The course aims to bring together students from different programs/faculties in order to discuss vernacular architecture and domesticity collectively. Since teaching staff comes from different cultures and backgrounds, it’ll be assured that Bauhaus University’s international and interdisciplinary approach is taken into attention. The course’s structure has been designed to accommodate guest lecturers, who, along with the primary teaching staff, will provide in-depth experience in both art and architecture fields. As the main topic is vernacular architecture and its extents in arts and design, vernacular examples from different countries/cities will be discussed and compared to the cities of Thüringen. We will not only discuss specific architectural elements but also the effects of vernacular architecture on making. A combination of practical and theoretical elements will promote students to merge creative thinking and making. In practical sessions, we will focus on hands-on experiences and in the end, make an exhibition of the designed spaces by the students.
Since the beginning of history, humans have been able to build without possessing precise architectural or design knowledge. The construction of houses, for example, has been a way to respond to the weather and the immediate necessity for private space. In these anonymous forms of building, we find a great creative potential. In this interdisciplinary workshop that mixes art, spontaneous architecture and vernacular engineering, we will consider native buildings from all over the world from a practical point of view.
The well-known measurement standards published in 1936 by Ernst Neufert, one of the first Bauhaus students, takes the body as a standard for building. Since then it has been used as a handbook for rationalized and normative space design and industrialized furniture production. This seminar proposes to re-think this generalizing idea by going back to the ancestral ways of building personal spaces from all over the world. We intend to reflect on the different strategies to solve habitation needs and to see the human form as a measurement for the house, but this time in a contemporary manner that involves emotional architecture, and sustainable design.
Coming from art and architecture backgrounds, it is evident to us the importance of getting out of the pressure of style, history and the art cube in order to pursue personal interests and collaborate with other fields. Although related to architecture and art, this seminar invites individuals to experiment with vernacular techniques by working interdisciplinarily through a practical approach, learning by doing and DIY making, without the pressure of having a perfect result.
Vernacular as a methodology invites us to create by following and responding to the needs of a situation, community or individual with problem-solving, caretaking and creative thinking. This workshop will approach the theory and history related to vernacular architecture by rethinking the meaning of a house, hacking furniture and domesticating spaces.
We will meet every week for three hours. Every session will have a theoretical and a practical part where a different type or context of domestic architecture will be revised. Specific examples will be brought principally by the facilitators, though participants will be asked to bring their own examples as well. Additionally, two guest lecturers, both artists/architects from Chile and India will share their knowledge about their homeland’s vernacular architecture. Concerning the practical part, some sessions will be focused on replicating on a small scale, building techniques from the different contexts reviewed in the theoretical part. In others, we will work with materials that can be found in the city, found furniture and natural resources. In some cases, we will need to work in the university workshops.
After every practical session, there will be time for reflection and conversation about possible conceptual and formal outcomes. Every participant will keep a journal for sketches and reflections and the produced pieces will receive group feedback. In the end, participants will use the tools gained in the workshop to design a personal space, with the option to work as a group or individually.
The evaluation of the workshop will be based on the completion of the following requirements: A presentation by each participant about their own country’s vernacular architecture and their own experience or relationship with it, a final project that can be a design for personal space, a sculpture, site-specific intervention, etc and a diary where each student will reflect on the different experiences they had during the class. Since they will receive more credit for the course, students from Media, Art and Design will be required to finish each of the three tasks, while students from other faculties will only need to finish two.