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Rosie Seaman – Kent Architecture

Design Thesis Project: March RIBA Part II

Kent School of Architecture (KSA)

Climatic Actuators: Boundaries & Warnings 


‘Task One:

Draw and record empirically according to traditional Cartesian methods your observations of the visible surfaces of your chosen fragments. These fragments will be determined by you on observation of areas that resonate with your intuitive experience.

Task Two:

The other surfaces that you will not be able to see will be an augmented development of the literal record. You will speculate on hidden matter, surface of space beyond your objective vision and through creative interpretation carry an aspect of the meaning of the fragment from its context into actuality.’


The interpretation of the Cartesian fragment aimed to embody a feminine person and character of the architecture of the Corinthian Column at Somerset House.  During the initial site visit to Portland we undertook stone carving workshops, to enable us to gain a greater understanding of the material and how it can be manipulated and changed. Through this it was possible to carve elements of our fragment into the stone and consider how these could be reinserted into the Portland Landscape. This led to the examination of the effects the elements have on the landscape, in terms of weathering and erosion. The tutors at the PSQT were influential in aiding the wider exploration and consideration of the stone and its importance within Portland. With this guidance it evoked an interest to explore the boundaries between the land, sea and atmosphere, rather than limiting my research to primarily the land, and discover what importance Portland stone held there.

The final reinsertion of the fragment examined the relationship between the lighthouse, the Trinity House Obelisk and the fragment as a warning symbol for ships to be made aware of the dangerous coastline and Portland Ledge. The placement of the fragment on the edge of the ledge questioned the interrelation of warning for both the dangers of what can be seen and what is unseen. A second visit to the PSQT allowed a deeper exploration of this matter and prompted a visit to the Coastguard situated at Portland Bill, which resulted in the collection of vital information and advice which would guide me throughout the rest of the project.