All architecture is consumed via images. Normally those images are created and curated by architects, but what if anyone could make, pick, or display them?

 

The Center for Illegal Architects is located at the corner of 12th and Arch Streets in Philadelphia, just down the street from the AIA Center for Architecture. Comprised mostly of reflective surfaces and planes for projection, the Center aims to put on display the public's ideas about what makes architecture - good or bad.

 

GROUND LEVEL: Open gallery with flexible display

FIRST LEVEL: Public computer laboratory. Images created or viewed on these computers can then be projected onto the glass surfaces and blank walls surrounding the building.

SECOND LEVEL: Rooftop viewing area. Videos or images projected onto surrounding walls can be publicly viewed from here.

 

But what if visitors to the Center choose to project non-architectural images? The project also calls to attention graffiti and appropriation in architectural use. Once a designer relinquishes control, users have the full capability to change the building as they see fit.

 

In an increasingly open-source, crowd-shared world, the profession of architecture must adapt. The Center for Illegal Architects, by equipping anyone with the tools to create experience, can create a productive dialogue between architect and public for the future.

"Buildings are quickly demolished and replaced by others, with new forms and functions, over a time span of around 20 years, so that the image of the city is always being modified without ever changing its basic concept: a neutral and fragmented system, lacking precise points of reference except systems of transport and communication...cities retain impermanence and precariousness."

 

Toyo Ito, Visions of Japan (1991)

"The architecture is in the architect's work - sketches, drawings, models - from the beginning."

 

"Architecture is primarily concerned with the physical domain of experience."

 

Lebbeus Woods