John Cage,”Fontana Mix”, 1958
DS 15 Here Comes Everybody 2
DS15 investigates how to design environments through the use of chance operations and other aleortoric methods, inspired by the musical theories of the composer, John Cage.
In DS15 we want you to be nomads in a world you don’t understand. We want you to not know what you are doing. We want you to divest yourselves of prejudices, tastes, rationalizations and preconceptions and to enter the world of your subconscious. We can’t promise an easy journey, but we can promise you will see (and hear and smell and touch) the world in a different light.
DS15 does not pursue meaning, we pursue experience. We do not pursue concepts and forms, we seek new methods and processes. We work not from the plan inwards, but from the small scale outwards. We are wayfarers finding our path as we go along rather than navigators working from an overall view of the territory. We inhabit rather than occupy.
We focus on all the senses, particularly those other than vision, which form a huge part of our experience but yet are largely absent from architecture, or more particularly, the representations of architecture that we use to design.
How might we orchestrate environments and spaces in terms of sound, smell, touch as well as visually? What methods might we use to design, articulate and represent these things?
This year, the project will have an added social layer. Sited in the Rye Lane area of Peckham, the project will explore a distinctive and vibrant urban environment under threat from the dead hand of design-led gentrification. Rye Lane is a space defined by chance, contingency and multiplicity rather than “coherent” architectural form. Its character and mode of operation is dependant on complex relationships between different ethnicities, diverse commercial and cultural programmes and alternative, non-architectural spatialities, which seem to correlate with the chance methodologies we are seeking to deploy.
The programme will develop but as starting point, we are thinking of a commercial, cultural and social exchange – perhaps a market, perhaps a performance space, perhaps an integration of these activities into everyday life.
We are interested in language systems and their estrangement from the real. This means the differences between written language and the spoken word it represents, between musical notations and the sounds they denote and between architectural representations and the physical worlds they describe.
We work in the gaps between these things.
As we are particularly interested in the similarities between music notation and architectural drawing, our study trip will be to Yorkshire, where we will attend the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, visit the town’s Brutalist market, take in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and other local cultural attractions.
You will be drawing, potato printing, making noises, playing games, writing poetry, directing movies, inventing alphabets, making big fantastic things, concocting scenarios and inventing activities, all based on the seemingly irrational and the subconscious. It will be fun. Bring sensible shoes and your waterproofs.
Sean Griffiths, Kester Rattenbury.