Imprecise Tropics

The tropic is precise in its definition only when referred to it as latitude. It is imprecise in its architecture, in its spatial condition and in the experience of its everyday life, even when we try to define it for architectural purposes or to describe its conditions, specially because it becomes ambiguous and contradictory, sometimes ungraspable.

The tropic is opaque and non transparent. The idea and definition of tropic as a precise place or condition is an overlap of mixed unregistered dynamics, divergent natures, diverse intellectual constructs and mythical scientific journeys, it is a wide array of hyper local techniques, different and simultaneous sense of time and history, volatile political states, social preconceptions open to numerous interpretations and one big cliche: As a construction of the ideal place for leisure of white sands, sunny days and beach cocktails.

This studio aims to use architecture (the project) as a device for knowledge and experience the tropic in an ambiguous way, not only as a meeting point as site specific projects but also as a divergence for understanding and unravel the non transparent tropical condition through its unique geography, climate, diversity and material culture as resources to re-define the idea of tropical space and architecture away from the cliche or preconceived ideas.

We will create and understand typologies as different spatial organisational models that need to evolve, adapt and transform when inserted into uncertain dynamics, unfamiliar logics, strong constrains, ambiguous availabilities, unexpected variations, constant contradictions, multiple climatic conditions and limited resources. We will look into architecture as a built device for developing “potential an availability” as a frame to tackle uncertainty and ambiguity. We will project multiple and contradictory spatial variables as new conditions for architecture to dispense and create new relations that were previously non existent, opaque, non-logical or were probably lost in time.

Alternative design methods and pedagogical techniques will play a key role for the development of the project, we will tentatively travel to Medellin, Colombia and its surroundings. We will use design tools as a meeting point to understand realities, transform conditions and link unexpected situations through midsize scale projects.

This studio will consistently meet on Tuesday and Thursday from 2pm – 6pm.

The instructor will not be on campus for class meetings on September 8 and 10. The instructor will reschedule these sessions with the students.

Studio trip October 5-10.