Direct Urbanism: 3 ScansCarlos Villanueva Brandt
Diploma 10 will deploy a perimeter of 1km by 1km to scan specific areas in three cities.
In Scan 1, we will scan a particular part of London, where we will seek to identify the physical and social variables that make up the reality of its spatial experience. In this scanning process, we will examine how conflict, control, exchange, fiction, groups, life, power, space, structures and time influence the city. We will start by focusing on control and then challenge its current dominant role by expanding the spatial potential of the other themes.
We will learn from the city, engage with the live realm and redefine the live or ‘direct’ dimension that activates the city’s space. By applying this direct dimension, we will invent composite spatial interventions that expressly test different combinations of physical and social structures. The city’s spaces are intrinsically composite: Central London, Zone 1 and the Congestion Charge create a hybrid space and, similarly, stadiums, teams, matches and fans make up the composite space of football. We will consider the definite and the elusive qualities of space and then define the interrelation that needs to exist between them.
Within the London scan, in a smaller area, we will tackle architecture by developing components and interactive elements that will deliberately, blur the separation of space delineated by architecture from that of the city. One key question is: can we use the spatial language of the city to design architecture?
In Scan 2, we will travel to an alternative European city to experiment with the use of the constructed situation as a form of spatial intervention.
In Scan 3, we will test our spatial strategies and investigate the theme of conflict in a contrasting city that is undergoing a process of political change.
Using constructed situations, videos, models and architectural drawings to communicate our spatial experiments, and informed by the comparisons of the three scans and cities, we will set out to transform, physically and socially, the area of the London scan.
Carlos Villanueva Brandt has been Diploma 10 Unit Master since 1986 and was awarded the RIBA President’s Silver Medal Tutor Prize 2000. The varied work of Carlos Villanueva Brandt Architecture, formed in 1984, has been published widely and exhibited internationally. (villanuevabrandt.com)