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Promoting cultural experiences through responsive architecture

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Title:
Promoting cultural experiences through responsive architecture
Physical Description:
Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Elkanah, Shabonni Olivia
Publisher:
University of South Florida
Place of Publication:
Tampa, Fla
Publication Date:

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords:
St. Kitts
Interaction
Caribbean
Heritage
Culture
Dissertations, Academic -- Architecture and Community Design -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
Genre:
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
ABSTRACT: Dance, costume, and music are all reflective of a heritage that has been intact over three hundred years. The street activities during carnival season on the island of St. Kitts can be described as dynamic excitement between the onlookers, the Masqueraders, a local folklore group, and other carnival players. The interactive play amongst group members of the Masqueraders is one that tells a story of the colonization and perseverance of a nation influenced by Indian, European and African past. There is often, however a disconnection between an outsider, 'the audience', and the culture of the island. Only when the interactive play amongst the players is disseminated throughout the audience, inducing a response to embrace the culture does an outsider gains a better understanding of the culture.By expressing this interactive performance of the Masquerades through responsive architecture the stage can be set where the outsider can become submerged in a full cultural experience. In 2003 the Parsons School of Design succeeded in creating several interactive wall systems to monitor social behavior of passersby by creating movable walls that revealed seating ar- eas during high traffic periods. In the marketing world "interactive wall(s)" informs consumers, workers and potential clients of information on a particular product. Although successful within their own realms, these wall systems lack the ability to meet individual needs based on a particular cultural region. Analyzing the Masqueraders and conducting interviews will be of importance to this thesis research. Once information has been collected and compared responsive systems will be designed and tested.Frequent comparisons will be made with the investigations carried out by Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Kinetic Design Group and Parsons School of Design. Responsive architecture can be used as modern day folklore, as in story telling, to conjure up the cultural spirit of a place, exhibit architectural aesthetics while offering an outsider an authentic and spectacular interactive experience. The results of this investigation will be geared towards improving human experiences on cultural levels.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
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System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Shabonni Olivia Elkanah.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
General Note:
Document formatted into pages; contains 70 pages.

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University of South Florida Library
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University of South Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
aleph - 002029676
oclc - 437048007
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0002957
usfldc handle - e14.2957
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Promoting Cultural Experiences Through Responsive Architecture by Shabonni Olivia Elkanah of the requirements for the degree of Master of Architecture School of Architecture and Community Design College of The Arts University of South Florida Major Professor: Trent Green, M. Arch. Shannon Bassett, M. Arch. Stanley Russell, M. Arch. Date of Approval November 21, 2008 Keywords: St. Kitts, Interaction, Caribbean, Heritage, Culture, Carnival, Masqueraders, Kinetic Architecture, Performance Architecture, Architourism Copyright 2009, Shabonni Olivia Elkanah

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DEDICATION Celebrating a legacy imprinted upon our hearts... ...for mama, my great grand mother Beryl Caesar, for sharing with me treasures of our culture and satisfying an inquisitive young girls thirst for old time stories, for my grandmother Doreen Brookes, for introducing me to Carnival despite of my youthful initial timidness to embrace our heritage and traditions, and for you mommy, Iris Brookes, for sharing with me the lives of the women who came before us, their memories will forever be in our hearts and minds as they passed down to us a culture rich and immense, one that we are privilege to experience.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Special thanks to Trent Green, thesis chair and my committee remembers Shannon Bassett and Stanley Russell. I would also like to thank each faculty member of the School of Architecture and Community Design who have inspired me to think criti cally and develop the necessary skills needed in the architectural environment. This thesis would not be as valuable if not for the assistance of Mr. Randolph Hamilton of the St. Kitts Tourism Authority, Mrs. Jackie Armory and the staff at the St. Kitts Heritage Society, and for all those who shared their experiences of the culture of St. Kitts.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS LIST OF FIGURES iii ABSTRACT v DEFINITONS 1 THE CULTURE OF ST. KITTS 2 Introduction: Come Dance With Me 2 History 3 What is Culture? 3 CARNIVAL 6 FOLKLORE CULTURE:MASQUERADERS 9 The Costumes 9 The Dances 9 The Quadrille 9 The Fine 9 The Wild Mass 9 The Jig 9 The Boillola 9 The Waltz 9 FOLKLORE ARCHITECTURE 13 Huts: First Building Types 13 The Chattel House 14 Vernacular Characteristics 14 SITE ANALYSIS: SITE SELECTION 15 The Problem 15 Hypothesis 15 THE ROLE OF ARCHITECTURE IN 28 TOURISM KINETIC ARCHITECTURE 29 CASE STUDY I: LOW-REZ HI FI 30 Question 30 Hypotheis 30 Project Performance 31 Project Analysis 32 Space 33 Scale 34 Sensory 35 Sight 35 Touch 35 Sound 35 Lessons Learned 36 CASE STUDY II: WHITE LIGHT WHITE 37 NOISE i

