Architecture & Urban Design I (ARCH 4001) – Dwelling: Carcass

Related Staff : Eunice Seng

Studio Instructor: Seng Eunice
Students: Chan Hon Ching, Hugo; Chan Yan Ting, Joyce; Cheng Fai Wai, Aries; Cheung Tsz Tuen, Cherry; Lam Cheuk Yiu, Kenton; Lam Lai Shun; Lam Pui Ying, Joanna; Lee Choi Ni, Cherry; Ng Tsz Ying, Monica; Wilson Wong; Wu Hei Nam; Yu Qiao

Fall 2011 MArch course ARCH 4001
Tuesdays & Fridays

Dwelling (Fr. Habitation), at once an act (activity), a process and an artifice (building), embodies simultaneity. The principal preoccupation of the studio was the rethinking of the high-density model of housing through cumulative research-driven analytical projects. The underlying premise was that high-density high-rise typology is NOT an inevitable criterion for dwelling in cities. As the case for the high-density high-rise continues to be reinforced by those with the highest ownership of land rights, students were challenged to propose alternative collaborative models to resist the tendency towards over-specialization that stifles any critical thinking beyond one’s own field. Emphasis was made on the building up of an archive of critical artifacts whereby students document, edit, and collate information graphically within a disciplined framework. Approaching the process of thinking and making as a critical component of design research on the city, students explored the interpretive, exploratory and generative potential of documents, drawings and images. The analytical archive heightened their sensibility towards a critical design process by placing them in direct confrontation with its recursive and reflective nature. Through alternative proposals based on critical artifacts, students learnt to formulate ideas collectively and independently as well as to utilize the techniques and methods that were most relevant to their explorations. Each stage of work was a stand-alone project as well as part of a design research process. The sequential design outcomes were carried forward across these stages of work, leading towards a comprehensive body of design research demonstrated through the final design project –an alternative collective dwelling proposal for Man Wah Sun Chuen (1964-70), an eight-block composite building development in Jordan, Hong Kong.