Urban design, Community-based architecture, Design engagement, Collaborative design practice, University/community partnerships, Architecture, Holyoke (Mass.)
This studio promotes creative research and conceptually rigorous design methodologies that aim to illuminate, situate, and contest the complex circumstances within which a truly “sustainable” architecture can emerge — an architecture capable of escaping a narrow technological focus, while addressing the broader social and theoretical implications of sustainability. The interplay between site, culture and program is a key focus of the studio. Through critical assessments of a broad range of specific site conditions students develop investigative strategies for responsive architectural interventions that bridge the gap between theory and practice. This semester we will be working on a series of projects for Holyoke MA. After a thorough investigation of the social, cultural and physical conditions of central Holyoke, students will develop designs for a small multi-story building that explore the complex relationship between “site,” “culture” and “program” –not as fixed entities but as “constructs” capable of negotiating inhabitation and place in the creation of cultural significant architectural spaces.