Work details
Application Number 0001001827
Author Said, Nourah , Kuwait
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Work title: Intimate City (0001001827)

Afford- verb to be able to do or spare something. To give, yield or supply. Utopia- noun (usually lower case) an ideal place or state. Ideal- Something that exists only in the imagination. As a citizen first and an architect second, the moral borders I am challenging are those of false dichotomies. An acute, radical reading and reexamination of society requires creating a moral framework for social thought and action. To challenge moral borders demands fundamental transformation in individual and collective consciousness. There are social dimensions to moral purposes; moral borders are tested within the operations of a society. Virtues, talents, morals cannot be developed in mere isolation. Hence, it is imperative to develop an acute consciousness of the reciprocal relationship between personal growth and organic change in the structures of society in order to create a meaningful utopia that we can afford. The false dichotomy between the individual and collective, the city and the intimate are major obstacles of social development on both moral and architectural grounds. Hence “Intimate City” creates an evolving affordable utopia by focusing on the three components that define a space: ◌ Architectural Element ◌ Citizen ◌ Action WHO: The subject is the citizen that challenges false dichotomies in his individual and community life. The citizen defies the socially constructed separations that encourage us to physically and morally separate our modes of thought and action. He/she/they work morally, architecturally and urbanely on the level of the individual as well as the larger society to bring the city into the intimate space. WHERE: The examination and studies are in the context of London. Even though a vibrant city filled with events, movements and people, architecturally there seems to be a clear separation between the intimate space and city space in London. This physical separation has found social and moral translations as well. Although in the realm of the city there are large sums of people, there are limited interactions amongst them. Each person is on their own, but at the same time everyone is part of operations and movements within the city while being constantly watched by CCTV cameras. On the other hand, the levels of intimacy vary within the realm of the city. The house has a more intimate relationship with its adjacent street or existing neighborhood than it does with a nearby commercial area of the city. So, the proposal challenges these perceived dichotomies and questions the moral and architectural implications of bringing the city into the intimate space. HOW The method in which this utopia would develop is of an organic nature, starting from the grassroots level. It does not follow a narrow rigid predetermined course. It starts from one citizen experimenting with a threshold between the intimate and city space in his surroundings, and the process of transformation organically growing, as seen in the greater map of London. It shows that two grassroots projects of forgotten spaces in London could encourage action. WHAT The type of action is a part of an operational index proposed that works with the architectural element as the border between intimate and city space. The index explores extreme conditions of the interactions of the city and intimate through the alteration of the architectural element thus resulting in the creation of three distinct types of spaces that could exist both in the realm of the city space and intimate space. Collective Space Individual Space Passage In the creation of these distinct spaces in which the architectural element, citizen, and action are present, (im)morality is tested within the operations of a coherent utopia. Whether it is in the momentary interaction walking through a passage or in detailed interface in a collective setting. How can one test the virtue of justice for example if one is not within various operations in a society to do so? Simultaneously a focus on inward morality through inner progress and growth in individual spaces is of utmost important. This is the two-fold moral purpose of every citizen is to develop his/her latent capabilities through efforts to contribute to the advancement of society. The operational index explores the human and physical manifestation of bringing cities and communities into intimate spaces. SYNTHESIS The operational index is tested as evolving experimental tools in various contexts within the city, not leading necessarily to a correct solution, but to one of many possible answers that would vary and evolve according to the time and place. The proposal addresses only two examples and shows their role in creating individual and collective spaces, passages and their relationship to the city. An affordable utopia is an ever evolving learning process where moral borders will constantly be challenged. The proposal addresses the gradual growth of this utopia to inhabit various parts of the city. Perhaps an affordable utopia is not a dichotomy after all.