UBC Graduate Research

Pohladnice Vajda, Lukas 2021-04-26

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POHLADNICEPOHLADNICE byLukas VajdaBachelor of  Regional & Urban Planning with DistinctionUniversity of  Saskatchewan, 2017 Committee:Matthew Soules (Chair)Anna NeimarkThena TakMentor: Chris DoraySubmitted in partial fulfillment of  the requirements for the degree ofMaster of  ArchitectureinThe Faculty of  Graduate Studies,School of  Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Architecture Program.The University of  British Columbia May 2021© Lukas Vajda iv vAbstractLocked out of  Lasserre, displaced to my bedroom interior. Navigating the associative interplay between two spaces. An accumulation of  recorded encounters.New interpretations of  the perceived.vi viiContentFRONT MATTER          Abstract     Content     List of  Figures     AcknowledgmentPREFACEDISPLACED Displacement Encounter MethodologyPOHLADNICE PRIOR TO (Appendix) BIBLIOGRAPHY                iiivviviiix            2467812104246          viii ixList of  FiguresFig. 39  Image by Author.Fig. 40  Image by Author.Fig. 41  Image by Author.Fig. 42  Image by Author.Fig. 43  Image by Author.Fig. 44  Image by Author.Fig. 45  Image by Author.Fig. 46  Image by Author.Fig. 47  Screenshot from Video by Author.Fig. 48  Screenshot from Video by Author.Fig. 49  Screenshot from Video by Author.Fig. 50  Screenshot from Video by Author.Fig. 51  Screenshot from Video by Author.Fig. 52  Screenshot from Video by Author.Fig. 53  Screenshot from Video by Author.Fig. 54  Screenshot from Video by Author.Fig. 55  Screenshot from Video by Author.Fig. 56  Screenshot from Video by Author.Fig. 57  Screenshot from Video by Author.Fig. 58  Screenshot from Video by Author.Fig. 59  Screenshot of  Website by Author.Fig. 60  Screenshot of  Website by Author.Fig. 61  Screenshot of  Website by Author.Fig. 62  Screenshot of  Website by Author.Fig. 1  Image by Author.Fig. 2  Image by Author.Fig. 3  Image by Author.Fig. 4  Image by Author.Fig. 5  Image by Author.Fig. 6  Image by Author.Fig. 7  Image by Author.Fig. 8  Image by Author.Fig. 9  Image by Author.Fig. 10  Image by Author.Fig. 11  Image by Author.Fig. 12  Image by Author.Fig. 13  Image by Author.Fig. 14  Image by Author.Fig. 15  Image by Author.Fig. 16  Image by Author.Fig. 17  Image by Author.Fig. 18  Image by Author.Fig. 19  Image by Author.Fig. 20  Image by Author.Fig. 21  Image by Author.Fig. 22  Image by Author.Fig. 23  Image by Author.Fig. 24  Image by Author.Fig. 25  Image by Author.Fig. 26  Image by Author.Fig. 27  Image by Author.Fig. 28  Image by Author.Fig. 29  Image by Author.Fig. 30  Image by Author.Fig. 31  Image by Author.Fig. 32  Image by Author.Fig. 33  Image by Author.Fig. 34  Image by Author.Fig. 35  Image by Author.Fig. 36  Image by Author.Fig. 37  Image by Author.Fig. 38  Image by Author.x xiAcknowledgmentsI would like to personally express my gratitude to my advisor and thesis Chair, Matthew Soules, for his encouraging support, time invested, and belief  through the two semesters. I would also like to thank my Committee members, Thena Tak and Anna Neimark for their guidance, constant support, and resonating comments throughout this project.To my mentor, Chris Doray, thank you for your incredible desire to nurture, the spirit to help, and the time to invest throughout my education. Thank you to all my peers at SALA that helped and contributed to this project.xii xiiiTento projekt by nebol možný bez miesta, kde som vyrástol a rodiny, ktorá ma doviedla až sem. Bola to práve vzdialenosť od Martina, ktorá bola inšpiráciou pre tento projekt a to, čím sa stal dnes. Miesto, ktoré ma každý deň ovplyvňuje, či už z hľadiska dizajnu alebo povahy. Je to jeden malý potôčik pri Martine, ktorý mi raz umožnil snívať...Týmto by som chcel tento projekt venovať mojej milovanej Dominike, ktorá pri mne stála počas celej doby trvania môjho štúdia na SALA. Ďakujem ti za všetku trpezlivosť a lásku, ktorú si mi venovala počas celého tohto obdobia, neskorých večerov a debát o architektúre v sprche.Pre mojich dokonalých rodičov, ktorí mi svojou neskutočnou, cieľavedomou prácou umožnili získať túto príležitosť. Ďakujem. Taktiež mojej širšej rodine - Starkej, Starkému, Babi, Helenke a všetkým ostatným, ktorí ma počas môjho detstva ovplyvnili len v tom najlepšom smere.A mojim kamarátom zo sídliska - Dávidovi, Ľubovi, Lukášovi a Peťovi, s ktorými každé stretnutie bolo dobrodružstvom a ktorí ma rozosmiali aj na diaľku vždy, keď to bolo treba. Všetkým posielam túto pohľadnicu...xiv xvFig. 