Design Studio 2 offers first year students opportunities to develop a grounded design fluency and adaptive agility. The course has been designed for the challenges of a COVID-responsive world, and explores the Semester Thematic – Radical Work – though both grounding (radicality as going back to the ‘root’) and the effort (work) required in order to learn. The studio program propels students through a series radically adaptive design exercises, or weekly mini-projects. A focus on the ‘adaptive’ is about taking something given, or at hand, and adapting it to a situation, even as that situation changes. The studio is emphatically anti-tabula-rasa – proposing that there is never a ‘clean slate’ upon which a designer impresses their ideas.
Project 1 – An Ecosystem of Projects – consists of five one week adaptive mini-projects that culminate in a final, cumulative design, drawing together previous weeks via a new brief. With an emphasis on adaptation, these will sporadically make reference to permaculture design principles that foster whole systems thinking, observation, community resilience, and perceiving patterns in (design) ecosystems.
Project 2 – Event-space – runs parallel to Project 1 and counters the fast-paced weekly mini-project sequence with a deep dive into a 500 x 500mm space readily accessible to each student. This project will hone skills of observation, appreciation of temporality, thinking across scales, imagination and storytelling. This project will result in the submission of a story book.
Project 3 with then allow students the opportunity for developmental work through a final architecture project.
The studio will be closely associated with the Radical Work Stream – Ground Work, – exploring the issue of what ground work is required in architectural education, in order to prepare students for uncertain futures.