobilizes the absence of the building that was previously on the site.
I am trying to take the stable, inscribed convention of architectural drawings throughout the history of architecture and destabilize them. This destabilization is done in order to open up new possibilities by translating construction lines into constructed objects. The whole point of construction lines is that they only exist in conception of the building. So, when one starts building them and takes them seriously about their real possibilities, the construction lines produce a kind of blurred world around them. This is due to the presence of the absent element. Making those non-actual things actual, the object of this operation produce unique qualities.
The project proposed the reconstruction of the cathedral at Soissons, France, which currently exists only as a facade. The building is currently haunted by the existence of the previous cathedral; it is my intention to provide a strange simultaneous presence of actual and virtual elements.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
PK: Micromegas drawings by Daniel Libeskind, Perry Kulper, Michael Hansmeyer, Wim Delvoye, and Iris van Herpen.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
PK: Reading: AD magazine; Data Flow; and Robin Evans. Watching: Dan Cruickshank’s documentaries and SCI-Arc Media Archive lectures.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
PK: Coop Himmelb(l)au, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Studio Gang, SHoP Architects, and Oyler Wu Collaborative.
Additional credits and links:
SCI-Arc, Thesis Advisor: Dwayne Oyler
Cultural studies: Todd Gannon
Thesis prep: Ramiro Diaz-Granados
And special thanks to Andrew Smith, Rishab Jain, Yves Lu, Abhishek Sakpal, Arjun Hosakere, and Smita Lukose for their help.