Saturday, March 22, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
The following sketchbook entries happened simutainusly with the study models shown below.
In the three pages above i was examining the different intimate spaces that I wanted within my Narratorium.
The above to entries were purely guestural sketches, quick ideas that I wanted to put down on paper.
In the photo above I have begun to implement materials of stained wood and the idea of concrete slabs.
This model was another step towards developing spaces that were ideal for storytelling. Many of the concepts seen in this model were carried out in my final model. For example, the douple height spaces, supporting walls on the front elevations and the circulation well to the right.
As I began to develop the structure I played with the idea of connections that could be made throughout the building, from one space to another. For example the photo about is of a opening that creates a double height space from the cafe to the second floor.
This model was my initial stab at my concept of a Narratorium. The small spaces that I created spoke of the intimacy that I believe is a crucial part of story telling. Without these small enclosures the viewer as well as the storyteller become lost within the space and do not pick up the important characteristics of one another.
A narratorium is a group of specific and organized spaces, within a community, which host personal stories that are exchanged directly, from one individual to another.
The Narratorium should be a place for experiencing storytelling first hand because there are many more qualities to a story than just the language that is typically spoken. In other words, when an individual exchanges a story with the populace, their very own physical characteristics, emotional expressions, and body language, are contributors to the participants overall sense of understanding.
An experience of my own, that will never be forgotten, was a story that was expressed to me, first hand, in the third grade. My teacher's father, who had served in the Second World War, visited our classroom and shared with us a piece of his own life. As he told the tale, collectively we were able to construct a deeper sense of understanding, about the meaning of experienced events, simply because he was present. We also came to see and understand the reason for the vivid lines that laid creased upon his face, and that they were likely to have been the characteristics that his body had taken on partially due to this very story and the years of experience in this world. However the most meaningful aspect of the storytelling was the emotion that came over him as he spoke and the impact that it had on me. This reactive emotion is what makes storytelling real, and allows the participants to gain a deeper understanding, with which they can grow from as well as share with the world.
In order to design a Narratorium, which is about the human-to-human exchange of stories, there must be three types of spaces made readily available.
First, there must be a space that allows for a moderately large audience to attend a storytelling. This room will seat roughly forty-five people, and allow the participants an up close and personal experience with the storyteller. The viewers within this room will all be seated on large, movable seating planes that can be maneuvered and stacked in such a way, to feature the current storyteller or event. Therefore the storyteller will be able to walk and talk within the void that the seating provides. The atmosphere of the main space will emphasis on the use of natural light from altered wall planes.
The secondary room will be situated on the second floor of the structure. This space will hold a slightly smaller group of participants, roughly twenty, and therefore it will be slightly less formal. The seating, by itself, will communicate the relative closeness and relationship to the storyteller, which will be a series of recesses in the floor plane. These recesses will not only act as steps for the storyteller to reach his or her destination at the center or the lowest plain, but as seating for the viewers and participants. Also behind the storyteller will be a series of sliding planes that will open and close to feature storytelling in the main space or to accommodate the seasons’ lighting. This frames the storyteller and acts a backdrop. To the left of the seating arrangement will be a void in the floor plane; this will allow a visual connection to the café as well as auditory connection. The acoustics from each room will be divided be sliding planes while storytelling is taking place in the secondary space.
Above the secondary storytelling space will be a space called the view deck. The view deck will be located on the third floor along with the resident storyteller’s residence. The view deck will allow the public to stand an look down upon the storyteller in the main space, this provides more space in order to accommodate a larger audience.
Next will be an area in which individuals from the everyday public can come in and share their stories with one another. The wall that dissects the cafe, down the center, will act a privacy wall. On the more casual side, which is the one that can be seen by the street, is a space that will allow for several groups of two or, to gather. Meanwhile, on the other side of the dissecting plane, there will be a slightly more formal area for a more concentrated storytelling. Also in this space of the coffee shop, there will be a void in the ceiling plane. This connects to the one located in the secondary storytelling space and lends the feeing of a double height. space that The café will be accessible only from the Narratorium lobby and from the cafe patio. The patio will literally be an extension of the coffee shop during the warmer summer months of the year. This area will serve the same purpose as the interior cafe space, aiding in process of public storytelling.
Lastly, the lobby, as mentioned earlier, is a space that all three of Narratorium spaces can be accessed from. This will provide one of two entrances for the café. It will also be the only entrances for the main space, the secondary space, the resident space and the view deck. In addition to functioning as a circulation hub, it will also serve as a place for information, and meet and greets. The information that is given here are the dates and times of the current tellings as well as the up and coming events that will be taking place in the Narratorium. The meet and greets will allow the public to talk with a storyteller, either the resident storyteller or a featured storyteller. They will have a chance to perhaps tell their stories in an open forum style conversation. This area further enforces the concept of establishing an emotional connection, among humans within diverse societies, through the experience of physical expression and personable storytelling.
As for the specific activities that will take place within the Narratorium, they are as follows and begin with the main Narratorium.
This main storytelling space is where the resident storyteller will be featured as well as other professional storytellers, and these can be of any human-to-human storytelling form. The setup allows for a very concentrated viewing of the storyteller, which in turn will allow the storyteller to perform with minimal unwanted distractions. This will prove to be a space for very personable performances.
The smaller less formal balcony spaces will appropriately accommodate a smaller name within the storytelling field, perhaps an aspiring storyteller, which can share his or her talents with the city. This space will also be a place that is more child friendly and will host many of the children’s activities that take place within the Narratorium.
Within the cafe, there will be a very casual setting in which groups of individuals from the general population can come in and share stories with friends and/or strangers. This space will also be open late into the evening, after the storytelling in the main Narratorium space have concluded, providing a space to gather afterward to talk about their experience.
