Small buildings have always had a particular appeal. Micro works of architecture inspire an enduring charm that exceeds their function, even if that function is to be a pleasing decoration in the landscape. There are a variety of reasons for our infatuation with little forms. The miniaturization of architecture reduces it to a human scale with which we can interact more readily. We are also drawn by the intricacy of their conception and detail by the fact that smaller buildings usually possess a more tactile quality than constructions of a larger scale. The concise purpose of these structures; that they address a single function, simple use, or even a purely aesthetic aim, makes them intellectually as well as physically accessible.
This spring, the studio will be working with Enough Pie, a non-profit organization that focuses on inclusive and inspiring community engagement in the Upper Peninsula of Charleston, on a design/build initiative which is rooted in supporting the art, history, culture and science of indigo, a natural dye grown and historically used in Charleston. The VAT SHACK will be an off-the-grid, self-sustaining mobile structure to animate indigo and teach the use of indigo as an art form. Hands-on classes, community dye days, and the creation of a community rag quilt, are all expected products from this functional off-the-grid building. A space for indigo artists to work, and catalyzing community engagement are key goals for the VAT SHACK, which will be completed by semester’s end.