Offramp

Spring/Summer 2018

Stuff Untitled 1

As we fling around the term “object” within architectural discourse, questioning its relationship to other things, perhaps it’s time to critically step back. Take a step back and look at all the stuff we have accumulated.

Stuff—the name we use to describe the indescribable, unspecific, imprecise—encompasses our overwhelming inability to consider things individually. However, stuff is not things. Stuff flattens things, it generalizes objects into a flat ontology and isn’t ashamed to admit it. Stuff is also versatile, and dimensional, in that it can collect miscellaneous entities across vast stretches of the universe in the simple use of any random adjective: Fun Stuff. Pink Stuff. That Stuff.

Stuff is unmeasurable, invisible. It can be matter, energy, space, collections, aggregates. Stuff can be old, new, borrowed, or blue. Stuff is inclusive and diverse. Stuff is microscopic and stuff is bigger than the universe. Stuff has smoky boundaries, stuff is shapeless. Stuff is everything and nothing.

Offramp

Fall/Winter 2017

Crowds Protestors in Yemen

‘The crowd’ can be understood as both object and experience: viewed from a distance, from above, as data, pressing in from all sides, pushing towards the exit, or up against the barricade. How to figure the crowd, and to what end, depends on the contingency of where one stands. Variously identified as the population, the masses, or the multitude, the crowd remains an urgent category of contemporary aesthetics and politics, yet is often undervalued in architectural discourse today.

If social thought at the turn of the twentieth century understood the crowd as a figure to be feared and suppressed, we now speak of both ‘crowd intelligence’ and ‘smart cities’ as a new data-driven optimism towards the crowd and its algorithmic management. Politically transformative and spatially ambiguous but increasingly measurable, the crowd is the client, the brief, and the site: the universal basic datum of mass culture and contemporary urbanism.

Offramp

Spring/Summer 2017

Guise Bh07 Png File Offramp Copy

As our lifestyles become more immersive, we are increasingly less aware of our congenital modes of experience. The ubiquity of digital technology has rearranged and restructured these modes, simultaneously creating illusive, yet palpable relationships to one another and our mechanisms of interaction. Our unprecedented access to the Internet, enables us to consume news, images, and information (both legitimate and illegitimate) rapidly. As a result, we interact with media superficially, obligated to instantly accept or reject the outward appearance of things in the form of ‘likes’ and emojis. This commodification of form and image has profound implications for the discipline; in the way we produce, discuss, and represent architecture. Offramp 13: Guise includes essays and projects that reflect on the oscillation between observing what is immediately perceivable and contemplating the indexicality of its construction.

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