University of Michigan, Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning
critic: James Michael TATE.
suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
Taylor MONTGOMERY: As symbols, domes have been appropriated from cathedrals and basilicas in Europe to become symbols of democracy in the US, a democracy that George Washington established in 1776.
Like the dome, George Washington is a figure that few Americans know much about. The myths become facts and what is revealed is not the complete story. This project seeks to celebrate this obscurity by using the characteristics of the dome to obscure reproductions of George Washington, playing into the celebrated myth of a man.
The dome is normally viewed from a distance. It acts as a mechanism to represent the heavens or infinity. Bringing the dome within reach creates an unfamiliar intimacy with a familiar object. The dome’s hemispherical surface distorts images when they are projected onto it. The figure-in-figure section creates a hidden void that becomes a gallery when viewed through the coffers. Inverting domes in the floor plane created voids where viewers are unable to see the bottom of the void or the full artifact of George Washington.
Studio Outline: This studio focused on the design of a Presidential Library for George Washington, an institution that revolves around collecting artifacts of George Washington in Washington D.C. at George Washington University. Through the production of work that draws inspiration from pop art and historical references whose origins are strongly affiliated with being MADE IN THE USA, this project was treated as a set of discursive documents that speak to explicit concepts about pop architecture.
sP: What or who influenced this project?
TM: Conversations with James Michael Tate; paintings by James Rosenquist; shopping malls; Clark Thenhaus’s “A Project Four Domes”; Beaux-Arts watercolor sections; Christain Kerez’s Lignan Square Project; and proximity to Anthony Gonzales and Olivia Lu-Hill.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?