The small-scale architectural structure has a long history, most notably in the design of the architectural folly. This history, which dates back to the 16th and 17th centuries, is one where techniques such as irony and metaphorical reference were common. While the building often times incorporated ornament, it also became essentially a piece of ornament itself within a garden setting. Design was often based in simple relationships such as the building to the site, the inhabitant to the view, or the building to its meteorological context. These relationships were typically either whimsical or poetic, in many cases heightening the essential condition in which they were seeking to develop through downplaying others. Tangentially, because of its focus on ornament and metaphor, the folly commonly had no programmatic component. Follies were not meant to fulfill any kind of function within their context and were released from any sort of performative agenda. They were simply meant to exist. Eventually follies began to incorporate very primal functions of sleeping or entertaining, all while avoiding any complex relationships outside of historical metaphorical reference. Recent architectural history has seen the small-scale structure become much more aggressive in regards to program, systems integration, and sustainability. When used for programs such as disaster relief, playfulness and metaphorical reference become no longer relevant – they simply must do more. The reduced dimensional criterion does not allow for inefficiency or waste and the possibility of exchange between the enclosure, program, and systems is increasingly necessary. This synergistic agenda encourages systems and materials to extend each other’s performance creating a systemic ecology where the space between enclosure, program and building systems is harvested for its ability to become instrumental. This position was the catalyst for the injection of the small-scale structure into a NAAB comprehensive design studio.
Work exhibited as part of the Truck-A-Tecture exhibit at THE KANEKO in the Fall of 2014.
UNL | ARCH410 | Fall 2012