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Lacanian Villa

Invited Distinguished Professor:

Gonzalo Vaillo. Morphtopia


Gabriel Esquivel,  Studio Professor

Texas A&M University


Team: Finn Rattana, Manuel Alvarado, Joey Reich.

As human actors, we lose ourselves to a cognitive condition related to the conscious awareness of ourselves. It is this obsession of ourselves as objects, and the condition of “I” or ego, that drives the speculation of this project. This condition also lends our engagement to qualities, rather than objects themselves, thus lending the project to the mediation of the Jective mereological system. In doing so, we utilize metaphor to speculate on the pursuit of unknown excess, in terms of the Other, and the trajectory of the Architectural Project beyond its manifestation alone. In these first images, we establish the project as an assemblage of parts with unfamiliar qualities, operating within the intrigue of unknown excess. Ultimately, this quality of the project begins to cross the lines of culture and nature, house and garden, and subject and object.


The studio began within the framework of pursuing the space of abundance with regards to the relationship between the Architect and the Architectural Project. The way we pursued this idea was to dive into the concept of Jectivity and utilization of the process of Metaphor-Variation-Repetition as initial drivers for the studio. Our approach led to an ontological treatment of Metaphors as mediators within the manifestation of the project, which we redefine as the Jective-Metaphor, which allowed us to liberate the Project from the limitations of subjectivity and objectivity through the connection of these legible qualities. In doing so, we were able to establish the trajectory of the project and the metaphorical vehicles through which the metaphorical vehicles we pursued the unknown qualities of the space of abundance.


In practice, the project began as a pursuit of the unknown via our selected images and subsequent representations. In each of these explorations we were able to refine tendencies that essentially became the first layer of references within the project. From these tendencies, we were able to align the Maison Bordeaux and selection of bugs in a way that created the condition of host capable of embodying desire and a condition of growth capable of delaminating, enveloping, and transplanting that host in a way that created lost familiarity.


Through this lost familiarity, we re-engaged the pursuit of unknown excess, which is understood explicitly as the gap between cognitive capacity of the subject and the perceived object. It was this relationship to cognition and subject that led to significant research into ideas of otherness with regards to its relationship to the space of abundance. In this pursuit, the metaphor of the Lacanian Mirror Diagrams emerged as a means of driving the project within the Jective system, which was focused mainly on the reality of the Other to remain just outside of reach, despite attaining everything up to and around that unknown quality of excess. In doing so, it became clear that within this diagram, consciousness lends itself to issues regarding identification of representational qualities as object qualities, thus establishing the problem of representation within the project.


In doing so, we were able to speculate on project of the built Bordeaux House as an indexical analysis done with the aims to unify the ideals of the Miesian space with Corbusien principles. Ultimately, these attempts to unify ideals will ultimately never be attained within this metaphorical construct, as is the limitations of the subject within this speculative framework. To move beyond representational analysis, we recognized the persistency of the Diagram as an architectural tool as it relates to identifying qualities between the thing itself and its sensations. In doing so, we established a pursuit of new diagrams as tools for discovering these in-between conditions. Ultimately, this provided the proceeding referential layer of diagrams of the insects, house, and context.


This diagrammed otherness allowed an understanding of the components through their perceived alignments, generating a series of chunks and insects most productive to the importance of these diagram. These chunks were then augmented in a way that refers back to the sensibilities from the project origins and combined these concepts in a series of iterations centered on the excess qualities of the project. In this pursuit, it should also be acknowledged that each of these assemblies are equally valid within the framework, but as cultural mediators we implemented a curatorial process of further references that resulted in the final arrangement and its proceeding developments.


To progress beyond this point, we placed ourselves within the repetition stage of Jectivity and once more entered into the Lacanian metaphor that cyclically drives this project. In doing so, we were now able to move the shift the house to the role of subject, projecting through the added reference of the Levi Bryan diagram, to produce a condition where the house is able transition to an ontological status of viewing and, thus, break down the separation of marked space. In doing so, this metaphor allows a criticality to be pursued regarding the qualities of otherness in terms of speculation on what forms of otherness the object-subject is able to project to in its own pursuit of otherness. Therefore, a condition emerges where the input references of the project engage within a flat ontology of context. This allows the house to cross the bounds of culture and nature to free it of typological constraints, blur distinctions between house and garden, and move towards unknown excess.


Ultimately, the assemblage of these references and strategies culminates in the final state of the project, having fully displaced into the Lacanian diagrams as a means of driving the pursuit of unknown excess. In this way, we are able to dialogue not just the qualities of this manifestation, but through new diagrams we are able to discuss new ways of conceiving the real and sensual qualities of objects around us. Ultimately this speculates on the bounds of the diagrammatic tool to produce the manifestation of the excessive. In the way this Jective mereological system facilitated our production of heterogenic complexity, ambiguity of typology, blurring of culture and nature, and complex balance of presence and absence that creates the visual excess in the project.


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