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2011 Paris: Meta Friche

Meta-Friche

Instructor:  Anya Sirota and Steven Christensen
Location: Paris, France
Dates Abroad: Spring 2011

The course proposes a semester of research in France focusing on an emergent urban typology – Meta Friche. A logical extension of Civic Friche, the research  project launched in the spring of 2010 that examined France’s tactical appropriation of marginal sites for public function, Meta Friche proposes to study recent architectural projects which borrow from the logic of appropriation to create new public environments.

At the core of the analysis is a term that resists translation. Wasteland being its most direct and reductive English counterpart, Friche has been embraced in France as a opportunistic strategy, an aesthetic and an ideology. An architecture of friche speculates that the built environment can be set into motion, cultivating emergent behaviors over an indeterminate span of time. The course will allow students to familiarize themselves with the most influential friche projects and to investigate the how ideas of appropriation have been abstracted and applied in the design of contemporary buildings and landscapes.

Lectures and conversations with the architects, landscape architects, urban installation artists and politicians involved in the design and implementation of meta friche strategies along with site and office visits will contribute to the bulk of the analysis. Student research, video, photography, graphic design work, maps, and interviews will culminate in an installation and publication.

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See the Studio Proposal (PDF 1.7MB)