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TABLE OF CONTENTS SCHEMATIC DESIGN 39 Concepts 39 Procession 39 Performance Spaces 39 Other Performance Spaces 39 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES 41 Goals and Objectives Primary Goals and Objectives Secondary 41 PROGRAM 42 Program (Zoning) 42 Private 42 Public 42 Educational 43 Commercial 43 Residential 43 Educational 43 Entertainment 43 VENDOR STALLS 44 CONCLUSION 69 BIBLIOGRAPHY 70 ii

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LIST OF FIGURES Fig. 1. Masquerade Dance 2 Fig. 2. Eastern Caribbean Map 4 Fig. 4. Time line 5 Fig. 5. Carnival Street View 6 Fig.6. Annual Festivals 7 Fig. 7. Carnival Players 8 Fig. 8. Maquerader 10 Fig. 9. Maqueraders Movement 11 Fig. 9-a. Maqueraders Movement 12 Fig. 10. RuralHuts 13 Fig. 11. The Chattel House 14 Fig. 12. Board House 14 Fig. 13. Concrete House 14 Fig. 14. Building Materials 14 Fig. 15. Port Zante 15 Fig. 16. Downtown Basseterre 16 Fig. 17. Vehicular Access 17 Fig.18. Historic District 18 Fig. 19. Views 19 Fig. 20. Noise 20 Fig. 21. Circulation 21 Fig. 22. Climate, July 2008 22 Fig. 23. Day Changes, July 2008 23 Fig. 24. Day Changes, July 2008 24 Fig. 25. Solar Energy and Surface Meteorology 25 Fig. 26. Port Zante Commercial Area 26 Fig. 26-a. Port Zante Commercial Area 26 Fig. 27. St. Kitts National Museum 27 Fig. 28. Port Zante Cruise Ship Terminal 27 Fig. 29. Installation 30 Fig. 30. LCD glass virtrinese 31 Fig. 31. Proximity 32 Fig. 32. Placement 33 Fig. 33. Scale 34 Fig. 34. Sensory Diagram 35 Fig. 35. Interaction 36 Fig. 36. Field of Stalks 37 Fig. 37.Geece Olympics 38 Fig. 38. Programming 43 Fig. 39. Folding 44 Fig. 40. Vendor Stalls 45 Fig. 41. First Floor 46 iii

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LIST OF FIGURES Fig. 42. Second Floor 47 Fig. 43. Third Floor 48 Fig. 44. North Elevation 49 Fig. 45. South Elevation 49 Fig. 46. Plaza Section 50 Fig. 46-a. Plaza Section 50 Fig. 45-b. Plaza Section 51 Fig. 47. Axonometric 52 Fig. 48. Performance Gradient 53 Fig. 49. Dome Fabric 54 Fig. 50. Perspective A 55 Fig. 51. Perspective B 56 Fig.52. Perspective C 57 Fig. 53. Perspective D 58 Fig. 54. Perspective E 59 Fig. 55. Perspective F 60 Fig.56 Port Zante 61 Fig. 57. Vendor Stalls 62 Fig. 58. Perspective G 63 Fig. 59. Perspective H 64 Fig. 60. Perspective I 65 Fig. 61. Perspective J 67 Fig. 63. Physical Model 68 iv

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PROMOTING CULTURAL EXPERIENCES THROUGH RESPONSIVE ARCHITECTURE Shabonni Elkanah ABSTRACT has been intact over three hundred years. The street activities dur ing carnival season on the island of St. Kitts can be described as dynamic excitement between the onlookers, the Masquer aders, a local folklore group, and other carnival players. The interactive play amongst group members of the Masqueraders is one that tells a story of the colonization and perseverance There is often, however a disconnection between an outsider, the audience, and the culture of the island. Only when the interactive play amongst the players is disseminated through out the audience, inducing a response to embrace the culture does an outsider gains a better understanding of the culture. By expressing this interactive performance of the Masquerades through responsive architecture the stage can be set where the outsider can become submerged in a full cultural experience. In 2003 the Parsons School of Design succeeded in creating several interactive wall systems to monitor social behavior of passersby by creating movable walls that revealed seating artive wall(s) informs consumers, workers and potential clients of information on a particular product. Although successful within their own realms, these wall systems lack the ability to meet individual needs based on a particular cultural region. Analyzing the Masqueraders and conducting interviews will be of importance to this thesis research. Once information has been collected and compared responsive systems will be de signed and tested. Frequent comparisons will be made with the investigations carried out by Massachusetts Institute of Tech nologys Kinetic Design Group and Parsons School of Design. Responsive architecture can be used as modern day folklore, as in story telling, to conjure up the cultural spirit of a place, exhibit architectural aesthetics while offering an outsider an authentic and spectacular interactive experience. The results of this investigation will be geared towards improving human experiences on cultural levels. v

