Design Thesis Project 2016 - 2017
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Erik Arnason    

Advisor: Eduardo Aquino

Soft Architecture.
Weak. Minor. Slow.

These concepts, drawn from theorists and architects, describe alternative routes and strategies for the design and construction of place as well as redefine the roles and positions of place-makers. They stand in opposition to hard models of architecture, processes rooted in efficiency and rapid production. Absent from these hard processes are dimensions of experiencing place that are difficult to prescribe quantitative value: the performative qualities of the building: light, sound, and the ritual and circumstance of human life.
soft.firm is a cloud of architectural experiments and explorations that seeks to articulate these alternative approaches to architecture. Despite the nature of [soft] architecture to resist description, this web of projects form a concise definition of [soft architecture]: 

An architecture that is empathetic, that has a capacity for alteration and adaptability in response to both the context of site and the habits and patterns of inhabitants. Soft architecture operates from within the cracks and voids of hard architecture, locating itself within the current milieu and subverting it through occupation and transformation. [soft] architecture is intentionally indeterminate, failing to prescribe specific meaning to place or moment in favor of cultivating and environment that encourages the generation of meaning [or purpose] through inhabitation or experience.
The intention of this thesis is to conclude with the construction of a [soft] architecture that can be fully experienced by immersion into it, a space that describes the qualities of [soft] architecture through the process of design and construction, the physical form, the context in which the architecture situated and the experience of it.

Image captions:

1. Day House

2. Non-visible architecture

3. Curved Place

4. Cat-tail Chapel

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