Roca London Gallery has teamed up with the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL, to bring you the Unit22 Zoetropes â€“ Bartlett Architecture Dares to Care. This year, the students in Unit22 have focused on social and environmental sustainability, and the role architecture plays in preserving and empowering vulnerable communities. The study has been executed through the creation of Zoetropes, which through the rapid succession of static pictures demonstrate the illusion of motion. Each Zoetrope depicts the daily actions of an individual belonging to a vulnerable community. By designing for the everyday tasks, including getting dressed, bathing and cooking, students have been encouraged to consider the role the built environment plays in protecting or helping them, rather than focusing purely on aesthetics.
UNIT22. A FRESH VIEW IN THE AMAZING UNIVERSE OF BARTLETT SCHOOL. It is an enormous honor for Unit22 to be part of March Architecture Program in Bartlett School. The program incorporates rigorous professional approach to architecture within a highly speculative and creative context. The course operates through a design unit system that stresses innovation and continually highlights the value of propositions, their social impact and professional requirements. Design is thus always conducted within a broad and rigorous intellectual framework provided by the unit tutors, the culture of the school and the external expectations placed upon it. Each design unit provides a range of design, technological and related skills, as well as a clear and particular intellectual position to conduct those skills. The actual Unit22, directed by Izaskun Chinchilla and Carlos Jimenez, was incorporated to March Program in the academic year 2010-2011. The general philosophy of the Unit aims the students to create playful, creative and cosy architectures. Innovation is focus in producing effective improvements in everyday life, empowering users and communities and enriching and protecting our contemporary environment. During academic year 2011-2012 Unit22 was led by Izaskun Chinchilla and Carlos Jimenez with the prestigious collaboration of Helen&Hard from Norway. Focusing the brief on how the protection of vulnerable realities could be a task for contemporary architecture, forced us to change many of the procedures designers usually followed. These changes are now part of the unit ethos and listing them is the best recognition to all those helping our unit to produce significant reflections and designs. - We measure the quality of architecture by its ability to represent the interest and programs of others. - We have abandoned anthropocentrism rejecting human activities as more important than natural events. - We have accepted and included the legitimacy of different aesthetical repertoires. Tenderness, Closeness, Affection has not been part of the architects’ official aesthetics but is part of the “structure of feelings” that our projects promote. - We have included the ecological limits and dependence of everything we design. - We want the student to learn to build clues from observing, participating and experimenting. Knowledge coming from sharing the future performance of our architecture has been postulated as much more reliable than that deducted from theoretical propositions. - Bathrooms, stairs, kitchens and other rooms considered to be service spaces are now fundamental for ours. In the same way all architecture deserves our interest not matter how small, peripheral or academically irrelevant seem at first glance. - We consider any waste or small part of already used materials as candidates to create new components for our architecture. - We don´t avoid mistake or error. On the contrary, we look for creating breakable conditions that not only can be relevant academically, but can stimulate reversibility and adaptation. - We don’t promote a merely romantic attitude. Use of digital and interactive technology will be encouraged. The aims and goals for its use would not only include technical show of but a
real empowering the all users’ communities. - We aim the students to take care of themselves -body and soul- as experimental approach to their designs. EX-UNIT22 STUDENTS REFLECTIONS. Adam Holland. Unit22 and Everyday Life Problems. For a man it’s 15 hours a week and for a woman, 26. That’s the amount of time the Office for National Statistics suggests on average we spend on housework a week! It’s more time than many of us think, but when trying to balance gender roles, a busy career and a hectic social life, for many, doing the ironing and mowing the lawn do become some of life’s little problems. In Unit22 we tried to address the amount of time we spend on housework by proposing a social housing scheme that relies on building communal facilities for many common household tasks such as laundry and cooking, removing these functions from private residences. Research suggests that when these tasks are shared collectively we can reduce the time individuals spend on housework, house prices and energy consumption by decreasing the total floor area required to be constructed, whilst actually increasing the amount of living space residents have access to. Anthony Staples. Unit22 and a definition of architecture that goes beyond style. We design for use. But knowing how our designs will be used is not straightforward. Throughout an object’s lifecycle there will be multiple users and functions, some entirely unpredictable at the outset. Rather than viewing this complexity as a problem we must identify an opportunity. An opportunity to begin a process that is multiple, continuous and as open-ended as feasibly possible. Yet there is no need to embark on this journey unaided. To quote the Belgian architect Lucien Kroll - “we are the architects, and I don’t want to escape the responsibility of being or deciding... but I do not want to decide alone.” Jawad Hafid. Unit22 and strategic urban dimension. It is impossible to appreciate any piece of architecture whilst polarising it from its immediate physical, social and political contexts. The work of Unit 22 encompasses a strategic urban dimension which thereby allows every propositional construct to exist within a much wider reality than is normally the case in architectural design. The proposed architecture is not only influenced by its surroundings however – in many cases it also influences, and sometimes entirely recreates the wider context in which it is placed. Ronald Cheape. Unit22 and Environmental local concern. Architects should feel burdened by the guilt of being the starting point in the chain that leads to the largest emitter’s – the construction industry’s - carbon emissions, and should look to design to enhance and regenerate the environment in which their projects are sited. This mind set encourages the siting of projects in some of our most beautiful, underpopulated and underused landscapes where we might currently only dream of living but where there is space, clean air and renewable resources to be tapped by more evenly distributed populations.
