Dwelling as autobiography

Aachen, Summer 2016

This research project deals with simple and meaningful everyday scenarios, in which abstract beauty and intimate poetics are perceived and identified through the most ordinary. In this project, the notion of dwelling is viewed under double-aspects: the beauty of the ordinary and the ordinariness of beauty.

The whole project derives from memories on dwelling, in which twelve moments are captured and depicted as spatial objects by means of intuitive writing, sketching and modelling. The twelve objects match with twelve daily routines. Every routine relates to a unique place, bounds with a specific timing and has its own range of things. This four essentials—rooms, things, timings and the dwellers themselves— are together shaping the everyday life into a world of intimate relations, which shed light on the aesthetics of the ordinary.

Following the recording of my personal experience, a wider study of everyday scenarios from different places, epochs and culture is carried out. They are then categorized into twelve chapters, which describe the relations between the four essentials. This exploration forms a solid yet flexible base for the later design.

A result of thinking about dwelling is making a place for me to dwell upon. The chosen site locates in Karlsgraben in Aachen — in a vacant lot between the typical row houses of Aachen and a half-ruined Baroque gate. This process of design leads to the question: how do personal experiences influence the way of thinking about architecture? And how can one define the aesthetics of the ordinary in architecture design?