Natural Monument

It would be deceiving to claim a return to nature since there has never been a real departure from it. Buildings complete nature as much as nature finishes buildings (and ultimately erodes and ruins them). Through a self-referential definition of architectonic format, by means of rather basic walls, floors, roofs and openings on them, the studio will explore this fundamental form of reciprocity: a series of cottages for remote locations will be understood as articulation devices to mediate from one nature to another, from a conditioned confinement for a voluntarily secluded couple to an emancipated and vulnerable wild domain.

By “format” we mean a spatial character without particular size, a field of action within a singular outline (in this case, the five formats derived from a rectangular volume, that is: the dice, the plate, the block, the strip and the tower). By “basic” we mean a primary level of complexity for discreet and ubiquitous elements (e.g. those 1:1, 1:2, 2:3 or 3:4 ratio fenestrations one might find in any unpretentious provincial settlement). By “remote” we mean the extreme edge of sublime settings along the Chilean National Park system (perhaps assuming that “every paradise is a lost one”). By “cottage” we mean more than a tent but less than a house (a domestic interior that certainly exceeds our physiological functions to a degree of inutility, irrationality and fantasy). By “couple” we mean the unprecedented current paradigm of a non-hierarchical, and rather intimate, productive relationship (far from Heidegger and his wife and closer to Gilbert & George). By “seclusion” we imply a physical detachment from the urban life without losing communication (therefore influence) with its culture.

All in all, after overcoming the myth of the idyllic garden, the heavenly countryside filled with fruits and flowers became the land for agricultural production overlapped with an original need for pure enjoyment, for the sheer pleasure of unpolluted nature. And perhaps between that labor and that leisure time there is another time, a loose one (lost and lax at once), a temporal space not only for procrastinating at work but also for serendipity and contemplation in solitude. Once more, the paradox is simple: nature is unintentional; artefacts are not.

Following our Naïve Intention program, the studio will speculate on the apparent contradiction between intentionality and chance, rationality and futility, prediction and circumstance. Based on given constrains, every student will elaborate an inventory of architectonic propositions. A selection of them will later be developed in pairs through handmade models, drawings and paintings.

This course has an irregular meeting schedule.

Mauricio Pezo and Sofia von Ellrichshausen will be in residence on August 30 and 31, September 6, and 7, October 4, 5, 25, and 26, November 1, 2, 15, 16, 19, and 20, and December 10, 11, or 12 for Final Reviews.  

The instructors will also be available throughout the weeks that they are on campus to make up for “off-week” missed time.