Melissa is an architectural designer whose research interests lie on the border between fiction and reality. She is interested in filmic storytelling as a design method for future living practices, and the position of imaginary architecture to impose real change. She considers the mundane nuances of reality to be pivots for design, and she views history and politics as subjects to be investigated and challenged. She took her undergraduate degree in Architecture at Newcastle University where she won the Dr Thomas Faulkner Prize for Architectural History, as well as the Bechtel Global Scholarship, and acted on the Exhibition Hanging Committee. Following this, Melissa had a practical teaching directly from the building site whilst leading the design for a London construction company for three and a half years. Here, she mostly worked on residential development to historic buildings— enjoying the opportunity to take responsibility for running projects from inception, through planning, into construction. During this time, she was also a finalist for the Nonarchitecture ‘Thinking’ Competition. During her time at the RCA, Melissa has investigated the role of the architect in shifting everyday politics. In her first year, she participated in two group projects addressing how public-motivated research studies can impact upon policy-making. Extending from this standpoint, her final year thesis examines the position of colour and light as images of historic storytelling that influence the status quo of world politics.
The transitionary nature of light has been harnessed for political control in the shape of global time zones. Greenwich has established itself as point zero whilst non-uniform landscapes have been subjected as the ‘divided and conquered’. The politically-imagined qualities of allocentrism in GMT have become normalised in the Palladian-influenced architecture of symmetry and quadrapartism, whereby the physical light geographies tend to have been ignored.
In shifting the prevailing grid by 25,000 miles to the antemeridian, how might the architecture of the meridian objectify physical light instead for its temporal characteristics? How would the modes of navigation at 180°W translate to match the egocentrism of 24-hour cultural patterns of the creative city? In Making Up Extinction, these questions are examined.