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Invisible Urban Tensions

Part 1 Project 2001
Pedro Jervell
University of Greenwich | UK
The year's work consisted of two projects set in potent historical sites aiming to address urban context at variety of levels. I investigated the invisible forces that shape the city. Understanding such invisible atmospheres negotiated in the relationship between architecture and the body, I discovered that each context was a place rather then the site only through locating a resonating energy between the human action and existing architecture. Although the task set out might have been interpreted as acting with formal and programmatic novelty aiming to break existing boundaries of the site, my own strategy was one of a difference. I decided that places should be confronted with themselves, that is, with their own cultural, emotional, social and political atmospheres. My proposal was one of non-design, yet, inclusive design where the architect plays a role of facilitator allowing for public spaces to change over time. This approach allows for continuous tension between the individual and the city to take place and further generating the energy of the metropolis. If architect of the future is to sustain itself then one thing that we should not forget is the understanding of pleasure located in the emotional rather then rational that we, as designers, might be able to offer.
Pedro Jervell

The student has approached design problem in an innovative way this year. In his first project he has demonstrated an understanding of existing historical space within strictly defined urban context of ordered grid into regenerating it into a pubic space with micro-intervention yet macro-use. This short project became valuable investigation for the final project were his approach-formulated series of further investigations for a non-form driven design approach for his urban strategy. In addition, consideration of the role of designer was addressed in terms of an enabler for the social, economic and political forces to allow existing and new tensions in the city to emerge. Such understanding of context and invisible forces of urban condition generated in series of investigations applying variety of mixed media techniques based on strategies of collage, extraction and revealing rather then forming were extremely evocative yet critically mature work for a degree student. Pedro's commitment in the process was commendable at all levels of both understanding of urban space as well as sensitive representation of his strategy. In particular, his interest was demonstrated within the continuous negotiation of the in-between of the individual identity in the city, sensory experiences of the existing city and visual, as well as, diagrammatic suggestions of urban opportunities.

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