27_Marcos Arriaza: Aberration of the Grid

Marcos Arriaza

From Guatemala City, studying at Columbia GSAPP.

Name of project: Aberration of the Grid


The task of the project is to make an underground intervention with a lost and found office that will connect with the subway line in the intersection of 14th St. and avenue A in New York City. What was interesting about the site was the extreme organizational system that dominates in the surface.  Notational systems are imposed on buildings, streets, sidewalks and even trees. It was also interesting to see how objects that have become exhausted, such as cigarettes, bottle caps, gum, etc. accumulate in the ground and become a layer of sediment. Creating space was explored through carving as a means to negate the surface grid and aggregation, thinking of how exhausted objects as can create a structural system.

The concept of losing meaning through the operation of carving became manifested in a field of increasing tension. As objects aggregate, they become part of the caving process, themselves removing ground and becoming new ground.

The new space questions the relationship of space, objects and us as subjects. The fact is that space must exist between us and the object for us to perceive the space that is occupied by the objects. This leads us to realize that we as humans are also objects and space becomes a medium of relationships between objects and objects.

Passage through carved out space then becomes a rediscovery of elements that have come to define our existence and now remain free from past association. Simultaneously, the human figure detaches itself within the aggregation of objects inside the void. The vertical accumulation of elements breaks the surface of the structure into fragments. The metamorphosis of the regular framework becomes more prominent as the structure descends.