Unit 20 2010/11

MArch Unit 20 marcosandmarjan
The Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London


Programme 10/11 (ongoing):
Unbalanced Boundaries, Undefined Limits, Uncertain Edges  

Unit 20 has formed a particular interest in crossing boundaries of the traditional architectural practice, envisioning innovative conditions in design. By looking into advances within a wide range of sciences and art - bio-medics, small-scale intelligence, light structures, material engineering and digital aesthetics - students are supported to develop an individual research field. The projects, on various scales, will develop an architecture that is built up by many different strata of applied scientific knowledge, software based morphologies, micro-worlds and intelligent environments, as well as local and global policies, traditions and cultures.

Unbalanced Boundaries, Undefined Limits, Uncertain Edges
- Boundaries (Unbalanced, Environmental…)
In a time where environmental preoccupations dictate our daily agenda Unit 20 is interested in testing the ecological equilibrium involving our internal and external architectural boundaries. The unit will look at Wates House and question the existing spatio-environmental constraints of the building, while proposing an overall different interface between its varied environments and users. Students will design and insert in the building a variety of small-scale artefacts and components and work on 1:1 experimental prototypes.

- Limits (Undefined, Urban…)
Simultaneously, the limits between the urban and rural landscape, centre and periphery, high and low density, global technological sophistication and local traditions are increasingly blurred and undefined. The Unit will travel to Taiwan, one of Asia’s most fascinating spots, and analyse the already consolidated, yet still changing (sub)urban scenery, where once large flows of people from Mainland China reached its shores. Students will work on an indeterminate cityscape in Taipei, Taiwan’s booming capital.

- Edges (Uncertain, Architectural…)
The Unit will also look at different notions of uncertainty in architecture, a term of significance in a number of fields, including philosophy, economics, physics, and engineering. It also applies to the prediction of future scenarios, to physical measurement and to unknown conditions in architecture. Students will investigate the distinctive typological features of Taiwanese traditional architecture and its rich wooden ornamentation, exploring future trajectories for contemporary and visionary buildings with uncertain tectonic, technological, aesthetic edges. 

- First project: a short project based involving the redesign of Wates House (component scale) - deadline: 29.10.2010.

- Field Trip: Taiwan 2.11.10 – 10.11.10 (approx).
- Second project: a cityscape in Taipei (urban scale) to be submitted to the eVolo - 2010 Skyscraper Architectural Contest, USA – deadline: 18.01.2011.
- Third Project: project based in Taiwan to be decided individually (architectural scale) – deadline: June 2011.