-- meeting 22 oct
Leah, John, and I discussed the flow of (1) the more historical research I've done analyzing the tools and methods designers have utilized in exploring the connection between people and their environments--in defining place-- and (2) the more projective research/design that will follow, using these tools to come up with my own way of describing contemporary connections to place and testing strategies on case studies--testing Las Vegas.
Specifically, we suspect that while these historical examples operate in a sort of Utopian fashion, dependent upon an overall equilibrium, a more true analysis and projection of contemporary interactions would be much more dependent on deformation, though I may still be proposing a new version of Utopia.
Las Vegas. We looked at City Center, the largest of all the city's planned developments. For the first time, "starchitecture" is in demand, and they are selling an ambiance very different from the old themes of the Strip. In fact, Las Vegas has been catering almost exclusively to high-end luxury themes for years now, getting away from the late-90s "family friendly" marketing of Vegas to the yuppie-enticing slogan "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas..."
The problem now is definitely to push beyond an understanding of phenomenological aspects to address the psychological dimension in architecture. Las Vegas, it seems, somehow fits psychological coercion in between the sign and signifier. In cases where this psychological aspect is merged, the subject may be a more anonymous individual inattentive to her homogenized environment. However, in Las Vegas the separation of these relationships creates a buzzing awareness of the individual's role in the scene. John suggested that this is where we can bring in structural Marxism...
--Books to read:
Decerteau. The Practice of Everyday Life.
Visualizing the City. ed. Marcus and Neumann.
--Also, maps to scan from Pusey map library.
posted on 10/22/2008