DRAWINGS: LIN DERONG/ GOI YONG CHERN/ ANTHEA PHUA/ EMMA LAU
Day 1, Oct/08 (Thurs)
Day 2, Oct/09 (Fri)
– update as of Oct/07 –
Opening Remarks: Matthew MINDRUP
+11 UTC 8:45am – 9am
+8 UTC 5:45am – 6am
Zurich / +2 UTC / 11:45pm – 12am / Wed – Thurs
London / +1 UTC / 10:45pm – 11pm / Wed
Washington DC / -4 UTC / 5:45pm – 6pm / Wed
DAY 1 / SESSION 1
+11 UTC 9am – 12:25pm
+8 UTC 6am – 9:25am
Zurich / +2 UTC / 12am – 3:25am / Thurs
London / +1 UTC / 11pm – 2:25am / Wed-Thurs
Washington DC / -4 UTC / 6pm – 9:25pm / Wed
Moderators: Jennifer FERNG [Zoom 1] / CHANG Jiat-Hwee [Zoom 2] / Dagmar REINHARDT [Zoom 3] / Matthew MINDRUP [Zoom 4]
+11 UTC SYDNEY 9am – 9:55am Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 6am – 6:55am Oct/08
-4 UTC WASHINGTON D.C. 6pm – 6:55pm Oct/07
Moderator: Jennifer FERNG
Toward a Political Ecology of Architecture
The making of architecture implicates many kinds of practices and processes, from technical, environmental, and economic to aesthetic and political. Some of these “distributions of the sensible,” to borrow a concept from Jacques Rancière, are disparate in nature, spatially and temporally remote, and occluded from view. What would it take to make their interrelationships visible and palpable? Why is such a project important today? This lecture will reflect on some of the separations and blind spots in contemporary architectural production and begin to connect the dots.
Concurrent Session [Zoom 2]
Moderator: CHANG Jiat-Hwee
+11 UTC SYDNEY 10:10am – 11:15am Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 7:10am – 8:15am Oct/08
– – –
[Zoom 2: PRACTICE 1]
+11 UTC SYDNEY 10:10am – 10:35am Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 7:10am – 7:35am Oct/08
Remote Work; What Then? Winging it with Alberti
Leon Battista Alberti knew the challenges of working remotely.
In a famous letter penned in Rome on November 18, 1454 and addressed to Matteo de’ Pasti, who was executing Alberti’s façade design of the Tempio Malatestiano two-hundred miles away in Rimini, this Renaissance architect urges the builder to respect his measurements and proportions. “If you alter them,” Alberti warns Matteo in his missive, “you will make a discord in all that music.” Alberti’s mode of directing construction from afar marks a fundamental condition and primary dilemma of architectural practice, which remains with us today. Is this tricky gap between design and construction something to overcome? Or, might the global pandemic (and Alberti’s example) renew understanding of the essential interpretive function of this critical and creative distance?
Alberti experienced related challenges of remote work through his lonely occupation as an author and scholar. His early treatise on The Advantages and Disadvantages of Letters (1429), composed after years of absorption in humanistic studies, describes hardships of scholarly labour: ranging from poor physical and mental health, to depravity of social pleasures and professional advancement. Nevertheless, Alberti claims, this socially-withdrawn work is “the most joyful of vocations.” His prolific output of texts with moral-allegorical lessons suggest he took solace in this ostensibly lonely labour, while remaining deeply committed to civic action and architecture’s public function.
Alberti’s personal insignia of a winged-eye and moto QUID TUM, meaning ‘What then?’ or ‘What next,’ helps navigate ironies and opportunities of remote practices. This emblem of searching inquisitiveness and agile intelligence posits remote work as having liberating powers to seek evidence and insight from distant times, voices and places, socially conversing with future readers and peers of the past. Such ethical and imaginative scope are fostered, in part, by remoteness.
With Alberti’s winged eye as a guide, this critical-speculative essay considers the interpretive and imaginative advantages of remote architectural practices, while elucidating the movement inherent in agile design thinking. For to be ‘remote’ or ‘removed’ is literally to move back, aside or askance to a changed time, position or state, thus enabling more comprehensive understanding and responsible engagement.
Dr. Lisa Landrum is Associate Professor and Associate Dean Research in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba. She holds a Bachelor of Architecture (Carleton University), and a post- professional Master’s and Ph.D. in Architectural History and Theory (McGill). Her research on architectural agency, performance, philosophy and democracy is published in several recent books, including Reading Architecture (2019); Confabulations (2017), Architecture’s Appeal (2015), Architecture as a Performing Art (2013), Architecture and Justice (2013), and the Montreal Architectural Review (2019/2015).
[Zoom 2: PRACTICE 2]
+11 UTC SYDNEY 10:35am – 10:55am Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 7:35am – 7:55am Oct/08
EPISTOLARY ARCHITECTURE: FROM HISTORICAL PRECEDENTS TO CONTEMPORARY RELEVANCE
Noémie DESPLAND-LICHTERT & Brendan Sullivan SHEA
In May 1949, two months before the opening of the Congrés International d’Architecture Moderne, its secretary general, the Swiss historian Sigfried Giedion, is waiting for modern architects from across the globe to mail in their work. He writes to the CIAM’s president, the Spanish architect José Luis Sert: “We haven’t any idea what we can expect for examples of the CIAM Grilles.” 1
As most architecture activities are moving online toward various platforms for decentralized, virtual communication and real-time video conferencing, this paper proposes to explore a more low-tech—though deeply ingrained—alternative: the epistolary relationships and practices of architecture. It argues that the remote practice of architecture is not a new but a growing global reality and contextualizes the legacy and contemporary state of the practice through analysis of historical precedents including Thomas Jefferson’s transatlantic letter exchange, the sending and receiving of CIAM grilles, the Oulipo experiments in writing, the Fluxus performance workbook of recipes and the mail art activism of the Situationists.
This paper focuses on the ways historical epistolary practices challenged the conventions and codes of information transmission through playfulness, surprise, and chance. Our presentation ultimately explores a range of contemporary projects articulating a nascent model of remote collaboration, plotted through paper and pixels in continuous—although laggy—feedback.
