Voluntary Panopticon

The idea of fun or jest is explored through this project via the reinterpretation of trickery, or ‘making fun’. Sarcastic irony is used in order to be playful while maintaining a critical edge.

Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi is hailed as a place for culture to flourish, however it was developed as a tourist attraction by the tourism agency. This juxtaposition leads some to believe that the culture seen there is more an attempt to mold appearances and display power and worth rather than incubating real culture. The Voluntary Panopticon distills the desire to be seen away from that of culture or tourism and becomes a detour for those traveling to the island.

The project uses the idea of the curve to explore different degrees of being seen. Convex spaces open themselves to be seen, while concave spaces produce a point of privilege where many different spaces can be seen from a single vantage point. Regulated and complex movement throughout the structure further enhance the ability to see and be seen. Guest suites physically travel around the project setting up an exhibitionist game where views are constantly shifting and guests do not know when they will be seen, or what they will see next.

Project Credits:
Principal in Charge: Sophia Chang