1xvi 1PREFACEThe title, Pohladnice, translates to Postcards. In the context of  this thesis, postcards can be understood in both their conventional sense but also as fragments of  life’s accumulated events. They are recordings of  moments in time. They act as reportings in the form of  documentation that hold stories prior and post a period of  time. In this regard, postcards establish a relationship between the sender and the receiver in which the story has multiple entry points. Firstly, it is the experienced story by the sender. Secondly, the unknown in which the postcard rhizomatically travels to the receiver in a network of  steps. Thirdly, the imagined story by the receiver who is momentarily displaced into the presence of  the image or the note that accompanies it. These moments expand the meaning of  the postcard as an object that begins to produce a sense of  presence and dislocation. A narrative device that acts as a doorway to the accumulated encounters from the two semesters. In Slovakian, the word ‘pohladnice’ is rooted from the word ‘pohlad,’ which means a distant gaze. Pohladnice is my distant gaze from Slovakia that initiated this project into being.2 3DISPLACED“The world is indeed bound with secret knots”-Athanasius Kircher4 5This project was initiated by encountering the displacement from Slovakia. My original plan for this graduate project was to go to Slovakia and document abandoned buildings. Due to the global pandemic, this became impossible. This displacement was accompanied by another. I was also locked out to the exterior of  the Lasserre building on UBC campus, which houses the architecture program and into the inside of  my bedroom. A situation marked by its unpredictability and an unexpected divergence in the research of  this thesis. In this regard, a displacement can be understood in its most basic form “as a situation where a new or alien element is introduced into a more or less stable context that provokes a disruption of  the normal order, habits, and conventions.”1 In Scenes of  Ambivalence: Concluding Remarks on Architectural Patterns of  Displacement, the authors discuss that such displacements have the ability to instigate chain of  actions that are characterized by moments of  “improvisation, intuition, risk, and other creative practices that begin to situate the spectator within different registers of  architecture.”2 The authors, Hilde Heynen & André Loeckx, continue by stating:“A displacement can have an inherently critical effect: opening up a closed system, enlarging the possibilities for individual expressions through divergent interpretations, creating new, unexpected layers of  meaning and use, multiplying the range of  acceptable attitudes.”3Therefore, the place where I would normally conduct this thesis, the Lasserre building, emerged as a vessel of  displacement that became a place of  experimentation, documentation, and encountering unexpected layers of  meaning in which new interpretations were embodied. A place of  production became the force of  production. 1  Heynen, and Loeckx, “Scenes of  Ambivalence”, 100.2  Ibid., 100. 3  Ibid., 101. Displacement EncounterThe experience of  a displacement can be understood as an encounter. An encounter is “to experience a situation, especially something that is unexpected.”4 This project deploys architecture not as a static entity but rather an architecture that enables encounters to alter, diverge, and expose latent relationships within the complexity of  connections that surround us. As such, encounters between the two spaces—the exterior of  Lasserre and interior of  my room—which are a 10minute walk apart, triggered a series of  rhizomatic associations that initiated a continuous chain of  events marked by other encounters throughout the term. This emerged from a belief  that architecture exists as a depository of  alternative interpretations waiting to be discovered in the presence of  the spectator. In Architecture’s Desire, Michael K. Hays discusses a similar interpretation of  architecture in his analysis of  John Hejduk’s work: “The viewing subject of  architecture is not just the observer of  an object focused as an image and arrayed before him or her on the plane of  perception. Rather, the subject is also produced by the Architecture, in the moment of  encounter, inasmuch as the architecture – or better, the architecture big Other operating behind the scene of  encounter – exerts a defining, identifying force back on the subject, and in the same vertical plane, so to speak. Architecture is the point of  subjectification from which the viewer’s subject position emerges. As noted, Hejduk understands the elevational surface, together with its temporal dimensions, as the topos of  the cultural reserve of  spatial organizations, of  which each moment of  architectural experience is just one instance. All of  architecture’s latent possibilities, the entire architectural language, lie waiting in accumulated layers just behind the plane.”5In Encounters of  architecture, inadvertent processes of  research engage an opportunity for the alternative, enigmatic, unnoticed beauty. An encounter of  architecture enables the latent to blossom, acknowledging the significance of  uncertainty, intuition, and chance as a tactic for the reinterpretation of  the perceived.4  Cambridge Dictionary  5  Hays, “Architecture’s Desire”, 97. 