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Wholeness?

Part 2 Dissertation 2011
Paul Cashin
University of Portsmouth Portsmouth UK
Ever since my first experience of sublime space I have been searching for a plane of authenticity in the realm of Architectural discourse. I have felt and appreciated; yet at the same time, not been able to isolate the causes of this level of engagement. By reading the theories of others such as Heidegger, Pallasmaa, Goethe and Ruskin, it seems that the ineffable qualities of a space reside in the phenomena of ones own actions. Thus I was attracted to the poetic connotations of studying tectonics; encouraging the act of stepping outside ones comfortable realm so to experience another world, moving ever closer to an understanding of the tectonics behind this phenomena of authenticity.

At the beginning of this Thesis I travelled to Scandinavia. Within the Nordic context there is the understanding of the importance of place making as an opportunity to test tectonic ideas of dwelling, such as with Aalto’s Experimental House in Finland. Later in January I travelled to Morocco, visiting the Souks of the Medina in Marrakech and the sparse settlements of the Atlas Mountains. This was partly in order to find an appropriate site in the Mountains for a Pilgrims Retreat project, but also to follow in Aalto’s footsteps as he himself ventured south so ‘to learn what he had previously forgotten’.

In parallel to several design projects I began to write about the ideas previously visited in reading and from the experiences of my transgressions. This literal work, supported by experiential and analytical writing, claims that this understanding of authenticity can be found in the idea of ‘wholeness’, and that the notion of the ‘whole’ is the result of many parts gathered and composed in order to reveal something previously hidden.

‘Wholeness’ is therefore not just a composition of parts, but also an idea of completeness, where nothing more can be added or taken away, and where some perception of truth is revealed. This view of truth, in the classical translation ‘Aletheia’, is where one can tap into this authentic plane. The thesis question is therefore simply ‘Wholeness?’

Paul Cashin

Tutor(s)
Nicola Crowson
2011
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