Course Syllabus

  • LOT-EK ADV STUDIO VI / MAKERGRAPH STUDIO, Spring 2020
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  • The Makergraph Studio is a studio about making.
  • The Makergraph Studio is a maker-kind of Monograph Studio. It is the 2020 iteration of The Monograph Studio, a special and radical modern tradition at GSAPP that engages the school’s critical and material practice.
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  • The Makergraph Studio has a design-build state of mind.
    This is a physical and visual studio. 
  • In the first half of the semester, we will work only through fabrication and photography. 
  • In the second half of the semester, we will work in new ways with your old digital and computational tools for drawing, modeling, rendering, diagraming and interpreting. 
  • Over the first four weeks, we will work at full scale, with real materials—plastic, wood, metal, fabric. The space of the studio will be a site of installation and construction. Over the next four weeks we will rethink and remake this work at an architectural scale.
  • We will make big and think bigger. 
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  • The Makergraph Studio is a studio about bookmaking.
  • The Makergraph Studio likes books. We believe that architects should buy, borrow, own, read, write, and make books.  A book is a physical object and a critical event: a way of making and a way of thinking. As you make up and think through your work, you will be writing and making a book. Your Monograph. This book will become a preemptive monograph, manifesto and map for all your future career. Every week, we will talk about your work together in a group Book Review. By our midterm, this documentation will have added up to 200 pages—into a complete first draft of your Monograph. By our final, you will graduate with your first published book in your hands.
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  • 04.
  • The Makergraph Studio moves very fast. And then moves very slow. We are quick and dirty. Then we are slow and clean. We say: eat it up, throw it up, clean it up, mess it up, fix it up, draw it up, make it up…!
  • The first half of this experience moves so fast that you must rely on all your obsessions and preoccupations.
  • First you will commit to what you’re doing—rapidly. This is a way of revealing yourself to yourself.
  • Then you will live with what you did—sincerely. This is a way of learning to live with the self you have revealed.
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  • The Makergraph Studio is supportive and demanding. It is kind and tough. Once you have completed the first draft of your Monograph, we will have inspired and bored you, soaked and burned you.
  • You will be ready for a seemingly empty page. You will be ready for a trip to a pre-and-post-architectural landscape; you will be ready to empty yourself; you will be ready for a landscape of accumulation and erasure; you will be ready for a critique of scholastic and urban density. You will be ready for nature and craft. We will be traveling to Japan.
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  • 06.
    The Makergraph Studio
    is a personal, actual, material, and physical investigation of how materials become things, how things make places, and how places shape people. Operations like forging, molding, weaving and stitching are metaphors for how we invent and discover ourselves as people. By paying attention to how you make things, you will understand more about how you make yourself—as a designer, and maybe even as a person.
  • The Makergraph Studio believes in strategies of repetition, variation, hesitation, anticipation, recollection, and repetition. These strategies require the book, in which there is a narrative and tangible sequence, embedded in the logic of the physical object of the book itself. We believe in repeating, prototyping, iterating, fabricating, kit-bashing, installing, accumulating, and repeating.
  • The Makergraph Studio looks inward and looks outward. With your increased self-understanding and increased idealism about the social and political instrumentality of the built environment, you will become a better narcissist and a better altruist.
  • The Makergraph Studio is a Monograph Studio.
  • A Monograph Studio is not a portfolio studio.
  • A portfolio is comprehensive; a monograph is compromised.
  • A portfolio is objective; a monograph is subjective.
  • A portfolio is universal; a monograph is personal.
  • A portfolio explains; a monograph mystifies.
  • A portfolio hastens; a monograph hesitates.
  • A portfolio is slick; a monograph is slippery.
  • A portfolio is honest. A monograph is deceptive.
  • A portfolio is graphic. A monograph is therapeutic.
  • A portfolio is defensive. A monograph is adaptive.
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  • The Makergraph Studio is a makeover. It is a way to rethink and remake yourself and your work at the threshold between the really theoretical world of academic scholarship and the theoretically real world of professional practice.
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  • To make is to bring into existence / to give being to / to give form to / to manifest / to produce / to construct / to behave / to arrive / to arrange / to work / to do.
  • To make do   is to improvise.
  • To make ready   is to prepare.
  • To make up   is to imagine. Or to reconcile.
  • To make out   is to succeed. Or to discern. Or to discover. Or to connect with one you love.
  • To make of   is to think.
  • To make off   is to run away.
  • To make good   is to succeed.
  • To make waves   is to disrupt.
  • To make away   is to steal.
  • To make believe   is to imagine.
  • To make merry   is to have serious fun.
  • To make time   is to move fast.
  • To make way   is to back off. Or the exact opposite.
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  • In the Makergraph Studio you do all these things.
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  • A maker who is also a thinker is, in the language of Old English, a wright.

  • Housewright. Shipwright. Plowright. Cartwright. Wagonwright. Wheelwright. Playwright.
  • The Monograph Studio reminds you of the words of playwright Samuel Becket, who in 1983 wrote:
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  • All of old.
  • Nothing else ever.
  • Ever tried.
  • Ever failed.
  • No matter.
  • Try again.
  • Fail again. Fail better.

Course Summary:

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