International Competitions in Architecture
Animate (v.) - 1538, "to fill with boldness or courage,"from the Latin: animatusanimare; meaning "give breath to," also "to endow with a particular spirit, to give courage to," from animus meaning "soul, mind, life, breath or wind". perfect present of
In the days of Lumiere's train and Robertson's Phantasmagoria, the sight of moving images was indeed a novelty. These spectres of light shot through the darkness of a theatre space, created an uncanny effect. The uncanny nature of cinematic movement lies in its ability to engulf and draw the viewer into the world on screen. However, this effect has a very tenuous grip on us. The viewer is caught between a state of belief and disbelief. This state of half belief and disbelief is the essence of the uncanniness of moving images.
The desire to bring life to a inanimate objects served as the driving force behind the moving image. With this in mind, one can think of animation as the forerunner of all cinematic endeavours; live-action or otherwise. Animation has always involved the act of decoding and recoding information. In animating, for example, a walking man; animators study his movements, his limbs and the effects of gravity on his body. This decoding of the act of walking is then recoded as a series of drawings of the the man's body and shot at 24 frames per second, the drawings are recoded into the moving image of a walking man. The moving image consists of automatons. Automatons of walking, running and so on. Like the puppet master, the animator orchestrates a dance of automatons in a world of his creation, itself also an automaton.
Philosopher, David Morris, reminds us that our experience of space is not static. It is a crossing of body and world. Our ability to understand space and depth is not purely due to our stereoscopic vision but also to our ability to move into and across space. Perhaps then the moving image's ability to draw us in to a narrative space is because it decodes and recodes our experiences of moving in and across space. On this view space then becomes a fluid entity that acts on and shapes us as much as we act on and shape it in turn.
This project explores these ideas of encoding and recoding spaces into a fluid entity. Spaces that shape the user as much as the user shapes it. This is an antagonistic space; one that is pushed and in turn pushes back to create a reverberation between body and space. These spaces are animated not only by the body but also gravity, sunlight and wind.
The residence is located in and above a back street in Leeds (UK) city centre. The narrow space only receives light from above and has entrances at either end. The residence is a temporary structure intended to be erected during the summer months and acts as a guest house open to anyone. The entire structure is covered in a polymer fabric and open to the weather. The floors and walls give way to the movements of the visitor to create a space visibly in flux.