Master´s Thesis 2021 Matter Space Structure

Site Searching

to note and visualize unnoticed layers of a site

Catrin Frick & Emma Löfblad

Besides being a physical position, a place is a combination of many things. A place is a composition of feelings, memories and physical qualities. It is also people’s relationships with each other and relationships with other places and their identities. It is a matter of time, of history and historical layers, of weather and natural phenomena, of the built and the spatial interactions, of movement and meetings. To understand a place is to bring out its narratives and we argue that this is fundamental in a prosperous design process.

We want different layers of a place to distinguish throughout a site study. Therefore, this thesis aims to translate the conditions of a site into visual material that can be used to inform architectural design. The conditions of the site are extracted through the method of mapping by usage of notations and collages. The images created, in turn, work as new foundations for searching new knowledge of the site. We call it Site Searching.

The examination takes place at Skanstorget in Gothenburg, a place that provides the opportunity to explore both past, present and future development. The site is well debated but still it awaits transformation. The current status quo of the site triggers an interest to uncover its layers.

This thesis results in an archive that hosts some of the findings excavated during the process, displaying them as design informants. They are put to test in various design studies that question the potential of these designs affecting the site. The design studies are not supposed to supply answers, instead they further question the potential of design embodying layers of the site.