Real and Imaginary Variables (Final): Global Arenas

Halfway between the socially responsive discourse of programmatic indeterminacy and the alleged futility of form-giving, we will explores architecture’s critical return to form. Our interest in the topic of form is neither aesthetic nor ideological. Contrary to the notion of shape (with which it is often confused), form is a syntactic, procedural and (increasingly) technical problem, like the study of language in the 1970s -or the more recent emergence of Object Orientated Programming in the software industry.

Our past GSD briefs have systematically explored the architectural potential of the variable parametric surface, a vehicle chosen for its relentless abstraction and resistance to predictable questions of architectural function or figure. The investigation continues.

In conjunction with the spring term elective Superficial Spaces, we will produce sophisticated new formal prototypes -as part of a pragmatic urban and architectural proposal located in West London.

Real and Imaginary Variables:
We will further explore the seminal thesis of architecture as a complex interplay of desire and automatic writing. Architecture, in this view, depends on achieving a practical and theoretical balance between real and imaginary variables: real variables depend on empirical knowledge of a given type, site, and programme; imaginary variables depend on the equally important (though far less intuitive) properties of indexical modeling. The two parts of the equation need one another to fulfill themselves: without the imaginary part, the type withers into predictability and repetition; without the real part, it becomes self-fulfilling -and ultimately irrelevant. We will figure out fresh ways in which a formal analytic model (otherwise known as a seed) might correlate to a building type’s functional organization, program and material structure.

Methodology and Site:
Using our trademark combination of seed bank, user manual and real-life brief, we will develop the two parts of the process in tandem. When both parts are sufficiently developed, we will devise proposals for a 40,000-seater football stadium currently planned in the Old Oak regeneration area of West London. The studio will receive informal support from the project’s promoters, the London Borough and Hammersmith and Fulham, and Greater London Authority.

Irregular Schedule:
George Legendre plans to be available to students on the following dates:
January 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29
February 9, 10, 11, 12
February 23, 24, 25, 26
March 9, 10, 11, 12
March 23, 24, 25, 26 (Midterm March 24-25)
April 6, 7, 8, 9
April 20, 21, 22, 23
May 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 (Finals May 6 and May 9)