2049-8128 Opticon1826 2049-8128 Ubiquity Press 10.5334/opt.bx Creative work Department of Decay A Manifesto Sotomayor Camila camila.e.sotomayor@gmail.com The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, United Kingdom 15 10 2014 16 22 Copyright: © 2014 The Author(s) 2014 This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License (CC-BY 3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/.

The following should be acknowledged as a manifesto and archive of the Department of Decay: an institution, research group, and laboratory dedicated to the universal advancement of all forms of decomposition. We believe that an understanding of our world at large begins with an eye trained under a microscope. It is at this scale where each of our explorations begins and it is here that we discover potential for reanimating the ruin.

decay is a paradox

seeming to defy its very existence, decay is a simultaneous process of material death and of material growth

decay is an exercise in control

when working with an aspect of nature, like decay, the struggle becomes whether to control or not to control.

at what point in the process do we manipulate or let decay grow freely?

decay is sight / site specific

how we frame relationships between organisms and sites, reveals the power of scale in shaping our understanding of the world around us

similarly a site and sight are crucial factors when working with decay. with the naked eye, decay is a building in ruins or through a microscope decay is an abstracted landscape.

decay is subversive process

integral to any play with decay is the notion that on one level there is a transgression in nature.

we are no longer passively observing the process of decay but intimately changing and projecting an intention upon the properties of a material.


  • There are currently no refbacks.