ARC 502b: ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN STUDIO
with Hilary Sample (Spring 2007)

"Active Camouflage" (New Haven, CT)

Drawing on ideas of active, or optical, camouflage, this project attempts to create an “invisible” architecture that uses reflection and refraction to create a disturbance in the visual field of the neighborhood. Each unit is structured so as to prioritize view corridors from the interior, elongating and emphasizing particular views while also dissolving the mass of the building into two-dimensional frames from particular exterior vantage points. Upon aggregation of the units, the overall composition creates a visual effect that undermines traditional notions of contextuality, a kind of shifting image of absence. Here, the concreteness of material presence is negated and vision is subverted in order to generate a disturbing urban mirage.