Entropy, History, Time. Architectural Infrastructure for a Gravel Pit in Spain

The Entropy, History, Time Studio will investigate three concurrent processes of time in a unique setting where these contexts converge. The site, a gravel pit on the southern slope of the Pyrenees, will serve as a laboratory for analysis and experimentation with techniques, design scales, and topics that question cultural and methodological clichés of the design profession.

The first context is geological and of entropic character. This time is measured in millions of years and is evidenced in the site itself as a consequence of the movement of the tectonic plates 50 million years ago.

The second process is related to human culture and the will to perpetuate. This notion of time is the subject of cultural history and is measured in thousands of years of human interaction with the site. Since its origins as a gravel pit, the owners have built an important collection of contemporary art. The Foundation today serves as an important patron of artistic expression, both in visual and performing arts, and in support of many forms of media.

The third context refers to our present, a notion of time that barely covers hundreds of years; the epoch in which we live and the problems that we face daily. In this Studio this period of time refers to the discussion of the role of time in design, a professional issue problematized in the second edition of the Chicago Biennial of Architecture, Make New History, which was curated by Mark Lee and Sharon Johnston.

Students will develop three complementary projects: A site-specific pavilion to house one of the works of the Art Collection (300 sqm); an Entropy and History Center (3000 sqm); and a landscape intervention that will serve both as access and an arena for outdoor public events (30000sqm). These three projects should conform a consistent whole, coherent with the three ideas of time explored during the term.

The Studio plans a one week travel to visit the site (Balaguer, Spain), including two days visits to Madrid and to Barcelona to experience alternative cultural centers with their authors.

This course has an irregular meeting schedule.

Inaki Abalos will be in residence on August 28 and 29, September 11, 12, 13, October 12, 13, 26 and 27, November 9, 10, 15, 16, December 4, 5, and December 6, 7, or 8.

The instructor will also be available on the morning of studio days to account for “off-week” missed time.

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