Thursday, August 29, 2013

First draft: Reading Complexity VDO

This might not be the best choice for a new thoroughfare but I chose this route as the first experiment because this place is new in term of the first visit but the environment is not new in term of memory.

This route is walking to the boat through machine shop.  I have never been to this shop before but I familiar with the machine ,mud soil and boat.

When I saw working machine. I am know distance of comfort zone. How close so it will dangerous. I know which sound is which machine.

There is mud soil. It will easily stick to the shoe or you sink into the soil. I know how to walk. Yes i have to pay attention to it but not observer all details. Just skim and know where to go.

I want to go to the boat. I had to jump. after I first saw I analysed my route and knew exact step i would go.  1 Climbed up to top of the wall  2 stepped on water pipe 3 jumped to boat

When I am in. I wish to go inside and walk to the back of the boat. The boat doesn't has floor yet. Some part will have wood to step on. I jumped to the white wood and walked inside then there is another part that doesn't has floor but there are two thin stick of wood. I knew immediately how weak it is. I paid more attention and be ready for the flexibility of the wood.

Even this is new place to me but with my own memory I understand how things work and be able to walk like I am familiar with the place.

First Draft: Reading Complexity, 2 thoroughfare

For the first place i choose is the road around Onnut area and within this road it compose of 3 different atmosphere and function around. First i walk on the pathway that have a tress plants along the way and car passing by with high speed, then at the beginning on the left have an empty abandon land that cover with dirt and red rocks with some small pond inside, while walking forward the pavement begin to show the flower texture which lead to the Suanlaung park, while it have a level change that make me aware of my footstep and on the right it have a big mall that very prominent in the big sign and parking lot in front. Once enter into the park zone with the entrance sign that shift the atmospherre to the greenery and calm feeling and when i look inside it fill with flower and green grass that very welcoming and beauty.  

Second place that i went actually not so far from my house, but i seldom pass this way even this is just my second time, because it very bad traffic and not really a good scenery to pass by. This place have very strong threshold in the same path, first i walked on the pathway with the small slum community that set back from the road and have an entrance leading inside, while walking on is sloping up to the bridge across the canal that smelly and the water not so clean, while i walking under the sunlight that really heat me up and once i walk on under the big bridge that cover up the space and give a big shading into the place and i can feel the breeze from the water side with very noisy engine sound from the car that drive pass by. once i walk and sloping down on right have a white fence that lead me to the big park under the big heavy bridge. In the park very greenery and give a warm and welcoming sense with the colourful playground and all children playing around there.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pin-Up 1 : Saweta Chatra Throne

Thing : Saweta Chatra Throne
Counterthing : Barcelona Chair

The diagram portrays the importance of a throne serving as a communication tool among people. A royal authority that is bestowed on the king is carried far ahead when he is placed on an elevated platform, or rather many elevated platforms. The challenge here deals with what/who is important? Since the material solidarity of the throne assures us a permanence device for the remembrance of King Pinklao, does it still serve as a medium that has to be worshiped or bowed upon lacking the King's presence. Placed in the center of the museum room 504 in The National Museum Bangkok, it rests on the ground providing equal share of visibility among the other artifacts including palanquins, howdahs, etc. The validity of the throne may be questioned since all we see are people passing by it without any further glance or interest on to what it was?, the history behind it, and relating stories consequently attached with the throne. Apart from the waist high A4 board that informs just a gist on its history accompanied with text, the aim here is- how to link matter of facts through visual grammar in order to achieve clear data graphics.
The similarity between the throne and the Barcelona chair allows for further leap into a concept of framing people through orientation, ornamentation, geometry/symmetry(key architectural elements in Buddhism), dimension and elevation making it visually important.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The diagram shows the different layers of transition of ideology and belief of Thai people. The first layer is the Thing; Bussabok, the Relic Shrine. On the second layer is the Thing within its context at the museum which is overlayed by another layer of Thai Stupa that shares the same design principle and concept. The upper layer is the diagram of Thai cosmology, Mount Meru which is the core belief of Thai culture that is then projected on the design. The outer ring of the upper layer is the zoom in detail of the 4 continents that we belong to one of the four.

