“The nine-square is metaphysical. It always was, it still is for me. It is one of the classic open-ended problems given in the last thirty years. The nine-square has nothing to do with style. It is detached: The nine-square is unending in its voidness.”
Building on the iterative nature of the Nine-Square Problem, Parti Wall is a performance that exposes through active negotiation the architectural sensibilities of nine mentor-led teams that occupy the nine cells in a grid. The event occurred in a 72-hour period in the central atrium of Slocum Hall at Syracuse University. Over the span of a single weekend, teams of mentors and students negotiated the boundaries defining their respective spaces while taking a position that leads to the co-construction of the walls that surround them. The project overlaid the thoughts of nine distinct characters atop the grid to construct a single complex whole.
Walls are not only a purely extruded plane; they are tectonic figurations that communicate ideology, making them important as both a constructed component and, over time, a disciplinary marker. Stemming from the French term prendre parti, meaning ‘to make a decision,’ the parti is considered to be the chief organizing thought behind an architect’s design. The combination of terms, Parti Wall, alludes to the potential for bricolage, for hybrid forms produced by the overlay of thoughts between neighboring designers.
Thank you to the students of Syracuse University School of Architecture who helped in the construction of Parti Wall.