Repurpose in Every Second Or in A Second


0 • Patchwork

Volume 10, Issue 03
April 19, 2024

“Repurposing strategy - adaptive reuse or reuse a building for different function”, which has recently come to the fore with circular economy and sustainability approaches, is a strategy that aims to address these ecological concerns through spatial transformations that run parallel to the needs of daily life on a human scale. However this strategy creates an intersection between utopian approach rooted by Cedric Price’s Fun Place and Constant’s New Babylon and circular economy rooted by in the real world.

The increasing pace of urban life subjects cities and buildings to transformations faster than initially programmed schedules by urban decision makers. In such cases, a structure striving to exist within a constantly evolving environment eventually begins to integrate its initial identity with the new life. In this scenario, two situations arise either a space that evolves “every second” within this variable process or a space that transforms “in a second” as a result of the surrounding variable process.

Repurposing strategy serves as both the cause and the result of more immediate interactions within the city. Even though the existing program of space may seem to repeat itself every hour of the day, it is not frozen independently of the societal structure, ranging from the simplest daily newspaper to a complex form. It is constantly recreated through different interpretations with various events and individuals, shaping new habits within the urban space as part of a continuous process. Despite architecture setting its own framework and boundaries, creating spaces adaptable to any program, repurposing will occur constantly. This is because repurposing strategy inherently exists for every user’s mind at any given moment. Regardless of interventions from authorities, municipalities, or property owners, a building evolves with its surroundings independently, and each user interprets this evolution differently. Experiences in this transformation are gradual and fluid, unfolding over time within the space, unseen conflicts. Each user’s mind becomes an extension of the space.

However, the difference in functional transformations occurring within a second (within a decision frame) through intervention lies in the juxtaposition of two moments (times) and identities merging on top of each other during and after the transformation. This collision is visible, and both experiences are distinctly remembered, evident in new usage habits. While continuous repurposing persists in the background through constant adaptation of perceptions and interactions with the built environment, a sharp and rigid change is recorded in minds. Subsequent spaces are the result of this dual state in the mind. For the user, although the new habits created in the new space may invalidate the old identity, they are distinctly remembered and can be referenced. Each event created produces a new space at the intersection of spatial perception between the old and the new. Architectural identity is now the third and continuously evolving fourth or fifth identity that embraces both times.

At the individual level, the repurpose strategy—after one second—after or within this process -in every second- experiences encourage continuous adaptation and layering of perceptions and interactions with the built environment. Individuals’ tailored perceptions may intersect in shared spaces, potentially fostering the creation of more permanent environments. Buildings are no longer seen merely as static structures, but as dynamic elements that interact with their environment and inhabitants. They thus become living beings that adapt to changing environmental conditions and human needs, offering a collective response to the challenges posed by the Anthropocene.The identity of a place can survive in the city by integrating it with adapted perceptions, the common product of many minds, and the requirements and needs of the climate.

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