Update: Ivory Howdah

Siam and Chiangmai had always been neighbour countries in a serene relationship since Chiangmai was founded by King Mangrai in 1283. 
In 1558, Lanna kingdom (Chaingmai) was taken over by Burma. Its people were used as slaves and its natural resources such as gold, silver and teak were sucked out of the ground for generations to generations.
In 1750, Siam, for its first time, lost the great battle to Burma. 
In 1760, King Taksin of Siam secretly assemble men to build an army. 
In 1763, Siam won its independence back and too it helped drive Burmese soldiers out of Lanna.
After the independence after 216 years that Siam had helped Lanna regained, the relationship between their royal families were humble and modest. 

The diagram shows connection between the two great countries in 1200 years by studying of their borders in different era.

Ivory Howdah was one of the gifts to King of Siam From Lanna. This particular piece was a birthday present of King Rama 5's 20th birthday and given by King Inthawijayanon who was crowned in the same year, 1816. 
Howdah was mainly made of ivory with only a little use of timber for structure.
Ornaments were carved elaborately onto the howdah. This drawing is the study of its rails.

This drawing shows the approximate use of tusk in the howdah.


The gray Khon mask (in Khon pose) in the middle acted as an another face of one person. As a person look at it, its only reflection is him or herself but with different identity. Same as the Khon actor that has to practice hard to be another person, in this case is the Hanuman character in Ramayana story.

The Mother of pearl's Hanuman mask was excluded up to show its making process, in which the upper most one is the first step of making this mask.

The upper yellow ring shows the loop of actions in which the Khon mask work before, during and after the stage play.

The below unconnected ring is the timeline of Khon. The inner ring indicate different stages of special event happened in each time period, from Ayutthaya (top) to King Rama 9 (bottom). The outer ring shows the Khon performance development and duration of each style of performance played in that particular time, also from Ayutthaya to King Rama 9. 

Updates on diagram

The made-up landscape illustrates the piece of land that was surveyed during the year of 1887. The overlay of layers represents the process of information transformation done by using the theodolite. The maroon is what was being observed. The information then gets translated into coordinates that are marked upon the 2D map (black) for further feasibility study. The orange portrays the railway that would later be built according to observations of the physical reality of the site.

The theodolite could not be placed directly within the landscape due to scale difference but however, it still operates similarly. 

Circles of both vertical and horizontal angle measurement generated separately will overlay the theodolite in position that will explain how the instrument works.

This is an updated timeline that I have worked out the relationship between events. I will add more to it with any further information that could be linked together

Pinup 1: Thing and Counter thing (updat)

First Pinup Thing and Counter thing

The diagram show the layout of the road connected the thing and counter thing together, which occur in the Thailand's road.

The Royal palanquin show the different time frame of the location and events that using by the palanquin which are; the beginning of the palanquin that use by the King, the location in the Bangkok National Museum and the Funeral celebration parade in the most recent.

The Beast limousine using by Barack Obama show the route when he travel from place to place been protected by the police and and parade, also the route that going on to the Thailand road that he came to visit Thailand last year.

Thursday, August 22, 2013


This ivory howdah was given to King Chulalongkorn, Rama 5 on his 20th birthday in 1873 by King Inthavijayanon of Chiangmai kingdom. 10 years later, during the colonialism in south-east asia countries, to avert Chiangmai Kingdom to be imperialist, King Rama 5 requested a marriage with princess Dararassami of Chiangmai. Since this significant event, Chiangmai throne was interfered by Siamese governing system until it got completely taken over in 1899. 

The object was made of ivory with slight support of timber and handcrafted beautifully was intended to be involved in amalgamation of two great families and consequently that of two countries. I find its metaphysical quality fascinating.

The further procedure is to research on the effects of this event and the production of the ivory howdah.


Bussabok, or what we call the Relic Shrine is the multi-purpose sacred container for ceremonial activities. In this case it is specifically used to store the bone relic of Phra Ong Chao Yukuntee, son of King Rama II. The Relic Shrine itself is designed base on the Thai Cosmology of the Buddhist Universe.

