Debbie Chan

Cinematic Scaffold

Bachelor of Design Architectural Design Exhibition Design Photography Community Performance Place Play Public

A series of temporary amphitheatres in the form of follies.

The Cinematic Scaffold is a series of temporary follies that respond to Auckland as a developing city, as well as highlighting those who inhabit it. It is inspired by natural and manmade levels in Fort Lane, and the folly designs are based on the pinhole camera: the idea of creating views from a small opening. Although these follies have no designated purpose, the design enables these spaces to be used for multiple functions.

I used scaffolding as the main frame of the design to signify the temporality of my project as scaffolding is used in construction as an impermanent support structure. My project consists of three stages, where the folly increases in size as it moves along Fort Lane over the three months of the summer period. The transitions between each stage offer a personal cinematic experience of witnessing the progression of the scaffold structure become larger as time passes as if the user was a part of the structure itself.

The overall structure of the follies are created with scaffolding materials such as steel tubes and perforated steel platforms. The facade of the folly is covered by polycarbonate panels, positioned to create curated views of what defines Fort Lane. As the folly progresses, these views change, similar to how the urban is never stagnant. During the day, these panels will create a series of light transmissions into the space, documenting the movement of time throughout the day. At night, tubular lights are placed to provide lighting, as well as highlighting the modes of movement. The folly has a hint of playfulness, encouraging viewers to ascend or descend in many ways than one.

Starting in December, the first iteration of the folly will be placed on the intersection of Fort Street, where small scale programmes take place here. Following in January, the second iteration of the folly will be in Fort Lane, positioned in front of Imperial Lane to act as a threshold between the public to private. Concluding in February, the final iteration of the folly will be located on the intersection of Customs Street. With the extension of the store rooftop, large scale programmes may occur here, such as a market or small concerts.

My minor in Urban Practices inspired me to create a platform for those who lacked exposure in their craft. This concept originated from the situation of Covid-19, where businesses are unable to operate, and the mental toll it has taken on those who live in the city. Thus, this project offers an experience much like an amphitheatre, where inhabitants can occupy the space as they please, whether that be holding small markets, performances, or as a temporary escape from the urban life on the ground level. The autonomy to decide the purpose of the folly is the beginning to how one can identify their place in the world.