UBC Graduate Research

[Im]Permanence in Architecture : and the many lived experiences of a home Norman, Monica


For most, the home is where our lives are cultivated. It is where we start our days and where we return to when we need comfort. Rooted in domestic space, this project considers the home a safe haven, where we feel stable and secure, and where we are able to be our most vulnerable selves. Our home reflects our inner being. It fosters our hopes and aspirations and grounds us in place. The utilitarian purpose of architecture is quite different from the metaphysical need of architecture. Typically designing in a functional space, the suppression of our emotions by architecture has hindered the user’s ability to create meaningful experiences that engage both the body and the mind. There is a divergence here that gives architects an opportunity to both ground the user in reality and uphold their thoughts and desires. This thesis argues that the home is not static. Spaces morph and change by projecting our emotions, thoughts, and memories back on to us. We experience that which is perceptible, whether it exists in reality or merely as a figment of our imagination. The house, then, is able to reside in the space between the material world and the imaginative realm. [Im]Permanence in Architecture operates at the intersection of what we take for granted and what we truly experience in a home. This project challenges the understanding of architecturally designed instances -- in the same home under differing external conditions -- as an investigation into how the impermanence of our inner being translates to a space that is perceivably not static. The physical space we occupy may have an aura of permanence and rootedness, but our memories, emotions, and imaginations carry with them an impermanence that allows us to experience space in new and meaningful ways.

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