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Crafted Narratives: make-value, use-value


After travelling faraway back in time in search of poetic guidance for architectural crafting, this year Intermediate 2 will cross the Atlantic and seek inspiration in the unorthodox architecture of Italo-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi (1914-1992). Sceptical about predominantly intellectualized approaches in design, Bo Bardi spoke in favour of a !design-free" attitude in architecture, devising a more direct and visceral connection between the act of making and the act of using. In a world today, where architecture seems more and more corporate and alienated from the general public, where contractors seem to be running the show, endorsed by an overwhelming burden of mandatory regulations, it is stimulating to find in Lina Bo Bardi an approach that bypasses formalities of all sorts in favour of a straight, spontaneous engagement with material, user and context. Bo Bardi believed that unorthodox architectures would encourage unorthodox activities, giving birth to a happier and freer society. To achieve this, architecture should be thought of not as a !monument to (Western) civilization", but as an !infrastructural environment for living", by focusing on material and contextual grounding, tolerance to !architectural incidents", a taste for improvisation, and sensitivity towards popular manifestations in culture. Bo Bardi saw poetry not in the polished virtuosity of the architectural drawing but in the spontaneity of crafting simple, ordinary things and developed a fresh viewpoint in architecture that promises to reinvigorate the exhausted discourse in Europe today. Based on this Intermediate 2 will re-engage with the users, with our cities and with our immediate living environment. In the first term, we will research Lina’s oeuvre and adopt her methodologies to investigate and record our site in Soho, London. We will focus on material-specific processes of model- and mapmaking. We will then travel to Brazil and take a close look not only at Lina"s buildings but also at the cultural material that gave her inspiration. In the second term we will design a building in Soho following a chosen aspect of Bo Bardi"s architectural approach. Soho, like Bo Bardi"s Brazilian context, is by nature a fastchanging environment that accommodates a fairly unorthodox mode of living, with its long history of immigrating waves and its unusual mix of sex shops, brothels, high range restaurants, theatres, pubs and housing. In the third term we will compile the projects we developed throughout the year in a crafted book, with a help of a workshop. This book will be presented to the Bardi Institute in Brazil as a potential artefact for future exhibitions commemorating the life and work of Lina Bo Bardi.

TAKERO SHIMAZAKI is a director of a leading UK practice, Toh Shimazaki Architecture in London. He also runs t-sa forum workshops, which are associated with the practice. He has taught and lectured internationally. The practice combines critical thinking with projects that are built and realised since 1996. www.t-sa.co.uk DR ANA ARAUJO practices as a designer, an educator and a researcher. She works at the crossover between spatial and textile design, having published and exhibited internationally (Germany, Holland, Brazil, UK, Japan, Australia). Ana is currently working on a publication and exhibition about Lina Bo Bardi"s work, as part of a larger project of dissemination of twentiethcentury Latin American craft and design worldwide.


We live in a world that treats the dead better than the living. We, the living are askers of questions and givers of answers, and we have other grave defects unpardonable by a system that believes death, like money, improves people. Eduardo Galeano, The Open Veins of Latin America The events in the financial world of the past two years or so have given us a wake up call and much food for thought in terms of the values we give to the places we inhabit, the houses we live in and the cities we actively enjoy. The collapse of the economical growth based on overly ambitious loan systems and the mortgage market have stressed the need for identifying new values in our built environment. Building represents one of the most basic human needs (along with food and clothing) and therefore it also reflects local cultural identity. Architecture has been carelessly exchanged and valued as an economical commodity globally, and this has alienated it from its users. Direct relationships between the provider, the designer, the maker, and the user are rare nowadays – and often not valued. An indirect consequence of this is that many craftspeople have shut their shops and their skills have not been passed on. For designers, this has also implied in a form of alienation, reflecting in the procurement methods in the industry such as the !Design and Build" route, for example, where the contractor, rather than the designer, tends to take the lead role. This excessive formalization and bureaucratization results in an architecture that lacks human qualities. Perhaps for the wrong reasons, the situation now asks for change. As the corporate model proved economically unviable, there is an opportunity for us to think of other ways of operating in the building industry. These new ways are to be found, however, not in the developed, or so-called !leading" cultures of the Western world, where society has been almost irreversibly immersed in the logic of neo-liberalism, but in cultures that, in one way or another, operate in the margins of this system. When Lina Bo Bardi arrived in Brazil in the late 1940s, she found there a living vibrancy, to which she contrasted a dead, post-war Europe. Life in Brazil was by no means without its problems, but at least it was colourful. Life in Europe was greyscale. Opposing the charged, rigid and over-regulated architectural system that she was forced into while training in Rome, Bo Bardi developed in Brazil a cultural manifestation which the music composer John Cage would later define as an ‘architecture of freedom’. Seeking inspiration in Bo Bardi"s work, Intermediate 2 will propose a set of approaches that point towards the definition of new values in architecture and inhabitation. Our ultimate aim will be to liberate architecture from its label of efficient commodity and instead breathe back the connection between the making of our habitable environment and the pleasures of the human senses of use, belonging, liberation and hope.


