Propaganda machines on display

First-year students in the College of Architecture and Planning have assembled 15 machines that they began to display Friday as part of a group project.

“The name of the project is ‘Propaganda Machine’ and it consists of a human-sized machine that fosters a particularly strong viewpoint on the environment, architecture, planning, representation or design,” said Julio Bermudez, associate professor in the College of Architecture and Planning.

Fifteen teams, composed of three students each, were responsible to come up with an interactive machine based on construction as well as ideologies and politics.

“The machines are interactive,” Bermudez said. “They purposely push people and engage the audience to strike an emotion. They’ll bring lots of attention and questioning on campus, and they’ll be both fun and instructive.”

The machines were built on a budget of $150 per project in an intensive two-week building process.

In this time frame, Alex Booth, Debby Kairys and Scott Rasmussen were able to assemble a unique machine.

“It takes away your gender,” Booth explained. “The idea behind it is that there is no gender-only sex-and it makes you question what defines you as a male or female.”

Architecture student John Carpenter said that each machine is unique because “everyone approached the project from a different angle.”

Carpenter’s team, which also includes Ryan Gorley and Tom Whitney, built a machine that presents architecture as an identity.

“We show a black-and-white image of the Twin Towers, for example,” Whitney said. “The loss of those architectural structures affected everyone in the city and the nation. It shows how important architecture is to identity.”

Gorley gave an example of structural association to expand on the point.

“When you think of Paris, for example, what do you think of? Most people would say the Eiffel Tower,” he said.

The group said this is the first time they have actually done full-scale projects with which people could engage.

All 15 of the group projects will be judged by a panel of experts from the College of Architecture and Planning. The top three groups will receive trophies designed by graduate students in the architecture program.

Ten of the machines can be found throughout the Union, and five are displayed near the Art and Architecture section of Marriott Library.

[email protected]