BS01_#01 // A Forum in Oxford Circus // Geraldine Ho
The traditional Forum, a place of congregation, is currently irrelevant in modern society as one is not required to be physically present with another to have a discussion, technology has eliminated this. To regain meaning and entice users to return, the contemporary Forum must now offer something more, an experience. It is no longer sufficient to remain passive spaces where the possibility of discourse depends on the users, forums should adopt a more active role in challenging perceptions and jolting minds.
Therefore, the contemporary Forum proposes the insertion of the traditional forum into another Roman typology notable as a social relationship generator, the Bath House, and its manifestations across different cultures, to create a series of spaces that thrusts users into varying social situations where hopefully these shifts would lead to an altered world view and trigger inspiration. The Forum is the central component of this sequence.
Imagine the journey through the Bath House as such:
a simple Portal, formal in composition | departure into another realm
the removal of clothes | abolishment of social hierarchy (is everyone, unabashedly exposed, now equal? Would this lead to a freer exchange of ideas?) | liberation
the act of scrubbing one another | Skinship | different social dynamics forming between companions | new conversations
the Tepidarium | a space of quiet contemplation in this heightened state of mind | self-reflection | Inspiration!
the Forum | a central pool | gathering of inspirations | Climax! Discourse!
the Colonnade | a curated library | conglomeration of computers and servers surrounding the Forum where users can instantly draw from and record their ideas
the act of dressing | physical gesture signifying return to normalcy
the Garden | outside-inside space where everyday sounds filter in from the outer world, preparing the mind for re-entry
back to the Portal | exit | reality
The only souvenir, a memory stick containing ideas generated during your time in the Bath House.
Geraldine Ho is a Diploma Student at the Mackintosh School of Art