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DEFINITIONS best describe their use throughout this thesis research. Responsive Architecture: Architecture that imitates and reacts to its surroundings. It suggests that the architecture is always in a state of constant change, as in a play or performance. Performance: is the presentation of the culture to an audience which also includes participation. Actors someone who presents or performs their culture to an audience. Node a building or place that is of great historic or cultural 1

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THE CULTURE OF ST. KITTS Introduction: Come Dance With Me. Come dance with me. Rhythm, beat, note, Step, twist, sway Jump, leap, jolt Over 300 years, tracing steps of an ancestral worship lost yet still remembered Rhythmic steps in sync with the Big Drum varying with colonization Boom, 1, 2, 3, 4 Come dance with me Forward, 1, 2, 3, 4 Take my hand, and around we go 1, 2, 3, 4, return to your position A beckoning call as the red thunder axe exults through the sky Chaotic movement regenerating, beating the ground as souls unite with a heritage, A heritage that now welcomes in foreign friends .come dance with me, 1, 2, 3, and 4. 2 Fig. 1. Masquerade Dance

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History permanent colony, the culture of St. Kitts is one that exhibits both richness of heritage passed down from generation to gen eration as well as immense history in its natural and built en Indians, the wealth of the soil was much sort after; St. Kitts was by the Indians. That name still exits within the local population referring to the islands central volcanic mountain. Christopher Columbus arrived in 1493 on the island; however coloniza tion proceeded in 1623 by Sir Thomas Warner. The French ar rival in 1625 help to create a joint force between the British and French that led to the massacre of the Carib Indians in 1626, the site is historically know as Bloody Point. As the islands grew prosperous tensions and intermittent war broke out between the British and French, the island was seized by either group at various times from 1664 to 1782 when the Brit the French at Brimstone Hill National Fortress. As part of the Treaty of Versailles the British was 1783. Though initial success was achieved through the cultivation of tobacco for export, the island suffered losses due to competi tion from Virginia which led to the cultivation of sugar cane in 1640. As needed laborers were in high demand large quan tities of African slaves were brought to the island. St. Kitts had become the richest British colony by 1776. The abolition of slavery within the British Empire occurred in 1834. What is Culture? environment. Mrs. Jackie Armony, St. Kitts Heritage Society ence the culture of St. Kitts is one that is captivating and vi brant. The island celebrates various festivals throughout the year including the St. Kitts National Carnival. The festivities participants are normal clothed with bright and colorful attire performing throughout the streets of the towns and villages. There is normally a play or story that surrounds each group that takes part in the events, mostly witty and stems from some past event that is usually fabricated. The island has managed to retain much of its culture due to its people who have shared their experiences through local crafts, story telling and the competitive nature of various shows held throughout the island. In addition much of the culture is re tained in the architecture around the island. 3

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4 Fig. 2. Eastern Caribbean Map

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5 St. Kitts Location Carribean Geographic coordinates: 17 20 N, 62 45 W Area comparative: 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC Population: 38,958 (July 2005 est.) Country name: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis Fig. 4. Time line Fig. 3. St. Kitts and Nevis

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CARNIVAL The St. Kitts National Carnival is a jubilant cultural experi ence that begins on Boxing Day and concludes a few days after is both engaging to the locals and visitors alike. From street decoration to festive attire and costumes, the urban context of Basseterre is transformed into a festive bowl of varying cul tural ingredients displayed through arts and craft, poetry, mu sic, drama, and food. The radiant drama of the street can be felt through the rhythmic performances of the carnival partici pants. Spectators congregate for miles along the street edges of Basseterre hoping to experience the rhythmic procession as the parade troupes moves from the camp grounds throughout the downtown area, dancing and celebrating the heritage of Af Throughout the year the various parishes of St. Kitts also par ticipate in their own festivals. These festivals celebrate the the National Carnival. 6 Fig. 5. Carnival Street View

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7 DAY 1 : ADULT CARNIVAL DAY 2 : CHILDRENS CARNIVAL DAY 3 : LAST LAP Fig.6. Annual Festivals Parade Routes

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8 Fig. 7. Carnival Players

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FOLKLORE CULTURE: MASQUERADERS The Masqueraders are a folklore dance group that originates ence. The Costume a shirt pants apron or mantle feathers (strong medium for attracting and communicating with the gods) ribbons tached to their attire by the Yoruba people during funeral rites. ) tassels small bells (The bells represent the cowries shells worn on the garments of Shango priests) thunder axe (visual symbol of Shangos power) The Dances The Quadrille 17th-Century dance stemming from France 1. 2. by the elegant movement of each dancer. 2. The Fine is the second dance is faster than the Quadrille and is a play between tow dancers. The dancers move skill fully towards each other on one foot meeting in the center of a circle, and then perform an African fertility dance and returns to their position. The Wild Mass is the chaotic movement of the Mas 3. queraders as each dancer breaks out into their own style of dancing and through their tomahawks into the sky, hoping to stir up the excitement of observers. The Jig is another dance that includes the display of ma 4. neuvering the tomahawk. The dance includes the move ment of the right foot hooked behind the left foot repeated in a frontward or backward movement. 5. 9

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10 Fig. 8. Maquerader

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11 Fig. 9. Maqueraders Movement

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12 Fig. 9-a. Maqueraders Movement

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FOLKLORE ARCHITECTURE Within human societies architecture has been used to provide shelter, protection and used as an enclosure. It is a tool that is used to trace the social activities of a societys past, frames its chitecture can unravel historical information. The architecture in most cases however only acts as stagnant object for observa tion, and not as an interactive element of the culture. constructed primarily by the people who reside in them. Assumption for any vernacular: house form represents a com promise between a number of distinct forces, including the en vironment, materials, technology, and the requirements of the social system. The central determinant of house form is found in an abstract geometrical aesthetic shared by the bearers of the vernacular tradition. Huts: First Building Types temporary supports of forked sticks wattle or palmetto thatched walls and thatched roofs similar to the indigenous Arawak habitations, however shacks that could be erected in a single day Kwa-Group and Bantu speakers captured from the coast of central West Africa indigenous house type is rectangular gabled roofed buildings wide variety of materials combined in various ways to make up more complex house units 13 Fig. 10. RuralHuts

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The Chattel House The Chattel House is the name given to a small wooden moveable house. Vernacular Characteristics Perishable and un preten tious Reconstituted resheat ed and reroofed every forty years Non durable 14 Fig. 13. Concrete House Fig. 11. The Chattel House Fig. 12. Board House Fig. 14. Building Materials

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SITE ANALYSIS: SITE SELECTION Port Zante, the site chosen for this thesis investigation is located on the edge of the city of Basseterre along the Bay Road. The area is the point of disembarkation to the city for many tourist visiting via cruise ships. The location was decided upon after conducting research amongst other sites. Once a sea shore, the ment to facilitate the docking of large ships visiting the island. Currently the building types located on Port Zante are com mercial, small jewelry and duty free tourist goods in addition to a few restaurant. The advantage of accessibility and proximity to historic and the urban life of the town was favorable for site selection. At the North -west corner of the site the sits the St. Kitts National Museum and just in front of the museum marks the original shoreline. The Problem The site analysis conducted showed that the main axis through the port area lead the visitor through the Pelican Mall, instead of adopting a more historical route that would connect the tour ist to the city. Hypothesis A procession that links cultural activities would introduce and island and thus connecting them to city. 15 Port Zante Fig. 15. Port Zante

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16 Fig. 16. Downtown Basseterre

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17 Fig. 17. Vehicular Access

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6 18 Fig.18. Historic District

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19 Fig. 19. Views

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20 Fig. 20. Noise

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21 Fig. 21. Circulation

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22 Fig. 22. Climate, July 2008

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23 Fig. 23. Day Changes, July 2008

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24 Fig. 24. Day Changes, July 2008

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25 Fig. 25. Solar Energy and Surface Meteorology

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26 Fig. 26. Port Zante Commercial Area Fig. 26-a. Port Zante Commercial Area

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27 Fig. 27. St. Kitts National Museum Fig. 28. Port Zante Cruise Ship Terminal

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THE ROLE OF ARCHITECTURE IN TOURISM In 2002 the Temple Hoyne Buell Center for the Study of Amer ican Architecture at Columbia University organized a confer ence and exhibition. What manifested was Architourism: Ar chitecture as a Destination for Tourism. The conference and tourist industry. In examining the importance of architour effect. In 1997 following the completion of Frank Gehrys Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain the regenerating of a whole city was felt as the new museum caught the attention of local and foreign tourist to visit the city and increased currency Architourism, studied buildings that were both permanent and temporary structures and measured their effectiveness in im proving tourists visit to a place. Architourism suggest that architecture becomes a catalyst for the construction of tourist experience. However, in most cases the new built structure acts as an iconic typology that may not necessarily link a build ing to its cultural and regional background. Perhaps by adapt ing responsive architecture that is capable of communicating the richness of a place that the role of architourism would be further explored to achieving sensory satisfaction. 28

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KINETIC ARCHITECTURE In order for the built environment to achieve interactive adapt ability to the sensory expectations of the tourist it is funda mental in understanding how such interaction is made possible. The collaborative work of Michael A. Fox and Bryant P. Yeh of MIT Kinetic Design Group has made available insights into the area of Intelligent Kinetic Systems. Their research concludes vergence of three key elements: structural engineering, sensor technology and adaptable architecture. The combination of these three separate yet necessary elements yields vital archi tectural responsive possibilities that are vital to achieving ar chitectural adaptability to the architourism realm. Structural engineering focuses on building structures that are lightweight, technology acts as an embedded computational control mecha nism which adapts and responds to changing needs. Adaptable structural transformability, to programmatic and site condi tions. Within intelligent kinetic systems exists architectural ty second is deployable kinetic structures which are transport able for construction and deconstruction in various locations. Thirdly, dynamic kinetic structures are independent of the ar chitectural whole. They exist as various modular components, importantly for the purpose of this thesis investigation, as a wall system. An example of a responsive wall system that has been investigated is the Kinetic Wall by Mr. Yeh. This system acts as an enclosure that is both structure and envelope, both solid and plastic and can be a temporary structure or incorporated into a building. Through similar studies this thesis will explore the relationship of a re sponsive wall system in adapting to cultural experiences. (Fox and Yeh, 2008) 29

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CASE STUDY I: LOW-REZ HI FI As responsive systems are continuing to make an impact on the urban space this case study investigates Low-Rez Hi Fi, an installation at 1110 Vermont Avenue in Washington DC. The and the activation of the public space between the buildings use of LED screens (Low-Rez) used to monitor the movement of the passersby and the use of touch sensitive stainless steal poles (Hi Fi) which plays back and relays musical notes when Fi adopts the technologies of computer programming and engi neering to invite passerby through the stimulation of the senses of sight, touch and hearing to interact with the urban space. Question: What is the role of responsive systems in public spaces? Hypothesis: By considering carefully the urban settings, responsive systems can be used to transform and activate an otherwise monotonous space. 30 Fig. 29. Installation (Howeler + Yoon Architecture)

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Project Performance: As a passerby walks along the sidewalk along 1110 Vermont Avenue one is drawn into an interactive environment created by sound and light. The project developed by My Studio consists of two interactive systems; three LCD matrix informational screens (Low-Rez) and interactive stainless steal sound poles (Hi Fi). Low Rez consists of digital images that are broadcast on full scale LED matrices in double-sided glass virtrines. The ma trices comprises 10, 000 LED pixels suspended by tension wires. Each pixel can be remotely controlled, allowing infor mation such as the buildings address to be displayed on the screen. Although the LED matrices has a pixel pitch of 2.4 inches which displays a very low resolution image, the spaces between them and the transparency of the glass virtrines allows the capturing of silhouette of a passersby. The relationship be tween the inside lobby of the building with the urban space between the street is activated by placing the glass virtrines within the lobby and perpendicular to the buildings faade. Hi Fi comprises of a grid of touch sensitive sound poles that each emits varying musical notes. The poles are di vided into segments that are separated by LED lights. Once one of the sound poles is touched the notes are relayed to another pole and then to the next, creating a continuous acts as a manmade forest within the urban space that in vites the passerby to touch, view, and listen, perhaps for a moment, forgetting the outer environment around him/her. 31 Fig. 30. LCD glass virtrinese (Howeler + Yoon Architecture)

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Project Analysis: Proximity and Location located near the downtown area of Washington DC. Thom boundary between the downtown section of 14th Street and the emerging uptown 14th Street neighborhood. In 2006 Thomas Circle underwent a $6 million restoration to include pedestrian crosswalks, new sidewalk, bicycle lanes renovation helped to improve the urban space along Ver 32 Fig. 31. Proximity

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Space The space created by the building structures on Vermont Av enue creates an urban man-made valley with trees aligned on the west side of the street. This opens opportunity for the place ment of the touch sensitive poles to be placed along the same path of the trees causing a subtle interruption of pattern. 33 Fig. 32. Placement

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Scale In contrast to the scale of the surrounding buildings the instal lation creates a world that is in grasp of human interaction.. 34 Fig. 33. Scale

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Sensory Sight 1. The glass virtrines display digital images, involves both pattern making and scrolling, making it clear for pass erby to both view the information and to monitor their own movement. 2. Touch The smoothness of the stainless steal poles invites pe destrian to touch, the same effect might not have been accomplished with a rough surface. 3. Sound The musical notes emitted once a pole is touched the sound is relayed to another pole and then to another cre ating a call and answer pattern. This stimulates move ment throughout the inhabitable space. 35 Fig. 34. Sensory Diagram (Howeler + Yoon Architecture)

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Lessons Learned not merely the placement of objects within the passerbys path, but the ability to spark the inner curiosity of a sort of found object along ones path. This includes: (1) the inter ruption of path through subtle changes in a normal route; (2) interruption of thought, by placing responsive systems the passerby is invited to interact with the space and fo cuses his/her attention on the LCD screens or the poles; (3) interruption of journey, the passerby who is not accustomed to traveling along Vermont Ave. may experience the inter action differently than a person who is accustomed to that area; (4) play on patterns, the patterns created by the LCD screens and that of placement of the poles creates a rhythm of images and movement; (5) play of sound through touch stimulates an interaction that dissolves the noise created by vehicles and other unwanted noise; (6) play of light is used to create images through LCD lighting and also illuminates the sidewalk during the evenings; (7) creating a sense of identity by using responsive systems. 36 Fig. 35. Interaction (Howeler + Yoon Architecture)

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CASE STUDY II: WHITE LIGHT WHITE NOISE As Athens prepared to host the 2004 Olympics the organiz ers ventured out on a task beyond the sports arena to one that linked together architecture and culture. What emerged was a program called Catch the Light: Routes through Athens. The programs goal was to introduce visitors to parts of Ath ens, past and present, that were beyond the Olympic grounds. Catch the Light focused on the unique quality of light as sociated with Athens. As a result the purpose was to create walking routes throughout the citys historical center. Out of the nine groups who were invited to participate in the compe tition it was J. Meejin Yoons White Light/White Noise that grabbed the attention of the organizers. Yoons proposal was to be part of the Listen to Athens route, light as well as sound had to be incorporated into the design. Yoon along with her team of six young designers ventured out on their investiga tions by recording the sounds of the city. Yoon explained, I didnt want to just record the city and play it back without was poetic, quiet and powerful all at the same time Yoon, 2004. The installation incorporated sounds at different frequencies. The location of the installation is at the plaza at Dionysiou Are opagitou Street, which is in view of the Acropolis, as well as the Ancient Theater of Dionysus. The installation comprises a 37 Fig. 36. Field of Stalks (Howeler + Yoon Architecture)

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embedded in a 6-inch high wooden platform. The interac as they walk through it. The location of the installation is at the plaza at Dionysiou Areopagitou Street, which is in view of the Acropolis, as well as the Ancient Theater of Diony responds to pedestrian movement as they walk through it. ence and movement are traced by each stalk unit, transmit ting white light from LEDs and white noise from speakers below. If motion is detected, the white LED illumination grows brighter while the white noise increases in volume. Once motion is no longer detected, the light and sound fade into dimness and silence. Just as white light is made of the full spectrum of color, white noise contains every frequen cy within the range of hearing in equal amounts. The vol ume of white noise and the intensity of white light are con trolled by a custom microprocessor designed by electronics engineer Matthew Reynolds (MIT SB M.Eng PhD ). Each stalk unit contains its own passive infrared sen sor and microprocessor which uses a software differentia tion algorithm to determine whether a person is passing by the stalk. The white noise made for the project is based on a physical phenom enon called Johnson noise, where noise arises from the thermal motions of electrons in a resistor noise creates a unique sound-scape masking out the noises like white light, is an aggregation, composed of all pos sible sounds, just as white light encompasses all possible White Light forms a place of sonic refuge within the city (Yoon, 2005). 38 Fig. 37.Geece Olympics (Howeler + Yoon Architecture)

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SCHEMATIC DESIGN The program attempts to link various activities within the cul tural network of the island. By doing so the proposed building becomes a vital node that centralizes, repeats (performs) and then disperses heightened cultural experiences. Concept: The building is driven by the concept of procession and perfor mance spaces. Procession: The route that the tourist takes from the cruise ship terminal to the citys edge is one that hints of a cultural procession of the masqueraders. The route is transformed into a procession that is marked by festive installations along the path. Upon enter ing the site that is at the citys edge the building also takes on the same processional movement in form as well as circulation Performance Spaces: The performance spaces are multi-use convertible spaces that are used for civic functions. The main performance space: the central piazza that doubles as an amphitheatre is the focal point of the building. It is at this point both culture and the architec tural drama of the building is held in balance. The lightweight tubular steel structure is used to convert the ing held. It is a permanent structure that may be thought of as a convertible civic installation that can be draped and objects may be attached or hung from. The drama of the space can be changed depending on the different levels of translucency, color, and texture of the fabrics used to cover the steel struc ture. In addition, the play of shadows and natural light during different times of the day will affect the spatial atmosphere of the piazza. marks the main entrances of the lobbies of the Costume Gal lery and the Artist Gallery. In this way the steel structure is ex tended into the main lobbies as a symbolic gesture that invites visitors to experience the building. It is a gesture that commu nicates the tactile interaction between actors and participants. Other Performance Spaces (Point out each of the performance spaces, axonometric, also show adjacent and location to each other) Costume gallery workshop: The costume workshops are 1. the core of the costume gallery. Costumes are essential to the festivals and shows held on the island, for this reason Visitors and students alike are able to learn about the intri cate making of the costume used year round on the island. 39

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2. The open square in front of the National Museum is an existing area that can be used as an informal performance space with the digital screen acting as the backdrop for various activities 3. Performance space within the Artist Gallery is used for story telling and small informal dialogues be tween artists and visitors. 4. Vendor stalls captures the everyday life of the lo cal artisans, and street vendors. The performance occurs between the vendors and their costumers and is a play that occurs throughout the urban fabric of the city. 5. Roof captures the performance of the elements upon the costume gallery. 6. The performance stage on the seafront is used for for mal and informal performances and for public gath erings. 40

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GOALS AND OBJECTIVES Goals and Objectives Primary: Promote and express the evolving culture of St. Kitts (folklore culture) through the use of Intelligent Kinetic Systems Invite the tourist to participate in the culture of St. Kitts Leave a lasting impression of the culture of St. Kitts on the tourist Create a regional and international identity Activate the urban edge of Port Zante and connect it to the city, Basseterre Goals and Objectives Secondary: Linking cultural activities (community festivals) to the grand Carnival Establish a series of nodes within a cultural net work Encourage the passing of heritage to younger genera tions, by providing areas to learn and practice the folklore culture Diagrammatically each festival held throughout vari ous communities leads up to the Grand Carnival held in December January The relationship between the tourist entrance to the island via cruise ships can be used to link the tourist to the culture by establishing a cultural movement that begins at Port Zante and links to the culture nodes throughout the island. 41

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PROGRAM Performance Space (Stage, Rehearsal, Storage) Artist Studio Artist Resident Artist Gallery Costume Workshop Costume Gallery Costume Storage Vendor Stalls / Market Restaurant Rest Rooms Administration Mechanical/Electrical/HVAC Program (Zoning): Private Artist Resident Administration Artist Studio (semi) Mechanical/Electrical /HVAC Public -Costume Gallery Artist Gallery Performance Space Costume Workshop Vendor Stalls / Market Restaurant Rest Rooms Commercial -Restaurant Vendor Stalls / Market Residential Artist Resident Educational Costume Workshop Artist Studio Entertainment Performance Space Artist / Costume Gallery 42

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43 Fig. 38. Programming

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VENDOR STALLS The vendor stalls are a unique part of the buildings program that incorporate the daily lives of the local vendors. The stalls are embedded kinetic structures that stems from the Chattel house architecture. The length of the vendor stalls are twice its width and they are easily assembled and disassemble to allow for easy transport along the carnival routes and to other locations around the island. Within the building the vendor stalls becomes apart of the performance stage as people move along the procession of the buildings ground circulation. The panels of the stalls are designed to have motion sensors which would adjust as people move in and out to the stalls. As this thesis is geared towards the development of the cultural center, the vendor stalls design is in theory and more inves tigation would have to be carried out to test the mechanical systems involved. (The folding exercise carried out on the left was done to study the assembly of the vendor stalls as one piece of panel.) 44 Fig. 39. Folding

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45 Fig. 40. Vendor Stalls

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46 Outdoor Artists Gallery Masqueraders Entrance Artists Gallery Bay Road Band Entrance Restaurant Costume Workshop Slopes down 4 Costume Gallery Lobby Main Entrance From Street Main Entrance From Cruise Ship Terminal Reception / Events Covered Square/Plaza Fig. 41. First Floor National Museum

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47 Artists Residence / Work Area Auditorium Artists Stage Restaurant Costume Gallery Fig. 42. Second Floor

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48 Roof Costume Gallery Performance Stage Fig. 43. Third Floor

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49 Fig. 44. North Elevation Fig. 45. South Elevation

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50 Fig. 46. Plaza Section Fig. 46-a. Plaza Section

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51 Fig. 45-b. Plaza Section

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52 CHANGEABLE DOME SKIN DOME STRUCTURE ROOF SECOND FLOOR PLATE VENDOR STALLS CLOSED VIEW ENCLOSING ENVELOPE PROCESSION THROUG BUILDING AUDITORIUN STAGE DIGITAL WALL PLAZA / SQUARE PERFROMANCE SPACE Fig. 47. Axonometric

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53 Vendor Market Carnival Day Performance Day Fig. 48. Performance Gradient Costume Gallery and performance persons Vendor and Market Activities and persons Restaurant Artists Gallery Carnival Troupes

