The Immeasurable Enclosure

This option studio proposes using immeasurability as the aesthetic and spatial expression of the public realm and asks students to imagine immeasurable single-space enclosures as forums for public life. Students in this course design one single-space environment using raw phenomena arrested by manufactured structures as the place for a public encounter of specific socio-cultural importance.

The garden and the room are considered the most fundamental spaces of the disciplines of landscape and architecture. These single-space environments are defined by enclosing and containing only a tiny part of the world and have conventionally been perceived as the means for designing coherent singular identities. However, the historical progression toward cultural diversity and social plurality has revealed the apparent inability of a single space to encompass multiple identities. This understanding led to alternative spatial models that invoked large-scale distributed spatial models as expressions and vehicles to accept and encourage multiple sensibilities and identities. Land mosaics, spatial fields, or network societies, just to name a few, became the new spatial paradigms to advance social, cultural, and ecological plurality and diversity. Instead of encompassing as much of the physical world as possible, as these expansive paradigms propose, this course aims to reframe the discrete singular space as the mechanism to advance progressive social agendas by containing multiple sensibilities.

The objective of this course is to imagine and design spaces that are simultaneously single-room buildings and single-patch landscapes. To this end, these uncategorizable enclosures—which can be outdoors, indoors, or in-between—demonstrate an aesthetic and spatial sensibility that defies traditional disciplinary categories but contributes to the long-standing tradition of these close quarters. These immeasurable enclosures are neither gardens nor rooms in a conventional sense. They are strange spaces that transcend the elemental nature of the garden and the room as building blocks for the expression of singular identities. These single-space environments aim to contain that which, by its definition and value, is immeasurable: the instance of acknowledging a different being. Students in this studio work individually, and each student is responsible for proposing an immeasurable enclosure within a specific socio-cultural context.