Despite it being fundamental to architecture for most of its history, imitation and replication is highly problematic in contemporary practice. Since modernism, an obsession with conceptual originality and bespoke outcomes has pervaded the profession, arguably limiting its broader relevance in society. This is also prevalent in architectural education. Design studios largely operate on the unstated premise that the best way to learn how to design is to unrelentingly strive to produce originality, despite the fact that students are still discovering the nature of architecture and its existing languages.
This studio proposes that replication can be extremely useful, both as a tool for learning and developing design propositions. The radical proposition of this studio is that you will be encouraged to deploy a design process which in any other studio could be frowned upon - copy! We will temporarily remove the burden of originality and adopt a deeper approach to precedent, giving students the opportunity to become savvy in a broad spectrum of exemplary design paradigms, and through this to develop their own sophisticated design language. The studio will test the hypothesis that in some instances, complex design problems can be better solved by replicating rather than striving for innovation. We will also explore the generative possibilities of copying, drawing on examples from other creative disciplines such as the 'remake' and the 'remix'.
The studio will pursue this agenda within the program of housing, specifically, working through a series of small to medium scale infill developments in Melbourne's middle suburbs. This is arguably the most critical design problem for housing supply in Melbourne, both because of the challenges of working with in an established urban context, and due to its potential to deliver the most environmentally and socially sustainable housing outcomes.
Studio Leaders: Jack May & Byron Meyer Bachelor Studio Monday & Thursday: 13:30 - 16.30