Borderline(s) investigation #1 – Lightness

Studio topic: Economy & Excess

We aim to seize economic requirements to transform constraints into levers, producers of qualities. These may well be tangible or intangible, prosaic or poetic, constant or unstable, general or occasional… as long as they are initiated by the economy and located far from any rationality -creating generosity, “excesses” that make strength and uniqueness of a place. To paraphrase Bruno Latour, in our studio, the economy will no longer be a means of dominating money or matter but a tool for the incessant exploration of our uncertainties.

Method / Learning objectives: Borderline(s) investigation
It all starts with a question. We are not looking for an answer, we are looking for a way to formulate it. The question is in itself a quest.
To carry out this investigation, we walk on a ridge line, we put ourselves in danger, we take risks; we want to find what we are looking for.
We are moving forward on a path, on the path of defining the great values – those of architecture but also those of the architect, those of everyday life, those that make it exceptional, those of the ordinary and those of imagination, those of yesterday and today, those of tomorrow's world.
This line on which we walk is the frontier of our discipline, which we test, which we extend, which we do not limit ourselves to. So we go elsewhere, we use all kinds of media, we use all kinds of tools, we call on all kinds of experts, on all kinds of scales…
By flirting with the limits in this way, we find ourselves no longer being only an architect but also a photographer, a filmmaker, a sociologist, an engineer, an artist, a philosopher, a playwright, a writer or a poet…
We do not prioritize things other than by the subjective value we give them.

Borderline(s) investigation #1: Lightness
Travelling lightly means leaving with the bare minimum, arriving safely and discreetly in an unknown place and then keeping eyes wide open to carefully modulate daily life to this new environment. Lightweight construction is inspired by this traveler's ethics. Setting up only as little as possible, landing safely and discreetly on a unfamiliar site, and then keeping eyes wide open to carefully modulate projects to this new environment. We are well aware that, by its very nature, architecture does not escape gravity, but it is possible to restrict the meaning of the term. There is no obligation on us to make our architecture "weighty" in the solemn sense. On the contrary, it can only be satisfied with a few traces, firm enough to define a place, a space, a use, while leaving as many free appropriations and possible transformations. Lightness is not an ideal, but rather a form of accessible politeness. It means considering the material from an economic point of view, and thus paying tribute to its efficiency. It is a direct and pragmatic approach to implementation, without frills and in the full expressiveness of constructive modes. But by dint of lightness, would this architecture "more vague and more soluble in the air, with nothing in it that weighs or poses" (to use Paul Verlaine's words in Art Poétique) go so far as to take the risk of evaporation, even pure and simple disappearance? On the contrary, it is the human scale that will bring this architecture back "down to earth". In fact, lightweight construction is above all not to forget how the combined sciences of space and construction can offer mental "extensions" to our body envelop.

This studio will meet weekly on Thursdays and Fridays.
The instructors will be in residence on the following days: January 27, 28; February 10, 11; March 10, 11, 24, 25; April 7, 8, 21, 22 and for final reviews.
Class will be held via Zoom on all other Thursdays and Fridays.