ITEM METADATA RECORD
Title: Lived modernism: when architecture transforms
Authors: le Roux, Hannah; S0197902
Issue Date: 1-Oct-2014
Abstract: Lived modernism explores the moments when architecture changes. Inspired by my first hand experience of the contemporary reuse, in Africa and beyond, of spaces constructed during modernism, specifically from 1945 to 1975, it works to extract approaches and concepts applicable to the contemporary practice of architecture. Modernist space, despite its deterministic intentions, becomes open at the moment of appropriation by emergent social practices. This lived modernism can find an analogy in design, specifically in the practice of critical design. The critical stance works in two ways, towards a theoretical redefinition of the agency of design, and through the practice of experimental probes.The central work took place through the social and spatial design of two new micro-projects in the township of KwaThema and the inner city of Johannesburg. These projects involve a combinatory approach to architecture that connects forms of spatial practice that have existed in parallel. The objective is the making of what is termed transforms, short-lived projects which act as catalysts of transitions between the status quo and future scenarios of a richer, more inclusive city. The main theme of reflection is on transforms, an open, placeholder term given to describe the designerly elements that catalyse moments of change. When modernism is re-appropriated, its existing materials allow for new uses and identities to take shape. Transforms are tied to the definition of imaginative scenarios that interrelate this found and apparently empty context, which is excavated from beneath the layers generated by the lifecycle of the physical context, with still ephemeral and gestural social formations. In the process, the typological roots of modernist space can become pure support, as a minimal and abstract form, and the emergent social aspects are projected and amplified. The study then records how, using the model of agents of lived modernism in Africa and the arts, it has engaged over time with sites and subjects of change, developing methods of documentation, including timelines and network diagrams. These processes guide the design of transforms, as they locate and catalyse the moments where the temporal, social and formal dimensions of transformation coincide. The consequence is to shift the focus of design away from determinism and towards the construction of transformative moments that recognise and value the residue of modernism as Commons, and the alternative social practices that lay claim to it. Such design probes could generate critical insights into the potential role and value of architecture in reshaping the everyday world. Design thus plays a complex role, producing not only objects and relations, but also provoking a reflective process that supports the desire for transformation.
Table of Contents: TABLE OF CONTENTSINTRODUCTION 1
1. documentary/reflection/project 4
1.1 a moment: Holy Cross School 4
1.2 other moments 4
1.3 transforms 5
2. contexts 8
2.1 porous modernism 8
2.2 the personal and the political 8
2.3 the touchstone of Africa 10
2.4 the Crisis 12
3. aims 13
3.1 modifying modernism 13
3.2 starting with the minor 13
3.3 emancipatory narratives 14
4. approach 16
4.1 a constructed methodology 16
4.2 design research 18
5. structure 22
5.1 Part I: reviewing (lived) modernism 22
5.2 Part II: modernism | transforms | architecture 22
5.3 Part III: practice transforms 23
5.4 notes on formatting 23
5.5 project location 24
I. REVIEWING (LIVED) MODERNISM 25
1. modes of (re)viewing 26
2. documentary: the other lives of African modernism 27
2.1 overview 27
2.2 struggle scenes, 1976-1990 29
2.3 inner city Johannesburg, 1997 30
2.4 Nigeria, 2002 31
3. ambivalent reuses 32
3.1 seminars 32
4. dirty dozen: creative reuse 33
4.1 overview 33
4.2 a dozen projects 35
4.2.1 the field of choice 35
4.2.2 tabling 35
4.2.3 comparing 40
4.3 dozens of strategies 44
4.4 minor modifications 50
4.5 tabling strategies 50
5. conclusion of part I 52
II. MODERNISM | TRANSFORMS | ARCHITECTURE 53
