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Practice Session No. 7: Architecture Camp! with Laurel Consuelo Broughton

February 11, 2019 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm


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 architectural practices will be invited to Taubman College to run a practice session. All are invited to join for the public events culminating from this semester’s Practice Session student workshops, Practice Session No. 7 with Welcome Projects and Practice Session No. 8 with Office for Political Innovation. The guest critics invited to discuss the work at its conclusion are Brett Steele (Dean, UCLA School of the Arts and Architecture) and Marrikka Trotter (History + Theory Coordinator, SCI-Arc).

12:00 PM “Picnic in the Winter Garden” with Laurel Consuelo Broughton
It was during the Victorian era that the American picnic rose as a popular pastime. No doubt, the appeal in large part derived from the activity as a softening of the strict social decorum of the day. So simple in practice, the standard ritual remains a constant: seek out a bit of grass, spread a blanket, eat a meal, frolic with the folk. The chosen ground maps a territory. The blanket a stage. The meal arrayed on the cloth relaxed. The frolicking is frivolous. The picnic is playful, loose and temporary. Deployed as a tactic, the picnic offers a social and spatial alternative to cultures bound by convention and precedent. When the picnic inserts itself into the story of architecture, form making is tethered to sociality—the picnic is experienced in equal part as it is constructed. You are invited to participate in a picnic in the atrium of the Taubman Building to be known as our Winter Garden. Over the course of the three day workshop the picnic will be rendered giant. We will be building a blanket, baking our meals and staging their consumption in an event open to the school. Scale will slip. Smells will waft…

6:00 PM “Redoing Frida” performance with Andrés Jaque
This archi-political design experiment will consist of re-enacting two Frida Kahlo paintings through a performative format. As a re-enactment of Kahlo’s accounts, students participating in the weekend workshop will research and discuss the evolution in Detroit of the way buildings, institutions, resources, borders, gender, sex, blood, oil, bodies, territory, earth, bones, data, industries, finances, and toxicity come together to produce and accommodate life. All entities included will be impersonated through specifically made costumes. Their stories will be written and voices recorded. A staged final performance will be hosted at the school, as a critical and responsive reconstruction of the way Kahlo’s conflicted interescalar architecture of techno-territorial bodies does and could happen now.  

Laurel Consuelo Broughton is a designer and educator who explores her interests in narrative, material culture, and style within architecture, design, and fashion through projects, publications, and collaborations at a multiplicity of scales. The object as form and cultural figure features broadly throughout all her work. Laurel is the director of WELCOMEPROJECTS, a studio of discursive sensibilities focused on the production of real things in the world along with all the incumbent, critical fictions needed for their survival. She has taught at the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University, the College of Environmental Design at University of California, Berkeley and the School of Architecture at the University of Southern California.

Andrés Jaque is the founder of the Office for Political Innovation, an international architectural practice working in the intersection of design, research and critical practices. He is the author of awarded projects including ‘Plasencia Clergy Hall of Residence’, ‘House in Never Never Land’, ‘TUPPER HOME’, ‘ESCARAVOX’ or ‘COSMO, MoMA PS1’. He is the Director of the Advanced Architectural Design Program at Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation.


February 11, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
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