DSDHA's Grounded Research Agenda : Collective impressions
Servicio de Publicaciones Universidad de Navarra
Marcaccio, R., (2016) ""DSDHA's Grounded Research Agenda : Collective impressions"" En: Alcolea, R.A, Tárrago-Mingo, J., (eds.), en Congreso internacional: Inter photo arch ""Interacciones"", celebrado en Pamplona, los días 2 al 4 de Noviembre de 2016, (pp. 198-211)
When architects give lectures about their work they tend to show a series of photographs of their completed buildings: striking images (often devoid of human presence) taken by third-party professional photographers, which suggest a totally unproblematic relationship between design practice, physical artefacts and their photographic representations. But this is clearly not the case. Arguably indeed architects do not make buildings; they rather craft the instructions and oversee the processes that eventually lead to their completion; processes over which they have no monopoly –as they often take place even without the architects’ mediation and always involve many other ‘actors’. So why do architects insist on showing photographs of buildings? This paper will first unpack the complex nature of the relationship between architecture, buildings and photography, to then introduce the way in which DSDHA, as research-oriented architects, experiment with the photographic medium; using it to portray the ‘differential’ in value that we bring to our projects, and treating it as a design tool that contributes to, and speaks of, our approach –rather than simply fixing on glossy images the final outcomes of our endeavours. The focus will be on DSDHA’s research techniques that use photography as their starting point to investigate latent concerns, aspirations and trends of the many individuals which inhabit our sites –all aspects that often remain hidden to the generic gaze of statistics and evade the canonical artifact-focused photographic representations of architecture. The images we manufacture by means of these techniques are our starting point to map what we call ‘personal landscapes’, and understand how individual narratives relate to the urban morphology as well as to the history of a place. It is from this vantage point that we then proceed to speculate on possible future scenarios.
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