Summer 2020

ARC 561R (70394) ARC 696 (70454)

In this advanced studio, the first summer session will by taught by Igor Siddiqui with the second summer session taught by Piergianna Mazzocca.
 

ARCHITECTURE & THE FUTURE OF LIVE PERFORMANCE

 

"Just off Columbus Avenue, a self-appointed DJ pulled up to an extra-wide sidewalk and greeted the weekend by blasting salsa from his car stereo. A small crowd gathered to dance at a distance, bringing some safety-rated joy to the neighborhood. It wasn’t a packed club or a raucous street party, like the kind that birthed salsa decades ago, but it felt like a sign, an early crocus announcing the rebirth of live entertainment."

Justin Davidson, New York Magazine, May 14, 2020

 

This studio considers the future of architecture through the lens of live performance. As an inclusive term, live performance brings together diverse art forms, rituals, and practices that unfold in space and time, engaging a range of participants, authors, actors, and audiences. The global pandemic of 2020 has had a profound effect on what it means to perform live. Perhaps more than ever, we accept mediated experiences not as shadows of things that we used to do in-person, but as events unto themselves; plugging into the endless digital stream of ‘live’ events is at the moment not a matter of choice for some, but is rather an essential mode of living for most. Meanwhile, most conditions for live performance as a prompt for public gathering are in question: packed bodies on the dance floor, congested entries and exits, and densely spaced seats in theaters, recital halls, and auditoriums are all potential public-health hazards; how air circulates through spaces of public assembly, which way waste flows, and how different materials mitigate the presence of contaminants are all matters of public hygiene. In this way, architecture – from the scale of details and furniture to buildings, building systems, and beyond – plays a crucial role in the future of live performance. Live performance, likewise, serves as a prompt for interrogating how architecture might perform in new and innovative ways as it re-considers what it means to enable living, life, and live activity in the midst of unprecedented change. As a space of design research and speculation, the studio will as such focus on proposing the architectures of live performance and their capacity to shape how we may engage socially, interact publically, and create collectively in the future.

 

Both sessions will consider live performance in relation to architectural representation, structure and construction, and architecture’s role in the city. While is session is taught independently by each of the two instructors, the aim is to have continuity, overlap, iteration, and dialogue shared across the two summer sessions. In this way, students can anticipate producing a comprehensive body of work both individually and collectively.