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'Sebald' An Architect's Journey

Part 2 Dissertation 2009
Alan Green
University of Greenwich, UK
A psycho-geographical journey, my thesis aims to give the reader an insight into how an architect reads a site and territory in a deeper, more measured way due to an architectural education.
I was recommended W.G. Sebald‘s book ‘The Rings of Saturn’, a record of a journey on foot through East Anglia. A psycho-geographical novel, it is an intricate and thought-provoking meditation on the transience of all things human.
Does not an architectural education shape not just our sense of aesthetics and design, but our deeper understanding of the complexity of how we live and interact with our whole environment?
I use Sebald's method of studying the precise laws and specific effects of the geographical environment to construct my own journey of East Anglia through the eyes of an architect.
Through attention to detail, I aim to provide an account of places and landscapes, through space and time, micro to the macro, hoping to reach a more profound vantage on their architectural possibilities and implications. Architecture may bring a unique skill to the understanding of a place, but only once that place has been bought uniquely to the architect's inner knowledge.

Alan Green

Alan is an Essex boy who found an unusual angle, he really needs to read it aloud to bring it fully alive, though the photos do help to add a particularly quality to the account. The author Sebold was his starting point and he traveled with the memories of the writers text to the land of the edge, water worlds, Suffolk and Norfolk a liminal land between sky and water. It was his design project area but this is no site plan it is the narrative of the place through observation and action. Seebold carrys deep memories and although Alan cannot carry those memories but he brings the depiction of the decline and hidden qualities of the places he visits to his texts.

Ed Frith
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