August 8 - 12, 2011
[A one-week summer intensive for teens interested in architecture]
This workshop was curated for the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.
In collaboration with guest architecture collective Supersudaca
In collaboration with the architecture collective Supersudaca, local youth aged 14 to 17 explored subtle conflicts in Montréal and investigated and responded to the city. The topic of “subtle conflicts” as they exist in our everyday and how they inform design and architecture of the city was the framework for the program.
Developing an interest in the ‘subtle’ aspect of conflict requires a sense of precision, psychology and attention to almost undetectable factors in a cityscape. Subtle conflict has much to do with personal sensibility and micro-clashes of perception; the tropism of human relations, those little vexations, sub-conversations and the unspoken words that structure daily lives. How should we confront this subtle conflict when dealing with human experiences of city and public space? How can we – as architects and trainee-architects – work on this ‘subtle conflict’ within the CCA and its immediate surroundings? How can we try to reveal, with limited resources and in barely one week, the urban and spatial sub-conversation, the underlying misunderstandings around architectonic objects and spatial organization? Should we define and reveal these conflicts with the aim of resolving them? Or, on the contrary, provoke them so as to better visualize them?
For this project, we asked ourselves to consider a critical revision: instead of adding something, as we are used to doing in our architectural practice, we subtracted or shifted the parts of a place. Instead of following architecture’s intrinsic obligation of ‘accumulation’, we sought out a more attractive erasure, a twist of the already existing.
The enthusiasm generated by the idea of blurring paths and highlighting fragile or questionable aspects of the CCA, its entryways, access, perception and use, led our apprentice architects to prepare, first in theory then in practice, proposals and temporary, reversible actions on-site for the Friday afternoon public event, when friends and guests discovered, sometimes unexpectedly, the spaces redefined by teen participants.