Master´s Thesis 2020 Material Turn

NUANCE – Exploring Regional Characteristics /// Angelina Kjellén & Kalle Hellmark

NUANCEExploring Regional Characteristics

This thesis is a search for regional nuances in Bohuslän, through explorations on  carefully  chosen references  illustrated  with  mussel-based concrete. The outcome of  the method and the material studies are  manifested in a small-scaled factory where further experiments and explorations can be made in and on the material.

Bohuslän has a long history of harvesting the sea and the landscape that surrounds it. The vernacular architecture has been prominent through the history in the region, where utilizing the nearby environment has been essential. The site in this thesis, Klätta, is located in northern Bohuslän, there has been an industry for sea mussels on the site that has now closed due to outsourcing. Left on the site is an abandoned building and piles of mussel shells laying on the ground. The thesis strived to use the material and its characteristics as an aesthetic quality in a conversation between material and shape. The thesis take departure from critical regionalism and questions the usage of the modern accessibility of visual information and the effect it has on cultural identity. 

It is developed through several interpretations of buildings and building components from Bohuslän, chosen for their representative qualities of elements that together defines a traditional architectural archetype of Bohuslän. The references used in this project are deliberately taken before the modernism movement because of its global intent. The chosen references do have global influences but are made with a local intent, therefore can be used as argument for a regional character.

The thesis uses a filtering approach, were the input (images) are interpreted and transformed by methods and materiality to an output that is more coherent with current techniques and/or design ideals. This approach is used both as a process for a deeper exploration and understanding of the images but also as a way of not using the references as a simple  “copy & paste” technique. The thesis’ main emphasis is on the design methods used to reinterpret local references.