629 Arabella is a conceptual design proposal enacted by DPMT7 on behalf of the City of Defiance and the Defiance City Schools Board of Education intended to investigate past and present with a vision for the future. The primary intent is to engage with the opportunities inherent within the present infrastructure and access the current communal nostalgia, serving not purely as an act of preservation, but as a potential civic stimulus to instigate future investment and cultural growth.
By taking stock of the current site and carefully reconstructing the interstitial connections between the 1918 and 1928 iconic structures, a unified mixed-use campus can be developed as an anchor to the existing city center business district. The proposal respects the core components of the existing architecture by condition-ing the site for active future use and development.
The north side of the site, encompassing the triptych of the 1918 school building, 1928 auditorium and gym-nasium, will be developed as an interconnected hospitality, conference, event and performance space. The south side will function as a high density residential and community arts component of the campus.
This master plan aims to activate the fluid connections internal and external to the 629 Arabella site and the city of Defiance as a whole. With the intent of drawing a new density of residential spaces and engendering a regional cultural arts presence that exists locally.
Welcome to our world of experiencing the (k)new – a web of lines structure but not programmed, forming a spatial construct of public and private, a gallery within; a textured space of solitude where the distinctions between past, present and future is a persistent illusion. The eye moves interrupted by image constructing the formal; a square, a collage of sequence vignettes of everyday, an operatic insight of thought. Central to every member of 7 is a facility to express ones thoughts through making. The “constructions” are isolated curiosities; but through an iterative process of re-imagining and conversation develop into a rich spatial collage of banal. The process grows in a naïve and organic manner but cultivated when applied to a given prompt and constrained though a determined rule-set; pulled directly from the surrounding context, history and in the frame of the post-industrial landscape, we utilize the ready to facilitate; A bricolage of experience, fabrication or place: creating a critical feedback look – the iterative nature of process facilitates a performative quality to each moment, not in a definitive conclusion but rather a line of argument in a continuing conversation; a palimpsest of investigation and expression. The construct, formed in time, formalized, the goat embraced by the tire; a dinosaur of process in a way of making, image as individual or collected in a Buñuel narrative. Are the six one or seven in 360 degrees of invisible cities; This is for the individual to conclude and decide not a conscription of thought. Step out of the web; for a moment, what may appear in scale of the fly suspended in line holding a familiar vision of place beyond reach. A moment of new perspective, a decent into the container refocuses a datum experienced beyond reach. Words. Moving back through waves of light washed over by the sirens towards the materiality of the Stelae – a quiet memorial to a seemingly insignificant place, object or person that we have known are worth considering and celebrating, in time; 24 figures in assemblage of magical realism, watched over by a vision beyond. A collected mass of threads created in alchemy for the curation of agency. The tangible becomes intangible and re-presents a view of the past in feeding the present; A ceaseless activity, a new presentation of the whole, grounding the foundation of the structure above. Passing through the threshold of light enveloped by the wales of industry, thought presents itself framed in a future space articulated by a colonnade to the west and to the east figures of eight and a half stand motionless.In the moment one slips into memory and present, through the light into a space of another; the sound is quitted by the silence and the images the other appears. An apparatus of thought and experience wrapped and tied in a model within.
UN TEATRO DEL NUOVO
un teatro del nuovo
The Young Architects Competition Post-Quake Visions, calls for ideas to address the future of Crevalcore, Italy, a small historic municipality that was badly damaged by an earthquake in 2012.
Our proposal mandates that buildings not be torn down, but investigates the possibility of using temporary structures to generate revenue for the buildings repairs. The proposal utilizes existing scaffolding that is already in place as a dramatic and unique venue for performance theatre. The theatricality of the model evokes the playfulness, flexibility, and scale of the proposal.
Registered in plaster, the city center hangs with great weight, while lifted and floating freely, evoking the spirit of Fellini, the scaffolding swings in motion, balanced as a mobile. Displayed as line, a vast number of moments emerge: the Cyclorama, the Shakespearean – Romeo and Juliet Tower, the Marionette, the Opera, the Cinema, the Divine Comedy, the Basilica. These archetypal projections become spatial experience.
The simplicity of the line moves throughout the city, reinforcing the degradation of the existing without masking it. History is placed on display – a performance – reactivated through a reinvigoration of the layers of the urban landscape: above, within and below.
