The project includes three scenarios that investigate the proxemic ambiguities and urban dynamics at play in the urban field. Each is rendered physically and diagrammatically in blue as a separate architectural instance. The first examines how pubic space can be perceptibly altered by the proxemic incursion of intimate activity. The second looks at the pejorative attributes implicit to new domestic settlements. The third models the provocative phenomena of corporate annexation on culturally valued public space.

Instance 1: Individual Occupation

The rich and diverse architectural experience found in the urban context is closely informed by the social qualities, and inequalities, that make up urban life. The most rewarding, perhaps, are those instances when the proxemics of public, social, private, and intimate space become wholly ambiguous by those that are outside-of or are simply removed from culturally agreed-upon spatial rules. In Instance 1, homelessness is an unavoidable incursion of personal space into the public proxemic, one that has very tangible consequences and even alludes to the unfortunate history and dire circumstances that led the person to be there, homeless and without. The shifting social dynamic in mood, smell, and sound that surrounds the Individual Occupation is measured here by the degree pedestrian diversion from familiar urban paths.


Instance 2: Domestic Settlement

Nestled neatly into the middle-ground between intimate and public proxemics is the architecture that serves as boundary and threshold to social life. Architecture has equal responsibility to both the urban context in which it situates itself and to the very personal pride and dignity of ownership.
If we multiply the ambiguous spatial phenomena of Individual Occupation in Instance 1 into a more social and distinct collective of people—one from which we, ourselves are separate—we, on the outside, begin to socially and culturally group and even promote ourselves as distinct as a common natural defense. This shared reaction is a key to garner a community’s involvement in public reforms, but one that can become increasingly personal—in that it has a face (i.e. the helpless, the poor, the refugee, the minority)—and can potentially grow dangerous and discriminatory.
The way tyrannical power, by its singular voice, historically has afforded revolutionary and timeless assets to the urban realm, it is the unchecked nature of inflationary self-valuation that gives root to personal biases and to the inequalities found in the very abstract practices of urban planning and community development .
Through an intervention of domestic scale and a public display of residential construction in a very “public” domain, Instance 2: Domestic Settlement, looks at the pejorative attributes of gentrification, of NIMBYism (Not In My Back Yard), and of the stigmas associated with government-subsidized-housing implicit in new—and often controversial—domestic settlements.


Instance 3: Corporate Annexation

So often the deeply held values of a place, a person, or a thing are measured only by their absence or in-retrospect. When the public park that everyone knew and loved is suddenly taken away by new development or the historic building that, for generations, had been taken for granted is briskly destroyed by fire the true values, both emotional and cultural, surface as they never could before–or, even more explicitly, when the “global economy” takes root in local neighborhoods leaving the ‘mom and pop’ shops in economic waste.
It is this cultural subtraction that often serves as the springboard for grass-roots civil engagement and community action. By honing-in on this phenomena of subtractive loss, Instance 3 exists to enlighten a culture of the value and self-identity that it, itself, attributes to place. Where provocation and/or disaster often breeds unprecedented action, how might we measure, even test, the architectural and urban value by taking it away? Instance 3: Corporate Annexation, models this invasion on a culturally valued public space as a case study in an often repeated and all-too-familiar urban provocation.