Desert Island

Spring 2016 Topic Studio at the USC SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE
Instructor: Laurel Consuelo Broughton

Hamad Almuzaini, Kodchamon Archamongkol, Amelia Lin, Cheyenne Mangubat, Emelyn Najera, Qian Xiao, Rami Sarabi, Shanna Whelan, Kylie Wong, Molli Worb

Let us throw away monuments, sidewalks, arcades, steps; let us sink squares into the ground, raise the level of the city. -Antonia Sant’Elio 1914

We live in strange and interesting times. With the death of the digital project, the discipline of Architecture struggles for conviction and a guiding practice while the profession of Architecture struggles for a social relevance beyond the glossy capitalist or political symbolism of museums and skyscrapers. In its strongest moments, Architecture shaped and radically changed daily life. Architects, ar tists, other thinkers have throughout history used permutations of the manifesto as a launching pad for thinking about new ways of life. From Vitruvius’ Treatise, to the inhabitants of Brooks Farm, to the Quakers, to the Futurists, the Dadaists, the Surrealists, to the Bauhaus, to the Constructivists, to Superstudio and Ant Farm, radical spatial and object design has always been intertwined with new visions for living. The manifesto is the public declaration of those visions, a guideline for achieving them and a call to arms to distinguish a group’s cause from the status quo. As architects and designers we encounter documents all the time that can be understood as kinds of manifestos—artist’s statements, studio briefs, competition briefs, or even design and planning guidelines. Each of these document types also outline a system of belief to be transmitted into designed objects and spaces. Too often, the worlds that these documents prescribe are understood as fact. The ability to parse the meaning and values and close read design is an essential, if not the essential, skill of an architect. No designed object is neutral, and to be excellent one must be able to recognize the inherent received ideas.


As a community, citizens of Two for One abide by a strict ruleset known as “the code”. These guidelines set the stage for the entire spectrum of products and behaviors they have designed. Upon arriving to the island, four citizens greet me at the port; their uniforms were composed of pocketed shapes, which each member oriented and colored differently. They pledge allegiance to the flag at the port, then signal me off my vessel (which also has the flag blowing high on the sails). They then exchange hand gestures in a choreographed manner; some speak to one another while others just use hand gestures – that seemed to suffice in conversation. I then look above the members to observe the landscape. The island has a very distinct aesthetic that suited the overall “two for one” style, a strikingly geometrical composition of both structure and landscape. After checking in, they gave me an orientation on what those gestures mean. Their gestures are categorized into greetings, positive and negative statements, and phrases that expressed neutrality. Their gestures, amongst other customs, originate from the ideas they call “The Proportion” and “The Ratio”. Both ratio and proportions are generated from the literal translation of their community: 2, 4, and 1. From what I gather, the flag, font, uniform, and communication methods are derived from that. ratio. They walked me to the guest house where I will be staying for four days to document their expository objects, tools, and buildings. This book will gather and archive all my findings on the two for one island.



I – Fundamental Code

A. Function over Efficiency

B. Designs must follow strict proportions of 1 2 and 4 units (from here on known as “The Proportion”)

C. Designs must be a combination of two distinct and separate functions

D. Designs must follow a strict color scheme (from here on known as “The Palette”)

i. Color must be used in a ratio of 1 part black to 3 parts white, or 1 part white to 3 parts black

ii. 1, 2, or 4 accent colors must be used (see addendum)

II – Building Code

A. Structures must follow tool codes (use codes I.A-I.D)

B. Structures and inhabitable spaces must be a ratio of 1:2 in plan or section (from here on known as “The Ratio”)

C. Massing of designed structures must be composed of 1 2 or 4 volumes in plan or section, following “The Proportion”

i. Volumes are extrapolated from the shape catalogue (see addendum)

ii. In neither plan nor section shall there be more than eight volumes

iii. Colors must follow “The Palette” (code I.D.)

D. Building features must be a subtraction or addition confined within the initial massing

E. Fenestrations

i. Openings cannot follow the same methodology of codes III.A.ii.b.i – III.A.ii.b.iii

III – Conduct Code

A. For members

i. Circulation

a. Members must circulate individually, or in groups of 2 or 4

b. No more than 8 members can occupy the major programmatic component of a structure, and no more than 2 members can occupy the minor programmatic                                           component of a structure

c. Structures may not be occupied by more than 10 members

ii. Uniform

a. Must be worn at all times

b. Pockets

i. Amount must be 1, or a multiple of 2 or 4 (for ex. 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12)

ii. You can only use 1, 2, or 4 colors

iii. Must use shapes from shape catalogue (see addendum)

c. Must have two shoulder pads

iii. Flag

a. Must follow “the ratio”

b. Dual flags must be flown together at all times, except for a few circumstances

i. Absence of the 2:4 flag in times of mourning

ii. Absence of the 1:2 flag in times of emergency

c. Flags must be repurposed

d. All public buildings and transportation must display the flag

iv. Logo

a. Must be on all objects produced, built structures, and transportation on the island

b. Can also be used as a pattern on the objects

v. Gestures and Salutations

a. All hand gestures must occur within the square plane

b. Phrases and their hand gestures must be used together in formal settings, especially around guests

c. Follow the guideline of phrases to express positive, negative, and neutral responses; this guide also includes greetings (see addendum)

d. All citizens must trace the square plane that confine all gestures while acknowledging the island’s flag at 2:41

vi. Media and Memory

a. All products made on the island must be registered under the online inventory and archive

B. For guests

i. Border Patrol

a. Guests must arrive on island using TwoFor Airlines + Tourism

b. Guests must fully complete the Two-For-One Border Patrol and Customs form, which must then be approved by a border patrol agent

c. All items must be declared with Two-For- One Border Patrol and Customs upon arrival on the island

d. Guests will receive a guest badge, which must be worn at all times on the island

ii. Behavior

a. Guests must not access private member “bunks”, and must only use guest rooms

b. Guests must remain silent during 2:41 when members pledge allegiance to flag

c. Guests will not be considered an additional person in groups of members that circulate around the island (for example, if a group of four members are traveling together, a guest would be considered a spectator and not part of the group)

iii. Guests must only stay for 1, 2, or 4 days