Cultural Porosity

PorosityThe increasing autonomy and self-reference of architectural systems has led to the construction of a paradigm of control that defines the condition of the contemporary building. Yet the boundaries of the system are questioned; from the exterior by new social forces, from the interior by practices which include external phenomena. The aim of the studio is to research the architectural implications of these border conflicts in order to develop new models of porosity, i.e. strategies that define radical environmental conditions of opening and closure. The notion of porosity will operate in a double sense: on the one hand it questions the hermetic pragmatic structure of social environments and its institutions, on the other hand it focuses directly on the potential of architectural material, its inherent capacities to mediate the instability of physical environments.CultureThe notion of culture is the theoretical umbrella under which the studio will investigate institutional constructions like; cultural centres, community centres and educational systems and their renewed interest in social environments. The investigation will question the possibilities and limitations of contextualisation and should formulate a radical position of building environmentalism, disability and access.Unstable SiteThe status of the site oscillates between two extremes: on the one hand institutional models tend to produce a non site condition; on the other they pretend to act as catalysts of urban planning aiming at reactivating entire urban areas. The site strategy of the research project will be developed within the urban tissue of Boston and should integrate explicitly personal narratives and autobiographical investigations.Material ChangeElements like walls, ceiling and floor are interpreted as material transitions between system and environment, as boundaries that define opening and closure. By using and abusing the contraction between the instability of internal concentration, material research will generate a project based on different rhythms of speed and slowness, noise and silence. The design process will be non-linear, continuously producing reiterative feedbacks between small and large scale, between plans and sectional developments, between concepts and working models.