Tutors: Dusan Decermic and Elantha Evans
DS11 has been conceived as a supportive, self-reflexive, and critical framework for the development of a series of urban programmes identified with individual cities and their geographic, socio-economic and political situations. Shifting between design ambitions at a large geographical or urban scales and their implications at architectural inhabited scales, we explore the relationship between conceived space, representations, material, making and inhabitation. The studio notes a distinction between MArch1 and MArch2, enjoying the relationship between studio and other modules. We are recruiting a crew of inquisitive young architects with a love for city life (and maps!), honesty, bravery, a belief in architecture as key to society, and a keen sense of adventure. The studio will flourish if we assemble a multitude of talents, skills and interests.
The Intrinsic | Extrinsic City
Binaries Opposed 2020-21
40.5122° N, 14.1447° E
DS11’s fascinations and curiosities have shifted outwards to examine Europe’s extreme edges and their forgotten (ex)centricities and (in)trigue. Continuing our two-year sequence of bringing together in sharp contrast a pair of cities lying loosely along similar longitudes, but always on opposing latitudes, we alternate each academic year from North to South, ‘stitching’ these territories together from West to East, working around the void of Europe left behind. Extreme geography is synonymous with extremes of weather, but also often in demographic movement, economies, socio-political situations, resources and integration. Separation, purity and dilution; do mythologies of the ‘far away’ hold true? What can the future hold for these liminal territories, with the alleged ‘plenty’ and warmth of the ‘Med’ versus coolth and ‘scarcity’ of the ‘North’?
Yes, this year we will locate our designs and dreams in Naples; getting ‘up close’ from afar.
NEAPOLIS. New City. Virtual dream. Global civilization in crisis. Again. Then. When? Now. How about an Epicurean Utopia for the 21st century? Imagining… an early ‘metropolis’ positioned at a crossroads of cultures; Greek, North African, European and beyond. Who now are the extracommunitari? The diaspora / homeland dichotomy. What relics, miracles, saints left behind? Excess? Performance, ritual, religious passions. Stories? What impact is migration having on Naples and Naples on displaced peoples? A recent economic crisis in manufacturing and crafts. The government and localised politics? Dangerous or dormant? So, within the Metropolitan City of Naples, our territory for study expands to a 25km radius from the city centre. To the north, ‘the triangle of death’, Europe’s largest illegal dumping ground. The ancient city of Pompeii to the south, once a thriving and sophisticated Roman city, buried under metres of ash. The culprit Vesuvius to the east, dormant since its last eruption in 1944. And then to the lago / lido of the west beside the Tyrrhenian Sea. And what of Capri? Then there is what lies beneath; the Napoli Sotterranea. How will this year’s urban and architectural projects respond to what we surface as the Neapolitan underground?
It is 2020 and the fundamental idea of a ‘city’ is in question. Another transformative era? Agrarian to industrial to technological. Maps and orientation have already irreversibly changed with the smart- phone. What are our landmarks, our cultural monuments, what role do our ‘public buildings’ play and what does that even mean? How does this impact our architecture, our cities, our urban life? Naples and its environ will this year provide the diverse and fertile ground for asking questions and exploring answers.
DS11 students generate highly individual and specific urban, architectural and human(e) projects responding to a complex set of researched ‘environmental concerns’ defined and set in wider physical, social, political, cultural and economic contexts. DS11 is a studio with a long track record in examining and researching the European City, with a focus on the role of public buildings, the urban condition, the people and space caught in the flux of the wider European Union project, it’s politics and economy. See recently published ‘studio as book’, ‘The Intrinsic and Extrinsic City’ 2018
An epicurean utopia: surfacing the Neapolitan underground
Semester One starts with a series of week-long, high-tempo, productive, short projects:
0-0 petrificato: rianimare
0-1 petrificato: rianimare
1-0 transitorio: lavoro
1-1 transitorio: lavoro
These projects will produce wide-ranging pieces of work, which form the basis for the publication of a ‘Catalogue’ [MArch2], a launch-pad for the second semester’s student-led thesis projects [MArch2], and for a thematic + typological development of an urban-architectural brief [MArch1]. In parallel, throughout Semester One, territorial investigations take the form of ‘City at a Distance’ group work; rigorous desk-top research to set the-all-important cultural, social, political, environmental and physical scene for the year’s work. Treated as a shared resource, this city scale research supports contextualization of project development, whilst at the same time relating closely to MArch2 work towards Strategic Report.
MArch 2 | Catalogue to thesis: treatise, proposition and architectural embodiment.
MArch 1 | A Neapolitan House of Work: new operatic expression.
Semester Two will start with a four-day intensive Neapolitan experience, from afar: this year DS11 will carefully plan and develop new modes of working with the ‘City up Close, from afar’, a deliberate scale-switch from ‘City at Distance’. In place of the usual field trip, we will commit to an intense four-day focused interrogation of Naples, but from afar, based in studio and workshops. A practice worth developing. As a group we will take this opportunity to immerse ourselves in Neapolitan culture; literature, film, food and drink? What else? How is this different from ‘City at Distance’? What will our real, irreal or surreal be? What will they become? How will they develop a shared impression of place? Mapping? Visualising? Suggesting. What of atmosphere? Of spaces? How will we use virtual reality or google-maps? Drawings, virtual visits? Texts. What will connections with Italian institutions offer? What will be lost? Much could be gained? Territory, brief, theme and sites will be finalised. Prior assumptions challenged. A jump in scale achieved. Reflection and proposition.
Through observing, identifying, recording and re-presenting the subtleties of twilight, from Cordoba to Reykjavik, and now South again to Naples (how will we fake it?), your Neapolis; connecting extreme places and considering difference in spaces, will drive detailed / technical design studies and comparisons, linking Semesters One and Two, and running in support of the main thesis / design project development. These also support the studio’s endeavour with related Technical Studies agendas; guided and focused design development work through the pursuit of studio-centric research into some specialist areas will link experiential intention with careful consideration of material, light, construction and ‘sustainability’.
2-0 threshold: twilight: rooms
2-1 threshold: twilight: rooms
2-2 threshold: twilight: rooms
DS11 is a supportive, self-reflexive, and critical framework for the development of urban and architectural programmes, born from your ideas and from real cities. Shifting between design ambitions at a large geographical or urban scale and their implications at architectural inhabited scales, we explore the relationship between conceived space, representations, material and inhabitation. The studio notes a distinction between MArch1 and MArch2, enjoying the relationship between studio and other modules. We are recruiting inquisitive young architects; with a love for city life, honesty, bravery, a belief in architecture as key to society and a concern for the future. We do not have a ‘house-style’. The studio will flourish if we assemble a multitude of talents, skills and interests. We are joint leaders and share the studio 50/50.