Double Take

One of Brooklyn’s most peculiar urban characteristics are mega-block scale sites, home to some of Brooklyn’s most controversial and monumental structures. Including highly disputed armories and neglected NYCHA housing estates, a social, formal and aesthetically sensitive intervention has the potential to restructure the social, aesthetic, and economic image that these over-scaled sites project on the reading of Brooklyn’s urban fabric.

Altering the long established image of these sites will prompt a reaction from onlookers and visitors to reconsider the role of these mega-block conditions within Brooklyn.
with Alejandro Duran

PROGRAM: Speculative Infrastructural and Urban Proposal

LOCATION: Brooklyn, New York

Sites that were examined are currently outcasts of the urban fabric. These introverted and inward facing ‘islands’ are notoriously known for containing abject programs and underserved communities of New York City. Prioritizing aesthetics and optics, (be it a slight change in surface condition to a full on architectural intervention) these islands can be altered towards a more extroverted reading, and begin to erode the abject image of these environments.

Utilizing digital image manipulation techniques and philosophical precedents found in discussions of accelerationism and speculative realism, we aimed to modify existing infill and transit proposals by the DeBlasio administration.

Through making a series of photographic images and diagrammatic drawings, we aimed to challenge conventional architectural representation and presentation. By depicting a plausible alternate reality through a deadpan image-based reading of our proposal, this directly challenge the aesthetics of developer or large-scale, publicly funded projects. These projects are often depicted with predictable render-generated sun-flares, ambiguous details or surfaces, repetitive entourage, and overly vignetted birds-eye views. In other words, we wanted to create the anti-rendering, both in its process and final product, against the aesthetic tropes that are typically associated with projects that usher in gentrification.

Critical details and considerations while making these diagrammatic drawings or images were to deviate from the opaque drawing conventions in orthographic drawing, exclusion of architectural entourage and scale figures, and to include the ground plane in its imperfect condition - encouraging a more democratic consumption and interpretation of our proposal.