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Wicked home - Windowscapes

Wicked Home /
Master dissertation studio (NL + EN), academic year 2020-21, Ghent
Team: Rachel Armstrong, Annelies De Smet, Rolf Hughes, Nel Janssens, Jo Liekens, Laurens Luyten


_the WICKED HOME graduate studio environments_

Students who wish to graduate with a project that explores notions of Home/Housing/(co-, in-)Habiting in their design research are invited to develop their design project within the context of the Academic Design Office The Wicked Home[1]. In this ADO we offer a multidisciplinary learning environment where you will become the catalyst for developing your graduate project(bachelor project or master dissertation project), supported by a wide range of interdisciplinary expertise present in the ADO.

The Wicked Home ADO guides various studio environments both in the Bachelor/Master of Architecture and Interior Architecture programmes (Marg42, Maig42, Miag22, Biag65, lab-O45 – EXPRESSIE 3). This allows strategic opportunities for cross-fertilization. Shared between all Wicked Home environments is the central focus on the home, considered as both the most foundational concept and fundamental action underpinning every architectural operation.

“Home Sweet Home” – nothing is as familiar as home. However, materializing homeliness remains a complex and wicked architectural challenge that we habitually answer using a variety of well-known housing types. In transitioning from an industrial to an ecological era, we must also challenge the foundations of the archetypical housing standards (including consideration of other-than-human perspectives), and start to re-think and re-form the central notion of home as an expression of inhabiting our environment. To start this process, we invite you to embrace “wickedness”—or, irreducible complexity—as an explorative vector for thought and design activity. In design contexts, “wicked” takes on additional meaning related to incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to disentangle from each other. Etymologically, “wicked” stems from the Old English wicca “witch”’(Dictionary, n.d.) and refers to magic, risky, and flirtatious attitudes, instructive amusements and wrong doings, which invites you to dare and explore what might be a contrary answer to a familiar architectural question.

The different studio-environments participating in this ADO, differ in their response to the specific nature of the wicked perspective (wicked structures, wicked materials, wicked forms, wicked experiences, wicked performances, wicked spatial setting, wicked philosophies…). Adopting a particular “wicked” perspective, your individual design proposals will become manifestations of new types of home fit for a true ecological era. This ADO does not expect you to start from scratch, reinventing architecture itself—but to reimagine and re-define the values that comprise what is arguably the most humble entity of the built environment. These values become the principles of the “wickedness” that shapes the systems framing your home and helps describe its inhabitable spaces, the bodies it houses—as well as how it sits within and relates to the larger environment. (re)Designing the notion of “home” might range from designing a backpack, to hyper-detailing a room, to making a single family—or kangaroo house, to master planning an allotment, to engineering a super-block of apartments. There is no preset scale for situating your work. You can prototype something new, or retrofit an existing structure. Your re-formations can be slight, or major, focusing on one aspect, or several. All proposals will explore form finding and design principles that take into account more and other things than the human perspective. The ADO teaching team will help you articulate your proposal and help you interrogate its limits.

Image: Huyghe, P. (2017). After Alife Ahead. Skulptur Projekte Münster

Read the full studio brief here. (pdf)

View the Academic Design Office Booklet here (pdf)”

On the studio 2019-20

FUTURING CULTURES OF INHABITATION: the wicked home. MASTERSTUDIO ARCHITECTURE & INTERIOR ARCHITECTURE (MARG24 + BIAG65) Academic year 2019-20, semester 2, Ghent Promotors: Annelies De Smet, Jo Liekens, Nel Janssens FUTURING CULTURES OF HABITATION aims to provide a learning environment in which we investigate how we, collectively and individually, construct both in form and in meaning, […]