make-value, use-value term one: drawing We will make a start by analysing the two contrasting conditions we propose to address this year. The first is the current situation of architectural practice in London: the prevailing role taken by the bureaucratic bodies, the supremacy of the corporate culture. The second is Lina Bo Bardi"s approach, the way in which she bypassed bureaucratic formalities in favour of a more visceral relation to context (physical, cultural) and to use (people). We will address this in a series of seminars, film screenings and group discussions. Working in pairs, you will then develop a series of site maps and three-dimensional models. The maps will be based on the formal and informal uses of our site in Soho. The models will be based on a chosen building by Lina Bo Bardi. Those will be developed with the professional assistance of Christian Spencer, from A Models. In week 6 we will travel to Brazil, where we will follow the steps of Lina Bo Bardi and have a complete tour of her buildings. When we get back to London we will review the work developed in the first half of the term and third year students will start developing their TS submission. Towards the end of the term we will have some intensive workshops at Hooke Park, where you will conclude your investigations with a detailed brief for a building to be designed in term two.

{week by week programme} week one, introductions & interviews week two, intro to inter 2, site visit week three, site drawing week four, site drawing week ďŹ ve, model workshop, pin up site drawing and models week six, ďŹ eld trip to brazil week seven, tutorials, interim jury week eight, model exercise: shrink , intro to ts week nine, model and site development week ten, model and site development (hooke park) week eleven, brief development week twelve, jury preview


Drawings, by Junya Ishigami (2010)


Gió Ponti, Velvet ‘with writings’ (1970)

Lina Bo Bardi, Installation design for the 4th Centenary São Paulo Exhibition (1953)


100

Green Space

Residential

Offices 50

Chinatown Sex shops Cinemas Theatres

Land use %

Cafes Factories

Pubs Restaurants

Brothels Shops

0 1600

1700

1800

Fig 29 Shifting use of land in Soho

1850

1900

1950

2000

Soho has always been shifting. Its atmosphere as a network of back-alleys in the centre of the city has however always been retained. Ever since the area fell out of fashion with the aristocracy, Soho has been separated from its more prosperous neighbours of Bloomsbury and Mayfair. Successive waves of immigrants have found shelter here and have left their mark by introducing their cuisine and by adding to the fabric of the city - the French Huguenots’ Church in Soho Square still stands today. Soho has evolved with the times; factories and breweries have given way to theatres and cinemas. Brothels have always been a prominent feature of the area until stricter controls by the government in the late 20th Century. Sex shops have had a significant presence in the area since then although they have diminished in number. In the last twenty years Soho has transformed yet again with big-name media companies bringing in up-market restaurants and cafes. With the current trend of offices being returned to residential developments, the future of the area seems to hold another metamorphosis.

Toh Shimazaki Architecture


Do Ho Suh, Seoul home (1999)

Ana Araujo et al, Knitting Site (2006)


Lingxiu Chong (Inter 2), Intervention in South Kensington (2010)


Patricia Mato Mora (Inter 2), Puppet theatre (2010)


Field Trip WE WILL BE TRAVELLING TO BRAZIL FROM 28 OCT TO 6 NOV. WE WILL VISIT LINA BO BARDI S BUILDINGS IN SAO PAULO AND SALVADOR DA BAHIA, AND WE WILL MEET RESEARCHERS, ARTISTS AND ARCHITECTS WHO HAVE WORKED WITH HER.

