Tutors: Constance Lau and Stephen Harty
Constance Lau practices and teaches architecture in London and Singapore. The studio’s research interests in multiple interpretations and narratives are explored through the techniques of montage as well as notions of dialectical allegory. Narrative as an ongoing dialogue in architectural design is further articulated through publications and especially projects in the book Dialogical Designs (2016).
Stephen Harty is a practicing architect and director of Harty and Harty, an agency that specialises in art sector projects including galleries and artist studios. He studied at The Mackintosh School Architecture, Glasgow School of Art, The Bartlett and the AA.
Dialogical Designs and Heterotopic Architecture in the New Normal
The role of dialogue in design practice is adopted as questioning and incomplete, with the capacity for user intervention to assume authorship to shape the reading and outcome of the work. In this instance, studio teaching encourages the student to assume authorship and shape the reading and outcome of the design brief. This creation of multiple interpretations is furthered through spatial explorations in Michel Foucault’s notions of heterotopia and heterotopic spaces. These allude to ‘counter-spaces’ that occur in the voids and/or peripheries of established locations and more importantly, comprise of layers of meaning within their apparent uses and contexts. The project site, located in the historically dense and multifaceted ‘Little Britain’ can be simultaneously argued as a microcosm of the city of London. These discussions, in conjunction with ideas of proto-practices concerning design and architecture can be reimagined through interdisciplinary approaches that embrace multiple perspectives. The work will be used to formulate post-pandemic narratives that additionally position The Museum of London within a displaced digital presence through new spatial definitions for a Repository, and eventually generate concepts for An Interdisciplinary School of Design.
A Repository for The Museum of London, People, Places and Ideas
In Igor Marjanovi’s ‘Alvin Boyarsky’s Delicatessen’, three metaphors concerning people, places and ideas are employed to describe the radical operating principles of the AA School of Architecture, and especially the international network that emphasised knowledge exchange.[i] Fifty years on, the proposal for this Repository looks to the accomplishments of this arrangement and additionally explores new arguments concerning virtual access and new ideas of site in architecture.
Post-Pandemic Proto-Practices and An Interdisciplinary School of Design
In a post-pandemic design world, the career of a multi-tasking but still rather singular role of an architect has and will further become multiple careers in the new normal. While teaching methodologies used to focus on the different ways to describe architecture, they must now include discussions about different ways to be an architect. Through dialogue in the design process, and especially an interdisciplinary stance, semester 2’s work aims to address these issues.
Most importantly, the delivery of the work in the studio looks to exploit your abilities and seeks to find new ways to describe architecture and disseminate your ideas in the displaced digital world of the new normal, from education to industry.
[i] Marjanovi, Igor, ‘Alvin Boyarsky’s Delicatessen’ in Jane Rendell, Jonathan Hill, Murray Fraser and Mark Dorrian, eds., Critical Architecture, special issue of the Journal of Architecture, June 2005, vol. 10., no. 3 (London: Routledge, 2007), pp. 156-163.