Seeking Guidance
Design problems in final year design project
I am a Sri Lankan final year architecture undergraduate. My final year comprehensive design project is a Museum of Anthropological History - as a platform for discussion, inspiration, criticism and voices against overpowering politics in the real time.

Therefore I came up with a design which consists a repository of anthropological and archaeological knowledge in a form of three interconnected pathways dedicated for linguistics anthropology, cultural anthropology and biological anthropology including research and conservation facilities and a public street through the building in several height levels as an Art precinct.

My concept of doing this was to make a platform for the people to express them selves and interpret their history with criticisms and discussions to create new knowledge and to look at the "authorized memories" created by the powerful political forces in respective periods of time in a critical way. (authorized memories are the established popular views of history interpreted to over emphasize certain nation's, race's or any social group's past being. It leads to racism, nationalism and civil wars in the present and the future).

My argument was - Art is the medium of expression of the human beings, and the proposed repository with the art precinct will contribute to break established harmful interpretations of today's history and establish people's expressions of tomorrow's history.

But in the last critique (schematic final) this was highly criticized under following points:

1.Scope of the subject is very vast.

2. Cannot focus to spaces as it is not focused to a architectural point well.

3. Art functions happening in the ground and first floor do not have relationships to the repository at upper floors(2nd and 3rd floors).

4. Attraction of the people will be limited to artists in certain fields and professionals in anthropology.

5. Project approach is complicated.

I need some guidance to overcome these problems. Please help me.
Chathura Pathirana
Design problems in final year design project

I applaud the time you took to explain your project and ideas and not just give a title and ask for help. Your project is indeed ambitious, but sounds very interesting. Without seeing the final design, it is hard to comment, but I think your conceptual idea is strong and some of the criticism perhaps unfair. To take them on one by one:

1. You should be commended for taking on a project with vast ambitions and for attempting to make the building programme specific to the subject of your Museum which you then carried through to the plan.

2. This point may be valid, hard to say without your drawings and presentation.

3. This depends on your programming, but if this relationship is important, you will need to find an architectural and circulation solution.

4. Who are the critics to determine the attraction of such a museum? The idea of the Art Precinct would probably attract a general audience as would performance/restaurant services.

5. This may be correct. Simoly your strongest ideas and focus on your how your key design moves reinforce or enhance the experience, the content and focus.

Have you given thought to the programme and content of the museum. These too will inform your design.
Shiraz Allibhai
Design problems in final year design project
Chathura, Perhaps you could have two routes through the museum and show two sides to the exhibits?

Where one side of an exhibit case is identified with its origins (ie with the bias of political baggage) and the other side left blank, so the audience can appreciate and imagine the value of the artwork reasonably impartially.
Frank John Snelling
Design problems in final year design project
thank you so much for your kind response and advises Mr. Shiraz Allibhai and Mr. Frank John Snelling. I'll soon upload the program and basic plans of the building that I'm proposing.
Chathura Pathirana


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