An Attempt to Approach a Ceiling
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CitationLiao, Proey. 2021. An Attempt to Approach a Ceiling. Master's thesis, Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Abstract“You sleep… with your eyes wide open. You count and you organize the cracks in the ceiling. The conjunction of shadows and stains, and the variation of adjustment and orientation of your gaze, produce effortlessly, slowly, dozens of nascent shapes, fragile coalitions that you are able to grasp only for a fleeting second…”*
You don’t think of the ceiling often. Your body, upright, walks along plans and look at spaces in elevation. You design for circulation, for interaction, for uprightness. But, at times, you reorient yourself to upend uprightness. You lay down. Now, the ceiling is your elevation. Your movement is relegated to your eyes, which graze the surface of the ceiling, imagining what is beyond it. Below its concealment, below its labyrinthine textures, below the plaster, you seek direction and a definition of space.
This thesis is an attempt to approach the infraordinary: the background of everyday life, which writer Georges Perec asks us to question. You find the infraordinary in the cracks of the ceiling, where you can look below it, and find a labyrinth to explore with none less than the ceiling itself as a compass rose.
*: Georges Perec, “A Man Asleep,” in Things: A Story of the Sixties; A Man Asleep, trans. Andrew Leak (1967; repr., Boston: Verba Mundi, 2004).
Citable link to this pagehttps://nrs.harvard.edu/URN-3:HUL.INSTREPOS:37367911