1. introduction 56
2. the contexts of transforms 57
2.1 lived modernism 57
2.2 theoretical contexts 57
2.2.1 after strong architecture 57
2.2.2 the Commons 60
2.2.3 recognitions of social emergence 61
2.2.4 intersections 61
3. social MNMLSM 63
3.1 minimalism 63
3.2 four minimalist practices 64
3.2.1 four out of many 64
3.2.2 Montessori: preparation of space; teaching aids 64
3.2.3 el Lissitzky: Prouns 65
3.2.4 Oiticica: penetrables; parangolés; bólides 65
3.2.5 Condorelli and Wade: Support Structures 66
3.3 Parallels between practices 68
3.3.1 reading the field 68
3.3.2 social emancipation 68
3.3.3 objects as support 68
3.3.4 neutrality 68
3.3.5 utility and autonomy 69
3.3.6 on parallels 70
4. diagramming transforms 71
4.1 terminology and its traps 71
4.2 transforms diagram 72
5. conclusion of part II 75
III. PRACTICE TRANSFORMS 77
1. THE KWATHEMA PROJECT: PRACTICE TRANSFORMS 79
1. the pilot: KwaThema 82
1.1 overview 82
1.2 KwaThema as lived modernism 84
1.3 seven weeks in KwaThema 89
1.3.1 overall project 89
1.3.2 The Beerhall as focus 90
1.3.3 conflicting perspectives 91
1.4 adapting the KwaThema Project as a model 92
1.5 KwaThema Project timeline 93
2. elements of practice 100
2.1 overview 100
2.2 archaeology 100
2.3 finding the fragile 101
2.4 imagining change 102
2.5 resisting bureaucracy 103
2.6 physical preparation 103
2.6.1 material clearing/cleaning 103
2.6.2 found objects 104
2.6.3 fixing 105
2.6.4 coding 105
2.7 choreography 106
2.8 moments 108
2.8.1 inversion 108
2.8.2 limiting intervention 109
2.9 afterwards 110
2.10 representation 111
2.10.1 combinatory diagrams 111
2.10.2 timelines 112
2.10.3 network diagrams 112
2.10.4 representing fit 114
2.10.5 vanishing transforms 114
3. conclusion 115
2. PITCH: THE LANDSCAPE TRANSFORMS 117
1. overview 120
1.1 (re)marks 120
1.2 landscape marks and social goals 121
2. documenting soccer 123
2.1 the view from the air 123
2.2 the view from the ground 130
2.3 soccer histories 130
2.4 the transformation of soccer 131
2.5 Legacy Fields 132
3. soccer in KwaThema 136
3.1 soccer sites 136
3.2 SAFA games 140
3.3 open fields 140
3.4 Nthokozweni 140
3.5 open fields/open questions 143
4. catalysing games 146
4.1 proposition 146
4.2 timelines 147
4.3 White Line Unit 152
4.4 open fields tournament 156
4.5 Eudy game 156
4.6 Gedult park 162
4.7 High School game 168
4.7.1 concluding event 168
4.7.2 excavating the field 168
4.7.3 lining the field 169
4.7.4 blank visuality 169
4.7.5 game to network 178
4.7.6 network to Commons 179
5. conclusion 184
3. BUNNABET JEPPE: A MATRIX TRANSFORMS 187
1. overview 190
1.1 coffee (g)rounds 190
1.2 BunnaBet 190
2. first round: from boxes to trays 192
2.1 the urban grid 192
2.2 Habesha Jeppe 195
2.3 boxes in boxes 198
2.4 the consequences of reuse 200
2.5 Majesty building 200
3. second round: engaging with coffee 207
3.1 grounds for projects 207
3.2 coffeemanifesto (Wits, 2009) 210
3.3 feedingspace (Arts on Main 2010) 214
3.4 field office (SPARC 2011) 224
3.5 Delvers street walks (2011-2012) 228
3.6 City Health (2012) 229
3.7 summary: extraction 230
4. third round: BunnaBet Jeppe (2011) 234
4.1 talking about coffee 234
4.2 red 236
4.3 yellow 237
4.4 green 237
4.5 cup to tray 238
5. BunnaBet diaspora 245
5.1 the coffeeshop programme 245
5.2 scaling the box 245
5.3 portability 247
6. conclusion 258
4. conclusion of part III 260
CONCLUSION 263
1. lived modernism, transforms 266
2. transforming architecture 266
3. transformative potentials 267
4. limitations 269
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 271
BIBLIOGRAPHY 275
APPENDIXES 287
seminars 288
PITCH 290
BunnaBet Jeppe 294
exhibition at pre-defense, Brussels 2014 295
overall timeline 298
ISBN: 978-94-91656-02-6
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: TH
Appears in Collections:Architecture and Society (+)
Architecture and Design (+)
Architecture, Campuses Sint-Lucas Brussels and Ghent
Department of Architecture - miscellaneous

Files in This Item:
File Status SizeFormat
lived modernism Hannah le Roux lt.pdf Published 32344KbAdobe PDFView/Open

 


All items in Lirias are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved.