THE

INTIMATE CITY

A collective research project

 

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Bosch

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The Intimate City

The Intimate City research project has been formulated within the studio "Positions in Practice", run by the chair of Methods and Analysis in the Department of Architecture at TU Delft. 

The collective research has created fertile discussions through theoretical and architecture research conducted at TU Delft; on-site workshops in Skopje; a collaborative exhibition and workshop with students and staff from TU Delft and Ss. Cyril and Methodius University, Skopje; an international architecture competition; and collective investigation. 

This research investigates an approach to architecture which encourages the development and sharing of social and cultural knowledge within the common. The research aims to develop a dialogue between people and their environment through a cycle of generosity and knowledge.

 

 

The garden of earthly delight

Bosch

Methods and Analysis

Chair at TU Delft

 

Methods and Analysis challenges conventional definitions of architecture and strives for the advancement of inventive approaches, while enabling critical action in the built environment. The design studios and theory seminars explicitly question hegemonic interpretations of architecture as a problem-solving discipline, of the architect as an individual author, and of the built environment as a merely physical construct. Besides questioning these interpretations, the courses share a genuine concern for the rise of dissociative and divisive political initiatives. Therefore they are directed towards the development of full-fledged architectural interventions. These are meant to foster and protect processes of meaningfulness, appropriation and integration between the built environment and those who use and produce it. 

(Photograph: Research trip, Skopje 2019)

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Where is Skopje?

The studio analysed Skopje at three levels. In part, it is explored as a context, a term which originally suggests a reality as a series of interwoven cultural and natural strains. In part, it is also discovered in disciplinary terms, as an architecture which is configured, built, used and communicated in a particular way. Finally, Skopje is evaluated at a conceptual level through theories that explain it, define the principles that support its reality, and envision possible futures for its development.

 

As individuals within the studio developed their own interests, they focussed on the following topics;

 

Visual fragmentation 

Performative depth 

Roughness 

Inception in the joint 

Liminality

 

Each topic explored the city from a contextual, architectural and conceptual level, revealing knowledge about people and their environment. 

(Photographs: Preview of collective research book)

 

 

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Unweaving Skopje

Curated by Andrés Stohlmann de la Iglesia and Lucija Grofelnik. 

The exhibition, 'Unweaving Skopje', was held at TU Delft in January 2020 and organised by the Chair of Methods & Analysis. 

The exhibition interrogated themes such as meaningfulness, appropriation and integration in Skopje. The exhibition focussed on the work of students from the TU Delft graduation studio “Positions in Practice” and students from Ss. Cyril Methodius University in Skopje 2019 -2020. The work explored the urban context of Skopje, North-Macedonia, as a laboratory for the definition of architectural positions and practices. 

The exhibition was followed by a collective discussion which raised the following questions:

- Why are meaningfulness, appropriation and integration important in the construction of the contemporary city?

- How does the rise of divisive political initiatives affect the construction of our cities? 

- How can more inclusive cities be developed through work on the form, materiality, use or purpose, and communicative capacity of individual buildings?

- What importance do specific elements like facades, floor surfaces, ornaments and joints have in achieving a more inclusive built environment?

- What is the role of articulating joints, liminal and un-programmed spaces in the development of such environments?

- Can there be a balance between openness, freedom, informality, indeterminacy, on the one hand; and order, structure, formality, control, and definition, on the other? What is the relation between these two apparently different instances?

- What specific roles do contextual, conceptual and disciplinary analyses play in understanding and intervening in a city?

(Photograph: 'Unweaving Skopje' Exhibition and workshop, 2020)

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The garden of earthly delight

Bosch

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Dining in the Urban

The competition offered the opportunity to explore domestic rituals outside the home and in the public realm. This brief uses the knowledge gained from domestic rituals to expose the current social and physical forms, unveiling the boundaries between the public, communal, and private spaces within the city. Aiming to reveal social and physical latency the brief is an experiment which acknowledges form as a social commitment in order to mediate the tension in the city.


The brief asked for an intervention within Mother Teresa Park to allow the public to dine in the urban. Through dining, we can explore ingredients from the local landscape,  food preparation, and social gatherings - revealing culture knowledge. 


The collective entries produce interconnected pools of architectural and cultural knowledge. Entries explored a range of ideas which the judges categorised as: the roof, the carpet, the hearth, the table, the kitchen and the event. 

Please click here for more information on the competition, Dining in the Urban

 

 

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Collective Investigation

 

All the competitors from ‘Dining in the Urban’ were invited to join the collective investigation into the competition entries as part of the wider research project, The Intimate City. This collective investigation invited a plurality of interpretations of the competition entries. The goal of the collective investigation was to develop a deeper understanding of communication and interpretation, and how it could develop the cycle of knowledge and generosity.

 

We asked the competitors to reflect on their own interpretation of the brief and compare it with that of others, focussing on specific design decisions. This investigation intended to create a moment of reflection, understanding that through a plurality of interpretations, we can move towards a thorough understanding of design decisions which connect people to their environment.

Please click here for more information on the collective investigation.

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The garden of earthly delight

Bosch

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The Intimate City

 

Finalised research coming soon - Autumn 2020

 

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Enjoy!

Photographers: Andrés Stohlmann, Hilary Yeung, 

Holly Dale, Szuju Chen, Nina Vlasblom,