Architecture and our urban environment arise from a long history of development and tradition. Even the Modernists, who dismissed the rules
of classical architecture, produced rules that were simply a version of what had been before. Architecture does not exist in a vacuum. It is shaped by history, social contexts, and culture. It is inherently biased and this is not necessarily a bad thing but something to be recognized and acknowledged. In fact, we can learn from what biases and ideologies are revealed by architecture to put forward alternative architectural narratives in the contemporary context. In this sense, society can be understood through its architectures and representations producing new historical and contemporary readings of space that are in some ways more honest than those provided in textbooks.
Architecture shapes space. It is a tool that creates a virtuality of experience. It manifests an inside and an outside (Deleuze, 1988). We can think of the outside as the socio-political and cultural constructs, and this inside becomes a reflection of that providing a looking glass to understand subjectivities in space. Architecture then becomes an interesting intersection of psychology, philosophy, science, technology, sociology, ecology and
Participating Students: Anastasia Fedotova, Clarence Mensah, David Swan, Fawz Hussein, Henintsoa Tierry Andrianambinina, Ioanna Athanasopoulou, Jennifer Pham, Soleil Nguyen, Ziyi Zhao
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This thesis studio was conducted over the 2022-23 Academic Year with a seminar conducted in the first term and a design studio conducted in the second term. It was attended by master and undergraduate students at RISD. Please see some of the work the thesis studio created.
And congratulations to Anastasia Fedotova for winning the Undergraduate Thesis Prize!
To the left: Jennifer Pham, a short video showing the results of a weaving workshop prototype
Below: Jennifer Pham, workshop poster and imagined "Soft City" 'guerilla' urban interventions
Above: Anastasia Fedotova, research on Soviet Housing- "National by Form, Socialist by Content"
Above: Fawz Hussein, research on Egyptian appropriation- "How much is too much?"
Above: Thierry Andrianambimina, research on Hemp-crete material properties and prototyping modular bricks