Moving Things Around, Exploring Rossi’s Small Scientific Theatre

Aldo Rossi’s project the Small Scientific Theatre from 1978 is taken as a starting point to reflect upon the relation between architecture and image, and between object (prop) and space (stage). The writing on the Small Scientific Theatre has generally focused on the importance of memory within the work of Aldo Rossi. In this studio we will explore how this experimental miniature stage was established as a space in which objects, 2D drawings and 3D constructions of different scales could coexist in a seemingly unproblematic way.  We are specifically interested to see how the same spatial base was used to accommodate different scenarios and situations, just by moving props around, adding surfaces and changing backdrops.  Components from classical scenography (flats, backdrops, legs, wings, props, etc.) and premodern theatrical devices (such as paper or toy theatres) will be used as tools and media to investigate this relation.

One exercise called "PROP" explores the presence and movement of objects on stage and in the city.  The "staging" of that movement becomes the subject of study: we will review mobile architectures, parades and the city as a theatrical setting. Another exercise, called "STAGE" explores the theatrical device as a way to produce architecture. By abstracting our environment into scenography (an architectural collage, a model, a rendering …) we construct a specific reading of our context. The theatrical fiction allows us to understand the reality, and therefore to make architecture.

Wonne Ickx is founding director of the architectural studio PRODUCTORA  ( and of LIGA, Space for Architecture in Mexico City ( and will combine these different interests (production and spatial representation of architecture) into the studio.  Students will research in groups of two, but work on their projects individually.

This course has an irregular meeting schedule.

Wonne Ickx will be in residence on January 19 and 20, February 1 and 2, March 1, 2, 22, and 23, April 5, 6, 19, and 20, and May 1, 2, and 3. Travel will take place March 11-17.