As architects we don’t necessarily start with a blank slate to only resolve the functional requirements. Consciously or subconsciously we bring our histories, memories and dimensions of our ‘selves’ into the creative process. It is therefore important to acknowledge where we come from and access the various memories and experiences that have formed us. Through the act of creating spaces, the studio unit sets out to inquire into the varying degree of intimacy in the self’s relationship to the world mediated through three contexts of inhabitation growing sequentially in complexity.

During its emergence, creative work calls for two simultaneous foci – the world and the self; and as a consequence of this double focus every profound work is essentially a microcosmic representation of the world and an unconscious self portrait at the same time.

The Thinking Hand, Juhani Pallasma

Learning Outcomes

Starting with the design of small spaces of solitude, intimacy & congregation in a subterranean site, moving on to the design of a home and culminating in the design of a small institution, students will investigate the relationship of the self to the world mediated through architecture. 

While we will encounter numerous questions about inhabitation and articulation of space, the four questions critical to the studio are:

  • How is the creative process informed by experiences and memories?
  • What is the relationship between body, memory, emotion and space?
  • How do we inhabit a space?
  • How can architecture anticipate futures to transcend its function?

Students will learn to apply the method of accessing their experiences & memories through drawings, associational maps, collages & models and integrate them into the design process across different scales. Peer Reviews, Visual Concept Maps & Reflective journaling are three tools & processes that will be recurrently employed.

Constituent exercises and design problems of the studio unit will help students learn to:

  • Recognize the relationship between body, memory, feeling and space
  • Formulate a conceptual framework (based on the above) to aid design processes across scales
  • Apply a kit of parts which include elements and dimensional modules for designing spaces
  • Analyze the context of a project in terms of the site, inhabitant profiles and socio-cultural specificities
  • Evaluate the transformation/ growth/ expansion in contextual parameters
  • Synthesize inferences from diverse processes to create relevant architecture across different scales

Task & Design briefs will explicitly define & map the interrelationship between exercise objectives, deliverables, assessment criteria and learning outcomes.