MAKERGRAPH 2023 / ADV VI / LOT-EK / MATTERS OF IDENTITY
The MAKERGRAPH studio is designed to serve you in your final semester—you who seek a personal educational (or post-educational) experience as you transition out of architecture school. The studio adapts a thesis-like sensibility into a committed sequence of highly structured, iterative, cumulative assignments. In parallel and mutual influence with those assignments, you create a visual, material, and verbal archive/feed of your own preoccupations/reflections from your life experiences within and beyond the design world. This requires radical authenticity and creative courage.
identity and your many personal histories
The MAKERGRAPH studio sets our focus on identity, as personal exploration and creative expression centered on each of our own life stories; as an investigation within, to dig, to learn, to uncover, and at the same time to question—our identity and our identifications, our memberships, or our default belongings. We explore our identity as a springboard for our imagination. This is a practice of freedom.
The MAKERGRAPH studio asks you to do the work: honestly, earnestly, and authentically. Because the studio resists scholastic postures, standardized solutions, and stylish defaults, the studio asks that you take risks. Because such resistance requires self-awareness, the studio asks that you become ever more conscious of your own patterns of thought, and ever more critical of the educational, cultural, and other structural biases that may be shaping those patterns for you. Your work is personal. Your work is yours. Your work is non-compliant: it does not reflect current status, trends, or standards. Your work destabilizes current status, trends, or standards. Your work is inventive. Your work imagines.
The MAKERGRAPH studio centers on thinking-by-making; on material culture as an expression of our culture; on craft and digital craft; and on material practice—from weaving to welding. This applies the enthusiasm in our own practice for radically adaptive reuse and upcycling, but does not teach you to do what we do. Our intent is to empower you, with our tough-but-tender conspiracy, to teach yourself what you do. You draw deeply on your personal, cultural, and physical legacies, and on all that each one of us brings to this Spring.
The MAKERGRAPH studio asks that you work within a format. The studio format is tight. It is completely predetermined and highly scheduled. This constraint offers pushback to the open mind and open heart that we bring to the studio—to excavate, to unpack, to unsettle, to apply pressure, in order to invent and discover.
your objects and your book
We proceed, week by week, by making objects. We do this through a sequence of material and spatial constructs, an iterative exploration through making, using your hands, your tools, and your practice of choice. Every week, you test one-to-one physical constructs, questioning form and methodology. You photograph, document, draw, record and reproduce these objects to observe and express their spatial quality, mass, structure, and light—this representation is also a form of questioning and exploring. We embrace discoveries and mishaps. The pace of work requires you to use default habits and empowers you to question default habits. You do that again, and again, and again. The record of this work is the work. It accumulates into a formatted sequence of objects, pages, and spreads. A regular spread assignment collects, organizes, and formats your work. Every week you add a new chapter. Every week you write about your work, and present and discuss your new chapter. By midterm, you have your first book. A complement to your portfolio, this book is a prospective monograph—something with the discourse and atmosphere of a document of all the work of your future career; something that becomes for your career a source code, a commentary, and a conscience.
The studio offers an intensive, immersive experience that is highly individual and also highly communicative, collaborative, and supportive. A space for our shared vulnerability and intimacy. A space for our mutual uncovering and invention, a creative, caring space.
logistics and travel
You work individually, but in the spirit of a mutually supportive community and collective intelligence.
We meet in-person one day a week around a table for our recurrent weekly Book Review, and have individual desk crits another day. Giuseppe and Ada will be together at the book review and will rotate for desk crits.
Our travel will be a road trip – through the Sonora desert landscapes of north-west Mexico/Baja California. We will start at the border, as an experience of a place constructed around identity.
Marco Armiero, Wasteocene, Stories from the Global Dump. Cambridge University Press, 2021
Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter, a Political Ecology of Things. Duke University Press, 2010
Michael Chazan, The Reality of Artifacts. Routledge, 2018
Audre Lorde, The Cancer Journals, 1980
Joy Harjo, Crazy Brave, W.W. Norton & Company, 2013
Toni Morrison, The Site of Memory, 1995
The syllabus page shows a table-oriented view of the course schedule, and the basics of course grading. You can add any other comments, notes, or thoughts you have about the course structure, course policies or anything else.
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