Our city, what ruins
Author(s)Elliott, Martin Joshua Holmblade
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
MetadataShow full item record
Leaks, demolitions, vacancy and ruins. Our City, What Ruins is a double entendre we use to describe the conditions of urban life at the peak time of our practice. On the one hand, one third of the land lay vacant, transforming into blight, and targeted for demolition. The city was the world's flagship destination for wonders of the modern day ruin. We declared the largest federal bankruptcy in the nation's history, and our democratically elected officials were on their way to prison. It was clear the ruin landscape was an allegory for a failing system from the top down. On the other hand, Our City, What Ruins willfully drops the connotations associated with the ruins and the blight that surrounds them, and the bodies who still call the neighborhoods home. Our practice was born out of a necessity we saw to fill a void in society; a collectively led spatial justice practice that was willing to work both nefariously and legally, on the psyche and on the land, on damaged histories and invented futures. We advocate for an expanded agency of the architect; especially in landscapes of divestment and subtraction. This thesis explores spatial and socio economic tactics relating to rebranding of the body, community wealth building and emancipatory infrastructures in the form of drawings, models, slides, legal documents, literature, animation, collage and various other materials and documentation from the time of our practice. All of this presented in the very bureaus we discovered and rescued from a school tainted for demolition. Just as our practice worked to unravel the failed bureaucracy that helped produce Our City, we dive into our bureaus to question What Ruins?
Thesis: M. Arch., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2018.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology