Generic Specificity

Montréal, QC

Design Research

Helena Tse

Generic explores the nature of an architectural project as something that is data-rich but inherently a brand of “slow information.” The project is designed and documented through multiple media that embodies the building’s presence over time, from architectural logic to material geographies to lifelong maintenance, to counter the often fragmented (and wasteful) forms of communication and labor between various actors in the act of building. Embedded and represented through the confluence of material layers of acetate, mylar, and bond, the building urges to be physically documented and to be understood through the physical document. Through the design of few standard elements and more systems of application, the building assembles a deceptively random whole. The project makes space for architecture to perform its most banal but integral task of storing, aborbing and reorganizing information in both real and historical time. The elements—formal and programmatic flexibility, thermodynamic mosaic achieved through seasonal flow sculpting of apertures and material consumption relative to time—are directly responsive to one another, both in the process of design and its final form. Cartesian Media details the metrics of the building and its variability over time, relative to the scale of the body. Eulerian Flows details the thermodynamic mosaic achieved through experimental flow sculpting-this translates to categorical program application relative to thermodynamic conditions in each room according to seasons, including a guide for a building custodian who can open and shut apertures to achieve optimal passive conditions throughout the years. Lagrangian Descriptions details the material geography, material consumption, and building assembly over time, from off-site felling all the way to on-site maintenance.