Studio 2E: Art of Building and Materials
A part of teaching programme 2
Architecture suffers from a crisis of making. In our specialized world, architects have largely given up their historical role as creative mediators between architectural ideas, materials and construction. Instead, knowledge is separated into expert professions, where the material and constructive dimensions of a building are relegated to others-from engineers, to constructing architects, to building contractors. This has had negative consequences for our building culture, where building economy, technocratic logic and expedience increasingly dictate what is built.
Studio 2E aspires to re-claim architects’ agency over the making of buildings and to equip students with the tools and methods necessary to connect architectural ideas with project development. As the architectural idea and its making are in-separable, we focus closely on materials, structure, construction and technology. This includes knowledge and curiosity of new and old materials, technologies, and the conditions of production, examining them haptically and visually to uncover new potentials relevant to architecture. Toward these ends, we re-engage with historical perspectives and history of construction, current theoretical concepts, design typology, atmosphere and regional site context, each time from the point of view of a building’s making. We subsequently embrace a sustainable building culture marked through a long lifespan and aesthetic quality.
The studio method relies on the art of building, what we define as a synthesis between an artistic approach to design and the technical knowledge of building construction. This method brings together workshop-based learning with an emphasis on the architect’s drawing as tool to design through materials and construction. In the workshops, we design and make smaller architectural entities in full scale to reflect the complexity of larger architectural designs. Thus, tutoring may often take place in the workshop areas. The focus shifts eventually toward the drawing tables, where we engage larger architectural ideas through construction and materials. The drawing practice informs the making, where the working drawing is to be celebrated. Architectural projects will be proposed at a smaller scale, drawn between 1:20 and 1:200, in order to maintain the core focus of the studio. Making is the end goal for any design process in Studio 2E and the set of drawing material will reflect this.
We aim to engage with current cultures and techniques of production through visits to construction sites and handcraft workshops and factories. Cultivating a connection to Nordic and Scandinavian building culture, we utilize excursions and field studies to focus on specific materials, historical constructions, and learning from ingenious building solutions. Building programs and sites are normally given, with a connection to current concerns, having an emphasis toward public/institutional activities or important activities in the private sector. With a firm look toward society’s future challenges, we seek to recover the historical role of architects as imaginative and resourceful makers in the art of building.
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