dry city, wet students
spring 2017 / harvard graduate school of design / bobby pietrusko on geographic representations
maguire (comma) sophie
These boxes contain topographies describing reported moisture levels throughout the Boston, Somerville, and Cambridge areas. In one box, the identified moisture control points are determined by the reported types of activity and their simultaneously reported stress levels (eg, “very high stress” “sexual activity” would rate as most moist and “very low stress” relaxing would rate as most dry). In the other box, moisture peaks and valleys are determined by the gradient of wetness within atmospheres as exacerbated by density (eg, a “very high density” & “rainy atmosphere” would rate as most moist and “very low density” “dry atmosphere” would rate as most dry).
Both the environmental surface and the bodily surface are split at their mean values (neither dry nor moist) and the negative and positive spaces are inverted. This allows one to see through either the dry vision of the city (in which the apertures on the outside of the box are the most dry) or through the wet vision of the city (in which the apertures on the outside of the box are the most wet).
The pixelated nature of the volumes and their groupings show conditions of extreme wetness occurring frequently next to locations of extreme dryness with gently sloping areas revealing areas where the transition from wet to dry takes on more of a gradient. The sizes of the apertures present a relatively larger amount of moisture produced by human bodies then by the atmosphere surrounding them. The resulting masses and magnitudes of dryness or wetness re-define the city’s perception of water through phenomenological experience as opposed to topography and water flows.