Reclaiming Central: a City of ‘Interiors’

Studio name: Architecture & Urban Design

Geography Landscape Infrastructure

Physical urban landscape and social space of Central, built and human.

This studio is essentially as archaeology of the present, a projection of a possible future from the traces embedded in the present.

Its challenge is to transcend the shallowness of the familiar perception of place by observing:

−  How people really use space and appropriate it, and

−  How multiple places can co-exist within the same space.

We re-imagine both local and imported cultures, technology, information and tourism, resurrecting commerce and trades, importing new speculative ideas and challenging the conventional approaches.

Also, we rethink the notion of artificiality of the city, how it was initially constructed and how this very notion could once again revive its vitality.

In the contemporary city, public space is reduced to a piece of real estate. Has the domestic world become the new public space? Are the new public rooms of the city to be found in the hotel and airport lounges, the shopping malls and the private gardens of the condominiums? In this turning inside-out of the city can architecture and the city interact and develop alternative narratives that question this crisis? Can they open up the city to its own complexities and contradictions and hence create the possibility of Negotiation, the very nature of “Citiness”?

Architecture is about the construction, addition to or rebuilding of cities. Architectural form is not an unrelated object, but always pertains to an ancient language of urban form and structure.

In this studio, formal propositions are related to their urban context and implications, to bring an urban condition into a complexity and richness of experience.

It is interesting again to have the opportunity to engage in ‘paper architecture’ and produce propositional realities, rather than real propositions. What spaces do the current contradictions of Central open up, to think beyond the current status quo?