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Architectural Design Workshop — architecture.img

Prerequisites: 
Permission of instructor
Enrollment: 
Limited to 10
Open only to: 
BSA, MArch, SMArchS, ACT students

This “workshop” examines the power of the digital “image” and its shifting status in architectural discourse and production. Three basic assumptions will underwrite the conversations for the semester: one: that the image is a visual byte that is able to circulate; two: that architecture exists today more as images than lived experience given its relationship to an audience now found increasingly online; and three: the web has acquired a mass cultural ubiquity that is no longer surprising or novel, but everyday and common. With this, architecture’s disciplinary methods, audiences, and visual culture continue to undergo a resettling and warrant a reconsideration of how images pervade our discourse, production, and culture. Throughout the workshop, both theoretical and creative examination of the image and its status online, the techniques of its production and effects, and lastly the critiques of its engagement will fuel our investigations.

As such, the workshop is organized as an intensive that enables research through production, distributed across three exercises in the first half of the semester, and one long-form project in the remaining half. This format will make room for lectures, guest lectures, tutorials, presentations, and critiques across the space of two week intervals distributed over classes that take place twice a week. Exercises and discussions will welcome extra-disciplinary concepts, techniques, and modes of critique.

Specifically, to help anchor this territory of inquiry, the course will draw on conversations and guests in and around art, media studies, internet studies, and computer science. Some of the preliminary characters students will read through, both architectural and otherwise, include the likes of David Joselit, Hito Steyerl, Artie Vierkant, John May, Curtis Roth, and Lev Manovich. Specialized tutorials will introduce both high and low technologies outside of an architectural comfort zone, the likes of which include bots, artificial intelligence, encoding algorithms, crowdsourcing marketplaces, and video game engines. With these tools and the like, students will consider architecture’s agency, methods, and visuality through the image and its siting on the web. The course will culminate in a juried critique of a final project that will welcome a breadth of mediums including situations, apps, games, physical objects, exhibits, and videos.