Fashion is mutable, cyclical, transitory, fluid, and ever-changing. Thus, the architecture which accommodates fashion, or consumer space, should also be transitory and mutable. However, the architecture has been reduced to the background, and is basic, relentless, undernourished, and unmemorable. The design process pays no attention to the transitory aspects of fashion and it ignores the challenge to be flexible and versatile in order to respond to change. As fashions go out of style or change with the seasons, the architecture languishes. This architecture exists as residual space, or junk space, where ghosts of control, consumption, and fashion linger. Because design for consumer spaces do not respond to change or the unknown, consumer spaces become disposable, slowly creating tears and gaps in the urban fabric.
Why must we abandon such residual spaces and allow them to deteriorate? Can't we design in response to change, and embrace unpredictable atmospheres through adaptable and variable components? What if we were to view consumption as something more than just economic? Is an architecture possible that learns from and collides with fashion, by indulging in mutability through possibilities of dissemination, installation, and manipulation within existing residual space? We are presented with an opportunity to mend the urban fabric, to impose an architectural stitch to reconstitute meaning and reshape urban space.
This thesis intends to explore the collision and exchange between fashion and architecture through design processes and practice. It explores the potentials of the architectural stitch as both a method and component, as an urban activator, a vehicle for dynamic interactions between people and the built environment. In the context of the urban strip as residual urban space, the stitch will be described as an element that addresses the mutability of architecture, the mutuality of consumption, and the power of an active consumer space within the urban environment.
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