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Title: Architectural Knowledge. Transformations, transpositions and variations
Authors: Pacheco, Mónica
Keywords: design studio
Issue Date: 7-May-2013
Publisher: Faculty of Design Sciences Artesis University College / Antwerp University Association
Abstract: The challenge of architecture is to focus on architecture itself — buildings, drawings, and models— as its locus of knowledge and, specifically, on how that knowledge can became a tool of the design process. One of the first attempts to do so, Précis and Recueil, appeared in the early nineteenth century elaborated by Durand. They represented the hinge for an epistemological validation of the discipline, taking further the Vitruvian axiom architectura est sciencia, and answering Enlightenment’s anxiety for demonstration and systematization of knowledge. Durand sought to clarify the fundamentals of architectural praxis and the genealogies of what it produces by taking history as its material and, through techniques of decomposing and recomposing, established the principles of the design process. Although his effort to refocus the discipline in its inaugural act, the deterioration and oversimplification of Durand’s teachings resulted in their direct implementation by those who aspired to a definition of specific methods in order to relieve the architect’s practice, partially because of their normative and hermetic character. Architectural schools keep struggling to find ways of improving their student’s skills, having shifted its focus from architectural objects to the process of creating those, which had an enormous impact in architectural representation as a way of validating its objects, but not in the process of architectural investigation itself. Re-elaborating Durand’s questions implies reflecting on techniques of using architectural knowledge both in a creative and generative way. Through processes of transformation, transposition and variation architects have, throughout history, conferred new meanings to what is already known. It is the use of architectural knowledge as a simulacrum, and of those techniques as a way of constructing critical arguments within the discipline that will potentially improve students’ capabilities of reasoning about past and contemporary architecture, and therefore integrate aspects of theory and practice.
Peer reviewed: Sim
Appears in Collections:DAU-CRI - Comunicações a Conferências Internacionais

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