As an invited participant in the Architecture and Design Museum's group exhibition "architecture, Architecture, architectural", curated by Anthony Morey and Ryan Tyler Martinez, this project considered a critical view onto architecture that forewent formal prerogatives to instead contemplate the various material expressions of construction.
As part of the show description, each participant was asked to exemplify three audiences of architecture, who would respectively engage the discipline in ways that could be described as "architecture", "Architecture" (capitalized) and "architectural".
For each audience, every participant was to supply an object, text or image. This allowed participants to delegate specific representational agendas to address particular components of the profession and discipline.
This project examined the metal stud wall, an oft overlooked architectural component that nevertheless defines much contemporary built space. The world over, students of architecture suffer hours for imaginative forms in total isolation from the material reality of construction. Virtual and augmented reality fantasies assure that the disciplinary prerogatives of architectural academia remain far removed from the realities of construction.
To examine a standard metal stud wall is to probe the possibility of finding an underlying system of organization that will, whether we like it or not, probably define a great deal of the spatial division in a building. At the least, one might aspire to understand the material reality of an abstract, white wall because of its possibility to interfere with the overall design concept, if done poorly.
Nevertheless, architects might try just a bit harder to realize the innate beauty of a construction system whose organizational properties have been honed for the better part of the past century. Far from a dumb and limp strut, the metal stud is highly refined component with its own inherently systemic material properties.
In recent decades, the community of academic architecture has sidelined the realities of construction for more dramatic interventions in the understanding we have of spatial affect. This has for the most part overlooked the true ramifications that such designs illicit in terms of construction and its meaningfulness.
That "radical" architecture has come to mean something entirely divorced from the pedestrian experience of buildings means that, unlike the more honest aspirations of the field earlier in the twentieth century, architecture has largely become a tool of wealth.
Rather than fetishistic observance of building beyond its ethical implications, the project seeks to coax out a middle ground between the often lamented constraints of materials or their construction and the more philosophical drives that foreground any project.
This installation acts in its small part to realign, on both a personal and professional level, the interests of the field towards a more considerate comprehension of the realities of building.