Thinking out Loud

Inspired by studies of the work of South African artist William Kentridge, this Entr’Acte aims to show creative thought as a non-linear process involving a multitude of ideas running parallel to each other. “Thinking Out Loud” is a theatricalization of imagination, bringing forth layers of different images, references and concepts together in a way that is representative of how one actively thinks. The result is a collage of many ideas all being experienced at once, which shifts the agency towards the viewer/listener, whose understanding demands participation and interpretation. This multi-layered and multi-vocal process of thinking has many similarities to the multivalent responsibilities of architects, and suggests how one might approach designing and conceptualizing architecture inclusive of many points of view.

The process started with my desire to understand and represent the sensitivities of managing with one’s emotions. This led to the creation of physical manifestations of daily emotions based on the various ebbs and flows experienced during a day. Through this process, I established three major personas that take over at different times of the day: Hungry, Lazy, and Studious. Through these manifestations, I explore ways to represent a convergence of multiple thoughts and actions. By layering the visual and audio tracks of the three personas, the result was a messy illegibility that was open to interpretation. The three voices make it difficult to discern exactly what each persona is saying, representing the struggle at times to separate one’s thoughts from emotions. This representation also acts as an analogy to the often complex and collective consideration of multiple ideas and concepts of various individuals during the design process.

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Bio of artist:

Johnathan Lum is a Master of Architecture student at the University of Manitoba, with a prior degree from the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Early in his life he developed a passion for woodworking and craft, which led him to pursue architecture. He finds value in exploring notions of human agency within the design process as a tool to aid in the development of new models of urban living. He believes that now, more than ever, it is important for architecture to be cognizant of its role in fostering social resiliency.

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Theatres of Architectural Imagination Frascari Symposium V