observationhouse, for an architecture of enhanced sensitivity
(structure:) Alaskan yellow cedar and Douglas fir salvaged and remilled from a New York City watertower, plexiglass, neon, (sound component:) RaspberryPi w/custom software, field recordings. (2016)
observationhouse is a proposition that asks how architecture creates or enforces certain habits and relationships and influence our encounters with ecology and the surrounding environment. It presents a framing through which a specific environment can be observed in closer detail, revealing many complex layers that influence our conception of “landscape” or of “nature.” Observationhouse was built in a floodplain, and is capable of flotation. Field recordings are played on the half hour and the hour within the structure, mixed with live sound from the river.
The shape of the structure is borrowed from a shed built in the early 20th century by Alexander Graham Bell for his research station in Nova Scotia, Canada. Bell made use of his “tetrahedral structure” as a base for environmental sensing experiments and observation in the field. Here, observationhouse is: a field studio, workshop and visual anchor for my year-long residency; a site for artistic work that dovetails with the Brandywine Conservancy’s environmental stewardship activities (particularly source water protection); and a platform for experimentation with a range of environmental sensing technologies, including a water monitoring device built and installed in the River beside the house through a collaboration with Shannon Hicks, engineer at Stroud Water Research Center.
Stroud continues to monitor river data, viewable here: http://tinyurl.com/gpwaxtb
Special Thanks: TriLox and Brandywine River Museum of Art