According to Thai belief, the Royal family are the sacred soul that descend from the heaven to protect and reign over us. Here, the Shrine is decorated with ornaments rich of belief and culture, creates a connection between the human and the presence of him within an imaginable space inside the viewers mind, in other words a portal.


Khon is Thai's royal performance art that were assumed to be first played in Ayutthaya period. This performance has been preserved since then, so each period had various style of it own but it bloomed the most in Rattanakosin, King Rama VI era. Khon performance derived from the story of 'Ramayana' which is about a Hindu God that reincarnated to the Earth to fight with the Giant's king to help his him from his own dignity, with the help from the monkey soldiers.

As the performance composed of many elements, Khon mask will be one of the many elements that people would think of first when talking about Khon. The mask itself also has many features that used to identify each character identity such as different types of mouth, eyes, skin's color and crown. Therefore, the actor need to practice hard to perform as the character. And the mask is a tool to help an actor change his or her self to another, to narrate the story.

Hanuman is the King of Monkey in the story of Ramayana which played an important role by helping King Rama (God reincarnation) kill the Giant's King. The Khon mask of Hanuman were made to goes with his look and abilities, so the normal Hanuman Khon mask is in white skin, mouth open, short crown and there is a crystal in its mouth. However, the mask at National museum is different, because it made up of mother of pearl and steel mesh by King Rama II in the beginning of Rattanakosin Era.

First Draft: A German Theodolite

This part of diagram explains the timeline of events related to the German theodolite used during the reign of King Rama V to survey the land for railroad construction.

(I just noticed I had been exporting and working with the wrong view. Will fix and upload again.)


     Canon on the elephant’s back is a powerful weapon use in warfare during the Ayuttaya Period. This object does not only communicates power but also fear to the people.
      Being appear to the public with its full uniform; 3 soldiers on top of the elephant and 4 soldiers along the side fully armed marching along the battlefield. -->This had been an icon of pride, powerful and dead.
      Only the king and the high end soldiers could be it on an elephant's back. Before war, they will sit on the seat and will move to the elephant's neck on the battle field

First Draft: Royal Palanquin

Phra Wo Sivikakan state palanquin @ The National Bangkok Museum

Palanquin is a litter a class of wheeless vehicles, a type of human-powered transport, for the transport of persons. A conveyance formerly used especially in eastern Asia usually for one person that con- sists of an enclosed litter borne on the shoulders of men by means of poles

A simple litter, often called a king carrier, consists of a sling attached along its length to poles or stretched inside a frame.

The palanquin is the vehicle that extremely express the quality of Thai and represent in Thai traditional house version with all golden ornament on the pitch roof and seat that miniature the temple version and carry in a piece of architecture.

First Draft, Thai Typewriter

Typewriter is a decode tool  ; translate though to physical using mechanism. From though data will be transferred to hand then apply force to the button. The machine will decode data then appear as a letter on paper.

I was saying that typewriter is not complicated system. what you type will appear on paper straight away. But before a letter will be stamped on paper the machine has been process the data and transform though through its mechanism to produce a physical letter on paper.

the machine has its own language and it need to be understand.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Visceral Intricacy III 2013
Digital Prosthetics

Virtual Grammar of Architecture

If you ask an architect to choose the single most significant technological innovation in architectural history, he or she is not likely going to look in his/her own epoch for answers. Might it be Vitruvius and Marc-Antoine Laugier theory of the primitive hut? The first sticks and branches that were arranged to conform the first shelter? Or innovations in materials like glass or steel? Or maybe the harvesting of new energy forms like electricity or oil and its subsequent effects on construction? As an abstract thought, architecture exists under the laws of physics in the realm of physical reality. This is literally the foundations of architecture. In our time, we have taken the longest (or deepest) architectural leap in history, we have moved to another dimension. We are entering a digital virtual world. It is in this world, that Visceral Intricacy will operate this term, the new final frontier. 

