Seeking to trace the Urban Interior as a point of origin and departure for Cinema

23. 08. 21

Communicating your design narrative…

Heading into this week we were put back into a lockdown situation meaning our studio session was to be conducted online and we were in remote learning. However for our session we progressed forwards with a context talk discussing our aim to further develop and ideate the programming of our space. In consideration with our spatial programming, we are to begin building a visual dialogue that expresses key aspects of our design proposals and the exisiting site.

By composing and developing a detailed storyboard it will allow for these established connections to start to be imagined, perceived and showcased as a communicative method that forms a sense of understanding. This storyboard should communicate a journey through my proposed spaces, and articulate key moments and events of my design narrative. These perspectives will showcase a spatial journey through my design, one that may be expressive or even evocative. It may highlight thresholds, details and areas of activation, sequences of events or of spaces. How are you directing people through the space? Does it invite discovery, delight, intriguement?During this context talk we also discussed the potential for revisiting our temporal terms or language generated in response to our conceptual frameworks relative to our project. Could these terms help to give our programmed space an identity?

It is important to consider not only the poetic, material narrative of building our designed spaces, establishing these events, programmed happenings but also the function of space and its practicalities. We need to understand how our programme manifests within our space, a rhythm of how things will unfold. What exactly am I setting up and what will people need? Imagining myself immersed into this proposed space as a means of recognising the key stages, key platforms of my design.

A performance artist who comprehensively and purposefully conducts and arranges a series of events that unfold within a project is Marina Abramovic. We were introduced to her work In Residence: a miraculous respite from the stresses of life, where apart of the latest Kaldor Public Art Project at Pier 2/3 offers audiences an innovative experience at the forefront of contemporary art.

Abramovic proposed “I will be like a conductor in the exhibition space, but it will be the public who will take the physical and emotional journey… My function in this new kind of performance situation is to show you, through the Abramovic Method, what you can do for yourself”. For this project everything was planned and detailed to the tea. The arrangement, layout and practicality of how each person would transfer throughout the space and in between each experience, everything was accounted for. This level of planning and detail I wish to utilise and enhance into my own design intervention and plans. This will ensure that my proposed space firstly upholds sustainable function but will also articulate and generate the poetic, design narrative I am wanting to create into the Fort Lane Precinct.

McDonald, J. (2015, Jun, 24). Marina Abramovic in Residence: a miraculous respite from the stresses of life. Retrieved from https://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/art-and-design/marina-abramovic-in-residence-a-miraculous-respite-from-the-stresses-of-life-20150623-ghvrlz.html

Kaldor Public Art Projects. (2015, Jul, 05). Project Summary. Retrieved from https://kaldorartprojects.org.au/projects/project-30-marina-abramovic/

Gathering, collecting, synthesising my most intriguing and influential conceptual developments, the photographs, models and surfaces that are best reflective of conveying my driving design concepts and my material and immaterial narratives relative to my conceptual frameworks. These design experimentations sparked the captivation of new intriguement within my project which I continue to reflect and draw further conclusions on for how these would emulate into my proposal.

Along with reflecting back over my own design explorations, experimentations and discoveries, I reconsidered the vast approaches towards a structured pavilion and the differential ways that one could be constructed whilst utilising and evoking materials and textural qualities. These design precedent investigations allowed me to realise new potential ways of structurally materialising my conceptual frameworks in conjunction with my model and surface designs. How my design proposal will formulate, building the frameworks, the intervening studio space into the Fort Lane Precinct.

Some of the main objectives and prompts I need to consider when thinking about programming my design is relative to:

  • How does my programme manifest? Is it through a timeline, poster, map, brand identity, invitation, floor plans, instructions
  • How would someone know my design or ‘thing’ is taking place?
  • What would someone need to know in order to navigate my designed space? (if anything)

From reflecting back over all my previous design ideas, explorations and experimentations to help build this conceptual framework and programming approach, I started to both map and draw out design fragments and visualisations of how these ideas could potentially form within the existing site spaces and conditions. What are the varying frameworks embedded into this method of programming? What are the details, moments, elements that are inclusive to my proposed design? Bearing in mind both the practicality and functional aspects of my design intervention in collaboration with its aesthetic features and finishes.

