Radio Architecture Workshop (summer)

Permission of Instructor


  • Workshop occurs in Summer 2020 but registration is for the Fall 2020 term.
  • Expected number of work hours per week: 6
  • Structure of workshop: group meetings via broadcast
  • To enroll, please contact the instructors, benhoyle@mit.edu, jlandman@mit.edu, elevi@mit.edu

How do we design and think about architecture without seeing it? In this workshop, participants will work with the distanced, durational and disquieting qualities of radio to develop new ways to make and understand space. In this moment of estrangement, this workshop proposes the alternative medium of radio as a way to access other senses, other voices, other methods and other places of production.

At MIT we are used to endless corridors, indeterminate boundaries and loose edges: a shifting structure in which a large percentage of our learning is ambient and multi-sensory. The architecture school as a place is a design tool we have lost in our recent virtual turn. Can radio be structured like the Long Lounge, the infinite corridor, or that one classroom on the other side of the naval engineering department? Can radio allow us to anticipate outcomes other than the models and drawings produced in a typical studio?

 In the first weeks of the workshop we will experiment with non-visual design, and explore writing and interview methods for making space-on-the-air. Following this period, participants will settle into small working groups, which will record and represent their work through a series of broadcasts, independently or in collaboration; these might be conceived of as vignettes, conversations, or kits of parts. Every Monday, participants will tune into a broadcast lecture around a theme for the week. Many of these will involve guest speakers from outside the field of architecture (eg: a sound artist, a fragrance maker, a material scientist, a poet, and a chef), or digests from concurrent summer initiatives. On Thursdays the work we produce will be broadcast during an experimental live lab session. The radio will be an alternative place — a side-road, an archipelago, or a parasite — both within the department and beyond its reach.