Parsa Khalili (website)
Yale School of Architecture
Faculty: Keller Easterling (website)


The Urban Boutique: Camouflage and Identity

Nike Air Force Ones have become a definitive element in the attire of urban gang culture. Marketed in associative color combinations to further the emphasis of gang unity, the shoe becomes an agent in the destruction of any sense of individuality and coerces a new sense of whole. In order to conceptualize this idea in a project meant to both celebrate the exhibition of shoes and utilize some self-generated geometric logic, the Urban Boutique is comprised of a series of elements organized initially by a very strict logic (some proliferation of discrete units). Through a reading of Georges Bataille’s ‘Heterogeneous Matter’ this order is then systematically deconstructed with the ambition of ontrolling the subsequent evolution of the discrete units insofar as producing a new whole. The idea of informe is evoked through the unpredictable reorganization of the discrete units; the larger critique then arises in the dissipation of the individual (the unit) at the hand of some larger, universality (the whole). Somewhere between contemporary cultural criticism and pure formalism, the shoe wall strangely inhabits the discussion in between.


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