1. Eric Mumford and Kenneth Frampton, The CIAM Discourse on Urbanism, 1928-1960, Reprint edition (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, 2002), 185.
Noémie Despland-Lichtert is an educator, urban historian and independent curator. She holds a BFA from Concordia University, a Post-professional Master of Architecture from McGill, and a Master in Curatorial Studies from the University of Southern California.
Brendan Sullivan Shea is a designer whose work spans architecture, technology, and collaborative practice. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Architectural Studies from the University of California Los Angeles and a Master of Architecture from Princeton University.
Despland-Lichtert and Shea are currently Visiting Instructors at the Texas Tech University College of Architecture.
[Zoom 2: Q&A]
+11 UC SYDNEY 10:55am – 11:1165am Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 7:55am – 8:15am Oct/08
Concurrent Session [Zoom 3]
Moderator: Dagmar REINHARDT
+11 UTC SYDNEY 10:10am – 11:15am Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 7:10am – 8:15am Oct/08
– – –
[Zoom 3: PRACTICE 1]
+11 UTC SYDNEY 10:10am – 10:35am Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 7:10am – 7:35am Oct/08
Nerma Prnjavorac CRIDGE
Starting with the fragmentation of identity and the blurring boundary between work and home, , this paper will begin with exploring how the issue of remoteness became exacerbated in our post -pandemic global cities. The argument will expose some paradoxes present in our current society, of living connected yet physically apart.
The case studies will include designs for literal and extreme remoteness – including space craft designs during US /Soviet space race and architecture of polar regions for the US, Russian British and Polish Antarctic Stations. Whilst analysis will focus on interiors, particular attention will be on the relationship between actual distance and sense of connectivity; and what can we learn from the way these past designs have developed that can help us in teaching architecture remotely.
Of particular interest will be designs by Soviet female architect – Galina Balashova,1 who played pivotal role in the visual identity of Soviet space mission. Rather than designing bland utilitarian interiors, Balashova’s designs mimicked home and spaces with gravity, with darker colours always on the floor. US astronauts described the Soviet interiors as resembling five star hotels, in contrast to their own utilitarian space shuttles. More recent examples will be drawn from architecture of the extreme environments and Polar Regions including the US, Russian, British and Polish Antarctic Station designs. Whilst the analysis will center on interiors, a particular focus will be on the position and use of female figures in the designs, and again, on how this relates specifically to the position of female students and teachers in the architectural education.
1. It seems no accident that the first woman in space was also Russian, Valentina Tereshkova in 1963
Nerma Prnjavorac Cridge is an academic and author, currently teaching at the Architectural Association and Regent’s University, and directing Drawing Agency (www.drawingagency.co.uk) in London. Her first monograph Drawing the Unbuildable, on the Soviet avant-garde, was published in 2015. Forthcoming publications include Restless: Drawn by Zaha Hadid, in Women in Architecture edited by Anna Sokolina; Intrinsically Interior in Theorizing Interior Design edited by Carola Ebbert; and second book The Politics of Abstraction on the monuments and secrets from former Yugoslavia.
[Zoom 3: PRACTICE 2]
+11 UTC SYDNEY 10:35am – 10:55am Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 7:35am – 7:55am Oct/08
EXERCISE TWELVE: EMBODYING THE SCRIPT
When he invented SketchPad in 1963, Ivan Sutherland broke the relationship between drawing and lived experience in order to avoid “the influence of a lifetime of drawing on paper.” In 1965, Sutherland speculated that the future of computation would enable visual representation of concepts, through which “we can learn to know [mathematical phenomena] as well as we know our own natural world.” The rift between the space of computational representation and site of architectural manifestation can be repaired, but remediating the tools by which architecture is computed is neither a straightforward nor a simple process.
Marco Frascari and Juhani Pallasmaa have both argued that architectural computation presents an impediment to creativity. The solution to the problem of computation appears to involve reconnecting the homogenized space of the computational model to the embodied place of the site through the gesture of drafting. Historically, the link between site and drawing was established through the imagined parallels between the tools of site measurement and the tools of drafting, as architectural historian Paul Emmons has demonstrated. On the surface, imagining the Cartesian space of the computer model as an analogue to lived experience could stitch back together the measuring and the drawing of place, but the gesture of CAD, unlike the gesture of architectural drafting, has no intention of conveying meaning. CAD does not operate in the symbolic realm. Instead, CAD overlays an ideological perspective on how we imagine site work. CAD’s supplèment to lived experience does not preclude embodiment from computation, but the superimposition does change what we experience, altering the manner in which computation might serve the architectural imagination. Sutherland’s anticipation that advanced computation might allow us to know the phenomena of mathematics is precocious in this context. Within the field of differential topology, traditional drawing and modeling demonstrate abstract concepts by grounding them in lived experience. From an architectural perspective, the representational techniques of differential topology reveal the persistence of continuity between the space of the computational model and place of architecture fabrication. The rupture between CAD and traditional drafting, which Sutherland intended, never happened.
Jason Crow is a senior lecturer at Monash University and a licensed architect in the state of Pennsylvania. His research explores how technological changes impact material ontology and artisanal epistemology. He was a research fellow at the Canadian Centre for Architecture and an Arthur C. Tagge fellow at McGill University, where he completed his PhD dissertation examining the influence of material culture on the origins of Gothic architecture. He is the author of “Approaching a Material History of Architecture,” in Performative Materials in Architecture and Design (2013), edited by Rashida Ng and Sneha Patel; and of “Fear and Bernard of Clairvaux’s Living Stones” in Room One Thousand, the University of California at Berkeley’s interdisciplinary journal on architectural history.
[Zoom 3: Q&A]
+11 UC SYDNEY 10:55am – 11:15am Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 7:55am – 8:15am Oct/08
+11 UTC SYDNEY 11:30am – 12:25am Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 8:30am – 9:25am Oct/08
-4 UTC WASHINGTON D.C. 8:30pm – 9:25pm Oct/07
Moderator: Matthew MINDRUP
Horizons of Distance in Global Architectural Practices
Time-Space compression, increasing since the industrial revolution, has rapidly expanded economic globalization. In the mid-twentieth century, jet aircraft’s speed supported architectural firms growing internationally. Now, in part due to video communications, there is a movement to eliminate time zones and institute a world-wide universal time.
