Extended brief 2014 vbvb

Yves Klein and Dino Buzzati, the ritual transfer of immateriality, 1962
Intermediate Unit 10
Valentin Bontjes van Beek

Hans Hollein, Build up, 1967
The dictionary tells us that an addendum has its origins in the seemingly straightforward phrase ‘that which is to be added'. Today it simply conveys the idea of a supplement – a shot of vitamin C, Prozac or Viagra that somehow enables the whole to perform better than it once could. But what makes an addendum more complex, even scary, is that in this supplementation the addition often takes over the whole. An addendum in this sense is not just the icing on the cake – a veneer or crown applied at the end – but more fundamentally, even lethally, an addendum has the capacity to totally subvert the very core of the edifice onto which it has grafted and taken ownership. More commonly, an addendum refers to a text placed at the end of a book or publication, an afterword or postscript that comments on what has gone on before. To continue this literary analogy, if we morph the textual with the architectural and see the city as a book, as an assemblage of different chapters, where in all these words does our addendum take hold? Do we, for example, work from an overview, from the highest point, most central or outwardly, or do we work from the identification of success (replicating it, magnifying it) or failure (demolishing it, rebuilding it). In London the traces of these additions are all around the city, sometimes applied (large, like Regent Street, medium, like a roof-height limit or small, like a terrace-house plan) at other times simply evolving, whereas in somewhere like Tokyo the city overhauls itself under cover of the existing (elements of major traffic interchanges – shops, restaurants, tunnels and highways – are constantly updated, inside out). What is interesting about addenda, therefore, especially when explored through the architectural, is that they allow for a whole set of opposing forces: to be proportional and correct and yet at the same time distorted and distended; to be respectful of history, but also fantastical; to be social, civic-minded and serious, but also whimsical, even a bit lunatic; and to be mindful that architecture is a collective pursuit, but also obsessive and single-minded. But of course what is inviolable, however, is that all this exploration will be united by form – architecture here is above all else about building; and that the articulation of our ideas should be in the accessible form of models and drawings; and that all this aggregation should also display the stuff of good form.

Karl Friedrich Schinkel, Proposal for Prince Wilhelm's Palace, 1832

The unit will continue to explore design as a process of addition (and removal) through the practice of insertion, addition, multiplication and cancelation (annulation) on multiple scales. Prompting this mission is the understanding that design is only relevant, and ready to be assessed, in its natural feeding-ground and context, the city – and that today's city provides such a culturally rich and authentic composition of building stock that to disregard or turn a blind eye to what is already there would be to dilute its fundamental appeal. Accordingly, the unit will research the notion of addendum in the broadest possible sense, practical as much as conceptual (that is, things as much as ideas; material technique and wild fantasy). The main city of investigation will be London, and we will investigate its capacity for addition, removal (thinning) and a sense of order while addressing the realities of a seemingly ever-expanding urban population. Hans Hollein, Rolls Royce Grille on Wall Street, 1966

Superstudio, The Continuous Monument, NYC, Extrusion 1969
This year the schedule can be divided, or at least characterised, through four distinct parts:
tension, charge, discharge and relaxation, which, incidentally, is loosely based on Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich's formula of life.
Prelude (tension) is where you are now. Tense. Nervous. Excited. Before the year starts,
and before you start to succeed and fail.
Term One
(charge) will be concerned, firstly, with the acquisition of representational skills
(drawing, modelling, video-editing, montage and after effects) and intellectual skills
(talking, writing, presenting, refusing and ordering in restaurants). This charging period will also involve the construction of a collective large-scale conceptual city fragment, and a two-minute promotional video. The term will begin with a ten-day design competition and will culminate with a visit to Tokyo over the Christmas break.

Term Two (discharge) will explore the city at large, and the selection by each individual
student of a site or district to develop and discuss the application and design implications of their own architectural addendum (this in turn will form the basis for TS3). This addendum could involve the removal of an especially terrible architectural manifestation and the subsequent correction a new insertion prompts; or the extension to an existing form, which in this aggregation facilitates new scales, proportions, programmes and readings; or even the re-coding of certain structures, infrastructures, districts or urban elements that transforms them fundamentally (like a geneticist or plastic surgeon might change male to
Term Three (relaxation) allows for two possible scenarios: either the
continuation/reformulation of the work accumulated in term two, or a return to the competition work from term one, which will then be realised at 1:1. Paul Rudolph, Lower Manhattan Expressway, 1960's

Robert Smithson, Untitled (Big Fish), c1961–63, photomechanical print collage

Don't allow the subject to cloud your mind – the art of design and composition is based on decision making, not assimilation. The architectural addendum takes into account what is, as a way to influence and foresee what is to become. Like a tropical spider smuggled into a pack of Waitrose bananas, the collision of something alien, unsuspected, public, scene-changing or even dangerous, against something that is everyday, accepted, organic and possibly even vulnerable, will introduce its own sense of friction, which in turn reminds us of our own mortality. Times of discussion will be Tuesday and Friday, with the possibility of occasional emergency meetings on Monday mornings or Wednesday afternoons. Meetings will be conducted in our studio and at alternative AA locations or an office in the Barbican. All help, direction, instruction and even brief's will be provided by the unit master, but at the same time it is central to the unit's didactic ethos that each student develops a year- long project by deciding independently on all key aspects and directions which constitute a body of work (ie, site, programme, format and context). This then ultimately leads to the presentation of the individual portfolio – which will be conducted playfully and with a sense of finality and a sheepish attention to context and the newly imagined. The expression of ideas makes us human. The expression of ideas about the city makes us citizens. The expression of proposed additions to a city puts us in the realm of architecture.

Carlo Scarpa, Olivetti Showroom, Venice, Piazza San Marco, c1957–58 Throughout the year, it is important to note that no specific graphic style or format will be privileged over any other, but during the terms what will be expected is a clarity of thought, a sense of enjoyment, a dual compulsion to tackle pragmatics and risks, an inherent curiosity and the looming realisation that you might actually be learning
A further checklist of expectations and encounters would include:
• the use of a video camera or HD phone • getting lost in an unfamiliar city • the calm assurance of mastering your own whereabouts in a certain city • a technical mastery of the collaging techniques of photography, à la David Hockney • how to talk in a compelling and convincing way about your design work and ideas without notes or other prompts for the duration of five minutes or 300 seconds • to draw well, in all forms of the traditional architectural canon (plan, section, elevation, and isonometry) • to drop references wilfully and casually, and to have the intuition to follow your own • to visit libraries and archives • to make models, at all scales, from 1:1000 to 1:1, which are conceptual, analytic, formal • to be able to analyse and document an existing site and to choose the interesting element of this size properly • to be propositional Akira Yamaguchi, Tokei (Tokyo) Sho-Da-Furaku 2001 Makoto Aida, Harakiri School Girls(silver) 2001 The unit will visit Tokyo at the end of the first term over the Christmas break. Presentations and prompts about Japanese architecture will be made to students, but independently students should begin to familiarise themselves with the great names of contemporary Japanese design: Maekawa, Tange, Kurokawa, Isozaki, Ito, Ando, Sejima, et al. This trip is not simply a piece of end-of-term tourism; the ideas and references collected here will feed into what has already been examined, and will transition into the resumption of studies in London during the second and third terms. After all, the UK and Japan are two island empires, that have long had conflicting attitudes towards their own built fabric and what, in the end, is the real value of architecture. In this sense, their association is something that needs to be a focus of all your design projects and proposals.

Source: https://www.aaschool.ac.uk/Downloads/briefs2014/Extended%20Brief%202014%20vbvb1.pdf

Internal medicine clerkship syllabus

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