Academic year 2023-24, semester 2, Ghent
Master of Architecture
Tutor: Steven Schenk
There is a difference between the world as it exists, and the world of a living being, meaning its environment of behavior. This behavioral activity oriented towards a certain environment, begins well before the invention of consciousness. Indeed, it begins when an organism is disposed to receive and treat causal, physical stimulations as signals and to respond accordingly.
The movements of player in a football match are perceptually guided by action-soliciting aspects of their surroundings. Certain features of the practical situations are grasped as affording opportunities for movement. These actions, being automatic, lack explicit self-consciousness, the presence of which would disrupt the flow. In that sense, the pitch exists for their behavior, rather than for their consciousness and their movements are deeply integrated with the states of sensory awareness.
We comfort ourselves all too easily with the illusion that the relations of another kind of subject (like plants, or animals or other human) to the things of its environment play out in the same space and time as the relations that link us to the things of our own environment. This illusion is fed by the belief in the existence of one and only one world, in which all living beings are encased. That there can be no such space comes already from the fact that human beings live in three spaces (Effect space, tactile space and visual space) which interpenetrate and complete but also partially contradict each other.
The research questions the notion of an environment. It deals with an understanding of the relative character of something that is in its essence only a piece cut out of its surroundings, which we see stretching out on all sides around a living thing. The task of research on such environments consists in seeking out the proper perception signs within the limits of one’s perceptive abilities, and with them to construct the proper environment within the environment of others. The research allows the studio work to deal with the limits of the collaboration of the senses in understanding the relationship between a possible environment and the subjects inside of it. It allows also an open and inclusive approach that implicitly deals with another understanding of the co-existence of species.
Every subject (student) understands architecture not as an object with properties, but as a medium to relate a subject to its surroundings (by defining its environment). The research ask to spin out, like a spider`s thread, the relations to certain qualities of things and to weave them into a solid web, which carries its existence.