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Remnant Archive

Part 2 Project 2012
Benjamin Shields
University of Melbourne Melbourne | Australia
Remnant Archive is an inwardly focused theoretical design project reinterpreting the collected object. The work explores notions of time, lived experience and memory through its built form and generative structural growth. The work focuses on a conceptual narrative and protagonist, The Collector, as a vehicle for the exploration and development of a dual live / work site. The building is loosely divided into process, archive and live space.

The narrative details the Collector who lives and works onsite, leaving each day to search for and retrieve discarded items from throughout the city. These broken off pieces and leftover parts are added to his archival structure and become an intimate and personal accumulation mediating between his lived experience and notions of self. Over an extended period of time The Collector's work has resulted in the architecture as illustrated; a conglomeration of collected, processed and archived fragments, a physical manifestation of the evolving tactile city.

The role of memory in the phenomenological experience was a key theme for the inception of this work. Memory was considered an extension of the senses unfolding both forwards and backwards in time. More subtly offered are provocative undertones of user-generated architecture, questioning the continued role of the architect in an open source environment.

Remnant Archive utilises thematic, narrative and hybrid research tools to generate its evocative structural gesture and re-focus through the lens of archival process. This building proposition begins to imagine the potential for growth and mnemonic value of the discarded cityscape.

Benjamin Shields


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