ARC 490/503: Architecture International Studio/Advanced Architectural Design

Instructors: Adam Gebrian, Igor Kovačević
Credits: 6
GEP: Elective

Course Description

Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in the world with buildings from more than 10 different centuries. Its’ success lies mainly in an outstanding ability to combine diverse parts, buildings into one coherent whole simultaneously with horizontal and vertical tendencies. That
seems to be almost lost quality in contemporary architecture and in the works of many architects. A popular quote from Rem Koolhaas “Fuck the context” is being used by many students of architecture, without really understanding its’ proper meaning. The studio will be focused on different strategies on how to deal with the complicated context in a broader sense than just of a built form in close neighborhood. We will not only examine how to design but for whom to design, why to design and maybe even if to design at all.

Architecture is often considered by many as something special, something extraordinary and outstanding which would last for ages. Museums, opera houses, theatres, headquarters of important companies, national galleries. The focus of this studio is a bit different. It should be much more related to the culture of everyday life.

It will be difficult for you to understand such a complex city at least a bit in just 90 days. Everything will be new, complicated, with the majority of publicly available information only in Czech.

Learning Outcomes

The program of the studio is developed to introduce students into an architecture discipline from the point of view of a foreigner/professional who needs to orient himself/herself in an unfamiliar context. Students will acquire a set of skills introducing architecture discipline in a comprehensive curriculum through various implementations of architecture – demolition, reconstruction, construction, and intervention. Each of these segments of architecture offers students another perspective on the discipline.

Czech cultural context offers an excellent background for the above-mentioned topics. Students will have to understand urbanist, historic and cultural elements of building/plot/public space to present legitimate solutions.

The following list of outcomes intended for students participating in this course. By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Apply essential designing skills on a new/foreign context
  • Find a problem/topic worth solving, and provide a proper justification for the choice
  • Learn from the work of colleagues, who already have dealt with a similar problem
  • Separate more important from less important during the process of designing
  • Interpret newly discovered information, work with materials, documents
  • Present own ideas in an understandable way
  • Collaborate with others