Project: Manhattan's Dialectic

Location: New York, NY

Year: 2011

Collaboration: Archi[te]nsions

"The design proposal for the celebration of the 200 years of the Commissioner's Plan of Manhattan aims to find a new approach to develop the grid and the actual condition of the city.

In 1811 the vision was deeply innovative and brave, but with an important physical gap, the grid has always been seen in 2D. In the 21st century, social and physical networks changed and the grid will have to find its own ecological behavior returning to its roots and history.

Our proposal is not a project but a pure cognitive reinterpretation of New York City, where the most important fact is the experience of an observer that moves through the urban fabric and the generation of events produced by human behaviors.

In our vision the manipulation of the urban context, and consequently the city fabric and its architectural objects, is influenced by space and time through the experience of the observer and is resolved through an intentional "non-resolution" of dialectic forces. The experience becomes the 5th dimension of a four-dimensional space-time coordinate system within the urban fabric. The observers, who are the subject of the experience (tensions), are the inhabitants of our cities that interact with the main variables, space and time, in their own local frames. Space-time affects geometry and the spatial perception and interaction between geometry and observer. Using an analogy with physics, this condition produces a hyperspace, where the main space-time phenomena are the collapse, acceleration and simultaneity."

© Shawn Conte 2014