11 points

of Affective Architectures

Thinking through architecture. Our ultimate tool for thinking and for action is design. We use design questions as a way to carefully reflect upon multilayered realities. By drawing contemporary issues touching our society out of their usual context and into architecture school – to discuss them, question them, and design accordingly – we strive to enter a dialogue with the world and produce useful knowledge for the present and the future.

Building awareness on the impact of design gestures and spatial decisions. We consider architecture not only for what it is, but also for what it does. We acknowledge it as an active social and cultural force, and we reflect on the agency of the architect and the architecture.

Form is a function too. We understand form as generative potential, as enabling community, as affordance and performance. This includes the many facets of form, all the way into detail and materials. We refuse to regard architectural design as a contradiction or competition between form, function and context.

Understanding architecture as composing with what - and who – is already there. We acknowledge that architecture never starts from a clean sheet, but operates within a complex, transversal, multitemporal reality in which multiple actors partake. We search for counter-strategies to also include the overlooked in urban development. This includes creating an awareness of gendered & colonial regimes of space- making and their capitalist underpinnings.

Learning from precedents. We position ourselves as architects towards the buildings of the past. We approach architectural history as a repository to learn from and open up dialogues with. We reflect on types and references, on their past and present relevance and their potential meaning to address current needs. At the same time we stand for a dynamic approach to this architectural history, acknowledging it has also overlooked and excluded many architectures, and aim to actively expand on it.

Developing new vocabularies, methodologies and formats. In order to understand and produce architectural and urban proposals, we adopt attitudes and alternative viewing angles sometimes coming from outside architecture. We use fiction and writing, close observation, role playing and walking as tools to develop engaged architectural practices.

Making the familiar strange again. We embrace the overlooked, the in-between, the everyday, the seemingly boring. We strive to learn from the multiplicities of the built environment as it is inhabited, adapted or appropriated by the people, uses and activities it accommodates.

Engaging with the politics of representation and observation in architecture and urban design. We build criticality and awareness over the way we represent space in architectural production. We attempt to describe space and represent design proposals otherwise, being conscious of who is represented and which world image is communicated.

Giving value to the process. We accept the indeterminacy of learning to design, and embrace studying as a practice without an immediate finality. We see the value of uninhibited reflections that may not lead to a fully formed architectural object, but that teach us new ways of thinking about architecture.

Interacting with a variety of practices and practitioners. Beyond the canon and beyond the architectural discipline, we exchange and engage with artists, geographers, sociologists, developers, writers, curators, researchers, users, activists but also animals, plants and post-human landscapes. By doing so we open up new subjectivities and intelligences helping to produce relevant architectural design for rapidly changing contemporary conditions.

The architect is also a citizen. We strive to not disconnect ourselves as architects from who we are as individuals and citizens. Architecture is a porous discipline, and we should consider our own day-to-day spatial experiences as a precious source of information and embodied knowledge.