GSD Course Bulletin - Fall 2008 - STU-01305-00

COURSE DETAILS


01305: Desert Islands (STU 0130500)

Architecture
Option Studio - 8 credits - Limited enrollment
Tuesday Thursday 2:00 - 6:00  

Instructor(s)

Michael Meredith

Course Description

First, it is true that from the deserted island it is not creation but re-creation, not the beginning, but a re-beginning that takes place. The deserted island is the origin, but a second origin. From it everything begins anew. The island is the necessary minimum for this re-beginning, the material that survives the first origin, the radiating seed or egg that must be sufficient to re-produce everything. -- Deleuze


Studio Format/Discourse:
(Re-)Constructivism: Technologically-driven Formalism + Social Utopia


This studio is an open laboratory experiment in search of new architectural models. The goal is to rethink the architectural avant-garde -- in particular Constructivism -- as a strategy for developing the intersection between the technological/material/formal and the social/cultural. Like most studios, the propositional tense will be the somewhat-near-future of imaginary buildings.


Our current architectural paradigms are winding down. The two-sided spectacle of gestural Bling-bling-formalism and positivistic form making is exhausting itself. At the end of a century-long trajectory of the avant-garde, this duality performs with less and less conviction. We are left wondering whether it is possible to propose another Architectural Revolution in its place. If Constructivism's naive optimism successfully tapped into a subconscious desire for the utopia of industrialization and Socialist equality at the beginning of the twentieth century, we should now ask, What is it that we can be naively optimistic about today? Today, everything appears in relative increments or trade-offs. There is no plausible alternative to Capitalism, only the question of how much we should attempt to regulate it, or adapt ourselves to the forces of the market. Industrialization continues to raise our quality of life, while decimating our environment. Advanced architecture simply claims that if you're clever, given the appropriate sources, technologies and methods, the right compromises can be made. How unsatisfying! Therefore we are faced with a two-fold question: whether Revolution is still possible and, if so, what will it look like. In other words, what will we take with us to our desert island?


Part of the work of the studio will be to develop and strengthen individual attitudes and positions regarding this line/type of questioning as part of an ongoing inter-studio discussion. Upon entering this never-ending rabbit hole of self-consciousness, however, our discussions will be structured by a series of invited guests. Speculative projects require conversations between interested like-minded people, and the intent is to use the studio atmosphere to provide a discursive alternative that includes small group conversations and interviews with invited guests. Also, they're more fun than lectures. These interactions will be filmed and archived. In doing so, the studio will develop a set of references for an interdisciplinary framework that will help situate all of our questions and proposals. Within this micro-culture, however, what remains critical is the production of the architectural artifact. The conversations should provide some agency towards production, but we will also be interested in the inevitable distance between our conversations and design inasmuch as architecture exists both within and outside of discourse.


Studio Problem:
Cinema Complex and Park, Denver, CO


"It's as though before entering the theater, the prerequisites for hypnosis were met: a feeling of emptiness, idleness, inactivity: we dream, not by viewing the film or by the effect of its content, rather, we dream, unwittingly before becoming its spectator. There exists a "cinematic condition" and this condition is prehypnotic.

... But there is another way of going to the cinema (other than going armed with the discourse of counter-ideology); it is by letting myse


GSD iCommons Website