Relational architecture, is an interesting concept. I interpret it as re-making the architecture, from a cold, emotionless structure, to one that allows and facilitates connection between people. From Rafael’s Relational Architecture series, one can experience new ways in which structure drives communication/connection, bring people together, help people relate to each other, or simply bridging the gap between strangers.
Here are three other pieces, other than the ones mentioned in the article, that I felt have achieved the feat of transforming architecture into a wondrous medium, almost imbuing it with organic, life-like qualities at times.
Players at six different sites use a beam of light to ‘connect’ with one another. When the powerful light beams intersect each other, players can communicate with each other using the provided microphone.
Strangers, prompted by this magical mechanism of light beams connecting across the sky, connect and speak to someone miles away.
Players at the station can feel another player’s pulse at another station when he/she places his/her palms on a provided hand interface.
The transfer of something as human as a pulse elicits a sense of connection, between strangers, without need for words, sound or visuals.
A tunnel, filled with lights, is controlled by voice recordings of participants who speak into a special intercom in the middle of the tunnel. As new people participate, old recordings get pushed away down the array of lights. The “memory” of the installation is always getting recycled, with oldest recordings on the tunnel edge and newest in the middle.
This tunnel represents time, time in which people have come and passed, similar to how people come and go, shaping the world around them as they pass along. The metaphor of voice recordings represent the unique individuality in everyone of us, and the light intensities provide a visual metaphor for the liveliness of the individuals that have participated in the tunnel.