Situated within the semester’s overall theme “Weather Estates”, this studio investigates the relationship between architecture and weather/weathering through the enquiry on Weak. Architecture is obliged to stay intact and permanent after its completion, and continuously resist the forces of nature and shelter people from extreme weather. However the strength and integrity of architecture is constantly weaken under the weather and this process is irresistible and irreversible. Instead of perceiving this process of weakening as mere negativity, this studio challenges students to observe, analyze and speculate on the strength of being weak. If incapable of fighting with nature, could architecture submits, embraces and grows with it? Could the process of weakening be transformed into one that is able to strengthen, enrich and prolong the symbiotic relationship between architecture and nature?
The studio starts with group investigations on self-selected organisms, artefacts, machines and building components. Through drawing and modelling, the various ways of how these “weak” objects react to natural forces such as light, heat, wind and water are recorded, analyzed and speculated. These investigations and speculations are in turn carried gradually to the city and regional scale and form the basis for students to establish their individual design propositions on architecture and weather.
Architectural responses to weather are not simply additive environmental features. Architecture and weather are indeed two indivisible entities which inhabit and react to each other. It is not about architecture for or against weather. Weather casts architecture, and architecture grows out of weather.