Operationalising the sublime: bringing the sublime from abstract to concrete

  • YEAR
    Rosier, Shaun
    2018 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science, Practice, Community and Industry Engagement
    Conference Papers


The challenge of meeting the increasing residential demands in New Zealand cities has seen development of urban centres in landscapes of industry, farmland, or natural spectacle. Quarry landscapes which were previously located close to the city are now found surrounded by intensification or even subject to it. Once quarrying ceases, these dramatic landscapes have the potential to play a major role in the public realm. This paper approaches this question of the public potential of deceased quarries by exploring the aesthetic notion of the sublime, specifically how to operationalise it into a productive and practical concept to designers. Contemporary approaches remain too general and mired in cliché to be connected with what creates these experiences. This research argues that the use of stronger representation and design technique can allow the sublime to be engaged with in a stronger manner. The notions of assemblage and affect enable the use of representation to connect to the experience of the sublime. This paper uses a real landscape example to describe a design led methodology of fieldwork, representation and design techniques oriented towards engaging with the sublime that affirms the primacy of sensation with design and research.


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