My History is Not Mine
journal contributionposted on 11.09.2021, 03:12 by May Myo Min, Daniel BrownDaniel Brown
This design-led research investigation focuses on architecture as a representation of cultural loss. Globalisation has spread Eurocentric modernist architectural principles across most cultures. In a very real sense, many Eastern cultures are having their own unique architectural histories rewritten, even erased, and are in danger of becoming lost. This investigation tests the methodology of using oral narrative (in this case, a series of superstitious Burmese tales from childhood) as a framing device to establish an architectural narrative about cultural loss in architecture. The research investigation reflects on the structure and semiotics derived from the abstraction of superstitions for challenging speculative architecture to give a voice to its own story about critical cultural loss. It reinterprets some of the most ‘ordinary’ Western elements of modern architecture – room, wall, ceiling, floor, threshold, window, etc. – through an Eastern lens, with the goal of obviating or reducing Western precepts. Eastern stories in the form of ‘oral narrative superstitions’ are used as provocateurs, starting points that help the project explicitly move away from traditional modernist architectural forms and relationships. The three design stages of the methodology progress iteratively: from physical analogue models derived from the abstraction of oral narrative superstitions; to digital animations as a narrative tool for reinterpreting these design ideas as shifts in spatial conditions over time; and finally, to the virtual gaming environment to enable agency in which the participants can construct their own experiential narrative outcomes.