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Project I: Atelier Arrhov


Arrhov J.

Course director

Catalano E.



The semester will focus on living. Living is what we do. We work, we learn, we educate, we grow, we sleep, we enjoy, we wash, we clean, we love, we waste, we pollute, we believe. We will question existing phenomena of living. We will search for potentials from history, different cultures, new/ old technologies on how to use what is already there as part of beneficial eco-systems. Temperature and sea levels rise, the climate is drastically changing. We can explore how to live with the changes, we can explore how to change them. Climate, comfort, life. In a similar manner to question the programmed world, city, and architecture. An ambition to reach both the abstract and the realistic with a responsible awareness. Sufficiency. Simple not as poor, simple as extended quality. Simple as human.


How simple can we live ?

The title is the second chapter of a continuous process without a clear beginning nor end. A circular process investigating societal, environmental, and economic challenges as a tool to achieve relevant, architectural proposals adapted to future. Construction carries a great responsibility to climate change. During the Fall semester 2021, the studio investigated simple back to basic methods of constructing in different parts of the world. How simple can we build ?

No pre-defined program, rather an inquiry for understanding processes behind a building. Local conditions, production, and logistics. How to use/ reuse materials, techniques and natural conditions. Analysing by understanding calculations and capacity, ventilation, and technical systems. Trees are cut in one country, transported to another to be distributed to the first country again. Importing/ exporting. Catastrophic ways of handling different materials in benefit to profit as well as energy outlaws are a fact. Problems and potential in every sector were discovered. A collective awareness emerged. Local components became buildings. Efficiency. Light, pragmatic and beautiful structures around the world appeared. Fall semester 2022 will continue this process questioning the many ways one can inhabit a simple building.

Learning methods

The initial question will be discovered in a fictive scenario. A small part of our world. A fragment of the future. As human beings aiming to understand and contribute to an environmental positive place. A place that handles questions of the very necessary as well as the untouchable - comfort, pleasure, happiness... a place that handles changes in time. Words or sentences from the notebook will act as a common ground for the semester. A sharing process without borders. We will use our left hand to reach another level with the right. Together. The ambition is methodical and clear fragments as comments/ prototypes to the initial question, never completed. During the process they will form new building types or adapted existing structures as case studies. They will be precisely integrated, realistic, and useful. To use knowledge as a tool, to be able to be generous and free. 

The students will work in groups as well as individual. The tools will be text, working model, hand drawing, image, 2D computer drawing, photography. The process will be collected similar to a diary, gathering the two chapters/ semesters as one intertwined process.

Examination information

Students will be evaluated during the whole semester as a continuous process, considering their different paths, rather than the singular result. Marks shall correspond to the different groups, working as couples.