6 7Encountering the displacements resulted in an accumulation of  recordings throughout the term. Situating these recordings at its core, the approach dwells on a process-driven methodology in which architectural experiments and speculative designs of  objects and spaces are the main method of  representation in this project. Supported by the theoretical framework, this process is inadvertent, and its “development proceeds in a new way that is intrinsic to its context.”6 In Cinematic Architecture, Ingerid Almaas acknowledges the usefulness of  such process: “The aim is not to arrive at definitive answers by a process of  excluding possible alternative; rather, the analysis works by seeing how many different aspects of  the chosen subject, can be made useful or operative.”7 Each of  these “autonomous” architectural processes are influenced by their relative context. As such, each is exposed to a unique set of  tools and representation techniques. Each experiment is distinct in its method of  execution and architectural mode of  representation. It first started by using up accumulated materials and tools from within my room. However, with the unpredictability in mind, the desire was to open up to all forms of  processes and tools in order to allow the chance-occurrences to take shape. Therefore, the recordings took on processes and materials including but not limited to: physical models, 3D printed models, VHS magnetic tape, head-gear design & model, apparatus for collecting images, 3D Scanning of  Sites, creation of  point clouds & 3D models, and more.As the project developed, the modus operandi can be characterized by the following four stages: 1. The ToolThroughout the rhizomatic associations that open to a multiplicity of  other possibilities, other displacements were encountered. Whether fictional, factual, experienced, or interpreted. These displacements can be characterized as findings at a much larger scale and often from distant places. Being part of  the chain of  events, the displacements became recalibrated 6  Schoning, Loffler, and Azevedo, “Cinematic Architecture”, 27. 7  Ibid., 36. into tools that informed this project. Not tools in its literal sense, but as signifiers that carry and trace their meaning into the project by informing the processes and objects of  inquiry within the experienced encounters. The tools can be understood as metaphors of  displacement. Additionally, a metaphor is in itself  a form of  a displacement. This comparison is made by Hilde Heynen & André Loeckx: “Strictly speaking, a metaphor in language is a figure of  speech in which a word is replaced by another word from a different context but with a certain similarity in meaning. Metaphors borrow signifiers, meanings, or practices from other fields to produce new layers of  meaning.”8Therefore, the tools are metaphorical representations of  found displacements from which one can be prompted, referred, and influenced in further recordings of  encounters.2. The performance Each encounter is marked by a form of  performance—an initial collection of  information. Performed physically or digitally as a record of  the presence within a site. A drawing, photograph, a model, design and application of  an apparatus, or material exploration. The physical mode of  documentation—or action of  the human body—plays a significant role in what is recorded. Variations in how recordings are performed such as documentation at a distance, by measuring, photographing while walking versus running, and other techniques all shape the outcome of  the recordings. 3. The Data Information is documented and processed as a graphic study reflecting the experience of  the collection. Repetitive actions of  documenting are deployed as methods for overlaying information. The graphical output becomes the data through which one can compare one encounter with another, and analyze the differences generated  by the varying  physical modes of  documentation. 