Boxes for America
This studio is the 13th incarnation of Architecture Without Content. Architecture Without Content started as research on the Big Box in 2010. The idea being that the architecture was reducible to its very perimeter, where the economy of the envelope determined the success of the building. From the start, the studios have been interested in an argument for scale, turning even the most mundane of gestures into monumental presence. A big box transforms the territory it inhabits, despite a complete ignorance towards its immediate surroundings.
If one considers the Architecture of the United States, the Big Box is undoubtedly part of its DNA. This was so in 1960’s corporate America, but is perhaps today—due to recent developments within the champions of American distribution and technology—more than ever the case; Big Boxes provide a mirror image. So perhaps, portraits of Big Boxes do in one way or another represent the country they support.
In Fall 2014 we made an exhibition at RedCat in L.A. called “Museum for the American Metaphor”. The show made a case visually for a possible architecture that originated in an idealisation of the mid and far west of America. A group of objects and sculptures, pictures and de¬tails were presented, which in one way or another, mediate their scale and pres¬ence. The small museum was understood as their virtual context, each of the rooms was an exercise in scale, size and repre¬sentation. If indeed there is still a possible “American” architecture, perhaps it is the one hinted at in that show. If we reconsider Boxes for America, we must combine the themes of the exhibition, with the pragmatism and economy of means of a reality out there, in order to redevelop the features of a possible American Architecture Without Content.
1 A building of a minimum 1,000,000 m3
2 It contains a various amount of storage and machinery
3 The student should develop a plausible definition of a very big building with reasonably verifiable data and an advanced technology.
4 The building should be placed in a location for programmatic reasons so that context becomes collateral as in each of the portraits.
Note, this studio schedule has yet to be fully confirmed.
Kersten Geers will be in residence on the following dates: January 22 and 23, February 5, 6, 19 and 20, March 12 and 13, April 2, 3, 23 and 24, and May 4, 5 and 6.
The instructor will be available for optional desk crits/meetings during hours outside of studio time as arranged with them.
Guest lecturer David Van Severen will be in residence on the following dates: April 2, 3, 23 and 24, and May 4, 5 and 6.