DARE TO CARE PROJECTS. EMPOWERING VULNERABLE COMMUNITIES: Zoetrope 1 and Circle 2. Clarissa Yee, Slow Housing Typology (fig. 01), Lancashire, UK. The small house condominium changes the average distribution of private and collective uses to allow Slow trend believers to live according their philosophy. Joining private spaces of kitchen and baths allows bigger areas to be dedicated to theses uses transforming them in pieces of landscape or in small gardens in which natural elements achieve technical or domestic functionality. Zoetrope 2 and Circle 1. Claire Taggart, Female Access Area in Ampthill Square Estate (fig. 02, 03), Somers Town. London. Migrant women are provided by an alternative way to entry to the renovated towers. This new entrance area not only allows a small extension of the house but includes common spaces -library, exercise, garden or childcare- two be used in the intimacy of a purely female group enabling migrant women gain new social opportunities. HEALTH: PREVENTION LANDSCAPE. Zoetrope 3, Circle 3 , Windows images and Leatlet cover and back. Julian Huang (fig. 04, 05, 06). Instant Alternative Healthcare Service in Peckham, London. The proposal is set in the future in 2060, when the NHS is predicted to have been fully privatised and when we all have become aware of the importance of prevention. Local residents will be able to obtain healthcare
offered by their neighbours as part of their everyday process. Treatment methods will be based on the local demographics, taking advantage of how our society is becoming more and more multi-cultural, and therefore the accessibility to traditional preventive treatments will be ever wider. Circle 4. Akmal-Afandi Azhar, Insomnia Therapy Centre (fig. 07), Scotland. Floating building composed by specialized crafts to be placed in the wild coast of Scotland. Each craft contain a natural treatment focus on a specific body organ helping understanding insomnia as an integral health problem. Environment provides important part of the cure by regulating activity with natural rhythms. WORKING AND LIVING BALANCE: Circle 5, Zoetrope 5, exhibition co-ordinator and arduino programing. William Fisher. Cooperative office space in Euston (fig. 08), London. The project investigates how spaces in which people carry out office work can enable them to integrate work into a balanced life. Architectural solutions focus in the treatment of entrance and communal areas of office typologies and proposing the idea of a â€˜landscape officeâ€™ in which swimming or negotiating in a tea house are part of the routine. Circle 6. Liwei Deng. Waste Issues And Vulnerable Community (fig. 09). Newham, London. House typology designed taking into consideration the collection and management of the domestic
waste production in the UK. Recycling activities start just after consumption by incorporating modifications, enlargements and dwelling improvements together with urban regulations that allow direct private access to train communication and wider variety of streets typologies. FOOD PRODUCTION AND MANAGEMENT: Circle 7 and Zoetrope 7. Paul McManamon, FOOD BANK #4 Project (fig. 10, 11), London. The project is a model for the extension of London’s ailing infrastructure and responds to the serious food and energy shortages of London. It looks towards the future when London’s consumption is expected to be unable to meet demand and global population reaches 8.3 billion. A half organic, half industrial architecture will supply the City of London with a new series of production – including insects as basic protein source- and distribution network. Circle 8. Megan Townsend. A Manifesto for a Local Consumerism Movement (fig. 12), Tower Hamlets Permanent Market and New Town Square, London. This project understands seeds and urban consumers as vulnerable communities. To help empowering both of them the author proposes expanding the average program of a market to include local seeds production, farming area and direct contact between farmers and consumers. Circle 9. Megan Smedy, The High Street Homestead (fig. 13), London. Strategic urban project proposing the collaboration of two streets -High Street and Essex Road- specializing second one in organic production for High Street restaurants. The project carefully studies living environments
to allow humans, animal species and agricultural production to live together ensuring urban trade activity in a sustainable local way. PRESERVING INDIVIDUAL AND COLECTIVE IDENTITIES: Circle 10 and Zoetrope 10. Kaowen Ho, The Vulnerable Queen (fig. 14, 15), Buckingham Palace, London. The project proposes an investigation into the role that contemporary media plays in the symbiotic relationship of HRM The Queen and her people. A whole TV set and stage is designed for the South faรงade of Buckingham Palace allowing audience to have speculative views of the Queen life. While accepting this reduction of privacy, the Royal Family is supposed to ensure the popularity that guaranties their actual rights. Circle 11. Michelle Young, UNESCO Centre of Intangible Cultural Heritage (fig. 16), Paris. Partially underground Museum located in front of Eiffel Tower designed to host shows and events recovering worldwide intangible cultural traditions. The author tightly associates weather and culture proposing artificial atmospheres to be create in the building while events are being showcased. 13
ROCA, VIDAL Y ASOCIADOS ARQUITECTOS and ARTEMIDE generously supported Unit22 during 2011-2012 Academic Year. Richard Hyams has been practice tutor and Roberto Marin Sampalo has been structural consultant. All window images, leaflet cover and leaflet back form ‘Instant Alternative Healthcare Service in Peckham, London’ by Julian Huang, 2012 For further information about the exhibited works and new Unit22 academic experiences, please see http://unit22bartlett.wordpress.com/2012/07/03/compilation-of-zoetropes-works/
Published on Nov 6, 2012