Conversation between Adam Paul Martinez and Dan Lu

Adam: Let me just ask again. What do you find interesting about the bicyclists using the building in the wrong way? Or is it the wrong way?

Dan: I don’t think it’s the wrong way.

Adam: Why? It goes against the original intent of the building, but also people come in and they take beams away from the building so that it collapses-

Dan: They steal beams?

Adam: Yeah, they cut the beam out. That’s why that floor fell. That’s why the whole thing fell. They stole the metal from the beams, and they recycled them. Then the bicyclists found it, and they’re using it as a ramp. It’s ground, it’s circulation, but it’s also a wall because they’re “dropping in” or using it as a wall. The act of “dropping in” is basically a wall, then it turns into a floor, and then turns back into a wall.

Dan: I think it’s interesting how the architectural elements change: one element to another, then into the other one, then another, and it provokes... I don’t know... Another new way of using it or occupying it. And it’s not wrong because the building itself or the element itself is already an evolution.

Adam: Sure, but then evolution is brought upon by the building literally falling apart.

Dan: Yeah.

Adam: There was no even preconceived notion of that kind of intent because we think of buildings as things that last a long time and then we demolish them. We never think of them as they fall apart, but these bicyclists still use them, and they fall apart even more and then they still use them, and then we finally demolish them. Like this building here (SCI-Arc campus), it was obviously a freight carrier for trains but then it is re-purposed. Never did a floor fall and then we use that floor as part of the architecture that was never meant to be.

Dan: It’s like going back to Tschumi’s concept. You can never design or control how we use space. Space happens or events happen. Also, within a regular concept we say: “Oh, the building died.” It’s no longer functioning because those-

Adam: I don’t think the Fisher building is not functioning though. I think it’s still functioning because right now we used it as a film backdrop (Liam Young studio fall 2015). Bicyclists use it as a place for sport. Some people use it to do drugs. So ultimately, the space is ever-changing.

Dan: I say it’s no longer functioning because it was... As a building, it was a factory, so the function of a factory’s ...

Adam: Do you think it still exists?

Dan: No. That’s why ...

Adam: Even with all the factory tools still in there?

Dan: Okay, it’s like ... The function of a container is to contain water. If it breaks, maybe you can use it as something else, but it’s no longer functioning as a container.

Adam: Right.

Dan: It’s still useful, it’s still alive, and resilient, it’s not just garbage. It’s still interesting and provoking activities even though it’s not functioning as the way it should be.

(Mis)-Appropriation of a Derelict Auto Plant

Adam Paul Martinez
April 2016