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(22-23) Built Nothing



Sometimes, things are better when something is removed, rather than added……
In 1927 Anna Wagner Keichline, architect, inventor, suffragist, and World War 1 special agent, applied successfully for a patent for a hollow wall clay brick.
The ‘K’ Brick, by removing physical mass from the centre of the structural wall depth, reduced the weight of external walls by 50%, it allowed for taller buildings, speedier construction, utilised less raw resources and was simpler and quicker to make.
Anna Wagner Keichline had wonderfully succeeded in the often ignored and neglected enterprise of making something better by removing, rather than adding.

The studio will create architectural proposals which are defined by the inclusion of ‘absence’.
Rather than seeing absence as an omission, the studio will investigate the potential of non-built space to order, structure, and enrich architectural proposals.
Case Studies will be used as research material into the theme, and design projects to elaborate your individual approach.

“Why are things like that made?”
Maarten Van Severen :  ‘Werken | Work’ – 2004 : Director – Terenja van Dijk

How we ‘make’ is intrinsic to how we ‘think’, and vice-versa.
The studio will contribute to the CRAFTMANSHIP ENGAGEMENT, and the material produced will form an important part of the methodology and design investigation in the studio.
Model Making is an important part of the studios methodology and output. The abstraction and reduction inherent in the making of hand-made models, sketches and collages is an introduction into the central theme of the studio.

“You don’t need a house you need a village in a forest”
Ryue Nishizawa, SANAA Architects

When Mr Moriyama asked for a new house, his architects gave him the above response.
The house he now lives in questions how absent space can define notions of proxemics, threshold, and togetherness,
as architectural historian Evangelos Kosioris has described it : “a life in-between
The case studies will provide us with an introduction to a number of inspiring possibilities.

The Studio will take place within the BUILT NOTHING_NOTHING BUILT ADO (Academic Design Office). This ADO is a collaboration between the faculty of architecture and the architectural practice of XDGA.
The studio is open to all interesting influences, and does not have a preferred style, nor dictate a predetermined outcome. The design projects will be individual work, but we will use the studio structure to encourage discussion, debate and foster a culture of constructive peer review.
Precedent projects by the practice will be used as case-study projects, study visits to a realised project and to the XDGA studio in Brussels will be included.
XDGA collaborators will be invited to contribute to the design discussion and to help and give advice on model making skills and techniques.

The first year of the studio will involve the design of a medium scale architectural project, with a collective theme (+/- 2000m2) (50% built) (50% non-built).
Fifty percent of your proposal will be ‘absent’.
This non-built space will be fundamental to the morphology of the project,
intrinsic in how the program is realised,
and will wonderfully succeeded in making something better by removing, rather than adding.

The BUILTNOTHING website provides a useful guideline to the quality and nature of the work of the studio. Each year the work of the studio will be curated and exhibited on this platform.
The studio is organised into 3 parts:  CASE STUDY /ABSTRACT/PROPOSAL, a detailed studio program will be presented on the first studio day.  We use a Studio Online Drive to share, lectures, films and studio information.
Studio days will be organised around a table, with small groups and open discussion. 

BUILTNOTHING – ADO (explanation of the ADO and the studio theme)
Read more about XDGA here. (Political Animals: The Architecture of XDGA by Philip Ursprung)
View the trailer for the documentary film over the Moriyama House here.
Please look at the short video (fragment) over Maarten Van Severen here.