Our cities, nay: our lives are dominated by Utilitarianism. Duty, function

and reason rule our world. They shape the face of our cities and our

lives.

Yet, we all have something we long for, something we truly desire.

Something that goes beyond the essential, the mere necessity, beyond

the concept of material luxury or creature comforts.

In the studio, we will talk about immaterial, abstract notions. Can we

verbalize and visualize essential (or personal) desires and can these be

translated into the architectural realm? Until very recently, the architectural

translation of the immaterial was amongst the standard repertoire

of architects: ecclesiastic architecture gave materiality to the ephemeral.

18th century english landscape gardens were spatial and material

manifestations of a devoutly wished for linearity of succession of their

owners with the very roots of democracy, of honor, nobility of character

and learning. Our materialistic age has all but abandoned the notion of

architectural production that goes beyond the merely functional, that

ventures into the realm of social and personal idealization.

We will defy this pessimism and propose architectures and architectural

programs which will add the spectre of a brighter, better world into our

cities, treat the urban fabric as a three-dimensional and heavily populated

landscape garden waiting to be dotted with the poetic spaces we insert to

give a glimpse of – if not the ideal – then at the very least the personal

and intimate in the anonymous cityscape.

Together, we will aim to define places and spaces of exquisite beauty, of spatial and poetic

clarity, of, spaces that go far beyond the merely functional, spaces that challenge our

understanding of how living together in a post-pandemic world could perhaps be.

We will research historic precedents of the chosen topic both on a

typological and phenomenological level and formulate an individual

program. Site choice will be urban and individual, though shared sites are encouraged (so

the burden of site research can be shared).

The scale, function and scope of the projects can vary a good deal. It will be highly

individual and will largely depend on the research results. However, the focus of the studio

will definitely be on spatial quality over size. Concepts we will concentrate on are urban

density, the possibilities of public space, phenomenology of gaps, voids and breaks, sound

and silence, etc..

The studio will undertake two excursions, a short, small one (domestic)

in the fall semester and a collectively researched and prepared one in

the spring semester. (Rules allowing, of course)