DIPLOMA UNIT 2
Continuing research conducted over the last four years, Diploma 2 sets out to invent a new social and aesthetic agenda for ecological architecture, using computation to calibrate environmentally responsive geometries that are able to choreograph both climatic and cultural flows within precarious urban conditions. The unit seeks alternative urban organisational structures to mediate between private interests and government bodies, as a way of transforming stagnant urban forms that are currently disconnected from the local culture and natural environment. In ‘Molecular Revolution in Brazil’, Félix Guattari and Suely Rolnik investigate how micro-political movements escape the ‘standardisation of desire’ imposed by capitalist and autocratic governments, so defining ‘completely original forms of expression’.
Micro-agencies offer an alternative power structure. From the grass-roots organizations that mobilised voters in the Obama campaign, to small-scale slum interventions like those by Alejandro Echeverri in Medelin, Columbia and the Mumbai Waterfronts Centre project in India, to urban planning charity organizations like the Forum for an Alternative Belfast; small agencies are closer to their beneficiaries and faster at responding than macro-organisations. We will collaborate with these micro-organisations, networking between the public and private sectors to create multiple-scaled ‘micro-infrastructures’ that mediate between formal and informal socio-economic, environmental and cultural forces.
Students choose their own site for intervention – a disused site in São Paulo’s centre or urban residue in any other city in the world – proposing their own programmatic, formal and aesthetic ‘protest’ against the dominant cultures controlling a specific urban phenomenon. We will propose new social programs to empower inhabitants, collaborating with local governments, NGOs, and urban activists, such as the Union of Inhabitants of the Paraisópolis shanty-town`s Literacy School, or the champion boxer Garrido’s informal Sports Academy under the viaducts in São Paulo . We will employ the extensive research collected at London School of Economics Urban Age São Paulo Conference. With São Paulo’s emerging as one of the worlds’ most important new economies, the destitute centre has been the focus of international attention: from Herzog and de Meuron’s proposed new Dance Hall, to Norman Foster’s redesign of the deprived Luz neighbourhood.
Informed by seminars on Guattari and Rolnik’s writing, and the films of Eliane Caffé, the unit will reject subjection to prevailing tendencies in favour of creating personal ‘formal revolutions’. For this choreography of aesthetic, programmatic and environmental negotiations, we will employ generative agency scripting and associative modelling. There will be workshops on Processing with Shajay Bhooshan; environmentally responsive parametric design with Adam Davis of Norman Foster’s Specialist Modelling Group; and environmental structure integration and extensive physical modelling with Lawrence Friesen of Generative Geometry. The unit will collaborate with the AA’s Sustainable Environmental Design programme to conduct testing of environmental structures, including shadow/lighting and ventilation analyses. These design processes will produce controlled emergent spatial effects for a performative architecture that mediates structural, environmental, and circulatory flows, bringing ‘sustainable design’ strategies new civic and cultural relevance, to reclaim and transform stagnant programs, economies and contexts.
TUTORS: Anne Save de Beaurecueil and Franklin Lee e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.subdv.com