Of pigeons, and mud, and streets, and clouds
Author(s)Weaver, Christopher Allen.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
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Attending to nonhumans--the innumerable trees, rats, cows, copper, smog, clouds, bricks, oil, shade, doors, speed bumps, and others who must be omitted for the requisite brevity of an 'abstract'--orients the ecological problem per our everyday epistemology: how we relate with the world. In this domain, architecture, fundamentally an environmental medium, may operate as a fulcrum, shifting how we situate ourselves within the world.Yet, before we can design in such a way, we must first learn to witness the agency of nonhumans, a shift which demands expanded practices of attention and representation. This thesis focuses on a technique of mediated observation-simultaneously filmic, sonic, and textual-promoting an awareness of the multiple dimensions through which nonhumans constitute collectives. Playing upon the ubiquity of mobile devices, these techniques are brought together in the form of a smart phone application that prompts users to redirect their attention to the multitude of entities active around them. Participants' responses aggregate as a database of relational anecdotes, which is then choreographed into a series of episodic representations. Forgoing the human monopoly over the fabrication of worlds, these seek to foster an aesthetic "contact zone" whereby the agency of nonhumans is foregrounded. De-centering, yet not negating, the human.
This electronic version was submitted by the student author. The certified thesis is available in the Institute Archives and Special Collections.Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2019Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 127-129).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology