Brief 8 Season 2 // The Architecture Studio
Rethinking the microtypology of the architecture studio
In her article ‘School Buildings Produce Culture,’ Farshid Moussavi questions how the design and layout of an architecture studio can affect the school’s pedagogy and the students’ approach towards architecture. She compares the Harvard GSD and the AA – the former a purpose-built school and the latter a series of re-inhabited Georgian town houses. [1]
This brief concentrates on the purpose-built studio. In terms of scale, often these are large, single open-plan spaces. In order for this micro typology to work within the confines of a 4x4x4 cube, the brief asks the contributors to rethink a fragment of a purpose-built architecture studio for 4-6 graduate students, where these students are in a two-year long M.Arch course.
In the studio, the desk seems to be the focal object, indispensable. How would an architecture student rethink the desk? Is there partition between these four students’ working spaces? What does partition imply; does minimum privacy increase efficiency?
Design the equipment you would imagine or reimagine on the desk or around the desk. Is there absolute symmetry between one student’s space and the other’s? Is there an imposed grid? How chaotic, how orderly is this space? Finally consider artificial light, natural light, glazing and orientation.
In this brief, time will be introduced as a parameter. As the semester progresses, the level of chaos and amount of work produced increases. The scene could focus on a crit, a final review or just a regular day at the studio. Contributors could choose to focus on the studio as either a space of production, a space of exhibition or both.
Written by Elif Ongut // ESALA
[1] Farshid Moussavi, School Buildings Produce Culture, Architectural Review, 28 September 2012,