oooh, is this model to scale?
me: why yes, yes it is.
great, lets see it with a scale figure in it
me: oh, ok
make it at 6'
me: actually, how bout i make it at 5'6"
umm, NO. how about you make it at 6'
me: well, i'm not 6'. are you?
me: why would i base this building off of how a 6' person perceives the space.
because its convention. thats how a building is judged. if you put a different size person in it it will throw the WHOLE thing off.
me: but i'm trying to subvert convention to reflect real people. what is that convention based on?

i do want you to pursue alternatives in design, but there is also a point in which you must use convention to study it. i think architecture and design is hard enough when you are investigating alternatives without changing the conventions to explain them. it's like writing a book or something to investigate new and very complicated issues that are difficult in themselves to understand and then adding a layer of a different language on that or for that matter making up a new language. it really becomes difficult and can cloud how good the idea truly is.

as architects we use scale as a convention and it is amazing how quickly that can change your perspective and many times do a disservice to your design. it's fine to change scale after you know what a normal condition may be......and occasionally you may stumble on something new by doing it first.

me: ok. makes sense (for the purposes of neatly ending this right now)

but really, this whole discussion reminds me of
hansy's thesis from cornell which from what i remember was all about changing architectural conventions/scales based on a female form comparative to the stereotypical ideal male and i think it is an interesting issue both theoretically and practically... i wonder what others think about this.

these are the kind of things i want to explore in the class, i hope to design as a part of the huckabay teaching fellowship . i'm (fingers crossed) working on designing a course on gender and architecture and other critical perspectives on space. more on that later as i get the application together.


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