Promotor: Tomas Ooms
The studio also welcomes students that are on internal exchange program in the fall semester.
Contact: Tomas Ooms
INCIPIENT RAUM 2021-2022
A Detail in (the) Making
Incipit: (Latin, meaning: to take in hand, begin, commence.)
And so, it begins
Your dissertation starts in an unknown room, in an unknown edifice, in an unknown city with the question: ‘How is it made?’
Incipient Raum In Making
Your dissertation will revolve around the question of how things are made. You are invited to explore the role of making in architectural practice. At the same time, making is going to be the central working method of the studio. Through asking the key question of ‘how things are made’, you will develop an understanding of how things work. With ‘things’ we mean: a space, a site, a city, spatial relations, a detail…
Simultaneously, when you draw a line, you are expected to be thinking about how this line can be materialised. Obviously, this implies observation, experimentation and imagination.
Incipient as Spatial Condition
Incipient is borrowed from the Latin incipiēns, which means: present participle of incipiō (“begin”). It is mainly used as ‘beginning to happen or develop’ or as ‘developing into a specified type or role’. Soil for instance can be incipient. This means that it contains the basis and provides for vegetation establishment. Something is present that ensures something will grow (happen later) under the right circumstances. In principle, a certain condition is present. You will explore how a spatial condition can be incipient. Since the incipient is related to a future situation, thinking and designing, for it demands of you to believe in the future…
The Detail (h)as Agency
Through architecture we ambition to transform. Not always with the production of buildings, but through the creation of spatial relations. And agency plays a role in this. Agency has to do with performance and operationality. It fosters relationships. Agency is the capacity of an actor (detail) to act in a given environment (whole). The Incipient Raum studio investigates how a detail can go beyond the mere solving of a technical issue and thus having agency. Through questions like: What is the relationship between the architectural detail and the conceptual intent of the building to which it belongs? Are there only ornamental details that can have agency or do other types of details possess agency? Can a detail save the world?
Architecture is a cognitive craft. And the Incipient Raum studio celebrates this. It sees the production of architectural artefacts of inquiry as the driving force of a design. The architectural research is in making and producing and finding fulfilment in the act of making. Architecture as a discipline or field has always benefited from a critical creative approach. Making and the production of many alternatives, studies and etudes, has been proven to be a super powerful generator of the new and the pertinent. Experimentation through making will be the central motif of the Incipient Raum studio.
From careful observations of the hyper local conditions in and around an existing building, you will explore its materiality and context. You will uncover and make visible what local topics and themes are relevant and merit a closer look and understanding. On the basis of this knowledge you will formulate an intervention that leads to a transformation of the existing conditions. All of this is done through a series of experiments of architectural Incipient Explorations, in detail and otherwise. You will adopt different viewpoints simultaneously. Explore existing and often unnoticed spatial correspondences. But also, realise new correspondences. Through interweaving viewpoints and perspectives, you will gradually develop a strong design-based position and attitude. Your tools and method are characterised by a graphical way of critical thinking and making. The studio outcome is a collection of well-crafted drawings, maps, models, books… that together form a spatial hypothesis and in relationship to each other become an Incipient Raum. You can explore the books from the previous renditions of the Incipient Raum studio elsewhere on this webpage.
The studio affiliates with the In Practice Research group.
In Practice is an interuniversity research group of practising architects engaging their practice(s) at the heart of their research. In Practice explores the multiple ways in which architects can engage their professional architecture practice in academic research and reciprocally. In Practice seeks to open a space for architecture practices in research through the development of doctoral and postdoctoral research projects, conferences, publications and design studios.
Somewhere in the background, laying incipient, there is the theme of ‘degrowth’. It is possible this studio explores a self-effacing design attitude. But first, you will need to select the unknown city from which you will start. This can be any city, as long as you have never been there before.
Photo credit: Poème Architecturale, Julie Schumacher, Incipient Raum 2021
Less is More, Jason Hickel
Eclectic Atlases, Stefano Boeri
Making, Tim Ingold
Space as Key Word, David Harvey
How Small, How Vast, Junya Ishigami
Drawing Without Erasing, Flores and Prats
The Last Wall, Raoul De Keyser
Video presentation: I opted not to make a video and prefer to talk to you in person. So, do not hesitate to contact me: Tomas Ooms