AA Inter 3

Caterina Miralles, Text and latest work in progress. by caterinamiralles
March 15, 2016, 4:23 pm
Filed under: 2015-16

.Imaginary lands. 

This project is wrapped around the theme of apocalypse and the fertility myth. Apocalypse understood as the moment of change. An instant where there is a catastrophe which then leads to a rebirth. A new life in another state.

The focus of the project is in the villages which surround the Sundarbans in the costal area of Bangladesh. The main issue this land is suffering is the natural disasters due of the causes of climate change, economic and environmental issues. This land has always been threatened by the constant attacks of cyclones. As a result the land constantly has to rebuild itself. Similar to the myth of fertility the cyclone represents the apocalypse and the land the myth itself; an entity which constantly reincarnates.

For the villagers, the protocol when the cyclone comes is to go and find refugee on the shelters located every 3 km round in the area. They stay in that concrete building for 3 days waiting for the cyclone to fade away. When the storm is over the inhabitants go back to their villages and are obliged to start to rebuild their homes and lives.

After the storm the only structure standing is the shelter itself. The villages are washed away but the concrete stays. With this observation I started reinterpreting this building as a sacred place. As a space which acts almost like Noa’s arch being the refugee of the people who live in its surroundings. The idea of the shelter as a temporary utopia; the space that hosts the town within while the storm is outside. It has a quality of compactness, almost if the whole land is wrapped up inside the architecture.

Embracing this idea, my proposal wants to reflect this cycle. To construct a structure outside the shelter as a result of the offerings that the people give to it. This ritual would take place constantly during the year, it becomes a tradition. When there is not a cyclone the inside of the shelter still functions normally. The tradition takes place following the Pujas in the hindu tradition every full and black moon. Those nights, the people gather around the building and offer objects to it creating a structure which then will grow until the next cyclone will come. Then the storm will destroy the structure and spread the offerings the people gave. After the hurricane, the villagers will collect the remaining pieces and put them inside the building to keep a legacy to what the cyclone had left.

The idea of the shelter is transformed. The building acquires new values. It becomes the space of preservation of the memories of the village. By having a collection of the remaining pieces of the last cyclone the concrete structure embeds the legacy of the land. This way when the next cyclone comes, the villagers will be compacted inside a space charged with spiritual strength. Acting like a 3 days bubble, isolated from the catastrophe which is happening outside. The refugee embeds the village in two ways; the fact that is hosting the people and objects that remained from the past cyclone.



.Work in progress. 

In this stage I am going a case study of the are which surrounds the shelter. Playing with layering different A1 and cutting them following the landscape the sheet will become almost a topography. As well with series of drawings I want to reveal what is in the other layers of the land, referring to the spirituality behind it.

The main aims of the model is in one hand to show what is on the land, in both terms of physical and non physical (mythical land) and in the other hand to visualize the flux of people and the land moving inside the shelter and the shelter expanding trough the lad.

I am looking at CjLim models as a reference on how it uses paper and adds surreal elements to the composition.

This are images of my work in progress, but tomorrow i will probably be able to laser cut the pieces so my production will be way faster.

1 Comment so far
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Good to see some progress Caterina, the text is clearer. Now a few comments:
1- It is missing pro-active words to describe how the memories will be stored in the building. Would terminologies derived from their own traditions start to help you of/and you can use words/techniques like pockets, bank, archive, safe, and more architectural description of concepts and inspirations: you want the memories to be placed to create a scenographic space, a place of quasi-dream with lights and shadow plays inside? Is missing your own key words and archi strategies to do what you want to do
2- Is that area Hindu? since you mentioned the elements coming from the hindu tradition. Check.
3- The model is certainly exciting, so work on those elements that you can map, but also be creative on how you want to represent those elements (colour, silluete, volume, new, old, with pattina?).
4- Have a schedule of work so you can start thinking about the project design (based on point 01 for example) to produce another investigative model but this time being about your design.

Comment by tutor

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