Title page for ETD etd-122998-222249

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Iwai, Leslie Tamako
Author's Email Address liwai@vt.edu
URN etd-122998-222249
Title Etudes in Making: poems of construction
Degree Master of Architecture
Department Architecture
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Sarpaneva, Pia Committee Chair
Feuerstein, Marcia F. Committee Member
Thompson, Steven Ross Committee Member
  • installation
  • fabric
  • architecture
  • weaving
Date of Defense 1998-09-17
Availability unrestricted

Within this Book is a glimpse of the world that was brought forth from my thesis work. When beginning to find the place of the thesis work, I assumed that I should be making an architectural construction at the scale of building, the scale in which I then believed architecture existed. Knowing that I wanted to find a way of making where I could physically construct every thing I was to make in a careful architectural manner, I hoped that this consideration would lend itself to the design of a building (the kind that people can physically inhabit). What I found was that the building I am making is of a different sort of inhabiting, and that I have been able, through making, to hone my tools. With these I can come to a site(situation), and begin to make decisions that are in the world of architecture.

The textile article, one made of woven fibre, is continually referenced throughout this thesis. Being assured of the very close connection between fabric and building (Oxford English Dictionary definition), A Building as being a Fabric, I have explored the literal physical kinds of connections to which fabric lends itself. Fabric items (those made with fibre) engage the world of the temporary connection (a button, a tied closure), because of this, the exploration of temporary construction was naturally a part of this thesis. Finding that though physically temporary, the connection between a site and its construction, can have a presence that has more permanence in its temporal quality than if it were to have a more physical permanence.

During the making of each thing, it became clear to me that the woven must have limits; there is a beginning and a completion (Looms have a frame for construction with particular dimensional limits). What is that beginning and completion in each of the thesis projects, what is the construction? In order to have a metaphorical and physical understanding for myself it has been necessary to bring back that question into the realm of the textile and fabric article. What do you do with fabric? It is sewn into particular constructions. This particularity has the beginnings and completions to transform fabric into made things. The woven stuff can go on forever but it takes decision and an idea to take the material into a physical realization. It occurred to me that when one uses material in any form to create a construction, there are particular decisions made that have to stop the woven thing and bind it so that it can be made into something in particular. It seems that within the world of architecture it is important to know when to stop an action and when to make a decision, not letting something default into indistinguishablity.

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