Yet, architectural practices began working remotely from construction sites long before in fifteenth-century Europe. The drawing board in the scholar’s study became the site of design. How did these early modern practices conceive design across the friction of distance?
In 1905, Frank Lloyd Wright’s early global practice embarked with traveling between Chicago and Tokyo by railroad and steamship to design the Imperial Hotel. The drawings were created in Chicago but he supervised construction in Tokyo. Examining the complex horizons of Wright’s remote work illuminate the challenges of contemporary practice. We will see that remoteness is not necessarily measured by time or distance.
DAY 1 / SESSION 2
DESIGN RESEARCH 1
+11 UTC 4:15pm – 5:30pm
+8 UTC 1:15pm – 2:30pm
Zurich / +2 UTC / 7:15am – 8:30am / Thurs
London / +1 UTC / 6:15am – 7:30am / Thurs
Washington DC / -4 UTC / 1:15am – 2:30am / Thurs
Moderators: Ruzica STAMENOVIC + Jane RENDELL + Philip URSPRUNG + CJ LIM
+11 UTC SYDNEY 4:15pm – 4:40pm Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 1:15pm – 1:40pm Oct/08
Film Place Collective
In May, Matthew Beck, a street photographer from New York, asked his neighbours to phone him, attending to the ‘hunch that people needed to talk a little bit’. In a New Yorker interview with Michele Moses (2020), Beck said that he felt that ‘what’s missing at the heart of all [this pandemic] is actual experience and people’s emotions and any kind of emotional processing of this thing’. The initiative led to a short film, Shelter in Place (May 6th, 2020). It opens with intimate portraits of his neighbours, sitting next to their window, while they are phoning with Beck to share the intricacies of their confined lives during quarantine. Through his camera, we see the emergence of fears, hopes, worries, and other affects as they cross the distance of the street and of the screen.
The short film questions our mode of being-in-the-world in a new era of multiple crises. Phenomenologically, the necessity of distance between each other might also have alienated us from ourselves, by extracting uniformity from that which is unique. The emphasis on video calls posits the collapse of the myriad of ecologies, architectures, and socialities of physical space into the space of the screen. Beck’s Shelter in Place uses film to ask us to reorient ourselves within the places we call our homes and see how we begin to proceed from there.
For the Remote Practices symposium, we would like to propose a reflection on the meaning of working together remotely as a collective. In July 2020, we launched the project Blind Spot: Spaces of Lockdown. The initiative stems from the desire to come together again, to see what our solitude holds in common, and how this encounter could be the beginning of a new conversation. Specifically, intending to make-with (Tsai et al, 2016) and become-with (Haraway, 2008), we invited filmmakers and thinkers to collaborate with us on an open, accessible collection of generative work. How can these multi-continental, co-conceived, and multi-genre collaborations contribute to an intersectional understanding of domestic spatialities – not as nodes of solitude, but as places where living-in-common surfaces? Working with film as a mode of sensing, we trace how we can move from our confinement in domestic spaces to issues in urban spaces. In short, how do these remote practices counter singular ontologies and instead move towards new acquaintances?
The title is taken from the collective’s annotation for our regular cross-time-zone meeting time.
FILM PLACE COLLECTIVE EDITIONS is Sander Hölsgens, Rebecca Loewen, Hannah Paveck, Thi Phuong-Trâm Nguyen, and Anna Viola Sborgi. We are filmmakers, architects, thinkers discussing and exploring the material of film – as it mediates place through image, sound, and movement. In the 2010s, we gathered on a biweekly basis at The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, organising reading groups, events and exhibitions to discuss the intersection of architecture and film. Scattered across the globe, the collective now embraces remote practices as modes of engaging with our surroundings.
+11 UTC SYDNEY 4:45pm – 5:05pm Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 1:45pm – 2:05pm Oct/08
AMIDST…: AFTERIMAGE, AFFECT, ARCHITECTURE
Referring to a sketch in his fieldwork notebooks, the anthropologist Michael Taussig points to an immediacy of observation in his sketch, particularly because it starts to narrate an event that unfolded before him. He emphasizes that the recognition of what is encountered, and sticks in his drawing, eventually changes his questioning, thinking and writing. Taussig describes this unschooled and at-the-spur-of-the-moment drawing as a ‘talisman’ — a piece of magical evidence that can unravel his instinctual witnessing. Borne out curiosity, such evidence simultaneously compels speculation, and close reading. Yet, it is dislocated in research, since the prevailing paradigm cleaves apart knowledge/logic and creativity/intuition.
If we encounter architecture indirectly most of the time, through people and things caught in architecture’s frame, how do we account for this remote, albeit non-disciplinary-specific, mode of knowing? What happens to discourse when architecture emerges as a background effect; where it is embedded in an emergent event unfolding through the foregrounded things and people which precede it? Here, I transpose the problematics of this divergent form of knowing to the work of architectural theorist Jane Rendell, whose discourse is situated amidst architecture-and-something-else. Where she begins, and how she finds her way towards, into, and out of architecture, are consequential.
The paper explicates the interval between what we encounter, and how we are trained to tell, by weaving the argument through theories of affect. It makes a case that the discursive questioning of the multifarious forms of encounter-with-architecture is where affect is located in architectural discourse. And that the evidence-as-talisman – the persistent afterimage – when closely read, transforms the forms and methods of discourse.
Lilian Chee is Associate Professor and Deputy Head at the Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore (NUS), where she co-leads the Research by Design Cluster. A writer, academic, designer, curator and educator, her research is situated at the interdisciplinary intersections of architectural representation, gender and affect. The award-winning essay film 03-FLATS (2014), which she conceptualized and researched, has screened in major cities and used in numerous university curricula. Her monograph Architecture and Affect: Precarious Spaces is in preparation.
