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Part 2 Project 2005
Conal Ryan
University College Dublin, Ireland
Negating typology generated an investigation in the open field dimension, in spatial flows.

Experiments in new spatial arrangements, outside of established sequence types allowed the hyper-juxtaposed fictions of the invention project, the Dreambin, a reality in real space with contextual response controls. Fused with this is a fascination with social space, the Breathing Wall invented a comfortable/ claustrophobic paradox in a compressed cavity, and so compressive/ explosive relationships in space are tested throughout the work.

The projects developed as urban filters, both in terms of analogy and material presence, with city as antithesis, a barrier environment (barrier as control, restrictor and type).
The urban filter, tested at different scales, opens and folds, collapsed barriers across which spaces expand, distort and turn, obsessively blending inside and outside city. This is an urban blur, cinema screen as street, street as park, park as tower, an experimental urban living room.

Conal Ryan

…the nature of the space has to be reached for, emerging only in response to exploration. [lewerentz on the virtues of subdued light as quoted in thesis report]

An architecture of the unconscious or dreamscape is the manner in which this series of design investigations was positioned by Conal Ryan, drawing on a broad range of architectural, philosophical and cinematic sources, including Lewerentz, Benjamin, Tschumi, Duchamp and Lynch, to establish and evolve a premise regarding the creative act and the nature of the architectural experience. The thesis draws its strength from this experimental status, as an assemblage of explorations on a singular theme which, as a body of work, seek to identify the salient aspects of creating alternative spatial realities which demand exploration to achieve revelation.

From the earliest conceptual project, Dreambin, and continuing through a series of explorations across multiple scales, from the 1:1 Breathing Wall which locked nine bodies together in simultaneity to the surreal cinematic experience of the Dark Park and finally the reconsideration of public realm at the scale of urban landscape, these experiments all dealt with the ideas of the capture & release and the revelation of lost space through the use of penetration as a form of narrative, as sound, as material, as light and through perceptual distortion of scale and enclosure.

The intelligence and wit of this design driven research process was aptly supported by the eloquence of the analysis which drove it, particularly with regard to the nature of the creative process and its necessary liberation from the imperatives of typology.

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