D'Angelo, Gabriella Lucia
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Statement of issue. For centuries, the relationship between the body and architecture has been a topic of investigation that has manifested itself within vast proposals. The body has been used as icon and symbol, has defined scale and proportion, and has inspired metaphoric and tectonic language. In basic terms, architecture defines itself as a mediator between the body and its environment, acting as shelter and protection; the second skin. The implications derived from building codes have limited and defined our standards for designed space with relation to the body. In this we have become accustomed to expansive spaces that encapsulate volume rather than informing or indexing the individual in any direct, physical sense with few exceptions found in the banal moments marked by door openings, run and rise of stairs and addendum furnishings. With such emphasis on architecture being an object and space designed for the actual, physical human body, this very moment has been lost in the translation of design. Any means of engaging the body with any sense of intimacy has been underexposed. Statement of significance. In investigating alternative design disciplines which inform the body with this sense of "intimacy" in question, seen in an array of art works as well as in clothing and fashion design, we begin to gauge a sense of paralleled ideals within these studies that also are informed within architectural design; form, function, materiality and context. Artists and designers such as Lucy Orta, Giorgio De Chirico, Rebecca Horn, Hussein Chalayan, and Allan Wexler have all informed the body within their works as having a distinct, physical connection to architecture and space while preserving identity of the body. These moments begins to provoke an interest to rethink the notion and connectivity of the body and space within architecture. Can architecture begin to re-examine scale in relation to the body and space? Can the body become interactive with architecture, ultimately redefining space and inhabitability? Can architecture become and extension of the body? Method of inquiry. In researching the historical and physical aspects of architectural design with respect to its relationship to clothing and selected artists, I hope to further engage the ideals of the body within architectural space. In exploring construction methods and materials both within architecture and the clothing industry, I would like to propose a project that conjoins these design disciplines. In manipulating scale, material and construction methods, I hope to investigate a new moment between architecture and clothing that will re-invent the relationship between the body and architecture. Expected outcome. In conducting this research I am proposing a design project in which I will build full scale constructions that engage existing architecture as well as investigate newly proposed designs independently as studies of complete architectural modules. These models will be supplemented with drawings, photo collages and video documentation which further explore and express my thesis. In doing this, I hope to discover new means of defining architecture and space which directly investigates the physical indexing and scale of the body.