The Deep Leap
Through technical innovation we have created computer systems that can simulate architecture and spatial experience in such immersive ways that our central nervous system is deceived and we can no longer distinguish the physical reality from the virtual. The Swedish neuroscientist Henrik Ehrsson scientifically proved for the time in 2004 that the experience of immersive virtual worlds can create clinical outer body experiences by overriding the brains sense of ownership of one’s body and project the mind into an artificial body in an artificial virtual world.  

Many modern buildings today not only exists virtually as drawings and models before they enter the physical world in construction but through modern collaborative three dimensional software’s referred to as BIM (Building Information Modelling) a building exists in its entirety before construction begin. Window profiles, plumbing, furniture, air ducts, generators, elevators, escalators etc are allocated in the same three dimensional digital model together with every single other detail of the building down to nuts and bolts. In order for contractors to have full control of complex mechanical systems they now use virtual reality simulations in order to design, document, analyse and evaluate the system.  

Virtual Architecture and Language
In the digital virtual environment, the existence of a “building” is purely symbolic. It is a reference to a real world structure, created in a space where none of the utilitarian functions - protection from the elements, air condition, seating, etc. - have any relevance. It’s symbolic functions bring legibility to what could otherwise be an incomprehensible abstract space. 

In virtual environments like webpages or computer games, if you want to return to where you started, you push the “home” button. If you want to explore new spaces you push the “open” button. If you want to leave, you push the “exit” button. We open and close “windows”, we place documents on “desktops” and organize folders in libraries. This phenomenon has been defined with the term “Skeumorphism”.

In order to navigate virtual worlds we have imitated an existing semiotic grammar. Since virtual architecture does not serve any physical purposes, it is pure architectural language. There is no point to an object or space in a virtual environment if it does not communicate possibilities to us. Content and meaning is always a complicated issue with physical architecture, virtual architecture is nothing but content, which requires a new kind of architect. 

Visceral Intricacy believes that architects should and could have a role in the creation of virtual architecture, which would require new intellectual processes and design methodologies where imagination is not only a process but a place. We will create three dimensional spaces build only from information and language in ways that have never been done before. 

The Dreaming Architect
The ability to create and perceive space free of physicality has always been closely connected and necessary to the working process of architects. Man in general has always been imagining and dreaming but the fact that the imagined belongs to the individual alone means that it is difficult to incorporate in to our life’s where the communal is often more important than the individual. Most of our experience is never activated because it is never communicated or even internally reflected. A lifetime of dreaming possibly including the individuals’ strongest experiences, spatial and emotional often pass by unnoticed due to its non material nature and the lack of an appropriate language. Commonly the concept of real and unreal is the mental boundary used to judge the perceived world but indeed a dream can be even more real and engaging than a material experience of space. It is not the true sensational value that positions the experience, though, but the collective understanding of perception, and that understanding is in our time only repressing our experience. An architect’s vision becomes real the moment it appears in his/her mind, only to later become material, if that was the intention. Indeed it is believed that the architect and his/her associates are the only space generators in our societies but as mentioned, you can read space with your body but also in many other ways that are the product of other disciplines. A writer creates space that is read in code rather than physical material and it is the reader that then decodes the experience and perceives it through his interpretation. Likewise a director of a film uses the vision and audio to impose an experience.
If we now agree that architecture does not necessarily have to be physical in order to exist or be real we can open our minds to a greater spatial sensation, and realize that if you are capable of describing a space to yourself and others, you are creating architecture. Whether you are imagining it, dreaming it, telling it, showing it, designing it or building it. The mind must strive towards a free perception without predetermined value over the spatial sensation for either material or nonmaterial architecture. To imagine it is to design it, and designing it is making it.  

Representing complexity
Often nonmaterial architecture which receives many “visitors” exists within some sort of spiritual or religious context, either if it is an afterlife world like Heaven and Hell or an imagined space visited voluntarily trough meditation or reading. 

