A Cross-Cultural Perspective in the Production of Variable Spaces in Architecture
A Cross-Cultural Perspective in the Production of Variable Spaces in Architecture. It is argued that the creation of buildings with the potential of functional and physical change over time is inextricably linked to what can be labelled as ‘frameworks of uncertainty’ – i.e. those tools of architectural theory and design that predict, enable and manage the accommodation of controlled changes. To this purpose, the differing contexts of British and Japanese post-war architecture, and more specifically the work of Cedric Price and Arata Isozaki, are investigated as instrumental in understanding this friction between fixity and freedom within architectural design.
An interest in systems thinking and a performative conception of built form prompted Price to talk of ‘Calculated Uncertainty’, a phrase that conveys the paradox involved in any attempt to control loosely defined spaces. In Japan, this paradox was culturally longstanding due to a spatio-temporal conception of the built environment as an ever-changing entity. Isozaki, who today is mainly known in Western countries for his postmodernist buildings, in fact founded his first two decades of practice upon the application of cybernetics, interactive artistic and urban performances, and a profound knowledge of traditional Japanese architecture.
In order to understand the relevance of Price and Isozaki in generating such tension between control and change in architecture, this presentation will be divided in three parts. The first part relates the post-war context in British and Japanese architecture through a series of key terms; in the second part, Price and Isozaki will be introduced through a series of theories and related influences; Finally, the analysis of two case-study buildings designed by Price and Isozaki will produce a critical discussion to reflect upon how the tensions between control and change is present in these built examples.
Marcela Aragüez is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies in Architecture at IE University in Madrid. She received her PhD in Architectural History & Theory at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, where she also received a Master of Science in Spatial Design (ULC Turner Prize for best dissertation). Marcela’s research focus lies in the production of adaptable architecture, with an emphasis on cross-cultural post war practices. She has recently coordinated the joint research project ‘The Culture of Water’ in collaboration with the Kyoto Institute of Technology in Japan and the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland. She is a licensed architect with professional experience in Spain and Switzerland. Her work has been exhibited at the Haute École D’art et de Design in Geneva (HEAD) and the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL). Marcela has lectured widely in the UK, Switzerland, Japan, France and Spain and her work has been acknowledged by grants and awards from institutions such as the Japan Foundation, Sasakawa Foundation, Canon Foundation and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.
🗣 Speaker: Marcela Aragüez, Assistant Professor of Architecture and Associate Director of Undergraduate Studies in Architecture at IE University in Madrid
🗓 Date: Friday, 8 April 2022
🕙 Time: 18.00 – 20.00
🔗 Watch here:
The webinar is organised by the Department of Architecture Land and Environmental Sciences.