Studio V – Spring 2011

Welcome to the CAC.C Studio V blog.  This blog will be updated daily by the students and professor of Studio V as a way to document our design/build process, and keep all those who may be interested in our progress of the semester’s project informed.

STUDIO V focuses on architecture and tectonics, particularly the relationship between design and building. STUDIO V will emulate practice in that, unlike standard academic exercises, students will not always work in isolation on hypothetical situations. We will work often in collaboration. The studio will offer an approach to design informed by how something is assembled and the materials from which it is made. The studio will employ craft in the execution of the work, which will require patience, planning, understanding tolerance in materials and tools, testing and mock-ups, and the working with the limits and capabilities of tools and materials.

This spring Studio V is working on a vertical urban garden.  Where architecture and landscape architecture typically sit adjacent and only share a seam or membrane, this project has the possibility to mix the two – blurring the boundary.  The intent of this studio is not creating architecture and landscape architecture – but using urban gardening to create something new.

An urban gardening project also forces students to address social, cultural, political, and economic conditions.  These are inherent in any project that attempts to place itself not only physically within a community but also as a social force or condenser.  The Charleston Parks Conservancy has already begun to situate community gardens within different Charleston neighborhoods.  Their mission is educating those that live in the urban setting about horticulture, raising awareness about food and its production, creating horticulture evaluation sites, and providing meeting spaces that can support community groups.  The program for an urban garden is not merely a space for growing food, but a space for growing a community.

This project will attempt to mix the formal goals of architecture with the social/cultural goals of a neighborhood.  Not only will these issues be studied on a desk in a studio but will be tested in actuality.  The students will be able to build and see their project in the city.  They will need to clarify their ideas, gain community support, and complete the project through construction and presentation to the neighborhood.

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