We just got back from Wintersession and our semester has begun. At RISD, we have a unique schedule. In between semesters, during the months of January and February we have six weeks to take classes outside of our major or do study abroad. Hannah was in San Miguel, Mexico for a design/build studio. They began construction on an adobe community center. I was in Paris studying photography and print media in the digital age.
Hannah mixing mortar
Lucas at the Louvre
We just had the lottery to select our advanced studios. This is the first semester where we were able to pick which design studio we wanted to participate in. This studio is the main focus of the semester, with most time being devoted to this class.
Choices were as follows:
1. WRITING THE CITY: ISTANBUL: MAPS, STORIES & BUILDINGS
The organization of this course will operate on a model of a treasure hunt, first with maps, studying, then making, then through stories and their relationships with maps. Finally, a design of buildings that respond to those findings. This studio includes a spring break trip Istanbul.
2. UTOPIAN CITY: PROVIDENCE
After studying architect's visions of utopia, one will design places to live, work and play in the later 21st century.
3. NEW PUBLIC (SQUARED)
After food trucks converged on the an empty lot in Santa Monica, an instant buzz of activity began until the city shut it down citing zoning ordinances. Taking a cue from this event, we will create a new public square that takes advantage of ephemeral experiences and a choreographed public life. A week trip to LA will take place to visit the site.
4. TROJAN HORSE: CAMPUS IN HIMALAYAS
Sponsored studio by Bon Shen Ling Education Fund to build a vocational campus in Northern India for the Tibetan diaspora. Designs will take advantage of terrain, climate, history and culture of the area. A trip to India during spring break will take place to visit the site.
5. VERNACULAR CONTEXTUALISM
Starting with the researching of boat building will provide a framework of tectonic language. The studio will design an addition to a museum in Woods Hole, MA. Space will include exhibition space, archives and offices. This studio will involve a real client and the potential for one of the designs to be constructed.
6. WITHIN WALLS: CONSTRUCTED DISCOURSE ON ARCHITECTURE, ENVIRONMENT AND SOCIETY IN THE MEDINA OF FEZ
After mapping and documenting existing conditions and focusing on the potential of walls, we will make proposals for additions and alterations that speculate on and address these conditions. Working with KILO Architectures as clients there will be a trip to Morocco over spring break.
7. PROGRAM AS A SOURCE FOR AN ARCHITECTURE NARRATIVE
This studio will engage a program for a large urban medical research facility to be built in the Jewerly District of Providence. Working with Boston-based Payette Architects we will examine a complete research facility program and develop strategies for urban form and density all while organizing architectural elements to sustain the life of Providence.
8. SKIN DEEP: TILTING THE FIELD: EXPLORATIONS IN VERTICAL FARMING
This studio will look at the capacity of the skin of a building to nourish life within, resulting in case studies of a new building typology: the vertical farm. They will also look at real world constraints and partner with local institutions to explore possibilities. Trips to local farms as research will take place to learn farming techniques.
9. URBAN SYSTEMS 2010: EARTH UNIVERSITY
Working with RISD's Landscape Architecture Department, this studio continues the work of last year's studio to design the entire second campus for this international campus devoted to the sustainability of the tropics. Research will focus on campus precedents, architectural and land use typologies and an understanding of geology, ecology, hydrology and sociology of Costa Rica. A spring break trip to Costa Rica to visit the university will take place.
We both had fairly good lottery numbers resulting in each of us getting our first choice. Hannah is in the Morocco studio, while I am in the studio to Los Angeles.
Check back later for photos of our studio spaces and current work.