Ruzica STAMENOVIC +
CJ LIM + Jane RENDELL + Philip URSPRUNG
+11 UTC SYDNEY 5:10pm – 5:30pm Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 2:10pm – 2:30pm Oct/08
DAY 1 / SESSION 3
+11 UTC 6pm – 9:45pm
+8 UTC 3pm – 6:45pm
Zurich / +2 UTC / 9am – 12:45pm / Thurs
London / +1 UTC / 8am – 11:45am / Thurs
Washington DC / -4 UTC / 3am – 6:45am / Thurs
Moderators: Lilian CHEE [Zoom 6] / LEE Kah Wee [Zoom 7] / HO Puay-Peng [Zoom 9]
+11 UTC SYDNEY 6pm – 6:55pm Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 3pm – 3:55pm Oct/08
+1 UTC LONDON 8am – 8:55am Oct/08
Moderator: Lilian CHEE
some distances and proximities in situating practices
If a site is a location that can be defined in spatial terms, a situation can be also be temporal – conditions of a particular instant, moment, event. To situate describes the action of positioning something in a particular place, while situated defines something’s site or situation. Situatedness, engages with the qualities of situating and being situated. In this talk I will introduce the development of my own situated practice, from my suggestion in 1996 that feminist architectural history is a practice, to ‘critical spatial practice’ (2006) and ‘site-writing’ (2010). I will focus on two recent works, Seven Studies for ‘A Holding’, (23 March–31 May 2020), a workmade during the UK’s COVID19 spring lockdown, which engages with Donald Winnicott’s transitional spaces of ‘living-with’, and Selvedges, a multivocal piece which reflects on how subjectivities are made and remade in writing through acts of auto and sympoiesis, to and with others.
Moderator: LEE Kah Wee
+11 UTC SYDNEY 7:10pm – 8:35pm Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 4:10pm – 5:35pm Oct/08
– – –
[Zoom 7: CRITIQUE 1]
+11 UTC SYDNEY 7:10pm – 7:35pm Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 4:10pm – 4:35pm Oct/08
On the Distribution of Experiences
In July 2020, Twitter officially replaced the word “Workplace” with “Remote Experience” in Tracy Hawkins’ title, now the Vice President of Real Estate & Remote Experience of the company. This seemingly insignificant change of words is part of a broader argument, one that openly challenges the idea that a spatial event is irretrievably anchored to a particular location. The possibility of such a disassociation alludes to a radical shift within the architectural practice: from designing space as a destination, to instead curating the experience of it in an abstract territory of “remote everywhere-ness”. Designing sets of abstractions has always been at the core of the architectural practice (Burke, 2007). Yet today, propelled by the current global pandemic, the rapid normalization of the “spatially indeterminate” experience is calling for the urgent re-thinking of the architectural object, its purpose, function and the systems of meaning that sustain it. More specifically, this paper wishes to examine the future of the architectural experience in the age of the Informated Space. The latter is introduced in this paper as the de facto topos of continuous information flux, conditioned through its capacity to metabolize digitized subjectivities while extracting “behavioral surplus” from the physical domain (Zuboff, 2018). Under its dogma, space is reduced to a total of mathematized and reproducible experiences which are then distributed throughout its network of automated protocols, resulting in ad hoc spatial expressions of domesticity, labor, leisure etc. Still, dreams of an architectural “everything-ness” and the elimination of closure in its definition have been fueling the architectural discourse since the 60s. This paper wishes to re-contextualize them by bridging two notable projects of that era with contemporary writings on information structures and architecture. To do so, it reads the “Alles ist Architektur” manifesto (1968) and the “Proposal for an Extension of the University of Vienna” (1966) by Hans Hollein, through the works of Manuel Castells, Anthony Burke, Shoshana Zuboff and Molly Wright Steenson, in hopes of initiating a larger discussion on issues of architectural agency and production in the age of the Informated Space.
Ioanna Sotiriou is an architect working at the intersection of speculative engineering, information theory and architectural design. Her research-based work, ranging from speculative architectural scenarios and critical writings to short films and interactive narratives, has been published and awarded internationally. She holds a Master of Architecture from UC Berkeley and a Diploma of Architectural Engineering from University of Thessaly. Today she is the COO of a tech startup in the Bay Area and the co-founder of the speculative design studio MIWI.
[Zoom 7: CRITIQUE 2]
+11 UTC SYDNEY 7:35pm – 7:55pm Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 4:35pm – 4:55pm Oct/08
DOMESTIC SPACE: DRAWING BODIES IN MOTION
The physical space of home has begun to take on new meaning as work/life/children/family all fold into one place. The current pandemic has created opportunities for new ways to connect with communities that would not normally have been accessible. This work critically reflects on the potential of the current shifts in spatial paradigms from the binaries of inside-outside, home-workplace to distributed networks of material assemblages.
Drawing Bodies in Motion was an invitation from the Luke Brown Dance company for artists to participate in online drawing sessions1. The call was for individuals to discover strategies to document live movement and to share their practice in a community of artists. It was an offer to investigate the spirit of the body in motion. This fitted with intersections within my practice which responds to the making of space through both feminist philosopher Elizabeth Grosz, who conceptualises the body as a set of surfaces, rotations, contortions, of folds and infolds and as well as this the new materialist thinking of philosopher Jane Bennet, where all material matters in the theatre of everyday life. It invited an open-ended conversation.
The project examines the unfolding of the domestic during the pandemic and its’ potential to critique existing architectural practice. Luke Brown, dancer and choreographer, has used the front room of his house as a makeshift studio, where every Sunday during lockdown he has choreographed a series of improvised dances. The ‘studio’ has been emptied of domestic furniture. Cameras trace Brown’s dance movements which are transmitted across the country through Zoom and the screen of a TV or computer through which ‘life drawing’ takes place mediated by digital networks. This remote practice transforms spatial relationships and dialogues between ‘life model’, artists, space and the scale of the body as a disparate group of artists come together remotely in their homes.
This paper takes the form of a conversation between spaces, dancer, and artists. It represents the movements of the dancer, artists and the spaces they work within.
1. https://www.lukebrowndance.com/drawing-bodies-motion/ accessed July 25 2020.
Belinda Mitchell is a senior lecturer in interior design at the University of Portsmouth, School of Architecture where she is a director for a set of interdisciplinary masters’ programmes and is course leader for the MA in Interior Architecture. She also has a visual arts practice which takes place through collaborative processes and explores the representation of emotion and affect in architectural practice. Recent works include articles, Matter of the Manor (2018) Journal of Interior Design, Wiley and Thresholds of the Future, (2019) Interior Futures, Crucible USA.
