Date of Award
Master of Architecture
Mark Schimmenti, Ken McCown
What is a periphery? We can think about this word in more than one way. First off, peripheries are places that exist as spatial conditions in cities, They indicate edges and places that have been left behind. Spaces that have lost their meaning. But in this thesis I will use the word in another way as well. What does the periphery mean for us today? What are those parts of our lives that have been marginalized, and how can we begin to reclaim what has been lost? It is the aim of this thesis to address these issues of the individual in a site that exists on the edge of Manhattan--a place physically separated from the city by means of a highway, and in so doing, redeem both a physical space as well as a place within ourselves.
One way in which we as a society create this edge condition within ourselves centers around how we structure our time. How do we work? When do we work? And, conversely, when do we rest? An important part of our twenty-first century lives centers around our ability to be in constant communication. Recent advancements in communication technology are fast shaping the way in which we live, and, as a result, we have constructed a world in which productivity and communication are no longer limited by our physical place. For its many benefits, one problem created by this is that of a population simultaneously connected to the world, yet easily disconnected from their physical place. When do we turn off? And, more importantly, what are we missing by being so endlessly connected?
In response to this situation, I feel that we as a society need moments of repose to restore balance in our lives. It is during these breaks in our day that we are better able to synthesize information, form memory and maintain balance between engagement and rest. By connecting our minds with our bodies, moments of repose serve as physical and mental experiences that ground us in place.
Kown, Robert Oliver, "INHABITING THE PERIPHERY: a dialogue between individual and site. " Master's Thesis, University of Tennessee, 2011.
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