Disentangling Space

Disentangling Space

Learning from the city, we will experiment with the representation and inclusion of the city’s more imponderable factors; we will reassess, redefine context and then find ways to work with it. To do this we will deploy a random approach to the city, one that focuses on an arbitrary territory centered on a city block or on an urban condition.

Before inserting anything into the city, we need to establish what the context for this insertion might be. Although we tend to culturally acknowledge and accept the complexity of the city’s context, we rarely apply the same reasoning when we set out to transform it. We, as users, recognise the effects that, let’s say, groups, trends, religion, terrorism and crime have on our experience of the city, but architects and city-makers rarely include these factors into their design equations. This raises the question: why not? If these types of factors truly affect our experience of space, we need to find ways of incorporating them into our designs.

Learning from the city, we will experiment with the representation and inclusion of the city’s more imponderable factors; we will reassess, redefine context and then find ways to work with it. To do this we will deploy a random approach to the city, one that focuses on an arbitrary territory centered on a city block or on an urban condition. The arbitrariness of this approach will allow us to speculate on alternative forms of urban transformation and to experiment with new spatial configurations that include physical structures, situations and strategies.

Experienced city space, with its formal, social, cultural, economic and political factors (variables), undoubtedly, encompasses physical and social structures, built forms and situations, but can these qualities be adopted in the making of architectural space?

After disentangling the composite nature of the city’s space, our aim will be to experiment with the relationships that exist between physical and social structures and to speculate on alternative methods for designing complex spatial interventions that directly affect the live realm of the city and transform the urban fabric.

The above describes an introductory project carried out in 4th year by CSM students. Tutor-initiated investigations allow them to develop individual approaches going into their 5th year.