Two years ago we ran a studio called SoftSpace. We will be approaching SoftSpace again, but doing it through an investigation of ways of working. The studio will be informed by the notion of praxis – i.e. practice that is informed by theory. The studio will draw on a major research project that we are doing on Alternative Architectural Praxis, which is collecting a vast array of data on different ways of working.
The starting point is that normative practice leads to normative architecture; we will be seeking alternatives to this informed by feminist and political principles of integration and the other. The premise is that different means of praxis will develop different spatial possibilities. The other premise is that the normal methods of architectural education lead to certain values and methods being established in practice. We will be seeing if there are useful alternatives to be found in education that might lead to new ways of thinking about practice, and particular ways that respond to the contingent conditions of architectural practice.
Starting with a hard-nosed brief, we will then unravel it through proposing other methods of praxis. These will be negotiated within in the studio, but may include:
- Collaborative working
- The throwing in of the unexpected event
- Questioning the idea of authorship
- The means of representation
- Negotiation of ethics contra aesthetics
Our hunch is that the only way of recovering architecture from its marginal status is to reinvent the way it conducts itself. The studio will question whether architecture should reside in the object beautiful. This does not mean throwing the baby out with the bathwater. Design matters, and the studio will exercise design muscles vigorously, but some of the routines will be surprising.
You can download an initial reading list here
Tatjana Schneider and Jeremy Till