Framing Interiority: Intensification through Interior Engagement with the Landscape
This design led research thesis explores the relations between interior and landscape, in particular how processes of framing may produce interiority as a way of intensifying bodily experiences of landscape and the forces of the earth. The research explores ‘framing’ as interior-making; in both the theoretical sense and practical tactic for interior architecture practice. The volcanic site of White Island was chosen as the site for this research. The incredible qualities and forces of the landscape of White Island offer a rich testing ground for the exploration of creating interior experiences in the landscape. Framing as interior making is explored in three different ways: framing as cut or separation, framing as view or selection, and framing as contrast or relation. The aim of this research is to explore how the intensification of the bodily experience of the natural landscape may be produced and generated through these acts of framing. The question of how interior practices and techniques can be implemented to intensify bodily experience of the landscape is the primary intention of this thesis.
This research explores these notions through the design of a visitor centre and thermal bath and spa on the site of White Island. Experimenting on the framing of moments and journey from the points of arrival, observation, to the moment of contemplation, this thesis proposes a series of intensified bodily experience through the design of the visitor centre and thermal bath and spa that reveals natural theatre events and objects down into personal and public lived-in space. Establishing a relationship among the acts of framing: as cut, view, and contrast, the network of recomposed bodily experience of the landscape through the design of thermal bath and spa programming that is emerged within the notion of volcanic activity is thus generated. Reflecting on the design process, framing as cut and view promote the acts of contextualizing while framing as a contrast sets up the relationship and intensification of bodily experience of the landscape. Returning to an event of vulnerability helps to contemplate what it might be like to inhabit this encounter of interiority within human made properties and the natural theatre attest to this.
Three interrelated processes – framing as cut or separation, framing as view or selection, and framing as contrast or relation engage site’s visual material and develop an alternative form and framework for spatial propositions. These three framings of interior and landscape relation will be considered: first, a consideration of the forces of the natural landscape, with the volcanic site as a specific context of its mechanism; and second, a consideration of temporality as the reflection on the anthropocene as the era in which human intervention is considered as the dominant influence on the geological, atmospheric and ecological shifts and transformation, with the existing ruins of sulphur factory as a critical part of its properties. These two considerations emphasize speculations about how framing interiority enable production which deals with two-time scales: one of is devastating and uncontrollable and one of the outside the concept of entropy in which human activity can influence. Within the anthropocene, the continuous transformation demands the understanding of forces as poetic brief that does not produce objects but rather interiority, relationships to context – intensification within interior and landscape.