Advancing the Education of Young Architecture Graduates through Foreign Travel-Study
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Gravity is Just a Habit

by Andrew Lords — Finalist

A Perceived WholeA Radial SimplicityAn Architectural ConstellationA Parallel Centrality


Description
Many parallels can be drawn between architectural and astronomical drawing. Both attempt to distill three and four dimensional entities into two-dimensional space. Both attempt to display vast - sometimes unimaginably so - distances and time periods into something digestible. This reduction is a scalar operation which produces an omission of unnecessary information. It may be true that the map is not the territory, but sometimes it’s the best we’ve got.

Astronomy offers a unique opportunity to visually experience a set of scales so much larger than those of everyday life. We are suddenly able to absorb the infinite beyond. However this moment is paralleled by a gripping confrontation with our own singularity, our centralized perception, and our limited perspective. It is in this orbit around ourselves that the universe seems to exist, even if gravity and astrophysics argue otherwise.

The Fremont Peak Observatory is not a flashy space-age facility, and nor should it be. This is a place born of opportune conditions, and genuine amateur curiosity. That character must be maintained the in the future manifestation of this space. Simple shapes and straightforward construction methods and building materials are all that is necessary for an outpost of this nature. Anything further might produce a figurative fog over the telescope lens.

Constellations are, put simply, collections of many celestial bodies which form recognizable patterns which we have agreed upon. In a way, the disparate elements of the observatory facility form a similar sort of collection, perhaps with no direct physical connection to one another, but still forming a perceivable relationship. As many parts of a single hypothetical whole, they are spread like stars in the sky.


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