online workshop by urbanaarchitettura
3 – 13 October
There is a chandelier in every room
We live in an age of ruins. The ruins of the welfare state in its various ideological and geopolitical embodiments in the form of those institutions that have been carefully choreographed to shape modern territories of top-down, domesticated, collectivised life. From education to hospitality, confinement to mental treatment, their architectures have often been relocated, sent to exile, vacated, forgotten, repudiated, or simply left to their own destiny in a state of controlled decay. Yet they might still be a resource for reinventing modes of living together.
As opposed to market-driven neoliberal euphoria to reinvent these places – read: the cultural center, the luxury hotel, the creative hub, the innovation campus, etc. – these ruins raise the question: what to do, beyond their musealisation, or final commodification? But also beyond a nostalgic reiteration of past ideals of total (forced?) socialisation? We think that precisely in the ruin of an institution lies the prospect of a de-institutionalised idea of collectivity; the drawing of, in the words of Robin Evans, a new picture of the sociable as opposed to the socialised.
The Prishtina Public Archipelago is one example of a territory made of large cathedrals of publicness laying in wait for reappropriation. Using it as a case study, we want to pull together a twofold reflection on the meaning of publicness.
Firstly, we will engage with one specific component of the Prishtina Public Archipelago: the Grand Hotel Prishtina. The hotel stands as a paradigm of publicness in which the space of appearance is sparingly negotiated within a territory of rooms. Rather than magnifying the open-plan capacities of its communal spaces and atria, we will aim for a de-privatisation of its matrix of rooms.
Secondly, we will question the publicness of architectural education by experimenting with the very format of this online workshop. A constellation of 8 ‘isolated’ participants will produce a collective work by experiencing and enacting the propagation, articulation, and ramification of their own spheres of influence. From their home-base, each participant will take part in a relay design race, developing a time-limited task as an essential fragment of the collective work while at the same time defining the rules for the subsequent participant’s contribution.
The workshop will run 3-13 October, but the students will not be expected to work for the whole duration. Within this period each participant will be required to work for 3-4 days.
All interested must send by 25th September to firstname.lastname@example.org, a portfolio of selected design work (max 5 pages) and a brief cover letter specifying:
I do like…
I am quick at…
I am good at…
(collage, line drawings, renderings, photographs, physical models, writing, directing movies…)
Also please specify what devices you have (laptop, desktop, A4 printer, A3 printer, scanner, good quality photo camera, etc.)
The selected 8 students will be notified by September 30th and they will receive a welcome package with instructions for the workshop.