Let’s admit: we are all fascinated by the architectural culture - that fiery web of interconnections between ideas and sites, figures and contexts - but when it comes to its impact on how and what kinds of architecture we are to produce, there are difficulties. This year the unit focused on those links and loops of production and reproduction to inform new sites of exchange. Most projects were developed on two levels: initially charting cross-flows between the institution and the city and then relating creative processes and spaces.
With Berlin as the ideal architectural game-board, we tested interfaces between built and imaginary cities. From pragmatic solutions for catalytic expos and exhibition battlegrounds, to speculations on the uncanny dream cities of morphologies, all projects asked: what happens to architecture as it is bought or stolen, violated or released back into the city? Out of this questioning, our ‘memory palaces’ and laboratories amassed both curatorial and industrial machines to reduce or augment the samples, to test hybrids or chimeras and ultimately, to provoke alternative preservation and renewal. However, hosting extended life cycles of architecture in our experimental institutions also forced us to re-examine the processes of production and the infrastructures that support them. Thus, we sought thick yet fluid frameworks for our ‘culture factories’. Whether we condensed disparate platforms into clusters - from cine-city studios to towers of knowledge - or splintered cultural cores to blur the lines between live/work/show, the extended scenario for ‘diffused condensers’ was always our common concern.
Multiplying levels and scales of work, we developed our visionary projects for urban exchanges as both theoretical provocations and practical demonstrations. Letting cultural and spatial pursuits inform each other, we exposed our design thinking to even larger feedback loops that define social and spatial orders, systems of production and products.
Ricardo de Ostos
Jeroen van Armeijde
Carlos Villanueva Brandt
Former Inter 7 students
Marina Lathouri and HCT students
All of our critics and guests
Maria Fedorchenko co-directs an urban consultancy and a Fedorchenko Studio, having practised in Russia, Greece and the US (including Michael Graves & Associates). She is a co-founder of a collaborative research platform that develops architectural provocations, concepts and diagrams. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally, including Architectural Theory Review and Journal of the Constructed Environment. She holds an MArch from Princeton and an MA from UCLA. Teaching design and theory at UC Berkeley, UCLA and the CCA since 2003, she has been involved in HTS, Housing & Urbanism and the Visiting School at the AA since 2008.