Diploma 11 Diploma 11 Projects Review Installation, June 2016

Assembling a Face Gathering Fragments: Interior Urbanism

Shin Egashira

When observing faces of children as they grow up one notices that they don't grow proportionally. For instance, nose and ears can get bigger before the rest, or often teeth appear bigger than the mouth, cheeks pulled out while the forehead swells. While maintaining their individual identities faces are different every day. We can say the same of old, shrinking adults.

If we see the city as analogous to the young and old who live in it, shouldn't the face of the city also be celebrated for its disproportionate charms, acute sense of mismatch, constructive friction and sense of incompleteness, as if it were neither fully grown nor shrunk down?

London has been evolving as a city of collage - a continuous assemblage of textures, incomplete objects and stories. Some parts grow fast while others shrink, leaving unresolved spaces and junctions. This sense of incoherence and chance juxtaposition - the spatial chemistry between unassociated functionalities and accidental architecture - is where Diploma 11 will invest its time and speculate on its importance through our design works.

Fragmentation is a form of resistance to forces of destruction/erasure, a means to preserve essential parts of a whole and to reconfigure different wholes in the future. Fragmentation often occurs during times of crisis. London faces many crises and one of the main contributing forces is gentrification, which causes a shortage both of production spaces and of living spaces. It erases the slackness and generosity that otherwise allow room for the unexpected to grow.

We will continue our London research through direct observations, sampling forms and patterns of fragmentation occurring across the city's fabric, from large-scale to textural details, from collective space to personal rooms. Our aim is to take the city apart and distil its essence in order to recombine the fragments into new forms. We will continue the theme of urban interior, exploring ways to make a room public inside the city by bringing a city into a room. Our hands-on exercises will explore the notions of mismatch, disproportion and deliberate material misuse through the making and unmaking of objects (furniture).

Unit Staff

Shin Egashira has taught at the AA School since 1990 and has been the Unit Master of Diploma 11 since 1997. He conducts landscape workshops in rural communities around the world.


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