• Blurred Boundaries

    Samer AFIFI, "Blurred Boundaries." Plan.
    chicago ILLINOIS

    University of Illinois at Chicago
    critic: Sean LALLY.

    suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.

    Samer AFIFI: The definition of “interior,” or more accurately the boundary that determines what “Interior” is, has changed and developed throughout time. . . .

    Originally, interior was defined as a mental or spiritual aspect of human life, and the beliefs and ideas of people. It developed through a reciprocal interaction and relationship of other similar “interiors.”

    When the focus and perspective of people shifted from needs to desires, so did the definition of interior. People began to use their homes as a reflection of themselves, a kind of representation of who they are. The home became their “interior.”

    With the development of design methods and building technology, our built environment evolved. The boundaries between interior and exterior began to blur and mix. New “materials” such as light started to redefine spaces. Light in public places acts in the same way as a physical boundary: it creates occupiable bubbles in dark open areas. These spaces begin to function as interior spaces that can house a program by simply defining a perimeter, and are no longer bound to physical and tangible materiality.

    With the ability to extract interior programs and place them in exterior spaces, the boundaries between inside and outside have no clear definition. That vague separation, as well as today’s technological advancements, translates into a new type of private and public. Disconnection from society, the internet, and media have become the new private. Therefore, with the help of these new building materials, we can create a different kind of architecture that is less physical and more informational—whether visual, digital, or otherwise.

    sP: What or who influenced this project?
    SA: Sean Lally’s work and book, which deal with a new type of energy-based architectural materiality and the potential it has to affect how people preserve architecture as well as how the field itself will develop and change.

    sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
    SA: Reading: Sean Lally, The Air from Other Planets: A Brief History of Architecture to Come; Kim Stanley Robinson, 2312; Charles Rice, Emergence of the Interior: Architecture, Modernity, Domesticity; and Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, Beautiful Creature series. Listening to: Adele; Zedd; David Guetta; and Christina Perri. Watching: True Blood; Game of Thrones; Friends; and The Walking Dead.

    sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
    SA: Tom Wiscombe Architecture, JDS Architects, Jimenez lai, Sean Lally, and Zaha Hadid Architects.

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