Dylan Baker-Rice, Affect_T Design and The Great Mosque of Djenne

Another highlight of my Hong Kong trip was seeing my friend Dylan Baker- Rice who I hadn't seen in 10 years. We climbed together and went to the same Zen center when we were in school at Appalachain State University. After going to architecture school at Columbia he has founded his own firm, Affect_t. He and his partner, Damita Yu, now live in Hong Kong while they work on an apartment project. Here are few of his furniture/interior designs for the Asymptote clothing store in Paris and the Hauser Wirth Gallery in London.

Click here to check out Affect_T's website. The meaning page is especially interesting as they talk about their architectural influences from Venice, Italy to the great mosque of Djenne, Mali. (For more info on the clay buildings of Djenne click here) The following quote from a movie about Djenne I found to be particularly interesting.

Surface of sensation whose manifestation is affect, the affectionate feeling of cool earth- a mood, a shadow across a cracked wall, a realm beyond the realm of pure signs, beyond syntax, beyond the indexical; this is the territory that the architecture of Djenne resides in. An island city with earthen architecture the buildings of Djenne are constructed of memory and sensation that eschew the possibility of an architecture alive. The building breaths, it resists those forces which attempt to freeze it, attempts of reading and assignation. If we are to speak of the architecture of Djenne, one cannot speak in terms of modern architecture. The closest built facsimiles are the distant masses of the Baroque. Buildings in Djenne demonstrate the characteristics of massiveness, movement, and painterly style that make Baroque architecture so unique. Yet, the adobe or banco structures are more than the sum of their parts, they move more, breath more, have a life greater than the cathedrals, palaces, and villas of the Baroque style. They are within a realm of becoming which the Baroque only strives for. One must look at buildings of Djenne as a possibility, a possible model of construction and design that might aid modern architecture in showing the potential of architecture to free itself of the stultifying characteristics of form, meaning, and surface.

Text Excerpt from Film: 'The Future of Mud: A Tale of Lives and Houses in Djenne' 2007

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