[Zoom 7: CRITIQUE 3]
+11 UC SYDNEY 7:55pm – 8:15pm Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 4:55pm – 5:15pm Oct/08
Architecture brings the most disparate of things into proximity: cities, populations, rooms, streets, beds, bodies, love and hate, subjects and senses of self. These elements don’t necessarily have a common denominator that allows them to intertwine, and yet they do. This paper will explore two short texts and one piquant image from the oeuvre of architectural theory, that might throw some light on this question of proximity. The first text is Michel Foucault’s ‘Des Espaces Autres’ paper of 1967. Foucault suggests “[w]e are in the epoch of simultaneity: we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed”.1 Everything is proximity, the bringing into proximity and the casting afar. The second text is Claire Parnet and Gilles Deleuze’s Dialogues II of 1977 with would address the question of the assembled nature of things and the manners by which different types of bodies interact. Here assemblages are not defined by their homogeneity, but in terms of a ‘deepest sympathy’.’2 The philosopher describes sympathy as ‘not a vague feeling of respect’ but rather as ‘bodies who love or hate each other, each time with populations in play, in these bodies or on these bodies.’3 Whilst Deleuze’s subject at the time was Anglo-American literature, the same may be true of architecture and its relation with critical discourse, or indeed of architecture and its productions. This paper will turn specifically to the coupling of buildings and the city itself in an image produced by Madelon Vriesendorp that is located in Rem Koolhaas’s Delirious New York (1994). Vriesendorp’s image Flagrant Délit (1975) depicts the Empire State and Chrysler buildings in a room in a post-coital moment, with a city of people gazing in. This odd assemblage in a book itself concerned with the assembling of a city heralds new forms of sympathy between architecture and philosophy and an alternate logic for what might be considered ‘proximate’ to the architectural assemblage.
1. Michel Foucault, ‘Des espaces autres’, conférence au Cercle d’études architecturales, 14th of March 1967, in Architecture, Mouvement, Continuité, (5/ October 1984): 46-49.
2. Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet, Dialogues II, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2007): 51. Translated by Hugh Tomlinson and Barbara Habberjam.
3. Deleuze and Parnet, Dialogues II, 52.
Dr Chris L. Smith is the Professor of Architectural Theory in the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning at the University of Sydney. Chris’ research, over the last 18 years, has focused on the nexus of architecture and the body. He locates this nexus between architectural theory, philosophy, and the biosciences. He has published on architectural theory and its dynamic relation with body theory, poststructural philosophy (particularly the work of Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari) and technologies of the body. Chris has also published on the complex intersections of architecture, the biosciences, and medical humanities. Chris is the co-editor of Architecture in the Space of Flows (Routledge, 2012), Laboratory Lifestyles: The Construction of Scientific Fictions (MIT Press, 2018); and is the author of Bare Architecture: a schizoanalysis (Bloomsbury, 2017) and co-author of LabOratory: Speaking of the Science and itsArchitecture (MIT Press, 2019).
[Zoom 7: Q&A]
+11 UC SYDNEY 8:15pm – 8:35pm Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 5:15pm – 5:35pm Oct/08
Note: Zoom 8 has been combined with Zoom 7
+11 UTC SYDNEY 8:50pm – 9:45pm Oct/08
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 5:50pm – 6:45pm Oct/08
+2 UTC ZURICH 11:50am – 12:45pm Oct/08
Moderator: HO Puay-Peng
An Emotional Critique of Remote Practices
Both the adjective “remote” and the noun “emotion” are etymologically rooted in the Latin verb movere (“to move”). One is about “moving away”, the other about “moving closer”. Critique does both. It takes a distance in order to judge about its objects and approaches closely in order to resonate with its objects. Critique oscillates between objectivity and partisanship. It is constantly moving and never stands still. While there was little air for critique in the period of star architecture – stars tolerate neither distance nor proximity – the role of architectural critique is again growing. In an environment of disjunction and segregation, of specialization and separation, critique acts as a mediator. Emotions bridge remoteness, critique connects practices.
DAY 2 / SESSION 1
DESIGN RESEARCH 2
+11 UTC 9:30am – 10:45am
+8 UTC 6:30am – 7:45am
Zurich / +2 UTC / 12:30am – 1:45am / Fri
London / +1 UTC / 11:30pm – 12:45am / Thurs-Fri
Washington DC / -4 UTC / 6:30pm – 7:45pm / Thurs
Moderators: Matthew MINDRUP + Paul EMMONS + Joan OCKMAN + Naomi STEAD
+11 UTC SYDNEY 9:30am – 9:55am Oct/09
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 6:30am – 6:55am Oct/09
Architectural drawings and their representational conventions remain fundamental to the reproduction of disciplinary practices. Borrowed and translated from historical conventions, these drawing practices have evolved into a universal codified medium for communicating ideas and intervening into building sites. Divorced from actual building work since antiquity, the drawing board became a mirror site in which the work of design was carried out—as a form of rigorous mental, intellectual, and aesthetic activity.
The peculiar gap between drawing and building frames this paper, which is taken to be a conceptual space where architectural drawing derives its meanings and uses from. Robin Evans’ suggested that the drawing be treated as a ‘locale of subterfuges and evasions,’1 observing a time in the 1970s when architectural drawings/artwork were in danger of being reduced to a mere ‘repository of effects.’2 Evans’ concerns are a timely reminder today when the ‘hand-mechanical-gestures’ on paper—that once connected ‘architectural experimentation and historical reasoning,’ is being ‘trained-out’ of architectural practice.3 The paper gives thought to the future of drawing-research practices, emphasising the possibilities of visual artistic methods to explore alternative and subjective modes of knowing and making architecture.
Taking the architectural drawing as a site of inquiry, the paper probes at architecture’s relationship with the subjective representability of ambience—by evocating the ground-as-atmosphere in a re-drawing of Singapore’s constructed coastlines. Drawing and thinking about the atmospheric—subject matters not usually treated seriously in architectural representation, the drawing project reimagines a vibrant ground plane, much more imbricative to architecture. By borrowing and translating from alternative drawing practices—including those endemic to the region—that prioritise the particulate and miniscule, the drawings misuse and abuse architecture’s representational conventions to re-figure the ground-as-atmosphere. Retracing the movements in which the work oscillates between an architectural drawing and a piece of visual art, the paper asks instead: what matters to architecture?
