RCA ADS 5: Jon Goodbun, Kenny Kinugasa-Tsui and Justin Lau
ADS5 – “New Materialisms and the Timing of Space”
The question of materiality has re-emerged as both a philosophical and an architectural debate. ADS5 aims to explore what is at stake in a new exploration of modern material culture, arguing that such a study is key to the articulation of the ecological, political, technological and cultural challenges and possibilities facing architectural practice today. We will approach these issues through a study of temporality, and, in Prigogine and Stengers memorable phrase, “a study of the timing of space”.
With the EU on the verge of a second dip recession, the world economy is uncertain. The society’s needs are unpredictable, constantly fluctuating in a sudden and rapid manner. Clients may have an unexpected need to change a building’s programme half way through its construction. Architecture has been considered as a relatively ‘slow’ material construct. However, architects are devising new ways such as ‘time sharing’,’ movable buildings’, ‘semi-permanent’, ‘flexible materials’ etc in dealing with the nature of the new urban environment.
The question of materiality has re-emerged as both a philosophical and an architectural question in recent years. ADS5 aims to explore what is at stake in a new exploration of modern material culture, arguing that such a study is key to the articulation of the ecological, political, technological and cultural challenges and possibilities facing architectural practice today. We will approach these issues through a study of temporality, and, in Prigogine and Stengers memorable phrase, “a study of the timing of space”. We will use temporality to explore space and time at a range of scales: the metabolism of the city, the processes of material production, building construction and use, and socio-spatial event. Importantly, we suggest that a study of the timing of space as a material culture and technology might open up new ways to approach ‘the ecological question’ beyond more conventional ‘sustainable design’ approaches.
The first term of the studio will be structured around a series of workshop exercises. Some of these will be timetabled as group exercise with associated tutor led instruction, others will be presented to students as a list of tasks to be completed by the end of term. Students must complete each of the exercises, but have a degree of freedom in choosing the order in which to work, and which workshop tasks to foreground in the development of their own agenda. These workshops will cover a range of questions and practices, and will include making, drawing, designing, scripting and writing exercises, which introduce urban, material, programmatic, narrative and typological knowledge. In particular, we will use the workshops to encourage students to image and specify new building materials and practices – using casting as a means to explore and develop new modes of computer aided manufacturing. By experimenting with material processes, we will explore how they might become more open to ecological comprehension and social intervention.
Workshop projects will include:
- Project 1. Curate a spatial narrative involving 5 objects from the V&A Power of Making Exhibition collection (or found objects from Central London)
- Project 2. Make a time-based material process
- Project 3. Analyse the urban metabolism of the chosen site in Hackney Wick
- Project 4. Make a time-based measuring device
- Project 5. Design an event
- Project 6. Design an analogue extension to a CADCAM process
- Project 7. Produce a series of collages of potential future scenarios on the site
Towards the end of the first term, the yr1 and yr2 projects will diverge. Yr2 students will be expected to produce coherent and detailed diploma thesis projects. Y1 students, who have a much more challenging and full second semester timetable, will focus on developing their technical work in studio as a building product or service, which they will pitch to Yr2 students to incorporate into their schemes. We would like to see students thereby explore collaborative working methods beyond the scope conventional design education.
In thinking about material processes and architecture, we will use the Reiser and Umemoto text Atlas of Novel Tectonics. Student work that produces interesting reflections upon CADCAM and casting technologies will be included and referenced as part of an ongoing RIBA supported research project that tutor Jon Goodbun is currently completing.
ADS5 will explore global issues in the local context of London. Students will be asked to investigate an urban narrative to address such issues, and curate these urban sites as ‘City as Exhibition’. The studio will take the ‘museum’ as an analogy for a methodological starting point.
Students will be asked to formulate their own briefs, so instead designing an actual ‘extension’ to a specific museum as a programme, it can be any sort of cultural artifact import from the term 1’s research/analysis from a chosen ‘research site’ in central London, into Hackney Wick as a physical site. (i.e. Term 1’s research site doesn’t necessary have to be about a museum, it can be a story/narrative from central London, to be curated and represented in Hackney Wick). Insular and hidden issues will be ‘opened’ up through a research driven spatial intervention, and through the rigorous experimentation in the digital culture.
Nonetheless, the ‘museum’ will be used as a theoretical analogy only to help students structure a framework methodology of their research (i.e. to ‘borrow’ terms/words from the museum world such as documentation & research, interpretation, organisation, cultural artifacts, curation, collection, archive, tell the story, etc) hence allow total freedom in the choice of story/theme/content from the student’s individual research.