Details of Design Intervention

The programming of my spatial intervention would sustain through floor plans that showcase the interior design layout of the studio space, along with building a studio identity. A dance space where other established or practicing dance performance industries or companies are invited to use or hire out the studio for rehearsals or potential performances. An innovational notice or documentation will be sent to these varying dance establishments. Along with this, I wish to consider creating a poster representative for visualising how an upcoming performance would be represented or manifested to take place in the space. Only partially the public would know about this new space. The facade doesn’t make it entirely obvious however subtle hints will be implemented throughout the design to the passerby. Yet the public could still be inclusive within the spatial narrative when moving through either thoroughfare in Imperial or Fort Lane.

Details of Design Intervention

A practical studio environment but with a radical, unsuspected approach, fusing together both of my considerations to create this traditionally influenced dance studio space in a way that is open to the public, the passerby. An urban space that draws insight to reveal what occurs behind the curtain, the pre performance, the rehearsal space. One that blends the boundaries between performer and audience. Yet when considering the design of a dance studio, it is vital that I am taking into consideration the traditional approaches, even whilst wanting to extend, flip and mould them into something more radical and unexpected within the dance performance realm. How I can reconsider the Fort Lane public space in relation to these spatial approaches and performance driven narratives? I started to develop a more comprehensive plan for how I imagine my design intervention to interplay into my chosen site within the Fort Lane Precinct, Imperial Lane and its intersection into Fort Lane. By sketching out an array of potential design plans, structural layouts and architectural forms into the existing interiors for my new studio space, I could begin to recognise how each element would situate together.

Sketches of Design Plans for studio within the existing constraints

The varying internal changes within each design plan is similar as I can already visualise where and how the existing lane will transition into a dance appropriate space. A gutting and transitioning of Imperial Lane. The current metal gate doorways from Imperial to Fort Lane will be changed into glass doorways and windows that will open up directly onto the lane where the dance flooring extends out over a covered pavilion structure. This will allow for the opportunity for the studio to move outdoors, open air to the public environment. I wish to maintain Imperial Lane as a thoroughfare for the public to continue using, rather than shutting that pathway, access point off completely. The exisiting raked floor would be cut into and flatten off to run parallel with the ground level of Fort Lane.

The main considerations that are yet to be determined is the entry threshold for where the studio ground starts in relation to the thoroughfare between Imperial Lane and Queen Street. Do I utilise the existing spiral staircase as entry into the dance studio or instead establish a new stairway? What is left visible to the passerby and what is kept hidden to build intriguement? After a re-reflection of the structural design and intervention implications within the existing building, I proceeded to draw out another plan of combining the best elements of each design approach.

Sketch of Design Plan into Imperial Lane

Within this new sketch plan, I have maintained for the current metal gate doorways to be changed into glass doorways and windows that will open up directly onto the lane where the dance flooring extends out over a covered pavilion structure. However the existing raked floor will cut out along the edge of the external building divide, the spiral staircase running directly down to this new floor level (one that runs flush level with Fort Lane). By keeping the spiral staircase it will allow for the connection and access to other floor levels to be retained. The hall running from Queen Street into Imperial Lane will need to have a raked floor to connect the two floor levels within the building to maintain easy thoroughfare access. As Imperial Lane and all the exisiting external spaces are fully equipped with toilet facilities, this means I won’t need to structure in an additional bathroom or wash up room as their is already public access that will be direct from the dance studio environment. However I will need to make sure I establish a storage area for dancers to have space to put their personal belongings whilst rehearsals, practices or performances are being undertaken.

A major part of my design proposal stems from the introduction of a pavilion covering to extend from Imperial Lane over and into the Fort Lane thoroughfare. This would allow for the traditional conventions of a dance studio space to open up into the laneway itself, an activation that would enhance the site entirely. Dance classes or even planned or impromptu performances could take place within the laneway as well as the studio environment. The public would be fully exposed to this creative form of art making and movement, something that draws the curtain on what is deemed as the pre performance, the rehearsal stage that is typically not made to be seen.

