Edition Office Architects
Federal, NSW, Australia
The Floor is Lava
Architectural Association Visiting School
July 9–17, 2021
The idea of progress has been replaced with the fear of a foretold apocalyptic end. Since the turn of the millennium, catastrophic scenarios have colonized designs addressing solutions to a compromised future. Yet, while we are concentrating our attention towards futurable scenarios, the present is bubbling frantically under our feet. Phenomena such as Prepperism and Survivalism interpret more effectively the fear of the future into accidental design strategies. By converting existing commodities into survival toolkits, the political imaginary of the prepper is translated into action. Other than the psychosis behind it, Preppers can represent the model of an accelerated present. The toolkits for survival rather than starting from a physical space start from the collective imagination of self-organized communities.
Like pretending to play “the floor is lava”—we will define a set of current extreme conditions (like polluted soil, contaminated air, extreme temperatures, scarcity of food resources, etc.) that will require a redesign of all the fundamentals acts of life: from nutrition, to shelter, to reproduction, in accordance with the new norm that the chosen scenario has imposed. These scenarios will represent four different possible islands that address the spatial quality of adaptation at times of drastic change. The isolation of the Tuscan woods, an enclosed ecosystem, will allow us to test scenarios like in a petri dish.
Together we will produce several 10-minute films—four different islands—that will respond to an existing extreme condition of the present through the practice of storytelling. Participants of the workshop will work together with collective practices ((ab)Normal, Captcha, Forgotten Architecture, Fosbury Architecture, Interiors Agency, Parasite 2.0, Plasticity, and Space Caviar) to write a script and storyboard, build a 1:1 scale set, and film a series of performative and temporary architectures that will produce a collective survival kit towards the future. Together with guest experts—a daily public program of lectures, performance, music, dance, and filmmaking will bring in new voices and ideas into each film. We will work collectively as we develop new modes in inhabitation from the scale of body to planetary scale.
The Possibility of an Island will take place in Chianti, Tuscany. Accommodation at Agriturismo Il Gualdo is included in the cost of the program. Situated in the picturesque countryside of Tuscany, a site with history of radical works of Italian design—is reactivated as a space of transversal collective productive forces. Taking the opportunity to come together around a shared site in isolation will become an important testing grounds for the making of films and community actions.
House of Light Voids
This residential project is located in Medan, Indonesia. The land itself is 150 m2 and the 3 storey house is 250 m2. It all starts from a simple line and altogether, they transform into varying sizes and shapes. With a hint of nature’s greatest source of life – light, they form a perfectly balanced architecture. The façade is a 3,8 meter high concrete wall, shielding the porch that are purposively hidden at first sight to trigger interests and curiosities.