8  Heynen, and Loeckx, “Scenes of  Ambivalence”, 102.Methodology8 94. The ReinterpretationThe accumulation of  documents can reveal hidden meaning through their quantity or external interpretation. The observation and comparison of  the graphical ‘data’ can then begin to expand the interpretation of  the site and trigger a new form of  design deducted from the data and the encounter, respectively.The project is not marked by a conclusion; it continues. However, the graduate project 02 presentation can be understood as a reporting of  the events so far. Due to the fragmentary nature and scaler-shifts within the project, it was presented as a video of  a continuous walk-through in my small studio which has accumulated the physicality which the project represents. A space smaller than 200 sq. ft. covered in drawings of  the project. Additionally a website was created to function as a simple assemblage of  the work conducted. The project is not concluded, the encounters  continue; the ‘design’ resides in an in-between of  dualities. An in-between of: room – Lasserre, interior – exterior, digital – analog, presence – absence, past – future, and fiction – reality.“Architecture is the object of  investigation, the method of  research, and the mode of  presentation.”-Eyal Weizman in Forensic ArchitectureFig. 210 11POHLADNICEEnter.12 13ArrivalAlthough there is no beginning, there is arrival. A moment, marked by a realization that it’s already occurring. I find myself  on memorial road, recording Lasserre.Fig. 314 15Fig. 416 17Fig. 518 19As I record, the images show new perspectives of  the same place. One image follows another.Fig. 620 21I recently came across a short note...it said that windows carry their own boundaries. Distance CatcherFig. 722 23Fig. 824 25Fig. 926 27Fig. 1028 29As I walk at the furthest periphery, focused glimpses accumulate through the distance catcher…It is the distances between us that begins to dissolve the boundary. Boundary into moments. Moments with other things, moments familiar, yet different. The distance begins to speak. Where does a site begin? Where does it end? And when does one begin to see, as the distance closes in. Fig. 1130 31Fig. 1232 33Fig. 1334 35Fig. 1436 37I return to the room…Where does the site end?And where does it begin? In the room, a single window tells many stories...As I reach outI mark a new distance.And with it, a new threshold.The view endlessly unfolding. And so does the furthest periphery that now glimpse into the view. Fig. 1538 39Separation UnitThere was a letter I once read. It mentioned corridors. Corridors that connect, yet separate too.Fig. 1640 41Fig. 1742 43Fig. 1844 45I arrive in front of  the hallway.Standing at the door,staring down the narrowing perspective,through the gaze, the doors meet.I walk to the other side to the same hallway.This time,with opposite views, towards opposite faces, seeing opposite images. A space with a simple form holds many secrets.The images of  doors record the possibilities of  the single corridor. They remain closed, yet their secrets open.Fig. 1946 47Fig. 2048 49I return to the room. Here the doors open…I explore this new found freedom by attaching a pencil to the door. The openings speak stories as the paper records each new departure followed by an arrival. Two days go by and the data accumulates, revealing a crevice behind each door. This space appears unmarked on the paper… Fig. 2150 51Fig. 2252 53Fig. 2354 55Fig. 2456 57I dwell on the corridor…It is precisely different again.I walk to the other side, to the same hallway.This timeto the opposite end,as I wait at the beginning,with opposite views,towards opposite faces.It is the second time I enter,the first time I arrive.From the outside this is the first origin. From the inside, the last.A door, a hallway, a hallway one too many… And for a moment, the doors meet.And so do the visitors that have not arrived… As the openings accumulate behind each door,a crevice resides. Like a frame into another image, another setting, another place.Fig. 2558 59Fig. 2660 61Fig. 2762 63Found LoftI remember a story I heard. It mentioned doors as surfaces that open on their own account…Fig. 2864 65Fig. 2966 67Fig. 3068 69For now, I return.To the place where the images have slowly taken over the walls of  the interior surface I thought I knew. I begin to record at eye level. A ribbon of  walls that enclose the space. A continuous sequence, like an old tape recording.I reset. Again at eye level, now I run…This time the time is different,and so is the recording. Fragments begin to compress and expand… One image