Connecting Creature: re-creation | recreation
Function: exploration of a generative drawing methodology and an evolutionary design process
Site location: Main Reef Road, Johannesburg, South Africa
Institution: University of Johannesburg, Unit 1
Brief description of the project: The project seeks to establish a dual landscape, and begins to explore the landscape between the digital and the analogue, specifically as a drawing methodology and an evolutionary process of design. Drawing becomes an iterative process that develops architectural responses to movement, time and transformation, using a ‘creature’ analogy to develop space that activates social flows, material behaviors and cultural relevance through an ecological lens.
The dialogue between re-creation and recreation could be compared to analogue and digital drawing, and in this project the two are fused creating a ‘new species’ of architecture. Formed from a repetitive process of drawing and re- drawing, the conditions of transformation, phase shifting, entropy and revolution are revealed through the drawings. Through the freedom of the process, the project developed intuitively; the program, narrative and language of the architecture became consequences of drawing, that celebrates the hybrid or cross-breed of design and creation.
The design looks to engage with the economic and ecological aspects of the site intertwining natural spaces with production spaces, addressing recreation and re-creation, sometimes simultaneously, through programs such as a community soccer pitch, vegetable growing stations, ecological regeneration and an urban cinema.
The site is described as an accidental nature, due to the fact that of the man-made changes to the landscape, directly impacting the flow of ground water to site. This caused a spontaneous growth of trees and vegetation being concentrated in a small area, surrounded by mostly barren mining waste land and hostile infrastructures. It is also a lost site as the speed that surrounds it, leads to people overlooking it, becoming lost in their fast-paced lifestyles.
The architecture itself, takes on the creature characteristics, such as growth, movement and behavior, using this analogy to develop the scheme as an adaptable, responsive system. There is an origin point, which was chosen as the site’s concentration of energy and overlapping of infrastructure, from which the scheme spreads, inhabiting the site, parasitically on the mine dump and mutualistically on the open waste land. The main movement path is along the railway, developed in response to rail’s repetitiveness both structurally and periodically, the same way footsteps have a definite pattern and repetition. This path connects the train station as well as the next point of origin, another overlapping of infrastructures. The parts of the scheme are based on time and the interaction with people and nature, there are parts that respond automatically, based on weather and seasons, others that rely on interaction and human routine, and others that are reactive, based on event and time
of the day.
Nationality: South African
City and date of birth: Johannesburg, South Africa – 15 September 1988
Author: Stephanie Ryder