Julia Christina Eneroth

The Mechanical Artifact

2015-09-05 | Portfolio Entry metal bird spreading its wings.

This was the first project at architecture school. It was a group work I made with Malin Heikenberg and Elias Friberg lasting for some weeks. The assignment was to make some kind of machine out of garbage without any real plan to get used to sketch using models in addition to just sketch on flat paper.

All students were lead to a container full of scrap metal where we could grab parts to work with. My group started to randomly put parts together and noticed it started to lock like a bird. We really liked the look of it and kept adding parts to make it even more bird-like and added a string you could pull for it to flap its wings.

Then an assistant found us and seemed almost upset. Apparently it was a general rule in architecture (and perhaps even a general rule in art) to never mimic. Be inspired was fine but never ever mimic. We couldn't build a bird because that was just wrong! Birds already exists.

Man får inspereras men aldrig efterlikna.
[My translation: One may be inspired but should never mimic].

It felt a bit diaspointing because I really liked the look and feel of this metal bird. We didn't remove any body parts but didn't add some parts we otherwise had planned either such as the feet.

Then, just a few minutes later if I remember it correctly, another assistant popped in and really liked our bird. However he suggested to build something beneath the bird to show in what kind of habitat this bird lived, probably to make the bird seem more alive and bird-like. I don't know how many times he used the word bird during those few minutes we talked.

After having studied the natural science program in high school where questions usually had one correct answer only it felt really confusing with two assistants telling us to do the exact opposite. I can't recall if it even made me feel stressed at the time but now it just makes me laugh. I suppose this is what the architectural field is like.