Thesis Defence: Jiyeon KimExport this event to calendar

Friday, September 16, 2016 — 10:00 AM EDT

Of the thesis entitled: Embodied Depth: Re-interpreting the Park in St. James Town

Abstract:

The thesis reflects on the loss of slowness and experiential depth in the age of acceleration. The “contrived depthlessness” of modernity – as described by Frederic Jameson– can be traced back to contemporary culture’s fixation with appearances, surfaces, and instant impacts. Modern architecture favors enticing forms and transparency at the price of tactility and the slow unfolding of spaces. Based on the author’s personal experience of tactile spaces within the city, and a reflection on the existing body of literature on places of stillness, the thesis identifies landscape engagement and layered threshold as the main approaches to generating embodied depth within the city.

St. James Town in Toronto, a cluster of post-war tower block that serves as a gateway community for many newcomers, is marked by an extreme spatial flatness and anonymity. Harsh delineation of private and public realm hinders inhabitants’ connection with the city and fellow city-dwellers. St. James Town’s notable flatness is rooted in the 1920’s urban planning vision of Towers-in-the-Park, which is described by Le Corbusier as “a city made for speed”. For this reason, it is through the implementation of meaningful social interaction and landscape engagement on this site that the potential for architecture to generate embodied depth can be evaluated.

Based on the fundamental value of a deep embodied space as a catalyst of memory and spatial appropriation, the thesis proposes a series of landscape and spatial layers at multiple scales including: an urban block, individual towers, and pocket gardens. The resulting diversity of paths and social programs encourage the inhabitants’ participation and appropriation of the cityscape. The thesis deems that the ethical role of architecture in the age of acceleration is to restore the natural slowness of experience and strengthen our sense of the real.

The examining committee is as follows:

Supervisor:

Committee Members:

Rick Andrighetti, University of Waterloo

Anne Bordeleau, University of Waterloo​

Dereck Revington, University of Waterloo  

External Reader:

Lisa Rapoport, PLANT

 


The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.

The Defence Examination will take place:  

Friday September 16, 2016
10:00AM
ARC 2026

A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.

Location 
ARC - School of Architecture
Room 2026
7 Melville Street South

Cambridge, ON N1S 2H4
Canada

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