Today we’re showcasing a whole class of work, from students in FIU’s Architectural Installations Class, taught by Alfredo Andia. The installations range in scale and design method, but each one creates a unique piece, explicitly without a purpose. Although these objects are not representative of any architectural space, they teach lessons in fabrication. We’ve chosen a few to show, as well as the outline from the professor. Check em’ out.
In this course students explore and build a particular spatial idea. The objective is to position the students in an environment of pure spatial investigation. A unique setting in which they can create their own language. They are asked to produce a “useless piece” that clearly follows a singular set of operations that they develop during the semester.
Architecture has traditionally advanced and reinvented itself via architecturally “useless” structures. The Gehry’s fish structures, Mies’ Barcelona Pavilion, the many Russian Constructivist works and the contemporary genre of installation among emerging practices are part of the many examples that have advanced the limits of the discipline.
Students are asked to develop an independent research agenda with regards to the design effect, software tools, scripting, design techniques, and fabrication. The only limits of the course are that the piece has to be made of paper and that the piece should be reproduced by someone else with a very limited set of instructions. The politics of these requirements are based on a more democratic ambition, in which design ideas could be created and disseminated with very limited resources and information.
As the semester advances students discover that their piece is no longer only about design, but that the fabrication project requires attention to themes such as joints, tolerances, constructability, size, and delicate craftsmanship.