Practice Reactivation: finding new rhythms in forgotten industrial instruments
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Statement of Issue/Problem. Buffalo is an aging rust belt city with an overabundance of neglected industrial infrastructure. While the steel railroad overpasses continue to decay an embedded network of architectural significance is being wasted. As industry continues to leave, traditional use of this aging architecture is no longer a valid proposition. Perhaps guerrilla architecture could provide unconventional options for reuse and development. Traditional architecture activates permanent organization, while guerrilla architecture is that of hit-and-run, resistance. Its goals are immediate, short term; its' ambition is its only manifestation. This intervention describes spaces for events, not permanence. Buffalo has a thriving underground, do-it-yourself music scene that is architecturally confined to mostly traditional architectural typologies. Strict law enforcement and coding has dampened not only the originality of make shift venues, but also their mobility and even access. Numerous vacant cavalier and unkempt spaces are deemed off limits. Statement of Significance of Issue. Practice reACTivation makes its case through many of the characteristics that Buffalo boasts, the primary factors being the city's economic decline and slump in its architectural and construction industries. In this economic starvation, the city is producing little, however Buffalo's musical community and its supporters are steadfastly fighting this trend. Underground musicians need very little- an audience, a power source, and maybe a roof. These are the ideal benefactors of reused guerrilla architecture. Method of Inquiry. Peter Cook states that "when we talk about the anti-house we are still talking about the house," so when I discuss the anti-venue or underground, I am still discussing the venue. To better understand the integration of the underground network, existing architectural infrastructure, and guerrilla architecture, I will first examine the existing architecture of the underground music landscape. By understanding the existing exchanges I will better know how to facilitate a more transient audience that will exist merely for hours and then fade away. Equally important becomes the opportunistic public spaces, spaces that are less noticeable and under used, spaces that are adjacent to event means and needs (access to technology/shelter/camouflaged visibility.) Expected Outcome. The purpose of this intervention is to renew and validate Buffalo's post industrial landscape. Using musical venue typologies as a means to this end, the origional purposes of these spaces will be altered. These parasitic venues will be free of design review, authoritative permission, and names. The goal is to facilitate under used or unused space for the underground/DIY users, with a desire to facilitate person-to-person exchange and interaction through redefining the user, traditional architecture, modern thought, and technology. The spaces of interest reside in industrial overpasses, or train bridges. These old structures have adequate space, electricity, potential to be enclosed, reside on the outskirts, and have built in stages! Most importantly, their accompanying tracks present a clear and legible map that will define not only a single event, but also a larger architectural network. The goal is to use the existing means paired with the underground network to activate these under used opportunities. The goal is to reactivate architectural practice.