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Generative Processes in Architecture and Urbanism

2017-2018 Brief

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The Everyday Transfigured

I am a beginning.
I am a community project of individualists.
I am an attempt to create closeness without compulsion.
I am quarrelsome and obnoxious, quiet and comfortable.
I am a chaos workshop – with indisputable success.

(Kraftwerk 1, Cooperative Housing in Zurich)

In cities driven by speculation, notions of opportunity and freedom traditionally related to the metropolis are shifting. Hyper-inflated property costs in cities such as Tokyo have led to a stranglehold on those forced to squeeze out every last drop of space, time and productivity. In London, a surging array of corporations have hijacked the idea of sharing, expanding for-profit models of co-living, co-working and co-riding that drive up costs. A lack of ownership appears to set us free, inviting nomadic, adventurous, flexible and open re-conceptions of life. Often though, these are marketing ploys which disguise the nature of the relationship between stakeholders and ultimately tend to eliminate diversity, spontaneity and the self-organisation of culture.

This year Intermediate 6 will re-imagine housing as an architectural framework for live, work and play. We will study past and current experimental projects such as Zurich’s Kalkbreite, which combines a multitude of domestic unit types around common kitchens, baths and cultural spaces, challenging concepts of strangers and family. We will hijack existing tendencies in London and re-orient them towards radical proposals for new types of cooperative economic, programmatic and spatial models. We will reject freedom and possessions as individual claims to be ‘conquered and defended’, and instead re-situate freedom as that which is to be experienced ‘in and as a relationship’ to others. The appreciation of conflict, diversity and differences as perpetual, desirable and beautiful will allow us to conceive of new forms of living together, setting the stage for the construction of new forms of architecture.

Unit Masters:
Jeroen van Ameijde has taught at the AA since 2007 and is co-founder and director of Urban Systems, an office specialising in generative design methodologies, which is currently developing several large-scale projects in China. He has previously taught at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Innsbruck and has lectured, published and taught workshops on digital design and fabrication worldwide. He has studied at the Delft University of Technology and worked with offices in Holland, Switzerland, New York, London and Hong Kong

Brendon Carlin is a Phd Candidate at the AA, Director of AAVS Tropicality, co-Founder of Urban Systems and has been a Unit Master of Intermediate 6 since 2011. He studied Environmental Design in Architecture at the University of Colorado, Boulder, before completing his Masters in Architecture and Urbanism in DRL at the AA. He has worked on a wide breadth of architecture projects for offices in Holland, the UK, China and the US. Teaching or coordinating courses and workshops worldwide since 2007, he has worked with institutions including at the University of Colorado, the Berlage Institute, the AA and Harvard.

Image Caption:
Woojin Kim, The New Collective, 2016–17 – exploration of an adaptive architecture to accommodate new forms of collective living, offering mechanisms for residents to create a wide range of localised shared activities in a self-organised manner