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

Instructors: Adam GebrianIgor Kovačević
Credits: 6
GEP: Elective

Course Description

Prague is one of the most beautiful cities globally, 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 the works of many architects. A famous quote from Rem Koolhaas, “Fuck the context”, is being used by many architecture students without 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 a close neighborhood. We will examine how to design and 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 essential 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 challenging to understand such a complex city in at least a bit in just 90 days. Everything will be new, complicated, with the majority of publicly available information only in the Czech.

This class is recommended to College of Design students. Students coming from other colleges will be asked to submit a portfolio of their past work.

Previous experience in the field of art and design is required, this class may be too difficult and demanding for students with a limited skill set.

Learning Outcomes

The studio’s program is developed to introduce students to 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 architecture implementations – demolition, reconstruction, construction, and intervention. Each of these segments of architecture offers students another perspective on the discipline.

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

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

  • Apply essential designing skills in 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 critical from less critical during the process of designing
  • Interpret newly discovered information, work with materials, documents
  • Present own ideas in an understandable way
  • Collaborate with others