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Structural Contingencies 34: Original Ambiguous

Tutors: Steven Schenk, Caroline Voet
Academic year 2020-21, semester 3, Ghent
Engagement: Craftsmanship

With the coming into being of science, we moderns believe that our society and its surroundings
changed permanently, separating us forever from our primitive, premodern ancestors. In doing so,
humankind separated itself from ancestral ways of understanding and creating the world, which was
more intricate and embedded in the perceptive and imaginative reality. This separation has proven
strong epistemological and operational tool but also meant a limitation of creative, imaginative and
cognitive perspectives. Somehow, the tools of modernity fail in architecture to give an account or to
produce the ineffable experience of spaces. If we were to question the exclusivity of the established
doctrine of rational refutability, how would this benefit our understanding and making of architecture?

Alongside the purifying action that defines modernity, there exists another paradox for the making of
architecture: the construction of systems that separate in different ways politics, science and
technology from nature.

The research of the studio focusses on a very particular phenomenon of where our perceptive capacities part from our cognitive ones. We will be conducting a quest for pre-modern – innate to human – phenomena that are migrating the tin line of emphatical paradox between understanding and seeing.

Are these mystical encounters a result of the paradigm of leveling and sharpening in our memory?
Is it our implicit tendency to both simplify and exaggerate specific characteristics, that generate the multiplicity of presences and as such can result in these rich mysteries?

This studio investigates the modalities in which an architectural project can be developed in order
to address these unspoken, pre-modern dimensions in architectural spaces.

It aims at the reworking of a mental landscape
for the sake of architectural production,
for the sake of a student that is about the finish his education,
for the sake of aiming towards a broader, fairer, and finer sense of possibility
in the imagining and understanding of architectural artefacts.

In doing so, the aim is to address a deeper, coherent sensibility beyond cultural, historical, political differences.

We want to re-establishing the nature of the connections
between nature and culture—and so,
to reaccept as moderns both past and present.


Studio brief as pdf.

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