Near Future

NEAR FUTUREStudio Option 1315GSD — Spring 2008Lise Anne Couture with Christopher Johnson and Volkan AlkanogluSyllabusOver the last fifty years the city of Brasilia has been both a source of inspiration and source of criticism. Dubbed the \”Capital of Hope\” by President Juscelino Kubitschek in 1957, it quickly became known as the \”the cursed city\” by many of his successors. Either way the Brazilian national capital is a testament to architectural and urban experimentation on a grand scale. The result is that in many ways Brasilia is timeless and classic, but it is also an anachronism, paradoxically stuck between the historical reverence of a 20th-century architectural avant-garde and the need to evolve and expand at the dawn of the 21st century.The city has always been a tool of communication; it has been used as political, architectural, technological and cultural propaganda, and it certainly contains enough ministries and palacios to administer such ideologies. However, also among Brasilia\’s \”garden of monuments,\” aligned with the Monumental Axis, stands the Brasilia Television Tower. As a tool of communication and media this structure is perhaps as important as any in the city. It is subjectively and objectively about vision and perception, and literally a source of vision via the broadcasts it emits and the use of its observation deck and museum. Above all, it is an architectural monument: Brasilia\’s 20th-century answer to Paris\’s 19th-century Eiffel Tower.The purpose of this studio is to create an architectural response that will be Brasilia\’s 21st-century \’monument\’ to vision and communication. As Brazil and its culture continue to evolve with the global economy, changing paradigms in technology and media, tourism and demographic shifts, its capital city has developed the need for an institution to explore and disseminate this evolution. In effect, this center will become an institute for the future of Brazil.Inspiration will be drawn from the transportation and information industries – the same kind progressive ideology and technology that gave birth to Brasilia in the 1950s – which will allow the city to re-emerge fifty years later as the site of today\’s architectural vanguard.ProgramThe Institute for the Future may contain, but is not limited to:_print library and archive_digital library and archive_gallery space_performance hall_classrooms_workshops_administration wing_film archive and projection facilities_residential/dormitory facilities for visiting scholars_restaurant_bar/cafe_retail spaceThe site will be chosen by each student, but must be located within Brasilia\’s Monumental AxisScheduleStudio will meet every Tuesday and Friday from 2p-6p unless otherwise noted.The studio will consist of three phases of development: 1. Concept research and small-scale design project 2. Material/Technique research and building design phase (topology, structure, skin, space) 3. Fabrication/Representation phase_first class meeting (after lottery) Monday 1/28_assignment 1- small-scale design project due pin-up- Friday 2/15_site visit- Brasilia/Rio de Janeiro Sat 2/23- Sat 3/1_mid-review Friday 3/21_design scheme freeze (end of design phase) pin-up- Friday 4/4_fabrication and representation phase 4/5-5/4_final review 5/5-5/9 TBD