PG Architecture Unit 08: Enough Already

Unit brief

Our society has enough already: enough resources, enough buildings, enough space.

While we reckon with the consequences of overcrowding and overexploitation of resources, and struggle to adapt to growing demands for personal space, we argue that our cities are not failing in providing enough of everything, but in the quality, allocation and sharing of what we have.

At the same time, we are witnessing a considerable threat to the long-standing rationale that separates spaces according to programme. This conviction appears to be collapsing, as our homes have quickly become offices, cinemas, gyms, restaurants and more – often for lack of better, accessible alternatives.

Consequently, Unit 8 will instead explore the tenet of private sufficiency and public luxury. We will interrogate the notion of a 15-minute city. Starting from a provocation that our lives could be liveable within 15 minutes of our homes, we will subsequently investigate our central theme of re-use. We will explore ideas of redistribution, private life, public space, and the re-use of buildings; all leading to proposals representing exactly enough.

Unit 8 aims to be a growing research and built project, expanding on previous years’ work and methodologies.  As such – despite the present circumstances – we will encourage learning through collaboration, both within the Unit and as a school of architecture.

Together with Assemble, we will start the year surveying an 18th century terraced house close to our School. We will propose the re-use of this incredible building, speculating on potential public spaces and inner landscapes.

Later, through collective walks and discussion, each student will carefully select a site within 15 minutes of the School. We will propose public projects, which combine different programmes and activities.

Our seminar programme begins with a playful revisiting of Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier’s architecture and legacy. We will discuss the idea that "less is enough," and that today, a radical reduction of waste and consumption in architecture are an absolute obligation.

Our work will always start with the hand-made – be it sketch, drawing, collage or model. We will apply only enough resources, and re-use materials wherever possible. We will use what we can find, and find beauty in what surrounds us.

Section through drawing room with ornate fireplace, patterned wallpaper and glass door.

Details

Course
Architecture MA
Tutors Takero Shimazaki (t-sa)
Paolo Emilio Pisano
Karabo Turner 
Where Goulston Street
When Monday and Thursday

Architecture Postgraduate Studios

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