Throughout the duration of a day an individual who is visiting can enjoy many different performances. In the morning the lobby will open early, thus allowing individuals who are on their way to work to come in and possibly share a cup of coffee and a story with someone as well as check the times and dates of the up and coming events. As the day continues the main and secondary performance spaces will open. The open balcony space will be available to non-professional storytellers and their talents, who will have the chance to share their stories with school children on field trip occasions or with the general public. The main space during the day hours will have educational performances for children to visit on field trips as well as smaller storytellings that may appeal to the mature audience. In the evening, the secondary spaces will begin to close and the main performance space will feature story telling until the later evening times. The coffee shop, in response to the main performance space, will stay open quite late. This will allow individuals to experience stories well into the evening and then utilize the coffee shop as a place to share stories of their own, possibly related to what they just participated in.
For the public, the activities will change seasonally with the act of bringing in a new resident storyteller. Some of the more mild changes will include cultural celebrations and performances.
Yearly, however the program will change according to the season and the change of weather. The change from winter, to spring, to summer will increasingly allow the amount of activities that can take place on the outdoor café patio. Also, allowing the individuals in the coffee shop to spill out into the outdoor space and enjoy the weather, and coffee.
“Establishing an emotional connection, among humans within diverse societies, through the experience of physical expression and personable storytelling.”
Friday, February 15, 2008
The structure above uses the exact materials that I am interested in, concrete structural members accompanied by stained woods.
This photo is a colorful example of a concept that I am interested in. I am still infatuated with this idea of moving panels telling a story and being able to alter space.
Now that I have formulated my opinions about what I feel a Narratorium is, I have begun to do some research into presidents and materials. Above is a concept drawing of a structure that utilizes moving and folding panels. Due to the fact that the skin moves, the structure begins to tell a story of the happenings on the interior of the building
Thursday, February 14, 2008
A narratorium is a space or a group of spaces in which stories can be shared with the masses. The way in which a story can be shared within this structure should not be limited to verbal expression, however must be restricted to experiencing the expression directly from the individuals to whom it belongs...
The reason that a narratorium should be a place for experiencing storytelling first hand is because there is so much more to a story than just the words that are spoken. An individual that has a story to tell, has their very own physical characteristics, expressions, body language and emotion to contribute to the viewers overall experience...
First, within the narratorium their must be a space that allows for a large audience to attend. The viewers of this room will all be situated facing the direction of the individual of importance at the time, in auditorium style seating. The storyteller will be front and center, on a stage that is lit with as much natural light as possible to design for.
The secondary rooms will be situated throughout the structure. These spaces will hold slightly smaller groups of people, and therefore they will be slightly less formal. The biggest factor that contributes to this informal setting is that it will most likely be in a corner balcony type setting and the viewers will either stand or sit on temporary seating. These spaces will also attempt to use more natural light than stage lighting...
Then lastly will be an area in which individuals from the everyday public can come in and share their stories with friends, loved ones or even a stranger. This space will more likely take on the qualities of a coffee house or community space...
As for the exterior spaces, the main outdoor space will facilitate a community story telling space that will take on the characteristics of an amphitheater, amongst a small garden of sorts..
The secondary outdoor space will be a patio that spills out from the coffee shop into the garden. Thus, allowing the occupants of the coffee shop to enjoy the outdoor performance that is taking place at the time..
Program within Spaces
The large performance space is where the larger venues will be featured, and these can be of any human to human storytelling form. For example, it could be anything from the many types of cultural storytelling, to one person telling the story. This space will allow for a very concentrated viewing, which will allow the storyteller to perform with minimal to zero distractions...
The smaller less formal spaces will appropriately accommodate a smaller name, perhaps an aspiring storyteller or student...
The common indoor space, will be featuring a very casual setting in which groups of individuals from the general population can come in and share stories with friends and loved ones, over coffee and pastries...
Now the outdoor space will be a space for anyone to tell their stories in, somewhat of an extention to the main indoor space...
Next the patio that will open from the coffee shopm, will allow the individuals within the coffee shop to redirect their attention to the outdoor performing space. This space will offer both hospitality and entertainment, which will make for a great activity for many...
A Typical Day
Throughout the duration of a day an individual who is visiting can enjoy many different performances. In the morning the lobby will open early, thus allow individuals who are on their way to work to come in and possibly share a cup of coffee and a story with a friend.
As the day continues the main and secondary performances spaces will open. The open balcony spaces will be available to aspiring storytellers to show off their talents to school children for field trip occasions. The main space during the day hours will have educational performances for children to visit on field trips as well as short performances that may appeal to an older audience. In the evening, the secondary spaces will begin to close and the main performance space will feature story telling until the later evening times.
The coffee shop, in response to the main performance space, will stay open quite late. This will allow individuals to experience storytellers well into the evenings and then use the coffee shop as a place to share stories of their own, possible related to what they just heard.
For the public, the actives will remain quite the same from month to month. The mild changes will include cultural celebrations and performances as well as a change of venue overall, in order to keep the public returning.
Yearly, however the program will change according to the season and the change of weather. The change from winter, to spring, to summer will increasingly allow change to the amount of activities that can take place in the outdoor garden amphitheater. Also allowing the individuals in the coffee shop to spill out into the outdoor space and enjoy the weather, the stories, and the coffee.
Having such a space, as a narratorium, there will be a need for many people to help coordinate and run the operation. For this facility there must be a janitorial staff as well as a grounds or landscape keeper. Next there will have to be individuals to run the coffee shop. Also, on staff there will have to also be several activity and performance coordinators to help approve all performances and then lastly there must be a person that has the overall say in every situation.