Dirty Realism

Towards the New Civic

Our world is proliferated by fictions of every type, so much so that the idealized version of reality is so commonplace that the “fake image” has is no longer thought of as a fabrication.  The notion of a Dirty Reality - one that celebrates the banality of urban life - starts to restructure the idea of how the mundane plays a much larger role in our daily lives.  Aspirations of utopia are not the future of place and culture.  The new civic will be small, emergent, hidden in plain site - a fiction of its own.

How can a divergent urban system start to reassemble the way the one thinks about their city, and more importantly their spatial relationship to their fellow citizens?  United across a larger field through color and tectonics, the new civic begins to play an urban game of hide and seek.  Camouflaged behind banal containers, the unexpected intensity of the carved interiors barely unveil themselves from the street.
As overlapping contexts flatten and then refold onto each other as the system moves across space and time, architectural containers are no longer bound to autonomy.  The city begins to reveal itself as a new series of layered containments.  Rather than reading San Francisco as an arrangement of adjacencies [neighborhoods], the reconfiguration uncovers the larger field as a series of smaller moments from zones that are otherwise perceived as unlinked, building a new sense of collectivism and community.

Semester: Summer 2017
Course: Design 403
Critic: Jason Lee

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