Elective at semester(s) 6, 8, ECTS: 3
Comprehension, Analysis, Evaluation
A more descriptive title of the course could be "Understanding and Imagination before Designing". Based on the traditional architecture of a village on the Cycladic island of Tinos, the course analyses life in the village through the creation of a file and through the understanding that a new architect should have before beginning toimagine and create a new piece of architecture in the traditional structure of a village or any other small community. What should an architect know beyond the structure of a building in order to analyse and understand an existing spatial and social situation in depth? In architectural theory, tools of interpretation are given through different approaches, so that architecture and art can be understood as practices that were traditionally used to connect man with his community, place, religion, and environment.
Nowadays, private and governmental establishment of ownership/property make boundaries appear stiff as elements of division and autonomy. We are directed towards new contemporary sustainable ways of living, however we are searching for things outside the human way of living, outside of the complexity of architecture, with things connected with social life, spatial qualities and the environment. In this course students will understand this relationship of traditional life with the complexity of architecture, place and environment. The way of life that emerges from the above relationship and the understanding of the spaces that come from the past -where experience becomes a rooted thing- contributes to a healthy way of life that integrates both private and public. Students will be equipped with tools to understand and interpret the local tradition in modern life. They will see how different scales, spaces, materials and situations do not respond to an architecture and way of dwelling through form and fashion, but they highlight the social and the ethical function of architecture as an essential record of architectural tradition in relation to man, place and environment.
The course is a case study of a village in the Cyclades, a place where the low boundary stonewalls still define the rural landscape, the structure of the village and the properties of its inhabitants. Students will develop tools for understanding and interpreting this landscape both through the existing architecture and the everyday life of the villagers. Spatial, social and ethical boundaries will be discovered through texts about the village, through various public and community spaces, the structure of the family house, people’s coexistence with animals, the influence of religion, and the everyday practices of the inhabitants in this complex territory. Through examining twelve different spatial and social situations, the course will seek to reveal: the structure of this society and the traditional village structureand its relationship with myth; the history of its construction; the basis on which the architect should use his/her imagination so as to implement a new piece of architecture within this complex structure. The course will use extracts of narratives, contracts, maps, photographs and videos so that the student builds his/her understanding of the different issues of village life.
Also, this course aims at a deep understanding of the village, the different materials used, and spaces in which everyday life takes place. Moreover, it seeks to explore the relationship between theory and design through artwork or the interpretation of the architectural language of the space.