Specific Ambiguity: The Well-Tempered grid [M2]

The grid is an elusive system, for some architects and artists it is a distinctive code for framing, understanding and producing space, a model. For others, is nothing more or nothing less than a geometrical order similar to infrastructure and fundamental to define the performance of form and it´s borders through a network and a framework of (architectural) elements. In any of those ways of approaching the grid, either as a model or as the network of specific elements the possibility for all those elements to come together in a pure ideal an ideological way are subject to a critical negotiation – mainly through form – one between the ideal grid and the site conditions or the given instructions, in other words the negotiation that takes place between ideas and a certain reality. 

For this purpose we will dig into Sol LeWitt´s exhibition at Williams College in 2012, titled: The Well-Tempered grid, and use its organization systems to be tested not anymore as art but as site specific architecture under tropical climatic conditions. 

The grid is highly ideological, historically romanticized, aesthetically adored and philosophically instrumental, but how much of those ambitions can prevail when put in to context in a complex social, and ecological condition?

We will design a small public food market in Medellin, Colombia. We will deal with complex social and urban conditions and a terrain with high slope.  We will determine and search for different spatial ideas, a space made of a tropical way of thinking. A space and architecture made of specific elements but ambiguous space. We will test the limit between inside and outside, nature, art, public and private, ideas and reality.

Each student or pair, will choose a different grid from Sol LeWitt´s work, and once a quick and intuitive analysis is made of it, it will be related and modified into a spatial system derived from a selected architecture precedent, once the two connect ideologically and ideally, the new “ensamble” will be taken to the site to give a response to the program, that of the public market.