New Formations for the Social Metropolis

This studio will explore housing architecture’s latent potential to transform the global project of urbanisation to one of productivity, inclusivity, hybridity and resilience. We will explore an emerging condition of urban re-industrialisation where new methods of creative production, distribution and exchange are diffused and reconfigured through virtual and spatial networks. 

To challenge the persistent 19th C paradigm that segregates architecture into ‘use classes’ we must consider ways to catalyse the potential of high-density collective housing to enable new forms of autonomy and community.

In the manner of the magic realist, the aim is for each student to invite sub- and pre-cultures of ‘creative industry’ to invade what is perceived as mundane, constructing a personal architectural language. You will unearth an unfamiliar beauty that expresses the creative Social Metropolis as a new coexistence paradigm.

The art critic Maggie Ann Bowers writes of magic realism, “This is a mode primarily about and for “ex-centrics”: the geographically, socially and economically marginalised. Therefore magic realism’s ‘alternative world’ works to correct the reality of established viewpoints.”This studio will design radical new formats for urban housing in a post-industrial, central London backland, Murphy’s Yard. Next to railways and subways, the site is slated for wholescale regeneration by the London Borough of Camden. Cultural history & nascent models of working and socialising will be embedded in your project to accelerate a productive neighbourhood culture. You will design future typologies that support unexpected uses and modes of dwelling that speak of a new urban coexistence.
Studio structure:

Multiple Planes of Reality:  Cataloguing the concepts and organisation of housing typologies from the 16th C to today. Synthesizing critical components of access, circulation, repetition, pattern, proportion, and the unexpected.

Transculturalism: Studio Trip London and Paris:  Project Site & Preculture Research:  Murphy’s Yard/Regis Road, London + Paris Clichy Batignolle.

Real World Setting: Collective site strategy/masterplan/site allocation. Engagement with the municipality.

Fantastical Hybridity: Propositions for a minimum of 100 dwellings on a specific site, including productive space of minimum 1500sm

Plenitude:  Drawings that capture moments of mysterious intimacy in your new urban formation

This course has an irregular meeting schedule.

Alison Brooks will be in residence on August 30 and 31, September 10 and 11, October 8, 9, 22, and 23, November 5, 6, 19, and 20, and December 10, 11, or 12 for Final Reviews.

Nelson Byun, Teaching Associate, will be in residence throughout the term and will meet with the studio weekly.