The moment I heard that Matteo Pericoli held a workshop at Columbia University combining literature and architecture, my mind exploded. I love writing and have put together a few book shelves. This could be the perfect cocktail that I’ve been searching for my entire existence.
In Pericoli’s “The Laboratory of Literary Architecture” each participant is asked choose one of their favorite written compositions, one that they know well, and create a standing structure utilizing article writing services that resemble the metaphoric way a word could become a structure be it by mind visualization or direct to paper writing. This structure should represent the its essence using basic principles of architecture, cardboard, tape, paper, and scissors. Confused? The workshop’s site describes the process. “If the story were a tree, and the leaves its words, they would shake the leaves loose until only its structural or emotional skeleton remained.” All of this made me wonder if Pericoli grew up in Berkeley during the 1960s.
I began to study two projects that were created from books that I have read and thought that I could possibly understand. Kanasu Nagathihalli’s rendition of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged appeared simple enough. A white piece of cardboard exhibited the important characters through emerging perpendicular white strips. The main character resides as the central strip which is straight. John Galt is represented by a curved strip at the top encompassing all of the other strips. This undoubtedly symbolized the novel’s overbearing question, “Who is John Galt?”
Basak Ulubilgen’s construction of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road belongs in the MOMA. Two cubes represent the novel’s two main characters. Dean Moriarty, a water-like plexiglass cube stands opposite of a wooden cube of the same size, Sal Paradise. Dean’s cube conveys his transparency. Sal’s cube shows that he is unlike Dean. He’s the story’s protagonist. Many wooden spears connect the two, representing their travels and friendship.
Nagathihalli and Ulubigen, along with the other students, brought the nature of their chosen works out into light. Both structures reveal the overall feeling of the chosen novels. I was impressed, but I sincerely hope next year someone does James Joyce’s Ulysses or Charles Bukowski’s Post Office. Now, that would be fun.