ANDREA ROCCO MATTA

THE MANUFACTURE OF MEMORIES

A Physiotherapy Clinic for the Injured Gondolier

Y5

 

00_The physiotherapy clinicThe physiotherapy clinic

 

INTRODUCTION

This project investigates the seam between architectural theory and the culture of mak­ing. The attempt is to construct knowledge around the subject of memory and craftsman­ship and to project those findings into an architectural proposition in Venice.

A series of background studies cut through the work, discussing a relation between architec­ture and fabrication, which is at the core of this project. The aim is to capture ideas behind the act of manufacturing, feeding the methodology of the craftsman into the habits of the architect.

000_The anatomical sectionThe Anatomical Section

 

MEMORY

What reveals to be intriguing is the idea that ideas come from memory. In a certain way, possibilities, through investigation come from what we know and what we have experienced. Architecture that matters is fundamentally the physical construction of an idea, manifested with form, materials, spaces and so on. Therefore, there is something deeply rooted in the way we practice architecture that has something to do with memory. Memory is what defines us as a person. Our memories and the possibility to retain and recall those experiences is what characterise our personality, who we are, and how we react to people and the environment. The opposite is also true; without memories, we lose our identity.

 

01_On how to land_01On how to land_01

 

02_On how to land_02On how to land_02

 

03_On how to land_03On how to land_03

 

04_The question of simmetry

The Question of Symmetry

 

05_The question of asimmetryThe Question of Asymmetry

 

CRAFTSMANSHIP

What appears to be intriguing in craftsmanship is the ability to embed knowledge and ideas into objects. In this case, a set of invented crafted objects act as vessels of knowledge, facilitating the discussion around applied principles of anthropometry and asymmetry, otherwise difficult to grasp. The program is informed by the role of the gondolier and the gondola within Venice.The relation between the city, the crafted object and the body is then used to generate a precise architectural response.

 

06_The tailor shop_01The Tailor Shop 01

 

DESIGN PROCESS

A design process related to the ineffability of memory does not have a straight forward mechanism to follow, but it certainly relies on a degree of filtering and methodologies for good measure. A set of questions informed the initial research:

What if memory was physical or spatial?

What if you could hold, or inhabit a memory?

How would you physically construct a memory?

 

07_The tailor shop_02The Tailor Shop_02

 

A visit to the house of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, provided a point of departure for the project. In order to access certain memories, the psychoanalyst would give figurative objects to the patients. These artefacts usually represented Egyptian deities, unrelated to the subject of psychoanalysis. They were appropriated and then abstracted for their shape, material and meaning, which will eventually interfere with the discussion, unlocking forgotten memories.

The paper creatures are the equivalent to the Egyptian statues, used to access memory. Certain knowledge and ideas are embedded into these objects, and their analogue construction is what hold that information and makes them particular.

 

08_The tailor shop_03

The Tailor Shop_03

 

09_The tailor shop_04The Tailor Shop_04

 

The techniques involved in the production of these creatures embody a set of information that refers back to other crafts like boat construction and tailoring, revealing knowledge of materials, control of geometry and a sense of beauty. The understanding and extrapolation of this embedded tacit knowledge is then converted into an architectural proposition. The aim is to generate critical thoughts about the age of standardisation, and the interference of craftsmanship as a highly valuable component of design.

 

10_The tailor shop_05The Tailor Shop_05