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Title: Performative architecture: inspiring the performance of architecture through the movement of dance
Authors: Machum, April-Marie
Keywords: architecture;movement;dance
Issue Date: 6-Apr-2020
Abstract: How does movement influence architecture and, in turn, how does architecture influence movement? It is through the design of the Sudbury Movement Centre where this architectural approach is demonstrated. The Sudbury Movement Centre (SMC) will be a building devoted entirely to movement, inspiring and provoking the movement of people in the space. Situated in Sudbury’s downtown core, the building will be conceived as a compliment to the existing Sudbury Theatre Centre (STC). Through the architectural gestures in designing the SMC, an architectural relationship will be developed between the two buildings, enhancing, adjusting and modifying the experience of the existing theatre into an entire complex dedicated to movement. As a choreographer, my experience with movement finds itself seeking to influence my architectural expression. There are indeed studied parallels between dance and architecture. The theories of performance developed by Marvin Carlson, Richard Schechner, Erving Goffman and A.L Austin for example, have led to a critical understanding of 'performative’ architecture. From a choreographic perspective, the work of Rudolf Laban, Oskar Schlemmer and Cilliam Forsythe have become imperative to my research and design development. Each choreographer has developed an understanding of the movement by exploring and analyzing dance through three-dimensional and two dimensional methods. In an architectural sense, three case studies were researched, each addressing the parallels between dance and architecture in three unique ways; provoking movement, representing movement and the process of movement in two disciplines. Where these studies have successfully developed the connection between the two disciplines, my interpretation takes a different approach to the discipline and its potential as an architectural process. Chile these studies have become the grounding to my research-creation, my own work seeks to take this beyond a metaphorical interpretation. In order to understand architecture through a choreographic lens, the act of generating choreography was key to developing an architecture of movement. I then captured the choreography in a method that abstracted the movement of the dancers as a movement through space, a notational exploration which worked to translate the complexity of three-dimensional movement into a two-dimensional space. This process expanded my understanding of performed movement and a new perspective of my choreography became evident. A perspective that analyzes movement through a choreographic and architectural lens making clear the nuances in the movement gestures. It is these nuances that translate to a movement inspired architecture. The gestures of the choreography become the gestures of the architecture where each shapes the building form and informs the tectonic details of architectural design.
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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