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A Billboard

Invited Distinguished Professor:

Nate Hume.


Gabriel Esquivel,  Studio Professor

Texas A&M University


Team: Luis Fernando Muňoz, Stephanie Maddamma, Sephora Belizor, Brazos Pinto.

This project is an exploration of graphics and their interpretations and possibilities. We define “the graphic” as two-dimensional figures that overlay or project over objects. The graphic is no longer a representational vehicle but is now used as a means to unroll an object and connect or disband parts, constantly oscillating between being fixed and becoming. We take the notion of the architectural billboard and unroll it, using the graphics as a way to exploit the spatial latency that lies within them.


The billboard has historically acted in many different ways but mainly as 2-dimensional imagery used to promote specific values of any given subject. It is as well a cultural icon that yields attention yet denies interaction. However, in this project, the billboard becomes an architectural object that develops into habitable graphic space through giving volumetric qualities to 2-dimensional figures.  The binding of dissimilar yet congruent figures though the application of the graphic projections, that at times unroll over the surfaces and generate phenomenal objects, and at other moments transpose though dimensions to flatten spaces. We move away from an application of a super graphic, and materials no longer only slip from floor to wall to ceiling but they also cross boundaries and thresholds beyond dimensions to create their own graphic space that trespasses and unrolls the building, the objects, and spaces. This unrolling, as opposed to an unfolding poses an object that is always in the state of trying to know itself, in a point of self-reflectivity.


The project operates in terms of OOO as outlined by Mark Foster Gage in his essay, Killing Simplicity. Acting as objects themselves, the graphics exist within the building in a three-dimensional state, allowing other objects to inhabit them. These objects which are inhabiting graphic space are unaware of the qualities of the graphics themselves, causing the building to never be fully knowable at any point in time. Through the use of graphic as an object we question the subject and destabilize their relationships.  Objects inhabiting graphic space are unaware of their placement within, however the graphic as an object is aware of its placement and of that which inhabit it.

We further destabilize the subject by denying a privilege to plan or section, as the architectural billboard unrolls in many different orientations and does not solely revert to one. The ability of 2-dimensional representation to imply a 3-dimensional object contributes to the ungrounding of architecture by removing the privilege of verticality and horizontality through section and plan opposing Colin Rowe’s argument in Transparency, literal and phenomenal. In the essay, the privileging of verticality and horizontality is argued by its necessity in achieving phenomenal transparency since a subject must perceive a widely accepted given reality that, through its ability to be recognized, allows a subject to determine the ontological and orientational properties of that which is unseen. In this project, the reality provided has orientational qualities not widely accepted, causing a disconnection between object orientation and ontology, enforcing object to object relationships.  The interior and exterior are no longer elements which allude to each other in their design, but the material logic and surface phenomena of the exterior inserts itself within, generating breakages, folds, and slippages that imply new phenomenal objects within that diffuse boundaries of interior and exterior that exist in through multiple dimensions.


We place implications on reality and unground the monocular subject. This is not done by removing gravity, instead it is done by the behavior of the surface and material logic that does not respond to its intrinsic placement. Through this, the subject becomes a meandering object. Subject/object relationships are developed as object to object relationships. We now see the subject as a non-centralized entity existing as human, object, or machine that occupies graphic space. Graphic Space presents itself as a non-physical redefinition of interior and exterior spatial conditions, using bleeding material to extend spaces past their volumetric containers and scale down space within each volume. This overlapping spatial condition then develops a new volumetric system that uses graphics as means to bind or disband space.


The strange project lends itself to cultural familiarity through its materiality, combining banal, monochromatic material such as brick, concrete and scalloped shingles with bright, saturated colors. With the multiplicity of material and spatial conditions, the project finds itself as a graphic object, constantly oscillating between 2, 2.5, and 3 dimensions. Working within the canons and what is fixed in architecture. The billboard now gains volume and is inhabited. Graphics become volumetric and no longer solely representational, and material unrolls the Architectural billboard. It’s constant state of unrolling and self-reflectivity decentralizes ontology and allows for the co-inhabitation of graphic space.



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