The ‘museum’ analogy would also encourage us to read into plenty of interesting history and theory building typologies e.g. circulatory type (e.g. Wright’s Guggenhiem NYC), matrix arrangement type (e.g. Gehry’s Bibao museum), open plan type etc.
Technologically driven CADCAAM designs will be experimented; digital qualities of fluidity/flux/morphogenesis/field/parametrics/syncretism/complexity/ will be explored as architectural tools to fuse with the spatial interventions that are driven by cultural/political/social research by the student’s individual briefs. Students will be encouraged to collaborate with other RCA departments (e.g. interactive designs, textile designs) to formulate personalized research and design methodologies.
The studio will take Hackney Wick as its site for the year. The Hackney Wick area is undergoing rapid change. As a former light industrial area, some old light industry remains, whilst many former industrial buildings are increasingly occupied by artists and makers of various kinds, whilst other sites remain empty. Existing council masterplans continue to designate much of the area as light industrial use, and so many new developments are creating artists studios, which act as unofficial residential developments (as many artists live in their studios). There are some residential areas already existing, and scope for more. There are a number of local grassroots groups, such as the Hackney Wicked arts group. The area is adjacent to the Olympic site, and some of the legacy plans include some areas of Hackney Wick.http://www.hackney.gov.uk/hackney-wick-aap.htm
In thinking about the site and the possibility of a critical urban planning approach today, we will use the Jesko Fezer paper ‘Design for a Post-Neoliberal City’.
Programme (rev A)
Joanna E. Szulda – Digital Augmentation Workshop
Every Thursdays (+ one half day) during 10.10.2011 – 01.11.2011
- − Project 1. Curate a spatial narrative involving 5 objects from the V&A Power of Making Exhibition collection (or found objects from Central London)
- − Project 2. Make a time-based material process
Crit 1 – 01.11.2011
Evgeniya Yatsyuk – Digital Augmentation Workshop.
Every Thursdays (+ one half day) during 03.11.2011 – 22.11.2011
- − Project 3. Analyse the urban metabolism of the chosen site in Hackney Wick
- − Project 4. Make a time-based measuring device
- − Project 5. Design an event
Crit 2 – 22.11. 2011
Olga Yatsyuk – Digital Augmentation Workshop.
Every Thursdays (+ one half day) during 24.11.2011 – 15.12.2011
- − Project 6. Design an analogue extension to a CADCAM process
- − Project 7. Produce a series of collages of potential future scenarios on the site
Crit 3 – 09.12.2011
(Term 2 & 3 dates TBC)
Arups – Advanced Geometry and Technical Engineering workshop. Term 2 tbc.
- − Build a physical system or dynamic model that embodies time
ADS5 critics and seminar guests will include:
Filip Visnjic – WAG www.creativeapplications.net
Jody Boehnert, – http://www.eco-labs.org/
Clare Brass – Academic Advisor, SustainRCA, RCA
Kieran Long – ex editor AJ, now at Evening Standard, RCA
Tobias Klein- member of Horhizon, diploma lecturer AA, http://www.horhizon.com
Sara Shafiei – member of Horhizon, associate lecturer Oxford Brookes, http://www.horhizon.com
Ben Cowd – member of Horhizon, associate lecturer Oxford Brookes, http://www.horhizon.com
and others to be confirmed.
Ecological aesthetics, usefulness, urban political ecology, optimism, biomimetics, metabolism, timing of space, Growth, texture, exuberance, depth, responsive, tactility, documentation & research, interpretation, organisation, cultural artifacts, curation, collection, archive
Stewart Brand, The Long Now Foundation lecture series: http://www.longnow.org
Diana Coole and Samantha Frost (eds), New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics (Duke University Press, 2010)
Jesko Fezer, ‘Design for a Post-Neoliberal City’ in e-flux, no. 17, June 2010 (http://www.e-flux.com/journal/view/153)
Ilya Prigogine and Isabelle Stengers, Order out of Chaos (London: Penguin, 1985)
Reiser and Umemoto, Atlas of Novel Tectonics (Princeton, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2005)
Leupen/Heijne/Zwol, ‘Time-based Architecture’ (010 Uitgeverij, 2004)
Sanford Kwinter, ‘Architectures of Time – Toward a Theory of the Event in Modernist Culture’
Bernard Tschumi, ‘Questions of Space’, and ‘Event Cities’