Thinking Through Making
Something special occurs in the process of a human maker interacting with the physical world through creation. The product contains a quality of struggle and knowledge that is never possible to create in automated production. The maker also learns and grows through their interactions with the physical. The lack of this knowledge in the goods of our globalized industrialized economy is a form of poverty.
Architecture has a great opportunity to resist this trend in the depersonalization of our environment. It is one of the only remaining products that are still custom created for each site. This trend toward dehumanized architecture is exhibited in the ever-greater removal of the architect from the actual process of construction. I describe elements of the design process related to craft processes, which allow architects to interact more directly with their materials.
Architects develop an affinity for certain materials similar to the relationship a craftsman has for his materials or fabrication process. Architects who grow to understand materials at a deep enough level bring out the innate potential of the material and process their designs. Here I focus on developing understanding of the potentials of brick.
I propose to design a ceramics cooperative on the site of the Historic Nelsonville Brick Plant. This complex would display a continuum of making traditions. The spaces include an interpretive center for the display of the historical artifacts of the brick making site, a ceramics workshop and gallery to reflect the role local craft art plays in the community today.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:brick craftsmanship workmanship materiality craft
Date of Publication:07/14/2009