jueves, 12 de septiembre de 2013

Ordinary life can make extraordinary architecture

We do believe that architecture is part of specific stories, of affections and dreams, of interpersonal projects, as well as a result of negotiation and the unexpected. The course is built around the series of articles, “Stories of Houses” (http://storiesofhouses.blogspot.es). We will deconstruct these single-family houses that are classified in architectural books as works by specific authors, and give value to the origins that belonged to cultural realities.
Since these dwellings were built during the 20th century, the meaning of the cultural concept that generated them has changed in our contemporary society. This will allow us to rethink their architecture and update through transformations, extensions, demolitions, etc.

                  1. Read STORIES OF HOUSES and make a selection of two Stories. They are examples of built architecture originating from the clients’ life.
                  2. Create a presentation video explaining the criteria of your choice.
                  3. Organize groups of 3 students. Look at the culture that generated 2 of the selected houses. From here you are asked to create two photomontage extracting the cultural element that generated each of the 2 houses.
                  4. Observe the evolution of the culture in the last 30 years and apply it to one of your houses. Understand the passing of time, from the day the house was conceived and today, and how the understanding of these cultural concepts has evolved during the past 20-30 years. Examples are: the concept of access, the period of mourning, family structure, building methods, ways of working, communication, nutrition etc.
                  5. Add a new End to the Story. This is based on specific facts you will have acquired through your research.
                  6. Draw an action/activity, according to the requirements of this cultural evolution.
                  7. Achieve architecture that fits the new action/activity.

This is a working method that completes the experience that started last year in Proyectos 4: allows the student to go beyond a formalistic approach and offers confidence when the moment comes to “improve” the architecture example (http://re-readingstoriesofhouses.blogspot.com.es).

The final exercise is to create a Manifesto where the students are asked to document the process of working and to reflect on the results. The Manifesto should be presented in the format of a book, clear and well edited. The model to follow is VERB, a series of books by Actar (Barcelona): fonts, layout (way of communication + the relationship between text, photos, schemes and drawings). Attached is a link to the publisher’s website http://www.actar.es/
The content of the individual book should show the process of working during the period:

                  0. The original story of the house and its drawings.
                  1. Extract images from the video productions.
                  2. The reading of the stories and the criterion for selecting one particular one.
                  3. The photomontages focusing on concepts of the chosen Story – 20th century concept and its transformation into the 21st century.
                  4. The drawing of the action the demonstrated the Cultural element that turned the 20th century house into a 21st century house. Each student must show clearly his/her contribution to the proposal. Therefore, individual drawing and collective drawing should be included.
                  5. The technical drawing - A SECTION OF A DETAIL - of the action in the space of the original house. In this point you can include those details by your partners in the case you consider them important. Also, feel free to edit them to make them better.
                  6. The most interesting conversations between the members of the team, how they built the arguments and came to a consensus of how to move forward with the proposals. Finally, include a short evaluation/reflection on the teamwork/team effort.
                  7. Bibliography.
                  8. Manifesto: you should finish summarizing your vision for Re-reading architecture.

Take on a path around the following public interests:

- Detect new social patterns and organization by linking production with consumption, acknowledging how the different articles are built up, from the primary material to the final product.
- Gain confidence in working with unknown partners abroad and establish multidisciplinary relationships.
- Furthermore, this exercise provides two focal points: It is a reflection and meets the need of editing the drawings. The student is asked to go back to the original story and reflect in a critical manner what his/her proposal offers/adds to the original house. The drawings can thus be redefined if needed, considering the feedback from the CRITS.
- Additionally, the student is asked to think as an editor working for Actar. This means to follow the layout of the publishing company and be critical in the way of deciding what and how the drawings/writings are selected into the book. The style of writing should be academic, not to write in first person or in a way of a diary.

It is continuous, a valuation of the projects every fortnight, carried out by the professor as well as fellow students:

- Skills of analyzing and deconstructing a text.
- Identification of the culture concept in a dwelling.
- Ability to draw that concept through an action/event within the dwelling.
- Ability to develop an idea through different techniques, scales and materials and gain different perspectives of the project.
- Achievement of skills to work in a team on an international level. Use shared drawings, googledocs, googlegroups, and videoconferences.

9th of September to 20th of Dicember 2013. Classes: Friday, from 10:30 to 14:30.

- Series STORIES OF HOUSES (http://storiesofhouses.blogspot.com.es/)
- Ettore Sottsass. Video Interviews Alessi. 2008.
- Five Obstructions. Film by Lars von Tier and Jørgen Leth, 2003.
- Cedric Price: The Fun Palace.
- Koolhaas Houselife. Film by I. Beka & L. Lemoine.

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