Architecture Through Translation
Architecture, in its nature mainly operates through the visual, linguistic or cultural translation. Translation of social behaviors and aims into a rigid structure, translation of an idea or design into a drawing or any visual representation, or translation of different cultures into architecture. The definition of translation includes the conversion of something from one form or medium into another; while some of its synonymous terms are transformation, alteration, adaptation, metamorphosis, transmutation, transfiguration, rendering; and relocation. Yet the process of translation -in architecture in this case- is never direct and objective, it is the a manipulation or a narrative depending on each’s motivations and interest. This fundamental act of practice allows one to de-construct any given matter into a new phenomenon. During my education in Cornell, with the two architectural option studios I participated, I was able to experience two different acts and processes of translation in architecture in different ways. In Trojan Horses’ Option Studio by Val Warke, after focusing on the genres which are somehow outside the architectural sphere, fragments; ideologies and certain characteristics of chosen genres were used to suggest potential narratives, as a points of departure in architectural design. It was necessary to understand the ideology of the genre to re-construct their traditional association, and to translate abstract understandings into concrete; architecture in this case. On the other hand, in Criminal Behavior Studio with Martin Miller, the studio focused on communicative expressions of ornamentation; first, visual translation of the cultural values into visual form and secondly, the fabrication of these ornaments through different medias and digital fabrication tools; translation from digital to physical form.
discourse; Ornament; architecture; Representation; Translation
Sabin, Jenny E.
Master of Science
dissertation or thesis