Open Access
McKnight, Jared Edgar
Area of Honors:
Bachelor of Architecture
Document Type:
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Katsuhiko Muramoto, Thesis Supervisor
  • Christine Lee Gorby, Honors Advisor
  • Scott W Wing, Faculty Reader
assemble [dis]assemble. actions that happen all around us. whether they are done consciously or subconsciously, actions of assembling and disassembling are features of our everyday lives. my thesis is a reaction to these actions. it is a theoretical and architectural response to technology, and how its affecting our society. the site for my thesis is washington, dc, a global hub of information, and a highly institutionalized and political entity. socially, institutions and mass global marketing have dis-valued our sense of community, and altered our views of interaction. while market globalism, fueled by new media and technologies, has proven to be a dominant ideology of our time, that same new media has also distorted the social construct of our human experience, introducing a “faceless” public in a “space-less” place. this social construct separates power from politics, production from consumption, and information from communication. the inevitability of a continued growth of social networks through our global market has de-politicized our public discourse, where the global marketplace now acts as an anonymous connection of screens and networks. power and information now rest in these networks, due to the functional aspect of virtualization. however, virtualization also decentralizes and disassembles our community structure by providing a new opportunity for a “localized” and synchronized global network. as architects, we must address the inherent need for face-to-face interaction in public space, and reclaim architecture as the place for assembly. assemble [dis]assemble is a call to action. it is a call to contest the codified language that our global network has created in favor of a re-localization that uses technology, new-media and social networks as a tool, a trigger to focus attention back on the local level. as cultures progress further into this digital age, there must be a shift in the way we approach the design of public space and civic architecture. built space must reflect the influences of new technologies and our society’s preoccupation with non-space interaction in order to remain a relevant context for the structure of our communities. in a highly institutionalized and political city like our nation’s capitol, the focus and emphasis of dialogue is predominantly on issues of national and global importance, while local issues are internalized and veiled behind the monumental government. “in the late 19th century washington, dc, in the shadow of our nation’s capitol, the core of large dignified upper-class blocks concealed alley-ghettos for immigrant... families,” as noted by spiro kostof in the city shaped. amidst the stylized monuments and powerful grid of our nation’s capitol it is difficult to comprehend the struggles faced by thousands of dc residents every day. washington, dc is home to some of our nation’s poorest neighborhoods, and dc has the highest [percentage] of population on food stamps than any other state in the united states with over 21.5% of the population living on food stamps [over 1/5 of the population] - as stated by the wall street journal in december 2010. my thesis aims to contest the physical disassembly of the individual in society by new media and technology, and re-individualize the faceless entity of our society, by assembling them in a [re]structured marketplace that uses new media, technology, and education as organizational resources to bring the individual and a social component back to public space.