Islands in Time

This studio is led by Ben van Berkel, Kenzo Tange Visiting Professor, and assisted by Instructor Imola Berczi. Please see the studio schedule below.\”I have deliberately tried to twist myself, but I have not gone far enough … in a painting that\’s even worth looking at the image must be twisted if it is to make a renewed assault on the nervous system.\” Francis Bacon In this studio, we will investigate 3 questions:How do we twist from one reading of architecture to another? The tension between engineering (sustainability, efficiency, capital costs, operational costs, etc) and art (experimentation, abstraction, utopia, surprise, pleasure, etc) results in the transformation of typology, program, scale and use. In parallel, our design process is altered. We are required to move between diagram, design model, and arche/proto-type in unexpected ways. How does the fluctuation in the economy and swings in perceived cultural values change our engagement with architecture? In the last decades we have seen great shifts in priorities, from the cultural project that has the power to emancipate a whole city, to the mega-developments that are seen as a way to stimulate progress. In the \’iconic\’ and the infrastructural panacea, space for play in the way architecture is used and conceived has allowed for new interpretation. How do virtual and temporary systems (economic, networked, personal, infrastructural) expand our imagination? The emergent properties contained in human systems like networks, economies, cities, and buildings has shown that interpersonal relations are by nature elastic and porous. The exploration of program — beyond the mono-program — has been a result of this realization. Living, working, cultural and recreation spaces are merging and overlapping; supporting and usurping each other. The notion of use and its attendant \’publicness\’ has shifted architectural processes from the literal to the diagrammatic.Method\”Play will be the activity through which we proceed, within limits of time, and space, in a visible order, according to rules freely accepted.\” Scale will be our limit and opportunity. We begin by designing at different scales with the anticipation for repetition, proliferation and systems thinking.

1. The limit of a singular unit repeated within certain limit of SPACE.
100. Application of a the certain limited component in a VISIBLE ORDER, to reconsider the impact of an architectural intervention across a limited system.
1,000,000. (INSIDE/outside) the SPHERE OF NECESSITY OR MATERIAL UTILITY. The proliferation of the system across an unbound whole.

Moving across and between these scales will seek to demonstrate relationships between and across these orders of magnitude. Each scale will play off each other and support an architectural argument that either supports or challenges one of the course questions.This studio is scheduled to meet on the following days:Jan 20, 21 (Option Lottery, Studio commencement) – Ben van Berkel, Imola BercziFeb 3, 4 – Ben van Berkel, Imola BercziFeb 17, 18 – Imola BercziMar 3, 4 – Ben van Berkel, Imola BercziMar 24, 25 – Ben van Berkel, Imola BercziApr 7, 8 – Ben van Berkel, Imola BercziApr 21, 22 – Imola BercziFinal Studio Reviews to be announced