Discussions around architecture and constructed spaces often gravitate toward its apparent “hardness”. Terms referencing monumentality, longevity, and even the materials used in construction - glass, steel, concrete, brick - offer a coldness that often alienates more that it attracts. However, we must remember that architecture invokes narrative and is the result of a lived social human experience. Architecture and constructed spaces have the potential to contain memories and facilitate experiences, and our experiences of space and place references the “softness” that is inherent in architecture and its practice. The Pedagogical Model for the Return of History concentrates on this “softness” that architecture and constructed spaces can invoke. It is an architectural construct incorporating the modalities of situational aesthetics, personal pedagogy and the archive. The installation builds upon the idea that the experience of architecture and urban space is fundamental and integral to the existence of that space, and attempts to uncover dormant histories based on spatial and personal experiences of space.
The project was initially developed as a response to a three month artistic residency at Stichting Duende in Rotterdam, The Netherlands in the summer of 2010. The residency was pivotal in realizing the importance of personal, vernacular histories encountered within an urban environment. The installation invites tactile interaction and employs the format of the classroom through mechanisms of pedagogy, urban vernacular history and the archive. Visitors are encouraged to physically interact with the various components of the installation, to engage with it and invent their own personal narratives. While “History” is often authored by the proverbial victors, personal histories and narratives are equally relevant. The Pedagogical Model for the Return of History is an installation that hopes to create an environment of awareness regarding the significance of constructed spaces in creating personal, vernacular histories and its relationship to memory and personal experiences.
Paul de Guzman, 2010