• mbaran7

Random Oakland Variations

Updated: Oct 28

These admittedly have no rhyme nor reason for being placed together here, outside the fact that they’re around Oakland, and they all caught my attention. To my eye, nothing need be placed on any value system, but it is interesting to note the qualities that make a place appealing can lead to its celebration and subsequent destruction. The desire to sanitize is exactly what could turn West Oakland into a ‘Variation on a Theme Park’, much like its’ neighbor Emeryville. The ideals from the anti-progress contingent are not exactly my idea of a solution either, and as a designer I believe you can create carefully, and not completely destroy. Even if all building is fundamentally about change, and change is a form of destruction, it can be said that there are lighter and heavier interventions. We pay close attention when building happens in a pristine, green landscape. Urban interventions, even those that occur in between freeways and warehouses should take careful note of the ecology into which they are being implanted. Architecture can extract elements of value from these contexts. Often my desire is to leave places that are seen as blighted and considered flawed fundamentally in tact, perhaps more so than places that are considered traditionally ‘beautiful’.

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