The Mischievous Activities of the G-A-P-S: A Thresholding Exploration of Bodily Encounters in Architecture

Pimchompoo Somprasong

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S Pimchomp Chair
The 'Hand-chair'

This is a thesis about architectural bodies, the gaps that exist within the entities inside of architectural bodies, as well as the gaps between architectural bodies themselves. 

Thinking about our humanly inclination to distinguish our bodies from the environment, we encounter the question of ‘where do our bodies end?’ It provoked me to think that there is a relational dynamic between people and the surrounding environment, where this relation seems to be shifting around - where our bodies become a part of the environment and where the environment becomes a part of us. Concerning architecture, this topic questions our assumptions of stability and the conception that buildings are static, it is rather something that has a constant formation and reformation. It suggests a replacement of our understanding of architecture as being passive standalone objects or some physically built environment designed to wait for inhabitation.

S Pimchomp Gapfiller Port
Demonstration of the 'Gap-filler'.
S Pimchomp Menotme
Is my breath still a part of my body?

What is constantly forming, deforming, and reforming are the architectural body and many architectural bodies adjacent to it, within it, as well as the architectural bodies it is in. This idea proposes that architecture, or better called architectural bodies, are relational entities, continuously changing and expanding their undefined boundaries into different forms. 

S Pimchomp Busgloves
The 'Bus-gloves' in action.
S Pimchomp Hug
The 'Hugging-Wall'.

I then set out to investigate the relationships created by acknowledging the dynamic formation of ‘architectural bodies’ and how our physical bodies can engage with architecture and the surrounding in a more fulsome way. I have fabricated and deployed a series of experimental devices, which I called, ‘Thresholding Devices1’. They are all hand-made sensual devices made up of easily acquired objects and materials designed for bodily encounters. Their aim is to create moments where the user's perception and understanding of bodily boundaries are softly swayed. 

1. They are called ‘Thresholding Devices’ because they work by utilising the technique of ‘Thresholding’, with the definition of 'Thresholding' being, “Thresholding is a particular mode of being on-edge that foregrounds a momentary togetherness of different elements and their condition of encounters,” as mentioned by artist-designer Chris Cottrell, "Architectural Judo: Relational Techniques for Building Events," (PhD Thesis, RMIT University, Melbourne, 2016), 58. 

S Pimchomp Head
"I Found a Head".