photo: Dong Xung Center in Berlin, by SM
The places we live in are socially, politically and culturally determined; and so is the way we think about and practice architecture. This does not only pertain to the legal aspect of architectural design development where laws and regulations play a dominant role, but more importantly, they limit the creative phase. This essential stage, when we imagine, explore and grow, is too often stunted by the imposed moral, socio-political and legal boundaries. The result is perpetual reproduction of the closed economy, predicated on utility, production, growth and consumption.
The question is how can we challenge this closed structure and engage in imagining alternative architecture?
In a global world, marginal spaces become the places for experiment – interim, alternative, temporary, illegal, creative, unassimilated, transgressive, unordered and irrational – and exactly these architectural and urban ruptures are the key to answering this question.
In the first, theoretical part of the course at the Bauhaus Summer School 2016, we will explore the imposed limits of the self and culture, and their manifestations in architecture, through the works of Rem Koolhaas, Edward Soja, Michel Foucault, and Alain Badiou. Then, inspired and challenged by the theoretical concepts, we will travel to Berlin, a city of constant tension between global order and local ruptures, to search and explore the places of an alternative architecture.
Finally, upon return, we will start producing. The exercises will include producing experimental models, whose purpose is to translate the intangible – like ideas, inspiration, impressions, etc. – into a tangible spatial model. This in-between step method will create a creative path to a final proposal for a location chosen by the course participants. Final architectural design or intervention needs to address the introduced issues or ruptures and serve as a platform for a discussion.
The goal of the seminar is to encourage you to think differently about the meanings and potentials of architectural objects in a highly political context, and to offer you the skills how to do it.