Representation First (!!!), Then Architecture

Current tendencies in the discipline suggest a split between two opposing architectural projects: the easy project versus the difficult project. Primarily related to architecture’s form, this oversimplification of the divide might also be used to identify developments in representation: Cheap and fast one-point perspectives with minimal material changes as opposed to laborious photo-realistic renderings oozing tactile interiors. Compounded by the hourly “swipe,” up/down and left/right, or how the architectural image is posted, pinned, shared, and liked moments after it is created, places a further immediacy on the making of representation and naming an agenda. Rather than question the easy over the difficult, might we readjust our focus towards the conceptualization of representation first, as a way of conceiving of architecture? This seminar engages the following thought-polemic: “Representation First (!!!), Then Architecture.”

The aim of this course is to develop techniques and methodologies around a series of representational experiments. All content will be framed by contemporary issues in representation, not a historical overview, and will include directed studies on materiality, color, digital tooling, animations, scale figures, and media. Formatted into a list of six curated references, with the majority of sources located in art practice and popular culture, each weekly lecture will attempt to construct a theory on representation.  

Over the course of the semester, participants will conduct biweekly exercises, culminating in the delivery of a twenty minute lecture to the class around your own theory on representation, potentially setting up a future architectural project for oneself.  Part lecture, part performance, and part production, “Representation First (!!!), Then Architecture” is a search for original representational agendas, superseding the easy vs. difficult.