Negotiations of Image and Architecture

by Martin Lennon from School of Architecture, University of Limerick (SAUL), Ireland
Tutored by: Andrew Griffin

Author comments:

What is it to propose architecture? The process of proposing architecture is initiated non-invasively and by invitation only. It happens unbeknownst to the public and it is usually specifically commissioned. The form in which the proposal first makes an appearance is usually as a polished image which conceals any trace of process. Architecture is hesitant when it comes to allowing its process to be introduced into the public arena for scrutiny. The process, for the practitioners of architecture is what instills value in the profession. Despite this, the process and dialogue that surrounds a project is kept within the offices, schools and publications of architecture which rarely reach the general public.
Potential to scrutinise and experience architecture is only afforded to its public once a building is complete and the scaffolding is down and the doors are open. The public conversation about architecture seems to be cast into obsolescence once it has reached that stage. However, the building at its completion is the only tangible moment the public identifies and shares with architecture as a discipline.

The aim of the thesis was to explore the gap between process and representation, bridging the gap between physical reality and visionary imaginings in order to engage architecture with its public.

Tutor comments:

The students project looked at how we communicate architecture to the public. He worked with themes of reuse in a post bust Irish rural town reusing a car park as a cultural and social venue. His work challenged the notion of the traditional village centre and looked at what modern Irish life in small depopulating centres could be like. Martin worked predominantly in film to design and describe his projects and process which became almost dreamlike of the possibilities architectural creations. His project actively tried to go beyond the static image to engage with real people and describe to them what architecture could be like experientially.

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