Practice Session No. 2: One Thing After Another
The act of creation is often thought of as one that brings something new into the world. But perhaps there is another way to consider it. Often we are trying to rebuild, reconstruct, and regain states we imagine once existed. From Eden to Palmyra, we are driven to try to regain what we have lost. But more than this: one of the imperatives of culture is to continuously reconstruct itself. For architecture these tendencies fall two ways. First, the literal act of reconstruction, the physical act of replication, duplication, and so on. Second, the disciplinary act of constructing the idea of architecture where influence, lesson, and craft are communicated and transmitted from one entity to another. The twenty-five students participating in this session explored this ground through exercises, problems, and puzzles, led by Sam Jacob (Sam Jacob Studio for architecture and design, London).
Guest jurors invited to review the work at its conclusion were Michael Osman (UCLA Architecture and Urban Design) and Sarah Whiting (Rice School of Architecture).
Practice Sessions is part of the University of Michigan’s Third Century Initiative, which funds experimental pedagogies in a bid to change how teaching and learning happen within the bounds of the institution. Over a five-year period, ten architecture practices will be invited to Taubman College to run a practice session. Each session centers on an immersive, four-day design charrette that culminates in a juried review and exhibition. These sessions are not workshops in the conventional sense. Invited practices are not selected to repeat a known and routinized working method in collaboration with students. Instead, invitees are called to work in an experimental mode, where everything is subject to the pressures of practice on design: the design of the session topic, the design of the workspace where the session is held, the way the design of the session itself occupies the institution of Taubman College, and the design of the thing(s) produced by the practice session.