Leaving aesthetics aside, the construction of a pavilion dealt most specifically with methodological questions explored in the thesis. This pavilion -- affectionately named “Greta” -- was built without a pre-determined site, and without drawings, and therefore without a clearly-desired end result. Because of the construction method (stuffing pantyhose sacks with concrete and stacking them around lengths of rebar) the pavilion was essentially impossible to model digitally. It was entirely at the whim of environmental conditions and material behaviour, and the labourer’s ability to read and respond to these. Simulations were carried out by scaled physical models to estimate certain tendencies and to purchase materials, but relatively inconclusively. I arrived in Riviere Rouge not knowing what the thing would look like, how long it would take, or if it would even stand up.
Normally this would be an incredibly terrifying situation, but it turned out to be extremely liberating and beneficial. Because the method was infinitely adaptable adjustments could be readily made to provide stability or to alter dimensions where needed, and because its design was not tied to a prescribed ideal, design opportunities -- both spatial and aesthetic -- discovered during the process could be readily accommodated. Spontaneity reigned.
As a radical extreme, this project sought to question the gap between studio and site, digital model and physical construction, and the false sense of security of The Drawing.