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36,100 sq.ft, Arts and crafts colony, Mixed-use


Date: 2020

Design and Presentation: Marta McClelland, Sara Laudeman , Yuhang Li

Status: Concept

The project examines the notion of the psychotropic house, described in J.G. Ballard’s “The Thousand Dreams of Stellavista”.The Psychotropic House suggests that the relationship between the inhabitants and the architecture is a game that creates spaces of interplay and internal tension. In order to frame this discussion, the project uses the framework of a work/play artist's commune. The residency length is selected by inhabitants and ranges between 4 weeks and one year. Clusters(rooms) are created from a cellular grid (architecture) based on an agent (inhabitant) actions as well as the occupancy level. These clusters are then transformed across the playing field according to a set of rules. There are rules for the effect that agents have, rules for the effect that clusters have, and rules for the way the house itself interacts within the field. This creates spaces of constructive awkwardness and direct tension, causing the inhabitants and the architecture to work with and against one another in turn. Practically, this means that the house is constantly shifting as it responds to the habits, patterns, and uses of its inhabitants. 

The Psychotropic House subverts the expectations of a traditional living situation on many levels. From the communal living aspect to the transient physical states, the House forces its inhabitants to adapt even as it responds to those adaptations and shifts again. This project attempts to connect disparate concepts and shifting expectations from both the inhabitants and the architecture. Through this unconventional approach, the Electronic House challenges the notion of passive architecture. It combines the modernist ideas of adaptable buildings with advanced capabilities of 21st-century technologies and explores solutions for underoccupancy, adaptability, and transformability of the built environment. The project attempts to prove that through interaction, learning, and adapting both architecture and inhabitants, as two equal entities, can create spaces full of unexpected conditions where memories and fantasies coexist.

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