For this design I wanted to reflect on and explore further my surface design studies as a way of extruding out a more three dimensional form, something that could be translated into a covered structure. A design that is architecturally intriguing, captivating and draws the passerby’s attention to discover what lies down the lane. However it is important that it still upholds practicalities for the dancers, that they would be able to safely work around it and the roofing cover (structure) could sustain external environmental conditions. I began sketching out an array of forms that explored these frameworks in order to try visualise my ideas.

Pavilion Drawing Designs

Proceeding forward I wish to utilise a combination of curved forms with these linear angular projections. As I am drawn to a layering of line work, how can I emulate this within my structured design? One that perhaps upholds this arched base structure but has elements that splice or cut into the frame to build this layered, almost ethereal visual. By creating a structure that has a built detail, materiality or contrasting appearance against the external building facades of the laneway, it will allow for a much more eye catching and therefore impactful intervention into the exisiting precinct.

Along with not only the structural implications of my design into Imperial and Fort Lane, a crucial part of my design proposal stems into the details, finishes and overall aesthetic I wish to create for my dance studio environment. How do I want to materialise my conceptual frameworks in a way that explores a rich layering of surface, pattern and detail. After much reflecting and design exploration I started to map out a series of influential material moments that could be inclusive to my design programming. These moments would almost juxtapose and contrast against the exisiting facades yet celebrate their beauty and character in a unique way. Emulating details within my design that emphasise this fusion between a private rehearsal and an open, public thoroughfare filled with bustling transitions.

Building a Visual Language.

By building and establishing my own defined visual language and way of articulating my design concepts will allow me to produce a coherent array of documentation with their own artistic approach. A visual dialogue between expressing key aspects of my design proposals and the exisiting site. These documents will communicate a journey through my proposed spaces, and articulate key moments and events of my design narrative. They will all uphold an aesthetic relative and supportive towards my proposed design, driving conceptual narrative, along with my self influential design decisions and approaches. I wish for my design articulation to evoke and inhabit a continuation of my previous explorations and design discoveries, the visually striking aesthetic that I have already started to establish.

Drawing from all my previous site studies, observations, conceptual frameworks, explorations, interests and aesthetics, it is conclusive that my design proposal was fascinated and stemming towards a more unexpected, radical approach which I wish to evoke within my communication methods and visual language. My documentation style is already informed by avant-garde performance art events that established this approach to space making as an art form. So as part of my visual language, I wish to adapt a more playful style, one that is suggestive towards this avant-garde way of making but with a minimal, monochrome palette throughout.

How does ones body interact with the space? Essentially it is self determined. Ones impermanent happening that occurs in a fleeting moment. What if we were able to slow down time to capture these transient moments, a dancer in amidst performing or simply a passerby walking from one place to another. These momentary actions help to build the spatial constructs of what we imagine these spaces were intentionally designed for. Dance is a conversation between the body and space. Yet movement is a temporal spatial register that I visualise with a blurry haze, a nebulous moment in motion that is never exactly clear, vivid or fixed.

DANCE IN A BLUR. Photographic investigations into exploring a dancers natural instincts, whilst amid performance, experiences space intrinsically differently. Capturing gestural body movements in motion.

These images will help me to not only visually articulate and express the beautiful fleeting moments of a dance in action, but also provide an opportunity to explore these moments further considering how my design can elevate and showcase them. By building up my visual itinerary I will be able to draw from multiple visuals to create a more complete design narrative, one with its own distinct identity.

Once I had considered and established a clearer definition of my design proposal and the different elements it is made up of, I started drawing out a series storyboard. This storyboard allows me to build a visual language between expressing the key aspects of my design proposal and the exisiting site. These sketches aim to communicate a journey through my proposed spaces, and articulate key moments of my design narrative. Using these drawings will I be able to continue drawing out more detail to distinguish, highlight and emphasise various features of my intervention, along with its relationship to the exisiting and public activity. What aspects of my design best showcase its spatial narrative and the impact I am wanting my design, programming of space to have on the Fort Lane Precinct?

Visual Storyboard of Key Design Proposal Elements

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