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Title: Learning from Bruce Beach: establishing an ordered base for the collective weaving of ornament
Authors: Lucas, Aidan
Issue Date: 12-Apr-2021
Abstract: “To live is to leave traces” 1 . In the words of German philosopher Walter Benjamin, the physical spaces in which immaterial memories are created have a tendency to accrue material remnants of memory as well. Within the fabric of multigenerational spaces these accrued remnants become tangible threads by which social structures and traditions can be visually expressed. This ornamental phenomenon does not always present itself as the dominant design-language. In the case of the seasonal cottage-community of Bruce Beach, Ontario it is often only apparent in unobtrusive details. Grandparent Architecture: Establishing a Design Language for the Cottagers of Bruce Beach seeks to answer the following question: Can a physical space, accrued with collective memories, act as an encyclopedia by which cottagers can comprehend the design language of Bruce Beach? Bruce Beach’s architectural language is muddled by outside trends, a physical outlier within a community where collective traditions and memories prevail. There is no accessible design-language available to cottagers whilst they engage in architectural processes, leaving more accessible, globalized trends to fill the linguistic void. While seasonal, multigenerational cottages still dominate the social fabric, and thus help preserve collective memories, fraying has begun to occur. As time passes, families gain new members faster than spaces can adapt to hold them, resulting in the fragmenting, and even dissolution, of collective time spent within the community. Coupled with the recent trends of cottages being converted into all-season dwellings or investment properties for community newcomers, the collective social fabric that the community ties itself to risks becoming obsolete. Interactions with the accrued ornament of my family’s Bruce Beach cottage has resulted in an understanding of the ability for even the most irreverent of objects to become cairns of memory. This understanding is expanded through a photographic study of the community, utilizing a ‘wayward-eye’ 2 mentality to capture any sort of ornament that could serve as a memory thread. Enriching the photos with written and oral memories will allow for the minor design-languages to become apparent. These languages will be used to lay out a series of architectural orders, coined ‘Grandparent Architecture’, on which the ornamental remnants of collective memories can accrue. The orders will be used as an origin point for the design of three cabins, sited on the three collectively owned, community groves that are within the Bruce Beach community. A series of drawing exercises will illustrate the accrual of collectively applied ornament on, within and around these communal spaces. This thesis seeks to situate buildings as community elders, encyclopedias of the ‘Grandparent Architecture’ language. The palpable design language that emerges will be accessible and endeared to the community, ensuring its validity in the future architecture of personal cottages.
Appears in Collections:Architecture - Master's Theses
Master's Theses

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