Claire Greenland

"The Architectural Memory"

Section MS3, Ariel Caine

Keywords: memory, architecture, drawing, narrative, identity

Through media studies, I have become interested in the formation and retention of memories in the context of architectural space.

Initially, I analyzed the association of emotion with certain memories and environments. By juxtaposing two similarly familiar aspects of contrasting memories, I created the below scene. To someone unfamiliar with either the place or the soundtrack, the scene might mean nothing, but to someone with a connection to either or both it can be quite jarring. What is depicted visually through the image below, is the end of a British summer against the sounds of native Australian birds during the height of summer.

This interest of past memories developed into a study of the impact of emotive memory on the accuracy of detailed spatial recollection of my childhood home. Did the other members of my family recall the space in the same way that I did and if not, why? How do the connecting emotions associated with my childhood memories alter my recollection of the spatial proportions of my childhood home?

Research I began collecting material from family and friends in the form of a drawing their memory of the childhood house. I specifically requested that only their memory can influence the drawing with no additional information from past photographs, convocations or site visits.

Following on from the drawings I re-opened up the convocation about particular memories of the childhood home through interviews. In these interviews I asked questions such as – What is your most vivid memory of this childhood home? How do you remember this space though an emotive description?

Submission Through overlaying the drawings on top of one another, I attempted to represent the past home as an architectural space made up from the combined memories. How this house as an architectural space travels into the present now only through the memory – it’s physical state not relevant.

Grounding the final piece back to the initial image, I decided to project the drawings of the childhood home onto a wall from a London home – creating an interactive installation for passer-by’s. Filmed footage of this event combined with recordings of the interviews created what would be the final media representation of my research.