Love Me ‘Till I’m Me Again

Each section of ASC 201 has been allocated a wandering line in the city of Toronto. Students were asked to carry out four tasks in relation to that line for this first project of the winter semester:

  • Walk the line. Spend a few hours in the cold January weather walking the line. Follow the line from beginning to end and then back again. Go with a friend, go back alone. Talk to people. Get a coffee. Document what you find in photographs, sketches, notes, sound recordings.

  • Make an object. Make an assemblage from objects you have collected on your walk. Everything in the assemblage (except glue) must be found on the line. Objects can be purchased, scavenged, found. The assemblage you make should tell us something about the line and should be no larger than 200mmx300mmx300mm high. All objects used in the assemblage should be documented in their original location on the line using photography.

  • Write a story. Write a story about the line. Like all good stories, it should focus on one or more characters you encounter on your walks, and the story should tell us something important you have discovered. The story should take no more than five minutes to tell.

  • Draw it. Using the conventions of architectural drawing, - plan, section, elevation and so on - prepare a single drawing of your assemblage as an occupied structure. In order to do this you will need to consider (among other things) the following: Where is the assemblage to be situated? It should be somewhere along your line. What is the scale of the assemblage? In other words, how big is it? How will people use the structure? What will they do in, on and around it? What needs to be added, beyond the assemblage you have built, in order to allow this occupation?

“This procedure can cure any ailment of the mind; it is the absolute remedy. We now possess capabilities once thought to be impossible. Yet even still, it’s a surprisingly easy operation. Hard, even need a trained hand to perform it right” the speaker announced with unabashed confidence in an attempt to lighten the cold, nervous focus in the room with a joke. No one laughed.

“We understand and sympathize with your pain. But we now also understand exactly what you need; or rather, what we need to do to repair you.” the speaker continued, drawing the attention of the audience as he paced himself to the center of the stage. “Have faith in our cure. It will in no doubt change your life.”

“I’m feeling fine, please. I don’t want to do this.”
“I know that, but it’s not about what you want. I-..It’s just that.. Well, it has to be done.”
“Please, don’t make me do this. I’m scared.”
“I know you are, it’s alright sweetheart. It’s what’s for the best, I hope you’ll eventually understand that.”

“The operations today have been organized to coincide with the numbering on your ticket.” There was a slight pause, the silence was droned out by the shuffling pockets of the audience as everyone pulled out their tickets with trembling hands. Here was not a single voice.

“We will begin with tickets A13, C2, B9, A2 and E15. Please head through the door on the bottom here to my right, where you will receive further instruction. I will be announcing the next set in twenty minutes.” the speaker spoke plainly, before leaving the stage.

“See? Look at that.” He gestured towards the television, left on during their breakfast.
She gave the screen an uncomfortable glance.
“We’ve got a recently treated patient with us here today who has finally been cured, I believe a week ago, is that right?”
“And how would you say your life is now?”
“I feel fine.”
“Well, that’s excellent. I’m glad you could join us. Thank you for providing a little insight into these ongoing developments.”

Twenty minutes felt like an eternity, drawn longer by the painful quiet. But as time passed, progressively the audience grew thinner and thinner. Sets of give chosen at random left through the door indicated, non returning. The secrecy shrouded behind that door was haunting her. Each number that wasn’t hers passed with a tinge of relief, though soon after growing sour knowing her changes of being called next grew. From about 75, to 60, to 30, to 15.
“A12, E5, B1, A9, D15.”
She hesitantly rose from her seat.

“So, how did it go? I’m sure you braved through it.”
“It went fine.”
“well, that’s a relief to hear. I was thinking we could catch a show later tonight.”
“Are you feeling alright?”
“I feel fine.”

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.