1. Robin Evans, Translations from Drawing to Building and Other Essays (London: Janet Evans and Architectural Association, 1997), 186.
2. Evans, 160.
3. John May, ‘Everything Is Already an Image’, in Log 40, ed. Cynthia Davidson (New York: Anyone Corporation, 2017), 16–17.
Zihao Wong is a PhD student at the National University of Singapore’s Department of Architecture. His research probes on the relation of the ground to architecture, utilising drawing as a form of speculative and artistic research method, to interrogate the ground’s (in)visible and (non/under)representable processes to architecture. He hopes to reconcile a more fluid and enigmatic image and imagination of the ground to the built environment. Previously, he has worked as an architectural educator and co-founded Singaporean-based architecture and design practice Studio Super Safari.
+11 UTC SYDNEY 10am – 10:20am Oct/09
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 7am – 7:20am Oct/09
A Digital Table for a Quarantined “Foodscape“
Gabriela Aquije ZEGARRA
In the past four months COVID-19 pandemic slowdown our massive consumption and raise awareness about our daily habits and its ‘bioregional’2 impact. With the former shutdown of urban foodscapes, public and private eating practices juxtaposed inside the household. As response to this spatial phenomenon, after the outburst of digital platforms for working remotely, a new niche of digital events for leisure and cultural exchange emerged. As an architect, this context triggered me to test new design mediums and methods, and thus explore eating infrastructures that support sustainable food systems and reinforce cultural forms of collectivity, despite physical isolation.
Therefore, I will analyze the design challenge of adapting a Sobremesa, a familiar dinning ritual from Latin American culture, into a digital platform. In the early weeks of global lockdown, it started as an eating support system between friends overseas. Then, during the course of 3 months and 46 sessions, Quarantined Sobremesa resulted into a digital mealtime format that brought together international strangers. Taking this interface as a “designerly public engagement”3 process, I was able to analyze and design within the spatial and social structures of different actors and global foodways. In doing so, a meal became a joyful but rather critical medium to reassess our everyday eating habits.
This eventful experiment reunited the cultural and caring cohesion of household dining with the foodways of a global community. As we transition to the post Covid-19 world, could a digital Sobremesa raise awareness on the link between our tables and ‘bioregional Food Systems’? The journalist and designer John Thackara urged designers to create platforms that give priority to human- nature knowledge exchange, for “the practice of ecology is the forging of relationships.”4 Therefore, I argue that to procure a system change, a plausible starting point is a mediated and horizontal conversation between diverse actors inside the Food Systems.
1. Horwitz, et al. Eating Architecture. (Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2004) 10 -11
2. Thackara, Bioregioning: Pathways to Urban-Rural Reconnection (She Ji, Tongji University Press, 2019) 15
3. Lindström and Ståhl, Inviting to co-articulations of issues in designerly public engagement (London, Bloomsbury Academic Publishing, 2016) 184
4. Thackara, Ibid. 20
Gabriela Aquije Zegarra is a Peruvian architect and design researcher, currently based in Germany. Along her work as a landscape designer, she took part in local and international projects related to exhibition design, curatorial and pedagogical research. Through the lenses of critical space practice she engages actively with the public realm: human tissue, cultural material, and space. Since 2019 she is part of the COOP MSc. Design Research academic partnership between the Bauhaus Stiftung, Hochschule Anhalt, and Universität Humboldt zu Berlin. Currently developing her master’s thesis on food, and how it can act as a joyful medium for critical exchange in the Food Systems.
Matthew MINDRUP +
Paul EMMONS + Joan OCKMAN + Naomi STEAD
+11 UTC SYDNEY 10:25am – 10:45am Oct/09
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 7:25am – 7:45am Oct/09
DAY 2 / SESSION 2
+11 UTC 5pm – 8:45pm
+8 UTC 2pm – 5:45pm
Zurich / +2 UTC / 8am – 11:45am / Fri
London / +1 UTC / 7am – 10:45am / Fri
Washington DC / -4 UTC / 2am – 5:45am / Fri
Moderators: Chris SMITH [Zoom 11] / Erik L’HEUREUX [Zoom 12 & 13]
[Zoom 11] Schedule
+11 UTC SYDNEY 5pm – 5:55pm Oct/09
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 2pm – 2:55pm Oct/09
Moderator: Chris SMITH
Architectural education in the first person:
propinquity, professionalism, and personalism
Propinquity carries the simple meaning of proximity, or closeness. But it also has a more nuanced implication – of the happy accidents which emerge from adjacency, both conceptual (the spark arising from an unexpected juxtaposition of ideas, the imaginative leap between disparate things brought close) and more commonly, psychosocial. The ‘propinquity effect’ is an important principle in the field of social psychology – the law whereby people in regular and close proximity are more likely to form interpersonal bonds. So, in observing the strangely-transformed particularities of life during pandemic conditions, what happens when a teacher of architecture, who is also a writer and scholar, and leader of an architecture school, attempts to make sense of current and dramatic changes to propinquity, including the much-touted collapse of professionalism, and the rise of a new ‘personalism’. Drawing upon architecture’s uniquely restless, appropriative interdisciplinarity, its rangy, boundary-riding experimentation with forms of building and writing, its curious and variegated mix of methods, its creative misapplications, its address to built form as both container and contained – the paper proposes that our discipline may have something particular to say about this moment, about our practices and pedagogies, about remoteness and propinquity.
Moderator: Erik L’HEUREUX
+11 UTC SYDNEY 6:10pm – 7:35pm Oct/09
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 3:10pm – 4:35pm Oct/09
– – –
[Zoom 12: PEDAGOGY 1]
+11 UTC SYDNEY 6:10pm – 6:35pm Oct/09
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 3:10pm – 3:35pm Oct/09
Architecture studio as a (tele)design clinic
In 1968, in a biting address to the Conference on InterAmerican Student Projects (CIASP) in Cuernavaca, Mexico, titled “To Hell with Good Intentions,” Monsignor Ivan Illich called on the US students, volunteers, and do-gooders to recognize their work in the country as an extension of cultural colonialism, and instead focus on the issues abundantly present at home. Little though has changed in the last fifty years, and “advanced travel studios” have become a staple of architectural education in the US, sending students into communities all over the world without any background, and without any possibility to offer a meaningful contribution to the very people who hosted and became objects of their studies. It seems one thing to thank the pandemic for is that this kind of pedagogy is now over, bringing an end to a form of cultural exploitation.
