tsl manifesto // ten obstacles to overcome*

OR // let's murder filippo tommaso marinetti**


1. How to avoid the tyranny of real time, of immediacy and ubiquity.  2.  How to insure that the precision afforded by technology does not obscure the imprecise realities of our environments, our culture, and our histories.  3. How to reestablish a symbiotic relationship between the design process and the written word, one that reveals states of constant flux and adds to the domains of poetry.  4. How to defy the instantaneous and disposable snapshot fueled by a contaminated world of information and embrace that perception is action.  5. How to acknowledge the paucity of architecture in thoughtful relationship to time and reignite the discipline most responsible for its creation.  6. How to subvert the Capitalistic systems that have given us fifteen-year loan cycles, depriving civilization of its ruins.  7. How to wage reprisal against sensory deprivation, to counter the thousand and one false dawns delivered by the sun of our technologies.  8. How to resurrect a kind of intellectual twilight where vision succumbs to the imagination and idle details are suppressed.  9. How to practice what we call “l’oeil de l’enfant” so as to read the image for what it truly is and protect it from false pretense.  10. How to illuminate the spectral nature of architecture and glimpse the soul of an edifice!


* In 2000, the theorist Paul Virilio published his “ten obstacles to overcome” in DOMUS. These ten points were not a condensed explanation of the critical theory that he is well known for but rather cautionary tales that warned of the adverse effect of continuing on the current political and technological trajectories upon which he had spent a lifetime theorizing. Our first point draws directly from these anxieties and lays the groundwork for a personal manifesto that seeks to expand contemporary modes of representation and perpetuate what we term the timescape.

** Filippo Tommaso Marinetti authored the 'Futurist Manifesto' (Manifeste du futurisme) and published it in the French newspaper Le Figaro on 20 February 1909. That same year he published the Second Futurist Manifesto under the title 'Let's Murder the Moonlight' (Uccidiamo il chiaro di luna!).

Founded in 2008 by Brian Ambroziak, Andrew McLellan, and Katherine Ambroziak, the theoretical designs of time[scape]lab, investigated through various media, have developed into a unique framework for considering architecture, both in terms of its representation and its physical existence. Their methods of representation rely heavily upon systems of two-dimensional, three-dimensional, and four-dimensional montage to provide a fragmented reading open to a greater degree of personal interpretation, the development of various time signatures from a single vantage point, the application of time-based media that allow for further transformation of the image and the application of sound, and a significant bias towards the act of writing and collage. The work of time[scape]lab has been lectured on and exhibited widely at venues that include the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2011), the University of Tennessee’s Ewing Gallery (2012), the Kibel Gallery at the University of Maryland (2012), the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (2014), the Second Marco Frascari Symposium at Virginia Polytechnic Institute (2014) and the Cal Poly University Art Gallery (2016). Their drawings and writing have been included in numerous publications that include JAE 70:1, “Discursive Images” (March 2016), Collage and Architecture by Jennifer A.E. Shields (Routledge, 2013) and Confabulations: Storytelling in Architecture (Ashgate, 2015). In 2014, they received an ACSA Faculty Design Award Honorable Mention for their theoretical project entitled Confabulatores Nocturni, were highly commended in the Yeats 2015 Competition, were finalists in the 2010 SHIFTBoston Competition, and their proposal entitled Diderot’s Dreams was given an honorable mention in the Pamphlet Architecture 32: Resilience Competition by Princeton Architectural Press. Their essay “Resurrection of Night” presented at the 2010 National Conference on the Beginning Design Student was selected as best conference paper and delivered at the ACSA 99th Annual Meeting in Montreal.

Brian Ambroziak is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He received his Masters of Architecture degree from Princeton University and his Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. He teaches courses in drawing, digital representation and time-based digital media, fundamental design and analysis, and advanced topic studios. His publications include Michael Graves: Images of a Grand Tour (2005) and Infinite Perspectives: Two Thousand Years of Three Dimensional Mapmaking (1999) with Princeton Architectural Press. He and his partner Katherine Ambroziak have been finalists in design competitions that include the National World War II Memorial and a design for St. Mark’s Coptic Canadian Village.

Andrew E. McLellan attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he earned both a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Arts in Architecture while also majoring in English Literature. He obtained his Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Writing with a concentration in poetry from Queens University of Charlotte. Andrew’s thesis, a narrative memorializing his late grandfather, employed ekphrastic writing on old photographs and wartime relics. His process, guided by Michael Ondaatje’s The Collected Works of Billy the Kid and Christian Hawkey’s Ventrakl, both works of poetry applying literary techniques of collage to reanimate historic figures, recomposed these fragments and fused them with memories into a story entitled Spolia, the Latin word for ‘spoils’ or the repurposing of building stone for new construction. At the University of Tennessee and UNC Charlotte, he has taught design studios and writing-intensive seminars, including Memory and the Urban Landscape and Nocturne: A Study of Place and Time. He was a 2004 finalist for the Burnham Prize.

Katherine Ambroziak is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She received her Masters of Architecture degree from Princeton University and her Bachelor of Science in Architecture from the University of Virginia. Her research and creative work address holistic systems of environmental perception and geographic experience as influences on corporeal activity and memory. She focuses on contemporary and cultural reading of space, spatial theory related to sensory response and the body-precept, and specific themes associated with ritual theory, symbolic space, and interactive memorial design. She has published extensively on themes of engaged space, ritual, and cultural memory, with select articles and presentations including DeadSpace Arlington, Material Scribe: Memoirs of the Collective Individual, Surrogate Stones, Odd Fellows: Constructing the Positive Place|Self, and Codification of Ritual in Design. A licensed architect in the State of Tennessee, she is active in community outreach as both an academic and civic pursuit. Since 2009, she has served as the primary designer and coordinator of the Odd Fellows Cemetery Reclamation Project, a conservation and rehabilitation outreach initiative that aims to educate and support the minority communities of East Knoxville through the design and implementation of a responsive memorial landscape.

TSLINTERNS // Annie Stone, Ashley Bigham, Chuck Draper, Mary Miller, and Claire Craven.