Narratives: Means of Communication and Representation in Architecture. Studio 121
STUDIO: 1th Year Representation and Communication Studio (APH 121)
INSTITUTION: School of Architecture, University of Cyprus
PLACE/TIME: Nicosia, Cyprus, spring semester 2010 and spring semester 2011
TUTORS: Christos Papastergiou, Christiana Ioannou
[Studio 2010] Farzahn Ghohare, Vasilena Petkova, Athanasia Agaiou, Adamos Adamou, Timotheos Alexi, Nicoletta Andreou, Styliana Grigoriou, Neofitos Dinitriou, Androniki Herodotou, Maria Theodoulou, Andronikos Kallis, Stefania Kleovoulou, Athena Leontiou, Andreas Matasgos, Christina Palochi, Katerina Panteli, Georgia Papasozomenou, Tryfon Papatryfon, Dimitra Patsia, Elena Pavlou, Maria Sofokleous, Andrea Spyrou, Katerina Telemachou, Stavros-Konstantinos Fragoyiannopoulos, Stella Chalkiadaki, Georgios Charalambous, Dimitra Chadjiyiagou, Eleni Chadjipetrou.
[Studio 2011] Rafaella Christodoulou, Christina Panagi, Nikolas Georgiou, Philippos Michael, Panayiotis Savva, Anna Panagiotou, Rafaella Christophi, Louisa Chiarlistou, Andria Georgiou, Sosanna Anaxagorou, Chrisavgi Konstanti, Maria Ioannou, Zoe Georgiou, Athina Nikolaou, Aristi Pavlou, Orestis Pavlides, Ioanna Dimitriou, Evelin Evdorou, Michalis Karaolidis, Evdokia Kyriakidou, Eva Konstantinou, Andri Lysandrou, Panagiota Michael, Sarah Borai, Eleni Nikolaou, Kyriakos Nikolaou, Elena Pillakouri, Anastasia Prodromou, Michaelina Stylianou, Konstantinos Chadjimanolis.
Communication and Representation as Interpretation
The studio ran in 2010 and 2011 and focused on methods of representing and communicating the process of architectural design. Instead of focusing on the production of form we introduced representation as the method for understanding and interpreting spatial relations, abstract spatial concepts and the abstract space of experience.
Due to the lack of an actual architectural program, we used instead the ‘world’ of literature narrative as the context of the studio, through the novel ‘Ghosts’ by the American writer Paul Auster. The specific novel has a clear structural narrative, and it is quite ‘architectural’. For that reason it worked successfully as the context of the studio and fed the students with material to interpret into spatial concepts. The students firstly had to observe abstract spatial relations within the text and then they had to experiment into reflecting these relations into concrete spatial relations with the use of specific architectural means.
During the studio we practiced with specific means of architectural communication that analyze, describe, inscribe or interpret the text as a structure. The students used the means to draw or fabricate conditions that intermediate between the structural elements of the text, that is, the protagonists, the objects or other elements found within the text.
The studio was divided in three parts: the Air, the Ground and the Device, according to the means that we used and the relations that the students interpreted each time. At the Air part we mainly focused on the total view, or the view ‘from above’, the plan and the map. At the Ground part we focused on the means that record the view from within or the space of the experience. Finally, at the Device part we investigated various means of ‘inventing’ a device, of composing and bringing together the different components during a design process.
During the studio the students were assigned with day-long exercises where they had to work on specific kinds of means each time: the sketch, the diagram, the mapping, the plan, the section, the model, the documentation of the process, photographing, story-boarding.