Athan Geolas, Dan Lee, Alexander McCargar, Jesen Tanadi
Jason Wood Course
RISD, Integrated Building Systems II, Fall 2010
1, Who are we?
As a group of five students in our final year of architecture school at the Rhode Island School of Design, this studio project asked us to analyze the conditions of the Tamassee Daughters of the American Revolution School in Tamassee, South Carolina, and to propose a buildable architecture intervention to address these conditions.
2, Utopic Analysis
Through our early studies of the self-sustaining utopian experiments of the United States and England we found a number of responses to today's questions of sustainability within a rural setting. Mediating between a national economic reality and local social concerns, these utopias developed societies that lasted varying lengths of time, but all ultimately came to an end. Our study of these utopias provided us with a framework to think about possible sustainable futures in light of early failures.
3, Tamassee DAR School's Conditions
Unfortunately, the challenges of the Tamassee DAR school face seem to encompass just about every major problem that the United States as a whole will have to face in the coming years. Particularly in a rural setting, the lack of sustain economic markets, failing education systems, concentration of wealth and resources for a privileged minority, and ironically even a disconnection from their formerly natural resources of food and energy seems to be more explicit. Fortunately, and also somewhat ironically, these are not the sort of problems that have readily available solutions; and we are not even sure that solutions to these problems are what will sustain the DAR school and its encompassing community in the years to come.
Rather than solving the problems no apparent, our proposal seeks to provide a framework for constant reevaluation of the current problems as well as any problems that may develop over the coming years. A band-aid can only be used once, a bandage will wear out, a loom cannot produce itself- we propose a community of educators who can both use and teach the loom to anybody that wishes to make a bandage. Following this line of thought, we actually have two proposals: the first is this framework, and the second is the first step in its implementation.
The utopic dream that we strive towards foresees a continually redeveloping, responsive, rapid, dynamic, fluctuating, expanding and contrasting institution in which every individual's existing and potential talent can be fostered, shared and employed for the betterment of themselves and Tamassee's entire community. Precisely in how the utopic visions of America's and England's idealism failed due to their rigidity, this foundation for a future reality can succeed through its constant adaptation.