Can an exploration of the wild reveal an unknown resiliency within the city? How do memories of architectural fabric emerge through found material in a disorienting context? What does it look like to recreate the familiar using the fragments of a bewildered-state?
The Wilderness Urbanisms studio fosters the design of comprehensive architectural projects for a synthetic new world condition.
An initial foray concludes with each student proposing an urban intervention in a newly cultivated fabric. Site selection is guided by accessibility, intuition, and analysis. This method of interpretation aims to release each intellect into the wild – while our bodies remain in the safe space of a Boston classroom. Before the end, disparate scales (city, house, and detail) meet in a building for an urban bricoleur.
By approaching Boston as a laboratory and obscuring the accustomed views, students discover generic urban qualities and, by this, operate in a global context with a heightened sensitivity to ecological constraints. These skills constitute the new metrics for manipulating our wildered reality; skills for translating complexity into new spatial configurations.
Understanding the city as a complex fabric ultimately reveals the inherent resiliency of its inhabitants: individuals whose lives and routines are interwoven with the architecture of the city.
The body and the spirit of architecture are two things that march together and follow one after the other: one is now at its full height, but the other is in a difficult state of retrogression.
The body is sensational; indulging in all the whims and splendors of fashion. The spirit of architecture awakes profound echoes in us. It determines the various movements of our heart and of our understanding. While a great epoch has ended, the late spirit remains.
Our eyes are unaware. We must revise our appetites to discern between the difficult and the deficient. Beware the dissonance between accepted values and faith.
There are spiritual subjects and there is a spiritual object.
“The late style is the intransigence, difficulty, and unresolved contradiction that crowns a lifetime of aesthetic endeavor. A nonharmonious, non-serene tension, and above all, a sort of deliberately unproductive productiveness going against. A moment when the artist who is fully in command of her medium nevertheless abandons communication with the established social order of which she is a part and achieves a contradictory, alienated relationship with it. Her late works constitute a sort of exile. Late style is what happens if art does not abdicate its rights in favor of reality. Impending death is there, of course, and cannot be denied.” (Edward Said, On Late Style)