Lina Bo Bardi, Bahia (1986)


make-value, use-value term two: building Following the development of site maps and three-dimensional models from term one, we will focus on developing proposals for the site in Soho, London. Soho has always been shifting. Its atmosphere as a network of back-alleys in the centre of the city has however always been retained. Ever since the area fell out of fashion with the aristocracy, Soho has been separated from its more prosperous neighbours of Bloomsbury and Mayfair. Successive waves of immigrants have found shelter here and have left their mark by introducing their cuisine and by adding to the fabric of the city - the French Huguenots’ Church in Soho Square still stands today. Soho has evolved with the times; factories and breweries have given way to theatres and cinemas. Brothels have always been a prominent feature of the area until stricter controls by the government in the late 20th Century. Sex shops have had a significant presence in the area since then although they have diminished in number. In the last twenty years Soho has transformed yet again with big-name media companies bringing in up-market restaurants and cafes. With the current trend of offices being returned to residential developments, the future of the area seems to hold another metamorphosis. Toh Shimazaki Architecture – Adaptable Futures 2011 The modelling techniques that have been carried out in the first term through the use of specific materials and techniques will now be tested in new, more challenging scales. How can the material or technique employed in your models be translated to a one-to-one scale? And how can this be made relevant to our site in Soho? We will work closely with a professional Technical Studies advisor, Stephen Foster, a structural engineer from milk structures and with Christian Spencer, from A Models to challenge and indulge in discovering the unknown possibilities that can define each proposal. Your chosen site can materialize as a series of rooms, a street, a garden, or the whole area of Soho. In whatever case, you will have to consider the context both physically and culturally, geographically and historically, and most importantly, you will need to consider inhabitation as a fundamental aspect of your project. To compliment and support the proposal development in Soho, the Unit will make a series of buildings/places visits in London and potentially in other parts of Europe, to identify the significance of ‘make-value, use-value’.

{week by week programme} week one, jury week two, ts, shift in scale week three, tutorials, visits week four, tutorials week five, open week, jury week six, craft workshop: incrustration week seven, tutorials (hooke park) week eight, tutorials week nine, ts interim jury, tutorials week ten, tutorials week eleven, third year preview


Lina Bo Bardi, Watercolour, Modern Art Museum (MASP), São Paulo, 1968

‘… for her, the “design” is very close to its final “destination”, that is, it is a destination/design that ties in with life and the use values of the spaces she conceives ..." Guilherme Wisnik


Lina Bo Bardi, Teatro Oficina, S達o Paulo, 1980-91


Lina Bo Bardi, Chame-chame house, 1958


make-value, use-value technical studies For the Technical Studies submission, we will work with our own TS Consultants (Christian Spencer and Stephen Foster) and the AA team. The Unit"s focus in this year"s technical studies will be the translation of techniques, scale, materiality and construction from modeling into building. Testing through the repetition of simple making and failing will be the most important aspect of our Technical Studies exercises, which will stress the importance of decision-making in design and practice. Taking inspiration from Lina Bo Bardi"s works, the Unit will be focusing on ideas of spontaneity and improvisation in construction. As architects, we are trained to practice in the provision of precision, rigour and control. However, enriched spaces that users can truly enjoy often have other qualities, including human errors and marks, irregular material qualities, decay or weathering. Lina Bo Bardi fully embraced these irregularities, marks and roughness. She even coined a term for them: !grossura". Bo Bardi often designed on site (rather than relying on precise detail drawings as instructions) allowing the construction workers to have an input within a certain framework of design intent. This allowed for !craft as improvisation" to occur. Buildings (like humans) need tolerance. This is particularly so when working with dynamic contexts and existing structures, such as in our site in Soho. In our TS, we will learn to employ tolerance as our major design tool. Our hope is that this will generate architectures that are open, flexible and dynamic, as well as human.


