Date of Award

8-2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Architecture

Major

Architecture

Major Professor

Jennifer Akerman

Committee Members

James Rose, Avigail Sachs

Abstract

Architecture exits within a Myth of Permanence. I am seeking to destabilize this myth with the addition of a Volatile Domesticity; a system of living that is unstable in nature and through its instability, seeks to break apart the illusion of permanence of the built environment and our relationship to it. Volatile Domesticity can be achieved by implementing tactics of Active Temporarily and Siting.

The Myth of Permanence is the pervading myth that what we build, who we are, and where we stand are permanent, unchanging facts. The Myth can be exemplified in monuments we never imagined could crumble, thirty year mortgages, divorce rates, and the demolition of buildings with tons of materials sent to landfills.

The Myth of Permanence has started to be broken down in other fields but architecture clings to this Myth as a life preserver. In some ways architecture may fear its own obsolescence if it were to embrace impermanence. But I do not believe this to be the case; architects have the power to break free of this Myth and position themselves prominently in the design of the future. I am attempting to provide a counter to the notion that architecture has to be heavy, expensive, static, and permanent.

Volatile Domesticity is a system that seeks to overthrow illusions of stability and permanence in the built environment. It is a building archetype and a lifestyle that engages site actively and temporally.

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