Ben Reynolds
Diploma 9

Prec(ar)ious describes the journey of the Zonards to the great city. The Zonards live culturally and politically as immigrants, on the outside of the great city that doesn't offer them a definition of belonging. Their journey is punctuated by five actions that allows them to arrive and create their identity within the great city.


The journey of the Zonards is a metaphor for the creation of critical awareness of the sort of social and architectural apartheid that exists in metroplitan conditions. The Zonards subvert their condemnation as victims of simply residing in a stigmatised commune, by formulating their desired architectural existence within the great city. The Zonards are best thought of as the multitude: creatively productive individuals, mobile and flexible, and working parallel actions.

Their projects began with that strange building at the great city’s heart; the puzzle of pipes, cables and signs. That monument to culture.

The event of taking it down meant that instead of staring, digesting, imagining culture on white walls, they actually used their latent violence, their collective effervescence to destroy the monument.Without plans or organisations. Just by word of mouth.They had thought that culture was perhaps in those big bones it so proudly boasted.Culture was not in its bones. It was in what they were doing. They found culture in taking it apart.They created a collection of machines that would aid them in their reappropriation of the monument and other objects they found. 

The machine was assembled from the places where they spent their muscle-work and nerve-work: their daily labour.The Womb nestles between the machines formed by their leftovers.

Here they vote to decide their architectural fate; they vote for reassembled objects and experiments processed by the machine.

Their identity is formed through consensus.The Guardian is the climax of the journey made architecture.

It is built around a strip of an artificial landscape that frames the production of the artificial.

It is a walkway, perched above the machine, that allows for them to take command of it. A factory with no shop floor.After years of their failed struggles and journeys, after the systematic shifting, reduction  and confiscation of their place in the great city, the Zonards had arrived. 

They had found their definition of belonging that they had been seeking since the beginning, through the production of their own architectural identity.The great city had claimed that everything was out of control, that its population was unsure. But it wasn’t. 

The Zonards were fine. They were organised, and happy.