What is a wall? A wall is everything. But, sometimes it can be nothing. An invisible boundary that is neither here nor there. A wall divides, demarcates space, creates space.
Historically walls were built around cities. The Forbidden City. Now, we largely build virtual walls around our towns, suburbs, homes. There is no physical wall around Melbourne. There is no physical wall around Australia. Instead we draw lines. Boundaries. Territories. These lines specify what is and what is not. What is mine and what is yours.
We don’t question the boundaries they present. There is an acceptance or complacency in their existence - the areas they define.The boundary has become naturalised and our experience of them has become largely ambiguous. Yet these lines remain an artefact of governmentality.
This thesis explores the wall as a boundary - an imaginary line, often with no physical presence except on a map - and it’s very real effect on people, nature and territory. Further, it questions the arbitrariness with which architects, planners and governments use the line as a means of representation and delineation.
The line is the principal medium of the architect. Of course, the lines that we trace represent more than a simple drawing; they describe an architecture to be built by others. In this space they remain ambiguous - they lack scale or width.Yet, when the architectural elements that they describe are translated in reality they acquire a thickness. Boundaries are a perfect example of this. While we often imagine them as sharp lines defining here/there when materialised they have depth, we can see them expand and contract.
Given this ambiguity, is it helpful to separate the imaginary from the real? What would an architecture looked like that participates equally in the imaginary and the real? What happens when the line hits the ground?