Together with the cave, the bullring, the foundational grid and many other figures, the brick oven can also be understood as a perfect machine. Since its purpose does not only lie in how it is meant to work but in everything else that it evokes, its function becomes diffuse, elusive, sometimes abstract, sometimes symbolic. According to Argentinian writer Ezequiel Martinez Estrada, the brick oven can still summarize our remote technology (at the so-called “new-world”): it is a device that produces raw material with raw material, in other words, “nothing new”. Indeed, the brick oven is not architecture (i.e. an artifact to live in a place) and yet, it is a fertile metaphor for an attitude towards the production of architecture: the architectural project as a conceptual tool to anticipate the future, to foresee the invisible, to build up the inexorable opacity that intensifies human existence. Rather than a material artifact, the brick oven becomes an imaginary detour, a poetic image, in so far as it has a familiar presence yet unusually conventional (perhaps ruled by a normative size that incarnates the human body in every single block).

We are going to develop a rural cultural center at the newly demarcated Ñuble Region, in central Chile; a landscape that overlaps bucolic with productive country life, the very historic frontier of the “Araucanía pacification” process (unsettled until today). Projects will explore the environmental possibilities of traditional load bearing massive construction (brick masonry and the necessary reinforcements for seismic demands). Since projects will be limited by weight and gravity, the spatial sequences are going to be extended at a ground level, thus, articulating the reciprocity with gardens, courtyards and the landscape beyond.

Following our Naïve Intention program (an intimate research on the apparent contradiction between intentionality and chance, rationality and futility, prediction and circumstance, authorship and anonymity), students will follow a very precise sequence of formats according to three stages: Inventory, Drawing and Image. Projects will be developed in pairs, through handmade models, drawings, and paintings.

All Semesters

Spring 2022
Advanced Design Studio: National Slavery Memorial in Washington, DC
Rodney Leon, Doriane Meyer
Spring 2021
Advanced Design Studio: De-Colonizing Indigenous Housing
Chris Cornelius, Aaron Tobey