Yet if the studio format were to remain the fundament of architecture education – the studio, too, while allowing for peer-to-peer learning, experimentation and discovery, can be an insular experience.
Continuity of a project from semester to semester is also challenging (if not virtually impossible). Travel (if necessary) costly, complicated and ultimately too short to fully understand a specific community, is essentially out of the question now. But question of how to prepare students to engage with the very stakeholders who will be the beneficiaries of their work, to advance the understanding of architecture beyond mere form or mere technology remains. How can engagement be practiced in principle in architecture, and with the added difficulty (or benefit) of everyone staying home? There are a handful of “radical pedagogies” (as Beatrice Colomina called them in the eponymous web archive) focusing on the local conditions to consider as productive precedents – such as Senezh Studio in Russia, Open City in Valparaiso in Chile, Rural Studio in Alabama, to name a few, as well as the IDEO ToolKit, as series of methodologies. But the remote engagement – both as function of physical proximity and cultural connection – remains, well, remote.
As a productive alternative, this discussion presents design clinic (similar to law or medical clinic) in architecture. Not focusing on a specific locale or specific formal issue, the clinic is open to all “suffering” from a situation that can be aided, bettered, alleviated, or solved by design. With some experience at Cornell under the rubric of Design Plan, the clinic has tackled problems of reuse, upcycling and spoliation in a wide range of conditions and locales from villages in Upstate New York and Western Poland to abandoned post-soviet industrial cities in Armenia. A certain methodology evolved, developing an understanding of how the place, culture and community formed (over years, centuries, millennia) in a comprehensive visual form requires students to open their views to be criticized, deepened, and corrected as part of the engagement. Discussions with stakeholders often involved a physical object, an offering, in order to engage senses beyond sight and sound. Finally, the final product (projects) had to be designed as an instrument of further development to be undertaken by the local community.
Now given that everyone stays home, physical presence of “foreigners” and cultural subjugation of “locals”, whether they are a street or a world apart, is in a way impossible, leaving both – the architect and the subject equal in the space of the screen, at least for the duration of the exchange. Can the design clinic achieve a pedagogical and moral level unattainable to a normative travelling studio in this tele- medicine mode? And what would Ivan Illich think of these intentions?
Aleksandr Mergold, B’Arch Cornell, M’Arch Princeton, is an assistant professor of architecture at Cornell University and a founding partner at Austin+Mergold LLC (A+M), an architecture, landscape, and design practice. Aleksandr’s agenda in practice and inquiry focuses on a “design-and-adapt” modus operandi (the contemporary interpretation of spolia), repurposing all that is mundane, common, available and disposable in today’s construction, infrastructure, technology, and resources.
[Zoom 12: PEDAGOGY 2]
+11 UTC SYDNEY 6:35pm – 6:55pm Oct/09
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 3:35pm – 3:55pm Oct/09
UNFOLDING THE DIMENSIONS OF WORLD: METAPHORICAL SPACE SND QUARANTINE TEACHING WITH THE STUDENT DISAPORA
Distance learning is a problem of representation. We live in an era bombarded with visual online images. Knowing how to decode these, and sort information from noise is now vital to our youth. We best understand and recognize representations that we can correlate to our life experiences, and embodied sensory knowledge. I now recognize that one key to new online education is finding ways to create analogous physical experiences around the students, and to facilitate them creating these situations for themselves. Virtual information must be recognized and contextualized by being ‘internalized’ in a metaphorical way, by way of the body, which makes it both emotionally charged and spatially memorable. Learning makes use of a certain correspondence between the unknown and the known. Depth is part of this. We need an axis which, like symbolism, links mental and spiritual realities with physical ones.
Learning is a journey, along which knowledge is co-created. I’ve been teaching full time since May in the first cohort of quarantine professors. I’m thinking a lot about creative practices from history that people carried out removed from public space and the everyday world, such as the particulars of medieval memory work (Mary Carruthers) which form part of a wide variety of solitary meditative practices from traditions across the world. Among these strategies is one that comes from medieval contemplative exercises, to map one space onto another in a corporeal memory exercise, the way architectonic locations within the real lived space of a church, and movement from one to the next, corresponded to stations of the cross in the city of Jerusalem, in the imagination. These are simplified, public versions of memory palaces. I’ve used this concept of metaphorical space in a course on landscape and representation, where cultural content was based on fiction films from world cinema, the students making weekly studies of their local landscape areas through photography. The complementary strategy is leveraging the diversity of experience to create collective intelligence, an incentive for connection between students in asynchronous online discussions.
Tracey Eve Winton, Associate Professor at University of Waterloo, is an architect, artist, scholar, and urbanist, specialized in iconography, architectural narrative, and spatial symbolism. She received two international teaching awards, the ACSA Creative Achievement Award and the NCBDS Faculty Award. Ongoing research investigates the language of modern architecture in the work of Carlo Scarpa, and includes a book decoding discourses in Scarpa’s Castelvecchio Museum in Verona. Recent publications include an essay on space and time in the paintings of Giorgio de Chirico.