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54 Fig. 49. Dome Fabric

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55 Fig. 50. Perspective A

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56 Fig. 51. Perspective B

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57 Fig.52. Perspective C

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58 Fig. 53. Perspective D

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59 Fig. 54. Perspective E

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60 Fig. 55. Perspective F

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61 Fig.56 Port Zante

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62 Fig. 57. Vendor Stalls

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63 Fig. 58. Perspective G

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64 Fig. 59. Perspective H

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65 Fig. 60. Perspective I

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66 Fig. 61. Perspective J

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67 Fig. 62. Costume Gallery Entrance

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68 Fig. 63. Physical Model Entrance From Cruise Terminal Central Plaza/ Square Vendor Stalls Costume Gallery Faade

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CONCLUSION During an interview, Elizabeth Padjen of Architecture Boston architecture in creating a destination: the architecture is itself the destination or the architecture provides a container for the people and activities that are the destination Padjein 2005, 23. Ron Ostberg added that the non-spatial concepts are also im place because it has a series of wonderful events Padjen 2005, 23. Events that are unique to a place add certain dynamics that makes a place authentic, especially one that harnesses civic imagination. Throughout this thesis research the goal of connecting visitors to a destination was thorough and rewarding. In attempting to mimic the culture of a place through architecture there must heritage of that place. By studying the Masqueraders and other entities of the culture of St. Kitts this thesis was able to focus on some of the major events that takes place on the island, such as parish festivals and the National Carnival and thus create architecture that is intriguing to both locals and visitors. The building that was birthed through this research is a cul tural center which in itself is a cultural node acting as an instal lation within the carnival route and urban context of Basse terre. sive nature, its ability to change with the festive atmosphere of the city. This responsive quality is achieved through the use of the digital wall, which records and displays different parts of the city during various occasions. Also, the central dome structure of the plaza allows the transformation of that space to accommodate various activities such as pageants, shows, car nival events and a local market by draping or hanging objects from the structure. The vendor stalls acts as embedded kinetic structures that can be placed throughout the city as means to accommodate vendors and costumers along the carnival route. The experience through the building attempts to capture the drama of the movement of the Masqueraders by taking the visi tor through a rhythmic procession that connects various per formance areas. It is a sensory, experience that introduces the visitor to the culture of the island as they move through the building and join in with the cultural procession of the city. 69

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BIBLIOGRAPHY it, they might come, if theyre not too busy. Architecture Boston, July-August 2005. Lighting Magazine, September 1, 2004. http://www.arch lighting.com/industrynews.asp?articleID=453366§ionI D=1338 Joan, Ockman, and Salomon, Frausto, eds. Architourism: Authentic, Escapist, Exotic, Spectacular. New York: Prese tel, 2005. arts/announcements/prs/2005/0414_wnwl.html (accessed April 2, 2008). tems. Kinetic Design Group http://kdg.mit.edu/Pdf/iksov. pdf (accessed April 2, 2008). Slesin, Suzanne, and Gilles de Chabaneix. 1985. Caribbean style. New York: C.N. Potter. Mitchell, William J. 1995. City of bits: space, place, and the infobahn. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press. Lynn, Greg, and Academy Group. 1993. Folding in architec Editions. Liu, Yudong. 2003. Developing digital architec ture: 2002 FEIDAD award. Basel: Birkhuser. Lynch, Kevin. 1960. The image of the city. Cambridge [Mass.]: Technology Press.66 70


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ABSTRACT: Dance, costume, and music are all reflective of a heritage that has been intact over three hundred years. The street activities during carnival season on the island of St. Kitts can be described as dynamic excitement between the onlookers, the Masqueraders, a local folklore group, and other carnival players. The interactive play amongst group members of the Masqueraders is one that tells a story of the colonization and perseverance of a nation influenced by Indian, European and African past. There is often, however a disconnection between an outsider, 'the audience', and the culture of the island. Only when the interactive play amongst the players is disseminated throughout the audience, inducing a response to embrace the culture does an outsider gains a better understanding of the culture.By expressing this interactive performance of the Masquerades through responsive architecture the stage can be set where the outsider can become submerged in a full cultural experience. In 2003 the Parsons School of Design succeeded in creating several interactive wall systems to monitor social behavior of passersby by creating movable walls that revealed seating ar- eas during high traffic periods. In the marketing world "interactive wall(s)" informs consumers, workers and potential clients of information on a particular product. Although successful within their own realms, these wall systems lack the ability to meet individual needs based on a particular cultural region. Analyzing the Masqueraders and conducting interviews will be of importance to this thesis research. Once information has been collected and compared responsive systems will be designed and tested.Frequent comparisons will be made with the investigations carried out by Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Kinetic Design Group and Parsons School of Design. Responsive architecture can be used as modern day folklore, as in story telling, to conjure up the cultural spirit of a place, exhibit architectural aesthetics while offering an outsider an authentic and spectacular interactive experience. The results of this investigation will be geared towards improving human experiences on cultural levels.
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