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  • Colonizing Rococo

    Michael ROYER, "Colonizing Rococo." Facade, detail.
    philadelphia PENNSYLVANIA

    University of Pennsylvania, PennDesign
    critic: Matias del CAMPO.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Michael ROYER: The idea behind this project was to develop a contemporary reading of curve as it was used in Rococo Architecture. Techniques such as aggregation and emergence were used to try to revisit these architectural problems.

    Contemporary computer techniques allow for the use of highly complex geometries to be created in a similar way that could only be achieved by master craftspeople in the past. The project was also dealing with the ideas of asymmetry and symmetry and questions of ornament. Looking back at problems from the 18th century bring about questions of contemporary problems such as facade as ornament and the relationship between symmetry and asymmetry. Baroque and Rococo craft work and architecture were a specific jumping off point when looking at these issues. The emergent qualities in the building arise from the aggregation of parts to create to create a whole. The symmetry in the project was then put in as a counterbalance to the emergent technique that had already taken place. This is the point at which an uncanny scenario happens in the building where emergence and contemporary issues of creation are brought back into the historical issues of symmetry and asymmetry of the Baroque and Rococo. The building twisting as it rises from the site is meant to question the dogmatic approach to the ground and transform into a more loose and asymmetrical condition of object in the sky. This can be seen as a interpretation of the difference between Baroque and Rococo where Baroque is symmetric and more static and Rococo become asymmetric and dynamic.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    MR: Matias del Campo, Viennese imperial wagons, rocailles, Gundam Build Fighters, and gold.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?:
    MR: Reading: Fresh Punches; Antoine Picon, Ornament: The Politics of Architecture and Subjectivity; Graham Harman, The Quadruple Object; and Jimenez Lai, Citizens of No Place. Listening to: Flying Lotus; Thundercat; James Blake; Drake; Jim James; David Bowie; The Velvet Underground; Kanye West; Pixies; and Mount Kimbie. Watching: University of Kentucky Basketball; The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    MR: SPAN, Tom Wiscombe, Young & Ayata, Hirsuta, Bureau Spectacular, RUR Architecture, Bittertang, and SIFT Studio.

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