[Zoom 12: PEDAGOGY 3]
+11 UTC SYDNEY 6:55pm – 7:15pm Oct/09
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 3:55pm – 4:15pm Oct/09
Matthew MINDRUP & Jodi LA COE
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes, to behold the world through the eyes of another.” – Marcel Proust
In Marcel Proust’s seminal work, The Search for Lost Time (1913–1927), the narrator comments at length on the ability of art or music to permit the audience access to the world of the composer’s own making. The student of architecture today is certainly no stranger to the capacity of buildings to disclose the genius of architects in their transformation of site and climate, form and function, as well as material and methods into places for human habitation. However, this understanding owes a debt to a shift in European design pedagogy that occurred at the beginning of the twentieth century. After the devastation of World War I, German reformist Heinrich Jacoby and his partner, the pioneer in sensory awareness, Elsa Gildner, inspired many to reorient their pedagogical approach to students as unique individuals, full of creative instincts. Like many others, Jacoby had been inspired by Hegel’s revival of the Greek concept of kenosis, which he described in his Phenomenology of Spirit (published in 1807). Faculty at the Bauhaus admired Jacoby and Gildner’s educational model, especially the emphasis on healing and revealing the potential of each student as a whole person. This was undoubtedly the case for former Bauhaus master, László Moholy-Nagy when he and architect George Fred Keck introduced the design of a primitive house as a task at the New Bauhaus in Chicago, later the School of Design and eventually becoming the Institute of Design. Similar to Proust’s narrator who perceives the manifold decisions about their materials and tools in creating a work of art or music, Moholy-Nagy’s students were encouraged to rediscover the inventive mechanics employed in the fabrication of age-old architectures of remote climatic and geographic conditions.
Frequently hailed as the beginning of contemporary architectural education, the Bauhaus was originally conceived by Walter Gropius in 1919 as an alternative to a normative Beaux Arts study of exemplars in antiquity. As Gropius explained, Bauhaus pedagogy was predicated on an assumption that a student’s propensity to conceive new technological solutions could only be fostered by liberating the pupil “from the dead weight of conventions” through an early study and composition of different materials. For thousands of years, architects and educators approached education as plerotic, a filling up of the student as an otherwise empty vessel. The opposite of a kenotic pedagogy, an emptying out of the student as a whole, fully formed, full of anxiety, human being.
This paper will examine the primitive house project at the New Bauhaus as a remote practice – a kenotic pedagogical method intended to produce fresh eyes, or what Hegel described as an externalization of the self. This method was unpacked later in Sibyl Moholy-Nagy’s book titled The Native Genius of Anonymous Architecture. She develops the Hegelian synthesis of plerotic and kenotic learning through an understanding of anonymous, yet enduring design that defies the “zeal of the historian.” She redefines the primitive house as ‘original’ rather than simple and, in this sense, prototypical. As an alternative to the naturalisation of European exemplars, the Moholy-Nagys and Keck demonstrate the didactic value of designing structures for remote cultures, not by imitating the methods of construction at home but by bringing a set of fresh eyes to rethinking their traditional use materials and techniques.
Matthew Mindrup is Senior Lecturer of Architectural History and Theory at the University of Sydney and currently its Director of Undergraduate Programs in Architecture Design and Planning. Originally trained as an architect, he is also a historian, with books on the material imagination in architectural practice and the first comprehensive history of the different uses for architectural models since antiquity until the present. His forthcoming books treat the art of forgetting in architecture and reflect on the architectural imagination in the evolution of the practice.
[Zoom 12: Q&A]
+11 UC SYDNEY 7:15pm – 7:35pm Oct/09
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 4:15pm – 4:35pm Oct/09
+11 UTC SYDNEY 7:50pm – 8:45pm Oct/09
+8 UTC SINGAPORE 4:50pm – 5:45pm Oct/09
+1 UTC LONDON 9:50am – 10:45am Oct/09
Moderator: Erik L’HEUREUX
Drawing Narratives, Architectural Storytelling
Drawing narratives can be an unorthodox but extraordinary medium for architectural speculations. The eccentric characteristics of drawings by CJ Lim and his Bartlett PG Unit 10 advocate the symbiosis of critical thinking and the processes of conception and conceptualisation of design – the layered nature provides versatility in the imagination of spatial experiences, enabling the complex stories of place, brief and building to materialise. Whether it is a stop-frame animation, a propaganda-comic, or simply a single-frame collage, the heart of an architecture narrative is where we discover the true potential of our human condition. At the same time, the politicisation of architecture through storytelling engenders a sense of optimism to reappraise design futures, even impossible ideas to address the world in crisis.
Roundtable [Zoom 14]
Moderators: Lilian CHEE + Matthew MINDRUP
+11 UTC 9pm – 10:20pm
+8 UTC 6pm – 7:20pm
Zurich / +2 UTC / 12pm – 1:20pm / Fri
London / +1 UTC / 11am – 12:20pm / Fri
Washington DC / -4 UTC / 6am – 7:20am / Fri
DRAWINGS: LIN DERONG/ GOI YONG CHERN/ ANTHEA PHUA/EMMA LAU
Architecture in Proximity
Lilian Chee, PhD
National University of Singapore
Department of Architecture, School of Design and Environment
Matthew Mindrup, PhD
The University of Sydney
School of Architecture Design and Planning
Erik G. L’Heureux
Wong Zi Hao
RxD Research by Design Cluster, DoA
Mun Qin Jie Ian
Fawwaz Bin Azhar
Graphics & Web Design
Lilian Chee, Jason Cheong, Natalie Cheung, Cheryl Chung Zhi Wei, Toby Fong Khee Chong, Erik G. L’Heureux, Valerie Khong, Pennie Kwan Jia Wen, Liew Yuqi, Kate Lim, Lin Derong, Felicia Lin, Liu Guofeng, Lee Jing Han, Jolene Lee, Nicholas Lua, Mun Qin Jie Ian, Claudia Sonia Nam, Alvan Ng, Ng Yi Hui Mary Ann, Ong Chan Hao, Poh Wei Bing, David Siow, Eunice Siow, Peter Sim, Su Myat Noe Niang, Swee Yew Yong, Sy Lyn Yong, Studio Super Safari, Tan Chiew Hui, Jeanette Tan, Tan Jing Min, Andrew Teo, Shawn Teo, Sharmaine Toh, Wong Zihao, Wu Yu-Chen, Yang Weichuan, Zhai Siyu, Zhang Linwang
Cover Drawings: Goi Yong Chern (2020), Emma Lau (2020), Lin Derong (2018), Anthea Phua (2020)
The University of Sydney – National University of Singapore Partnership Collaboration Awards 2020
Office of Global Engagement | Level 3, Administration Building (F23) | The University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia
Office of the Deputy President (Research and Technology) | National University of Singapore | 21 Lower Kent Ridge Road, Singapore 119077