1 A League of Leonardos
If you’re looking for some Maya driven exhausted forms, you’ve come to the wrong place.
Haven’t you seen enough of that on SuckerPunch? Or during a [insert studio’s name here] pin up? Well if that’s what gets you going, this really might not be for you — it may not have been for the students either.
But 16 of us were brave enough to take on the task of providing an occupancy of juxtapositions, merging a brothel and a daycare. Look, we even received attention from one of LA Curbed’s esteemed journalists Rachel B. Doyle, “One class for grad and upperlevel undergrad students is dedicated to—what else?—designing a hybrid brothel and childcare center. How utilitarian!”
Through the intrepid leadership of Jeffrey Kipnis and John Bohn, the students were subjected to an unexpected challenge unearthed from the voluminous notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci. While exiting a brothel, Leonardo was accosted by authorities, also visiting the brothel, and was almost ostracized from Milan for such behaviors. The scribbles in his notebooks depict a brothel with multiple entrances, each diverting points of view from the other, so one could furtively enter and exit. Combine this investigation with a daycare center and a constellation of fictional encounters emerge along with a handful of architectural techniques that strongly impact free moving bodies in space: reflectivity, transparency, programmatic slippages, and trap doors!
But attempting to represent the minutia invokes a difficult feat, the conventions of plans and section were used as a relevant tool, but who has time to count stairs? Narratives were driven by episodes (axonometric or comic strip) to appropriate all coinciding users populating the space (clients, prostitutes, children, service workers). The end product emerges against its academic surroundings; a formless object enriched with context, characters, interactions, encounters, avoidances and all things ludic. But stop listening to me and see the work for yourself.