The Gothic Cathedral of Europe with it striking visual appearance and geometrical beauty and complexity is one of man’s greatest architectural achievements. They were built with great effort to symbolize and demonstrate the glory of God’s Heaven, and today they still stand tall in cities as landmarks of a time when architecture was the means to illustrate the greatest places of them all. So it might be astonishing to learn that some of the first cathedrals spaces humans conceived were never meant to be built. Only later were these imaginary spaces translated into material architecture. 

These nonmaterial spaces were used by monks in meditation in order to store and recall great amounts of information. The Greeks called it Mnemonics (the art of memory). This complex and intricate system for creating and storing images and words in memory entailed a sequence of steps. First one had to create in one’s imagination a place where the materials to be remembered could be stored. Such imagined places were deeply based on architectural metaphors. The imagined space had to be logical so that the information could be easily found when needed. It is believed that the monks vision of the cathedrals were very similar to the ones actually built much later. The creator after haven created the main architectural elements began to place icons and ornaments in the different rooms and spaces of the cathedral to be able to store many details of information in the space. And if you walk through a gothic cathedral today the amount of ornaments, symbols and details as incomprehensible as they might be makes you understand that there is much to say about why the building stands. What it really is, is a memory bank full of stories to be told.

One of the most intriguing example of such imagined structures was practised and used communally at St Gall. Its plan was drawn prior to the meditation and the monks were guided through the rooms and spaces of the elaborate nonmaterial monetary.
Similarly the Mandala used in Hinduism and certain branches of Buddhism in Tibet is a mental visual representation of the cosmos visited in meditation in the pursuit of enlightenment. And like the gothic cathedral the Mandala is realized as architecture across Asia. 
What is perhaps most interesting about these two examples of imagined space, is the transition from nonmaterial to material. But it must be said that all man made architecture has gone through the same transition. The architect imagines and constructs the space in various virtual ways, and then begins the long process of translation into comprehensible communication devices that can then be read and assembled into material architecture. Much like the writer mentioned earlier. But unlike the written word material architecture has the inevitable faith of destruction which could either mean a transition back into imagination or a complete disappearance.  

Few historical sites have had such a deep impact on a nation and culture as the historical park of Ayutthaya. The entire city and kingdom was destroyed in bloody dynastic struggles in the late eighteenth century and left the old glorious city in ruins as it physically remains today, but virtually, the city and culture of Ayutthaya lives and thrives in the minds of people who either learn from school or through stories on screen and stage. When you stand before the remains of the monuments of Ayutthaya your mind completes the image with imagination, like phantoms one imagines the missing spire of the stupas and absent roofs over columns. 
Ayutthaya’s historical park and ruins will be the grounds for our visceral and intricate imagination this term. We will not only complete the missing material parts of the structures but ad information that would otherwise we impossible to perceive. We will create spaces constructed only by information and surround the structures. 
In order to be able to create these spaces we must not only learn as much as we can about the old Kingdom and its rituals, hierarchy, social structure, routines, materials, trade etc.  But also how information regarding Ayutthaya is communicated today. In the beginning we will be tourists as we analyse the three main museums in Ayutthaya and their communication strategies as well as how the actual ruins are explained on site though audio guides, signs, models, diagrams, guided tours and even role-play. Museum information interfaces are notoriously outdated and give little insight into the depths of possible knowledge one could acquire about an important architectural artefact. We will also study some of the previous projects dealing with digitizing and augmenting Ayutthaya.
At this final stage of the project we will already have spent the majority of the term experimenting and developing systems and understandings for how information can be communicated in three-dimensional virtual environments. The projects will eventually be presented on site in Ayutthaya using available interfaces for augmented reality, virtual reality and beyond where the visitors will be able to see in to the past and future as they are simultaneously touching the brick and smelling the grass.    

  • Ehrsson H.H., Spence C and Passingham RE. ‘That’s my hand!’ Activity in the premotor cortex reflects feeling of ownership of a limb. Science, (2004) 
  • BIM CAVE at Texas A&M’s Department of Construction Science
  • SCOTT, Robert A. (2003) The Gothic Enterprise. London. University of California Press Ltd

  •  Visceral Intricacy III. 
  •  Architectural Design IV 
  •  Fall 2013
  • Carl Fredrik Valdemar Hellberg