Guest lectures at University of Seoul and Launceston

This lecture is based on the fact that people have a basic need for protection from other people (and animals) as well as from the elements (the exterior climate). People need a space in which they can withdraw from the rest of the world. The two states, inside and outside, public and private, contact with, or isolation from, the outside world, are relevant in fulfilling this basic need.

 

In our cities of today and tomorrow, where public and private are next to each other, people have a profound system of spaces and elements to build up thresholds between the public domain and the private dwelling.  “Like the skin of a body or the cladding of a building, indeed like any surface, the threshold comes into contact with what lies on both sides of it, linking the two environments in the act of separating them (…) The threshold is an ontological anomaly, a space outside of space, existing only in its vanishing” (Kingwell 2008:158). These elements and spaces work as codes, if we know the language, we can read and understand them. Thresholds and their codes can be very different, depending on the topographical, environmental and cultural context and are not always easy to understand.

 

This lecture focuses on the architectural design to build up thresholds, often combined with certain behavior of the users adding attributes to mark their territory. As the threshold can foster exclusion, but as well often offer place to meet in a zone in-between the public domain and the private home, they form an ambiguous border between both of them, in the context of the city often called the urban plinth, the intermediary between city and home.

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March and April 2017