Relative Absence of the Absolute Boundary
Harvard University Graduate School of Design | Spring 2014
Professor: Mack Scogin
Studio: "You Can't Die in Disney World" A Zoo
Program: A Garden of Pavilions for the Dalai Lama
Site: Object 825, Abandoned Soviet Submarine Base. Balaclava, Ukraine
The relative absence of the absolute boundary, defined as multiple readings of a resonating boundary, where a condition is simultaneously bounded and expanding. The project began with a recollection of my first spatial memory in the form of a narrative describing a memory of being bounded by the table cloth underneath my grandmother's kitchen table but where the imagination is expanding beyond the immediate condition.
The juxtaposition of the program “A Garden of Pavilions for the Dalai Lama” with the site -- an abandoned Soviet Nuclear Submarine base in Balaclava, Ukraine, poses the question what do Communism and Buddhism have in common? Both Communism and Buddhism were established on the ideological beliefs of collectivism, unity & relativity. While communism takes a materialistic perspective and Buddhism takes a spiritual one, both believe in an interdependent network of every human, the unity of all things as one entity, and the absence of clearly defined boundaries in a transformation from one state of matter to another. The same beliefs resulted in very different outcomes, providing for multiple readings of the same ideology. The architectural manifestation of collectivism, unity, and relativity can be expressed as mass ornament: a series of formal operations carried out on meaningless parts to produce abstract patterns using the mechanical movements of lines, rotations and repetitions.
The Dalai Lama is a being that is part of both reality and spirituality the combination of being a reincarnation of Buddha and his homeless state in exile create an aura about him which allows him to simultaneously exist in both reality and spirituality, rendering him as the physical manifestation of a condition that is simultaneously bounded and expanding.