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Campus BXL 
Language EN 
Semester 1 & 2 


Antony Gormley  I Concrete Works I 1993 I ©Artist

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 a focus on the theme of ‘absence’.
Rather than seeing absence as an omission or loss, the studio will investigate the potential of absence to order, structure, and enrich architectural proposals.
Case Studies will be used as research material into the theme, and abstract design investigations to elaborate your final design proposal. 

“Why are things like that made?”
quotation from short film : “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 throughout the semester will form an important part of the methodology and design investigation in the studio.
Making and presenting physical models is a fundamental part of the studios methodology and output. The abstraction and reduction inherent in the making of hand-made models, sketches and collage is an introduction and investigation 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
Case Studies will provide us with an introduction to a number of inspiring possibilities, for BUILTNOTHING IV the case studies will be canonical houses, your selected case study house, and more specifically how it deals with absence, will be used as a driver for your subsequent design project. 

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 presented as exemplar 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 semester will culminate in the individual design of a medium scale architectural project, with a collective theme. 
Your project must reflect your interpretation of the central studio theme and should be developed from your case study and abstract investigations.
You interpretation of absence must be central to organisation of the built space;
be fundamental to the morphology of the project;
intrinsic in how the program is realised;
and wonderfully succeeded in making something better by removing, rather than adding. 

The semester will be split into three parts, each part contributing to the final evaluation :
a. Case study : a creative and informed interpretation of the concept of absence in a canonical built project,  represented through a large scale abstract model
b. Abstract(s) : an individual design proposal for a collective building, first presented as a simplified concept in a large scale abstract model
c. Proposal : the individual design project further developed from abstract concept  into architectural proposal 

The BUILTNOTHING website (www.builtnothing.space) 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 showcased on this platform.
The studio is organised into three 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, detailed agenda, work produced and studio information.
Studio days will be organised around a table, with small groups and open discussion.