Cyclic matter(s) in architecture
Author(s)Halsey, Shepard(Shepard Anton)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture.
Cristina Parreño Alonso and Jennifer Cookke.
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The matter comprising the human body is in a constant state of change, part of a cycle of death and new life, of destruction and reconstitution. From geophysics to cellular biology, processes across scales exhibit cyclic behavior, providing a framework toward understanding both the physical and the metaphysical potential of death as a process. This project interrogates the rituals and material of death through the frame of the cycle to propose an architecture of the death process that confronts multiple contemporary issues. There is first the problem, magnified by the COVID-19 crisis, of how to dispose of bodies. Second, is a cultural denial of death, leading to an avoidance of death at all costs and a lack of contemplation for the inherent meaning in this transition. Last, is the banality of the spaces in which death occurs or a passing is marked. The goal of the project is to question how as a society, we might discover a new attitude towards death, bodies, and how to commemorate those who have passed. Through a synthesis of ritual, materials, and cycles in life and in nature, the material of this project: the building, the landscape, and the human users become reinforcing participants in the creation of a new cycle of death and life.
Thesis: M. Arch., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, May, 2020Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (pages 59-63).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Architecture
Massachusetts Institute of Technology