︎︎︎ Call for Abstracts
Journal n. 4, Year II, Issue 2/3, Summer 2022
Within the vast panorama of the didactic programs proposed for teaching architectural design, a fundamental role is played by exercises, pedagogical tools that are functional to the determination and consolidation of some training steps, which are defined within the syllabus of each teacher. In the complex temporal organization of studio programs, exercises mark the time by tracing, step by step, the learning path, and contribute to focus – sometimes slowly, some others very quickly – the main aim of the didactic experience. If in most design studios the result is represented by the definition – from its conception to the advanced stages – of a project that is clearly identified from a programmatic and dimensional point of view, and univocally located in time and space, the path one takes to achieve that result is often determined by a planned sequence of exercises.
The exercises are instruments, expedients, and pedagogical devices: specific and less extensive, sometimes abstract and extra-disciplinary, through their being conceived, composed and arranged in a sequence that follows the temporal development of the studio, they are essential to the definition of a project. And today, with the incremental growth of the complexity of the processes involved in the making of architecture, exercises seem to assume a new centrality for their ability to assess specific technical, cultural or poetic skills, which are essential for the project but which, sometimes, a situated design simulation fails to fully enhance.
We will therefore question the potential and criticalities of this methodological tool, between depth and extension, through a survey of ongoing teaching practices and pedagogical experiences focusing on this topic, whether they refer to concrete or abstract exercises, analytical or synthetic, autonomous or integrative. The goal is to build a constellation of practices and cultural positions that make design exercises, in their circumscription and specificity, a functional tool for learning, with different degrees of integration with architectural design teaching.
In this sense, the call seeks answers to three main questions:
→ The exercise as decomposition: how is it possible to articulate a design simulation in a series of exercises devised to investigate specific issues in their depth, without losing the overall vision, the contextual overview and the implicit complexity in the simulation itself? How is it possible to observe and read reality, objects and built spaces in order to deduce central issues for designing? How is it possible to recompose the exercises and translate them into a project?
→ The exercise as integration: which preparatory, lateral or transversal skills are design exercises capable of developing in order to strengthen a culturally and technically grounded approach to the project? About which themes, processes and interdisciplinary relationships do exercises contribute to the quality of contemporary pedagogical practices? How is it possible to integrate the methodological and temporal development of a clearly identified and located project?
→ The exercise as a replacement: is it possible to entirely replace the design topic of a studio with a series of exercises? What is the principle that can guide the articulation and succession of these exercises in the context of a clearly identified pedagogical project? What effects does it have on the structure of the class, on the composition of groups, on the organization of the calendar and on the general structure of the laboratory?
We are interested in contributions that specifically engage with the following:
→ recognizing common traits in contemporary international pedagogical experiences;
→ understanding and describing approaches and cultural references, as well as inferences derived from other fields, such as history, art, philosophy, anthropology, literature, geography, sociology and economics usefull for teaching architecture;
→ exemplifying, through their conceptualization, specific didactic experiences, capable of becoming synthetic and effective expressions of a teaching know-how;
→ intertwining narratives and research, theories and conjectures, verifying the starting conditions by comparing them with the results of the teaching activities;
→ tracing a limit that can be shared by the scientific community, within which to critically and tendentiously “position” ideas and (didactic) projects, in order to build a a recognizable system by substantiating the reasons.
Abstracts in English or Italian (max. 2500 characters) should be submitted to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted abstracts will be announced by 28/02/2022. Contributions accepted for publication in the printed journal are expected by 11/04/2022 in the form of a scientific essay, accompanied by notes, bibliography and images, for a maximum of 20,000 characters (spaces, notes and bibliography included) and 10 images/pictures (of which you own the copyright of if they are free for use).
Accepted essays in their final version will undergo a process of Double-Blind Peer Review.
The call is open to PhD students, researchers, professors and all scholars academically involved in teaching architecture.