La Cueillette / The Gathering
“Exploring Indeterminate Growth”
In search of the adaptive capacity of an undervalued building of the recent past…
Team: Robin Schaeverbeke and Tomas Ooms
Engagement: Craftsmanship, Academic year 2020-21, Ghent
The La Cueillette studio is set up as a miniature design studio to explore changing attitudes and responsibilities for present day design practices in an age of climate change and data simulation. La Cueillette inquires limits and boundaries of architectural practices, looking for alternative models for design, learning and their means of production. It does so through a design intervention on an undervalued building of the recent past.
For this year’s rendition of the ‘LaCueilllette’ studio we will direct our focus on the adaptive capacity of abandoned and/or underused buildings of the second half of the XXth century. From a study of the materials, constraints, contexts, programmatic opportunities and conditions of such structures in and around the city we will look for a set of strategic design parameters to transform them. Think of minimal material use; re-using/re-purposing (available) materials, building elements, structures and even buildings in unexpected ways; integration of climate, energy, acoustics; the maximisation and actualisations of spatial qualities amongst other parameters – these will be pivotal elements in your final design proposals.
Teamwork Atlas: You will start in teams with an Urban Exploration. You will discover and map unadapted, unwanted, undervalued, underused buildings of the recent past in Gent. This teamwork results in a Collective Studio Atlas.
Individual Design: Based on the Collective Studio Atlas you will develop a design proposal for one of the discovered buildings. This proposal is about unlocking the spatial potential of that building. The intention is to ‘free’ hidden, underused, undervalued (urban) space and adapt it for appropriation. You will design a project with a civic potential and impact.
Central to the ‘LaCueilllette’ studio is the idea of integrated practice – implying that different stakeholders and/or experts collaborate to arrive at a more profound model or proposal. The concept of integrated practice doubles as a metaphor to investigate generative and imaginative possibilities of data – as a medium and design tool.
The ‘LaCueilllette’ studio aims to study contemporary design issues from multiple points of view. As a member of a community of practice you will be provided the space to develop personal roles and strategies to collectively investigate the adaptive capacity of an undervalued building of the recent past. The studio will collaboratively explore and resolve design paradoxes and conflicting views using a combination of physical models, extended drawings, design-based artefacts, and data simulation each expressing a unique quality or property of the intended proposal clearly relating to the data.
The ‘LaCueilllette’ studio is supported by input lectures, site visits, excursions and conferences. The reviews are organised as Integrated Practice and the studio is concluded with a bespoke symposium. The output of the design studio focuses on the creative development of four crucial documents: (1) a collective Atlas (a book of maps, charts, diagrams, schemes, photos), (2) an augmented physical model (maquette), (3) an extended drawing (section), (4) a tactile data sheet and (5) an annotated abstract.
The La Cueillette / The Gathering Studio is an outlet of the ReVamp AOB Design Studio led by Tomas Ooms and Robin Schaeverbeke.
The La Cueillette / The Gathering Studio is open for students of Architecture and Interior Architecture.
Figure: Indeterminate growth in Botany refers to a shoot not having all the axes terminating in a flower bud and so potentially of indefinite length. (source: Oxford Dictionary; image: Lygodium Japonicum; illustration by Raphael Chiren Gottlieb)