Students were asked to design and construct a surveillance device- a full scale instrument by which to navigate and document the city. This device served as an interface between the body and its environment, and was therefore attached to, designed for, and executed by a strategic part of their body. The purpose of the surveying tool set to filter and focus one's perception of the urban context, by either inhibiting or enhancing one of the senses used to experience the city.
Featured Work: Damien Yip, Ming Yap, Christine Chen
Employing mapping as a critical tool in the investigation and transformation of urban space, the city was conceived of as a palimpsest of accumulated material traces, an urban residue which enabled what we called 'Architectural Forensics.' Such design process involved the production and testing of theoretical and functional armatures for navigating the terrain of the city.
The studio examined the notion of 'site' and 'siting' in a variety of readings: as a conceptual idea, an experiential narrative, and programmatic framework, an urban armature, as well as a tectonic and detailed construct.
Featured Work: Damien Yip, Kim Bridgland, Ben Han Yap, Jason Gec
Having identified an urban agenda, a site conflict, and constructed an analogical model of the city fabric, students intervened within their models by restricting, enhancing, observing, containing, or displacing the conflict at hand.
These strategies translated into individual learning laboratories as satellite buildings to a studio wide collective Urban Forensics Lab: a network of aggregate sensing machines dispersed and implanted within the city fabric of Melbourne.
Featured Work: John Xsu, Ming Yap, Jason Gec, Christine Chen
Aimed at tackling the nature of spatial sequencing and human scale, the studio was asked to diagram through recorded imagery, an experiential phenomenon that we see and feel every day - the process of getting dressed. Focusing not on what the body looked like, and instead on how it functioned, the objective was to explore tactile and sensual properties of space in relation to surface, movement, and light.
Unrestricted by process or scale, the students were encouraged to define how much of the body they were willing to record as guided by the specific procedure of dressing they had selected. What the students chose to record and how they designed their motion capture process was as important as the transformation drawing generated by it.
Having generated two dimensional representations of the moving body, the studio strategically analysed the individual drawings for key focal points, critical hinges, and emerging patterns. The ensuing challenge was to translate the motion diagrams into three dimensions, creating an analogical model of the transformation.
Featured Work: Sandra Bonito, Helen Chen, Marcus Caraballo, Carolyn Ichniowsky, Ariel Wang
Figural motion analysis served as the foundation for the design of an inhabitable unit for one person - a changing room. Seemingly open ended in its definition, the room was anticipated to house the specific process of getting dressed which generated the students’ initial figural drawings.
The changing room was understood as a dynamic structure; one whose design and construction transformed in response to its intended use. As such, the studio was asked to construct a kinetic model which moved in accordance with the human body; responding to and activated by the motion it was facilitating.
Featured Work: Ari Lichtenstein, Sandra Bonito, Carolyn Ichniowsky, Lauren Esepeth, Sara Shalam
Students were challenged to design performative interchanges, negotiating and responding to their immediate urban contexts. Facilitating the interaction of one viewer and one performer, the interchange program became a theatrical interplay between two bodies in space, ultimately putting into question: who is watching and who is being watched?
While disguised as an interface between two people, the design aspired to serve a higher purpose- to act as an interface between the site patterns within the city. The theater was not to be perceived as a static backdrop, but rather, itself an actor upon an urban stage. It would perform much like the artist, activating human motion, player interaction, sensory experience, and networks of urban activity around it.
By employing the theater as an agent of change in the city, the boundary between the architecture and its user became blurred. The former seized to be a silent observer of the latter, becoming the action as well.
Featured Work: Qi Wang, Sandra Bonito, Taylor Voss