china academy of art / design seminar / spring 2012
the weather within
Weather conditions are usually celebrated in their extremes: typhoon, drought, flood, blizzard, fog, dust-storm. But “weather” is the constant manifestation of atmospheric change or flux. These changes can be very intimate as well as extreme. Every environment, small and large, has a constantly changing weather condition. As human beings we sense ‘weather’, and its inevitable change, in a similar way that we understand ‘time’. It can be as mundane as a weather report or a daily timetable, but it can also be a source of wonder in our life experience. This is the nature of the ephemeral.
This design seminar explores architecture as a canavas upon which conditions of atmospheric and environmental change are made visible and sensible. It uses observation, intervention and embodied performance as tools.
The first phase of the seminar asks students to observe and define a particular atmospheric condition within the architectural environment. Using a wide variety of media, students will register, document, chart and expose subtle conditions, and their fluctuation.
The second phase of the seminar asks students to intervene, following a rigorous exploration of site through drawings. They are to invent, test and build full scale and sited constructions that challenge, amplify or in some way modify the site as it is experienced by the full range of human senses.
The final phase of the workshop asks students to work in groups, and to use their own body to explore the sited works of their peers. Throughout the seminar they have been led in improvisational movement workshops that emphasize an embodied response to one’s environment. Building on this work, students create a final performance event amidst the constructed works of their peers.