Lina Bo Bardi, Sesc Pompéia, São Paulo, 1977-86


Alison and Peter Smithson, Hexenhaus, Germany, 1984-2001


Sanaa, 21st Century Museum, Kanazawa, 2006


make-value, use-value term three: manifesto During this final term, the Unit will work together to compile the themes developed in each term in a book/manifesto: Make-value, use-value: a collection of contemporary architectural investigations inspired by the work of Lina Bo Bardi. Within the !make-value, use-value" overall agenda, each theme will be open at the outset. The craft processes, the site drawings, Lina Bo Bardi, the field trip to Brazil may influence, inspire and generate these values. Being local and global, personal and universal are essential factors in designing today"s architecture. Our contemporary lives can be personal, bespoke yet diverse and dynamic. By beginning the year with drawings of our local environment in Soho, we will be focusing on local issues and on our own craft, skills and individuality. By travelling to Brazil and understanding another reality, we will put this into perspective and our approach will acquire a broader, more universal value. How do we set up crafting and drawing techniques through immediate, specific and local ingredients, and develop open architectural infrastructures for living in our diverse contemporary age? Can design and architecture liberate its inhabitants? And can we, architects, liberate architecture and the associated spaces from the burden of efficiency and the hype of buildings as commodities, in search of more enjoyable, open, playful and tactile spaces, imbued with poetry and catered for the multiplicities of life? The book will address these values as a manifesto, and will include drawings, models, photographs, writings. We will work together as a Unit on the overall design, compiling and binding. The final artefact will be then be presented to the Lina and Pietro M. Bardi Institute in Brazil as a potential addition to their archive and to future exhibitions on Lina Bo Bardi"s work.

{week by week programme} week one, final hand-in ts week two, tutorials (hooke park) week three, tutorials week four, jury third year week five, book making week six, book making week seven, reviews second year week eight, part one final check week nine, external examination + summer show (!!!)


Inter 2 bookbinding workshop at Hooke Park, led by Willem de Bruijn (2011)


Máximo Soalheiro, Tipografia cerâmica (2005)


Inter 2 Summer Show, 2010-11


Lina Bo Bardi, Masp, 1968


some references Glenn Adamson (ed.), The Craft Reader, Oxford and New York, Berg, 2010. Patricia Allmer (ed.), Angels of Anarchy: women artists and surrealism, Berlin, London, Munich & New York, Prestel, 2010, Shumon Basar and Stephan Trüby, The World of Madelon Vriesendorp, London, AA Publications, 2008. Lina Bo Bardi et al, The Impasse of Design: experiences in the Northeast of Brazil, Milan and New York, Charta, 1995. Lina Bo Bardi and Marcelo Ferraz, Lina Bo Bardi, Milan and New York, Charta, 1993. Kenneth Frampton and Malcolm Quantrill, Latin American Architecture: Six Voices, Texas, Texas A & M University Press, 2000. Drifts and Derivations: experiences, journeys and morphologies, Madrid. Museu Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, 2010. Eduardo Galeano, Open Veins of Latin America: five centuries of the pillage of a continent, London, Profile, 2009. Felipe Hernandez, Beyond Modernist Masters: Contemporary Architecture in Latin America, London, Birkhauser, 2009. Oscar Guardiola-Rivera, What if Latin America ruled the world? How the south will take the north into the 22nd century, London, Bloomsbury, 2010. Mariana Leguía (ed.), Latin America at Crossroads, AD, vol. 81, no 3, 2011. Olívia de Oliveira, Subtle Substances: the architecture of Lina Bo Bardi, Barcelona, Gustavo Gili, 2006. Olívia de Oliveira, ‘Lina Bo Bardi: built work’, in 2G (International Architectural Review), vol. 23/24, May 2003. Patricio Mardones and Smiljan Radic, !Cecilia Puga", in 2G (International Architectural Review), vol. 53, May 2010. Ulriche Müller, Bauhaus Women: art, handicraft, design, Paris, Flammarion, 2009. John Loomis, Revolution of Forms: Cuba’s forgotten art schools, New York, Princeton Architectural Press, 2011. MIguel Angel Roca, The Architecture of Latin America, London, John Wiley & Sons, 1995. Marco Romanelli, Gio Ponti: a world, London, Design Museum, 2002. Kazunari Sakamoto, House: poetics in the ordinary, Tokyo, TOTO Shupan, 2001. Richard Sennet, The Craftsmen, London, Penguin, 2009. Alison and Peter Smithson, The Charged Void: architecture, New York, The Monacelli Press, 2001.

int2_Brief2011-12  

make-value, use-value DR ANA ARAUJO practices as a designer, an educator and a researcher. She works at the crossover between spatial and t...

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