Time passes. Time sculpts wrinkles on our skin. As simple as the natural law, no physical objects will last forever. We are all in the process of perpetual perishing. A building’s pristine original state, if that ever exists, only marks an infinitesimal ephemeral point in the coordinate of time. The gradation of an aging process is in fact the most significant part of the vitality of what we call - architecture.

What is the limitation of our learning model that we have inherited generations after generations; what is the blindspot in our vision, so well educated and sophisticated; what is the premise of architecture that we don’t know well enough about, have no vocabularies to articulate, and perhaps have never even been properly trained to understand?

An act of describing and questioning is a form of authorship. Perhaps we need to un-train our eyes first in order to remember how to see. Wrinkle also marks the misalignment between the presence and the eye behind the camera - a moment of rupture. An oneiric afterimage is just what we need to reveal what Lefebvre refers to as “the minor magic of everyday life”.

Rooted in an anonymous residential building in the center of Mexico City, this thesis dances between observation and imagination, and creates storytelling that unearths architecture as a living object. Borrowing tools from our allied disciplines, photography, filmmaking, and landscape architecture, this thesis uses camera as a spatial tool for palpation, attempting to build an alternative literacy for the fundamental elements architecture is entangled with - time and people. Solutionism is not the offering of this thesis, but rather, an outlook for re-discovering architecture as life-long projects.

Advised by William O'Brien Jr
readers: Anne Spirn, Rosalyne Shieh, Jeff Landman


© 2022 Daisy Zhang