Constructed Ground: Reinhabiting the Industrial Landscape through Collage

By Jennifer Shields.

Published by The International Journal of Designed Objects

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Ground, as the foundation for both architectural constructs and Cubist collages, is subtle and non-hierarchical: design potential exists at these moments of disconnect and overlap, where the relationship between figure and field is ambiguous and in flux. A topical architectural design studio explores these relationships, including fragmentation, aggregation, and synthesis, through the collage-making process. Collage is explored as a methodology for design, understanding collage as a vehicle for analysis, a vehicle for design and representation, and finally architecture itself as collage. With this in mind, the collage-making process serves as a venue for analysis of the industrial landscape, offering a greater understanding of the experiential phenomena extant in a site that can be heightened/subverted/manipulated to reveal the rich layers of physical and cultural memory imbedded in the industrial landscape. Engaging an abandoned industrial artifact in Charlottesville, Virginia’s Woolen Mills neighborhood, we have implemented a design methodology of collage, beginning with an analysis of the existing conditions of ground, including physical, perceptual, historical, and cultural phenomena as a means of understanding the site, and ultimately informing a design intervention.

Keywords: Collage, Architecture, Representation, Post-Industrial, Site

The International Journal of Designed Objects, Volume 6, Issue 2, pp.61-69. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 447.713KB).

Jennifer Shields

Visiting Lecturer, School of Architecture, College of Art and Architecture, University of North Carolina-Charlotte, Charlotte, NC, USA

Jennifer A. E. Shields, a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Architecture, is a practicing architect with flux in Charlotte, NC, and a full-time lecturer at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte School of Architecture. In addition to studio instruction, she pursues research, teaching, and practice that investigate the multi-sensory experience of place as revealed through collage. Her work has been published and presented in academic and cultural institutions in the US and Sweden. ‘Collage and Architecture,’ a book documenting the lineage of collage in art and architecture over the past century, will be published by Routledge in Fall 2013.