ARC 327R / ARC 386M 
Instructor: Kyriakos Kyriakou

Avatar: An incarnation, embodiment, or manifestation of a person or idea.

“Avatars, surveys of the ordinary” aspires to create an alternative lens of analysis and representation of the rural through its built artifacts. In AMO’s words “our current form of urban life has necessitated the organization, abstraction, and automation of the countryside at an unprecedented scale.” As the urban grows, the rural transforms in order to serve it and, in turn, becomes urbanized. In the remote Texan desert, for example, we see the outlets of hitech urban infrastructure, while life in the countryside runs on the same big-box economy that first emerged to serve the suburbs.

This seminar attempts to cultivate a powerful architectural gaze towards those otherwise elusive and invisible places. We will travel to underrepresented parts of the countryside, places where remoteness and decay are the default instead of the exception, seeking the overlooked but conspicuous urban fragments that exist within them.

As Aldo Rossi writes in the introduction of the American edition of The Architecture of the City: “The market in Providence, towns in Nantucket… seaports like Galveston—all seem to be, and are, constructed out of preexisting elements that are then deformed by their own context.” The seminar will operate around the compilation of an archive of such buildings, abstractly familiar forms that become expressively re-contextualized by intuitive formal manipulations. Those found objects will be used as characters in the imaginary constructions of places, avatars of urban realities many miles away.

This analogy will be explored through formal compositions translated into drawn representations that attempt to set up narratives and imply commentaries.




Spring 2023