S'12 Thesis: Phoebe Springstubb

Phoebe Springstubb
M.Arch Thesis Spring 2012
Faculty Advisor: Paul Lewis
Project Title:  Dumb Luck

Our relationship to “sheer dumb luck” has been increasingly technologized—from the scratchcards of state lotteries to the global hedge and bet of the futures market. Dumb luck, it can be said, permeates everything from “personal expression to social policy.” In the casino, the cycles of luck play out from the scale of the gaming floor to the level of state legislation. The particular pathology of casino gambling, then, foregrounds our relationship to our “culture of chance.”

In the casino, luck is precisely calibrated to the exact profit per square foot. An optical plinth; progression deeper into the casino can be mapped according to the related skilling of the luck. No longer a destination resort, urban casinos are being introduced to middling American cities as quick fix, job generating public revenue solutions.

This design proposal suggests the ceiling as the operative medium through which to recalibrate this circuitous and self-perpetuating cycle between money and social program. To short-circuit this exchange, this proposal suggests pairing the precise profit science of the casino floor in proportion to the budget needs of a particular social program, in this case, as a means to fund an opera house for Cleveland. The ceiling—as both the legal edge to gambling and a highly technologized spatial entity—then becomes the means through which to negotiate (and to materialize) this new proximity.