after another.Like emergent patterns in a data set…  Fig. 3170 71Fig. 3272 73I’m arriving again.On the outside, the site is still marked by its surface. And like on the inside, the surface has many encounters  accessible through the perimeter.I begin to walk. Time passes, I turn again. Navigating through the exterior grid. Recording each step through an image of  the surface.I reset.Again at eye level, now I run…And like beforethe time is different, and so is the recording.Fragments begin to compress and expand…Performance turns to data,data to new grids, grids to new surfaces… Fig. 33Fig. 3474 75Fig. 3576 77Fig. 3678 79Fig. 3780 81Encounters accumulate.Paths emerge, one closer,one further,referring one to another. Other vanishing in the darknessas other targets,as other passages.Each image a new instance, a new entry.Marked by doors,door one too many…Fig. 3882 83Fig. 3984 85I arrive.On the outside, the site is still marked by its surface. And like on the inside, the surface has many encounters  accessible through the perimeter. As the perimeter unfolds, the data in a sequence begins to tell stories…Fig. 4086 87Fig. 4188 89The doors are not there,Yet I enter…It is the first time I leave,reaching the last pointfor the first time.Through the passage inside,an inside which is in fact openby the other doors,through to the other passages. But even when one enters, it is to the outside.And when one enters,it is always between things…Fig. 4290 91Fig. 4392 93Fig. 4494 95Fig. 45Fig. 4696 97Video StillsFig. 47Fig. 50Fig. 53Fig. 56Fig. 48Fig. 51Fig. 54Fig. 57Fig. 49Fig. 52Fig. 55Fig. 5898 99Website ScreenshotsFig. 59Fig. 61Fig. 60Fig. 62100 101102 103This section includes the full report from graduate project 01, the work from the first semester of  this thesis. It includes an in-depth theoretical analysis that informed this project as well as the processes and designs that were made throughout the period of  the first semester. This includes the documentation of  four sites: two accessible and two displaced. The recordings of  these sites informed and guided the project as it developed. Among other things, the booklet also includes other rhizomatic associations that, at the time, seemed to be the driving force of  the project only for the trajectory to be ruptured, guiding the project into other possibilities. Consistent with what the project is today, a final outcome or conclusion was not the objective of  graduate project 01. Rather, it was a continuous chain of  events and documentation that expanded beyond the bedroom, the campus, and into other spatio-temporal scales.PRIOR TO104 105106 107108 109110 111112 113114 115116 117118 119120 121122 123124 125126 127128 129130 131132 133134 135136 137138 139140 141142 143144 145146 147148 149150 151152 153154 155156 157158 159160 161162 163164 165166 167168 169170 171172 173174 175176 177178 179180 181182 183184 185186 187188 189190 191192 193194 195196 197198 199200 201202 203204 205206 207208 209210 211212 213214 215216 217218 219220 221222 223224 225226 227228 229230 231232 233234 235236 237238 239240 241242 243244 245BIBLIOGRAPHYBorges, Jorge Luis. “The Aleph,” Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1961.Brodsky, Alexander & Utkin, Ilya. “Cancelled 6/21/90,” France: L’Esprit de   l’Escalier, 2017.Calvino, Italo. “Invisible Cities,” ed: Willian Weaver. Toronto: Mariner Books.   1978.Deleuze, Gilles. “Cinema 2: the time-image,” Translated by Hugh Tomlinson   & Robert Galeta, Minneapolis: University of  Minnesota Press. 2013. Derrida, Jacques. “Speech and Phenomena: And Other Essays on Huseerl’s   of  Signs”, Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1973. Derrida, Jacques & Prenowitz, Eric. “Archive Fever: A Freudian Impression,”   (From: Diacritics, Vol. 25, No.2, pp 9-63.) The Johns Hopkins    University Press.Hays, K. Michael. “Architecture Desire,” Cambridge: The MIT Press, 2010. Heyden, Hilde & Loeckx, Andre. “Scenes of  Ambivalence: Concluding Re   marks on Architectural Patterns of  Displacement,” Journal of     Architectural Education., Vol., 52.2, pp100-108.Manolopoulou, Yeoryia. “The Active Voice of  Architecture: An     Introduction to the Idea of  Chance,” Field Journal., Vol.1., pp62-72. Otero-Pailos, Jorge. “Experimental Preservation”, Places Journal,     September 2016. https://doi.org/10.22269/160913Schoning, P., Loffler, J., and Azevedo, R., eds. “Cinematic Architecture,”    Belgium: Cassochrome, 2009.Weizman, Eyal. “Forensic Architecture: Violence at the Threshold of     Detectability,” New York: Zone Books, 2017. 246 247248 249

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