The teepee, located in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, is the culmination of numerous iterations of line studies examining the capacity of twisted members to simultaneously define space and provide structure. Here, deployed as a backyard pavilion, bamboo members are tethered to an aluminum hoop, providing rigidity and a framed upward view through an open oculus.
When we were approached with the Pelican we didn’t know what to think, but we engaged a local philanthropist's dream to help raise one million dollars for charity. He commissioned us to design a pelican capable of holding 100,000 wiffle golf balls to be suspended in the air from a helicopter. The wiffle balls were released over a stadium full of lottery targets.
In total, the process took roughly a year and a half, and we coordinated with the FAA, local engineers, and a former Disney parade float sculptor to bring this project to fruition. The design required careful attention to balance and weight, a set of bomb doors to be operated via a switch in the helicopter's cabin, and also that the bird could be disassembled and transported in a standard box truck. Finally, after months of preparation, and in an indescribable moment of bizarre spectacle, the bird flew, and the balls dropped.
Tiny Living is a set of single occupancy rooms for sitting. Featured as part of an exhibition / panel discussion of the same name sponsored by UC’s Niehoff Urban Studio and Community Design Center, each of these installations questions the amount of space we use for daily tasks within the context of reducing our building footprint.
The individual pallets measure roughly 4’x4’ in size, representing approximately enough space for one person to do one thing comfortably. Given that though there is no requirement to be considered a tiny home, with most ranging from 100sqft to 900sqft, what rooms of the home become most important?
The materials for the installation were found within the archives of our studio's basement, further embedding the theme of reuse, and consequentially evoking typical residential finishes of our childhood: laminate flooring, wood paneling, ceramic tile, astro-turf, and wallpaper. Each tiny installation also contains a repurposed DPMT 7 original work, subtly placed within the room’s context.
Why Cake? Cake is not architecture? Should it be? Why Detroit? What is wrong with Detroit? What is wrong with this site? Why must there be something wrong with this site? Why does nobody go to Heart Plaza? Why didn’t the renaissance center ignite the rebirth that it intended? Why don’t we hop on the people mover? Could that be our highline? Why do we want the highline? What should the site be used for? Why not a strip mine? Then the full value of the land could be extracted. Or perhaps we should follow the example of the luddites? Perhaps culture might flourish in the absence of technological influence. Maybe still a monumental icon would be more appropriate? Then Detroit would finally have a front yard to be proud of. Who would see it? Maybe Detroit needs to recruit people to live in its urban core? Should we open the site up to homesteaders? Maybe then people would invest in the land with the prospect of ownership? What is ownership? Who should decide what happens to this site? Maybe nothing should happen to the site? Maybe Detroit needs a new marketing campaign? Maybe we should give the site a colorful new mask to spark excitement? Does anything on the site need to change to make it better? Is new better? What would make people come to the site? If we found something amazing would they come to the site then? What is amazing? What makes people excited? Cake makes people excited. People like cake.
Lets eat cake.
This chair, to be staged in the public space of Battery Park, interprets the heritage of the “chair” type into a riff on spatial ownership and fortification in the supra-national territory of lower Manhattan. The result is a repeatable urban object-space designed for sit-ting. The chair is designed as a repeatable, tumbling unit, which works in concert with duplications of itself, allowing visitors to frame larger settings or even rooms within the context of the park. Spontaneous spatial democracy and community take place as people work together to frame their places for sitting.
The formation of this chair arose with the constraint of creating the largest object capable of being fabricated in our Cincinnati warehouse space, while exiting via the freight elevator, and being loaded into a standard pick-up truck. The form is generated through a simple chair silhouette registered in mason line, fractured, bent and distorted to form seats, provide sculptural interest, and facilitate the tumbling movement of the chair.
In SALT we occupied a shipping container throughout the 7 week Factory Square Arts Festival. We chose to work with simple salt blocks, pristine white, tapered, and with two different circular holes on top and bottom, as an assembly of units offering numerous formal and material possibilities. Each week authorship in the construction of the spatial installation changed, one new material would be added, opening to the public on Saturday and then inhabited for a shared meal and discussion on Sunday. Each construction became a direct response to the marks of the past iteration, and throughout the salt be-came stained with the soot of flame, the blood of fillet fish, erosion by water, and the seasoning of beets.