Introduction of Charrette
Charrette week is annual design festival for School of Architecture Planning and Landscape at Newcastle University. In charrette 2017, our theme was Flex, Flux and Fluff. More than 500 students mixed with different age, subject and nationality and presented several subtopics at the end of the week in a creatively way.
Our theme for this week was more related to the current issues like America election and Brexit. We attempted to explore to what extent architecture could reflect the turmoil or shift in politics and culture. To be specific, we tried to find out the external manifestation of mistakes in architecture.
At the beginning, we discussed that sometimes monument representing a mistake. For example, Berlin wall is left there to remind the mistake and the memory related to the war. Then, we considered the manifesto of trump, which declared to build a wall between America and Mexico. At the stage of information, economy and technology globalisation, the construction of a wall means active isolation. It could be view as a boundary to reject and deny of convergence.
Then we decided to extract the ‘wall’ as a key element. We intended to present two different classes on each side of the wall. One is the rich class, which hold the power in their hands and have more flexibility choice. We showed this by the luxury coach and wine glass. On the other side, it is the poverty class. The scruffy newspaper with recruitment advertisements indicated their life.
The wall as a boundary does not set the same limitation to those each side. The rich class could easily touch the poverty side and gain benefits from them. Consequently, the low-income group might be more struggle with their life. It would be extremely difficult for them to cross a class. As a result, the gap between rich and poor will be growing. The that might stimulate social conflicts, causing social instability.
On the exhibition, two peoples were on the rich side and they got the newspapers, glasses, candles… basically everything from the poor side via the hole on the wall. Then, the people in poor side decided to demolish the wall.
Overall, it was an interesting experience to work with people in different stages and background.