As part of the cycle of competitions, Think Space is calling for entries in its Blur Building themed competition. “It is too soon to know whether Blur was a barometer of early 21st Century sentiment or a neutral response to the conditions of the site. The lack of program allowed us to make our own which had nothing to do with a World’s Fair and everything to do with our own practice. It allowed Diller and Scofidio to bridge the worlds of high art, installation art, and architecture, continue to research threads significant to the practice at the same time it presaged the change of the firm name from D+S to DS+R.” – Charles Renfro. More on the juror’s description of the project for the competition after the break.
World’s Fair pavilions exist to showcase innovation. At the service of corporate, institutional or governmental entities, they typically foreground technological advancements or philanthropic largess. In the best of cases, they address both. Blur had neither and was the result of nothing: no program, no functional requirements, no size definition, no site mandates, no occupancy targets or public flow rates. The program was a series of words and phrases based in the counter culture of the 70s: love, me and the universe, altered states etc.
Similarly, our response was intent on delivering nothing. We gave the site back to itself disguised as architecture. In the ‘cafe’, visitors could drink the building (and thus the site) in the form of packaged water. Instead of a media rich, high definition visual environment, upon entering blur, one can see nothing and hear nothing. The sound of the building being perpetually remade through 30,000 high-pressure fog nozzles was dominant. Vision was foregrounded as the paramount sense through its repression.
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