Before my studio began the Co-Lab in Old City Philadelphia we were asked to spend a week designing a food truck garage and food truck service to be housed on our eventual studio site at the base of the Franklin Bridge. I focused on minimizing embodied energy, from construction material to truck fuel, seeking to use found object from the neighborhood to build the garage and collecting used cooking oil from neighboring restaurants to fuel the food trucks themselves. My best attempt at grandiose bombast was the following:
“a site reclaimed from cars//trusses reclaimed from rust//formwork reclaimed from barrels//cladding reclaimed from pallets//fuel reclaimed from fry grease//doors reclaimed from billboards//architecture reclaimed from waste”
The color pallet is bland, the imagery is tame, the information is small and crowded. I was able to recognize these shortcomings after finishing the project, but I still have trouble actively tailoring design boards for attention grabbing pictures. Some architects have made successful, or at least distinctive careers by eschewing the sexy glossy imagery of contemporary practice and academic projects. MoMA’s Foreclosed had a project by Zago Architects but I can’t say that I like or believe in their aesthetic.
Interboro are a more interesting example, fully investigating the comic book as a means of conveying narrative. It firmly places idea and social context front and center, and also seems to influence their design process.