Making Architects in agile studios: a manifesto for situated architectural education

Psarologaki, Liana (2020) Making Architects in agile studios: a manifesto for situated architectural education. SCROOPE: Cambridge Architecture Journal, 29. pp. 16-31. ISSN 0966.1029v

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This in principle a proposal for the ethos of the future Architecture Studio addressing a shift in the agenda for experiencing architecture and therefore situating education. The place for architectural education embodied beyond the physical calibration of the studio as built location in campus is redefined. The scope of this is less to radically change the situating of architecture as education and more so to address the later as situated humanity based on current practices indexed and formally attributed in emerging curricula, questioning formality and institutional conformity, therefore radicalising academic practice. To the question how humans appreciate and learn architecture a student intuitively replies: “by survival”. This embraces the tectonic aspect of architecture in the making yet contains strong reference to embodiment within the cosmos, presenting a paradox. As experience of architecture becomes more intimate – extending as far as the sensory geography of the body – the discourse of architecture is lived space and not as tectonic matter. Peter Zumthor uses the term “to temper”. It is the tempering that leads to spacing and which centralises experience. By experience, we understand the implied boundaries, the social thresholds and the cultural intensities we are surrounded but at the same time we have lost empathy and concentration. As our senses cling together to produce extraordinary results of memory, perception and emotion, we physically and orderly hang to our impairment aids of technological advancement. In a state of distraction, we experience cities, streets, buildings, spaces. We are in an aesthetic comma; what Paul Virilio called ‘a topographical amnesia’ in which we draw and design and build. The maker is also a consumer of space and will never stop experiencing before drawing. Experience in the studio marks the infant steps of the architect in the making. The studio is a place of agency and contingency. It is a platform for debate; a space for open exploration of ideas and for conscientious engagement with practice. The studio must encapsulate verticality and agility. It is exposed to the real world, yet it is fortified in its sense of belonging. To be in the studio means to temper. Learning architecture then becomes risk taking, learning from oneself and from people; a social act; an act of culture. This culture of the studio is becoming rare and precious. In times of distraction and amnesia we must invest in the agile studio of the future, which is studio by experience: an atrium, a cupboard and desk with a thousand knife marks from previous occupiers, the sea opening before the temple of Poseidon, neoclassical ruins in old town of Havana, the Nagakin Tower in Tokyo, and the 400 steps of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. As the studios multiply and populate, the architects in the making become nomads, carriers of cultures as they draw and design and construct, and like Macintosh, Soane, Stirling and FAT were identified by Owen Hopkins for the RA, they will be mavericks of their time. The future great architects will have resilience. They will be pioneers, humanists, artists and engineers. Polymaths and curious, never settling; trained in the agile studios of future thinking schools.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: architecture, architecture studio, agile studios, education
Subjects: L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LC Special aspects of education
L Education > LC Special aspects of education > LC5201 Education extension. Adult education. Continuing education
N Fine Arts > NA Architecture
T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Liana Psarologaki
Date Deposited: 15 Mar 2021 10:02
Last Modified: 15 Mar 2021 10:02

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