Structure and Development of the Semester

To start, we asked everybody to write a critical essay about architectural education in general. Besides all interesting conversation we had thanks to that, it helped students to find and develop a certain direction of thinking about the typology and problematics.

Students are defacto their own clients – the brief is to design a new ARCHIP building with an old cargo barge ship as its basis. We wanted to emphasize this community dimension of designing (very often invoked in the last semester), therefore we decided to experiment with a dehierarchized format of open discussions to map students progress. This idea was individually consulted with almost everyone in the studio and quite well accepted for blurring the classical division between teacher and student. These swift and informal introductions help to refine ideas between the important presentations with external critics and sometimes lead to remarkable opinions exchange between the students as of course everybody is welcome to react and debate freely.

Our first stop was Cafe Jedna in the third week, where students introduced their analyses, research and references based on their own individual approach according to the essays.  In the 5th week, just before the concept presentations with external critics, our studio visited „Atelier D“, open studio space of the Department of architecture at the Faculty of Civil Engineering (CTU). Before the discussion, prof. Wertig had a short opening lecture.

In the 8th week we went to the neighboring building in the CTU campus, the Faculty of architecture, where another of these ´round table´ discussions happened in the studio of prof. Stempel. Besides a refreshing change of the environment, personal experience from such intriguing and principally opposite (arche)types of studio space was both interesting and useful.

Written by David Neuhäusl