Thesis Draft 1.0

1. What happens to politically significant buildings when regimes shift and a new political entity comes into power?
2. How does our current culture (or social structure) wrestle with and decide what to do with buildings left over from a previous political generation or social zeitgeist?
3. What happens to buildings that are left beached upon changing social and economic tides?

-- A classification of types of buildings based on the catalyst for their original creation. Political, cultural, educational, economic, residential, infrastructural, institutional, etc. (Choose one type for simplicity’s sake).

-- A dichotomy of why the building has come to its state of abandonment.  Political upheaval, social acceptance lost, changing global economy, cultural ambitions and cultural capacity has changed, educational/institutional models have shifted, economic/geographic flux, natural disaster, material decay, infrastructural obsolescence, demographic shifts, martial action, etc.

-- An analysis of the qualities/qualifiers that impact the building’s capacity to adapt [carrying capacity]. Utilitas, firmitas, venustas (cc. Eduardo Rojas).

-- Degrees of intervention
re-creational (remake in old image)
co-creational (remake to match the context of a place but with the respect to the building’s original form/function/use.
neo-creational (to complement existing qualities of the building to new additional uses)
post-creational (to contrast historic building characteristics with vastly modernized material/form/use)

-- Considerations for how these interventions may impact society and lead to new conception/life of old building

-- Apply in a design. A building that embodies these characteristics and which has a socio/cultural/political charge to see how adaptation can bring about critical analysis and new use for unused buildings.

**In addition to the ‘Apply in a design’ step, also consider the following:
An exploratory analysis of the ways in which we convey a building’s use and image prior to its physical reuse/construction. What means and media do we use to impact/address (point 2) dichotomies for the building’s original abandonment. How can designers use media to modify popular mindset.

Similar to Alexander Zaera Polo’s Politics of the Envelope, a study of historical and politically charged buildings, analyzing what happens to a significant structure during political transformations or shifts in political/economic power

“In investigation into the interplay of politics and architecture with a quest toward understanding why buildings are abandoned, what keeps them in their state of abandonment, and what factors are necessary to achieve their eventual adaptation and re-use. Of special interest is the process that power swings in politics and economics bring about and how educators, students, and practitioners can be more aware of the factors at play in a design project.”

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