Grant Cogan

Agitative Ecologies

Spring 2012, Jackson Studio

Grant Cogan’s thesis, Agitative Ecologies, argues that architectural strategies premised on social engagement and cooperation falsely presume that architecture can overcome the self-directed interests of a highly individuated public. Instead, he proposes a more ecological model, in which the architecture becomes a set of experiential and spatial resources for which individuals compete and negotiate. The resulting architectural space thus becomes a series of temporary equilibrium states that result within a never-ending competition among individuals and groups for control over public space, atmosphere, and experience. The low-stakes spatial competition fostered by this approach may serve to initiate a subsequent dialogue among the competing parties—although the project refrains from making a naïve claim as to the character or ultimate productivity of such a dialogue. This thesis project demonstrates this “agitative” approach within a cultural center that serves the various low-income and ethnically distinct neighborhoods segregated by Chicago’s infamous Dan Ryan Expressway.

Cogan Thesis board 1


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