Date of Award
Master of Architecture (MArch)
If there is only one place that I know well of, it would be my own body. A living site that has endured all the changing inhabiting environment and all the unwanted judgment, manipulation, even violence - my identity will collapse without its physical entity.
The conscious and unconscious focus on the body makes me highly alert and responsive to the immediate surroundings, from the bathroom at home to an open street in the public. My knowledge of spaces and their relationships is formed by the repetitive experience of them in everyday life.
As an active user of the Bayard Ewing Building for three years, I should have considered it one of the most welcoming spaces in my daily routine. Yet, due to a personal episode that tremendously increases mental stress for me, I often find myself not-prepared, not-confident, even, not-willing to enter it. Personal trauma that entrenches and is entrenched by established social conventions dehumanizes and objectifies the body. Subjects become objects. Spaces are not categorized or prescribed by whoever designed them anymore. The body loses its initiative and is subordinate to the instantly felt or the remembered emotions embedded in them. My thesis is not about designing a piece of idealized architecture.
My thesis is about articulating a personal story in the afterlife of a designed space, a space that is so taken for granted that expressing my vulnerability requires a significant amount of courage and commitment and a system of metaphorical languages. My thesis consists of a series of time-based practices - writings that depict the past and the present, makings that demand lengthy duration. These practices use my own body as the medium and method addressing the site, both spatially and vocally. The in-situ performance is a reclaim of the everyday. Its boldness or subtlety that seemingly deviates from the ordinary defines and reflects what is the ordinary for the performer and the audience.
Yu, Chunxin, "Unseen body, unheard voice" (2022). Masters Theses. 894.
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.
View exhibition online: Chunxin Yu, Unseen Body, Unheard Voice