a writing and architecture workshop


This workshop plans on giving partipants the opportunity to explore their own architectural concerns through the medium of language.

In his essay the Account of Architects and Architecture, the English writer John Evelyn asserts that the process of creating architecture is embodied in four kinds of person. First was architectus ingenio – the man of ideas and drawing. Second was the architectus sumptuarius – the man of money, the patron. Third was architectus manuarius – the man of building, the contractor. And fourthly, was architectus verborum – the man of words, the journalist. Evelyn’s personification of the parts of architecture expressed an important idea: that architecture consisted not just one or two of these activities, but of all four of them in concert. Under these terms, the language through which a work of architecture is explored is no less important than the architectural idea itself. 1

However, for most students during their education as architects the importance of language is ignored in favour of drawings and photography. Yet there are fundamental differences between the nature of language and image. Each have their own set of rules. Each limit what can be communicated. Each construct their own reality.

The workshop is organised as part of the European Architecture Students Assembly. EASA is a network of up to 500 young, emerging architects and artists from over 50 countries around Europe. This year the EASA summer school is being held in Helsinki, Finland. More information on EASA is available on their website: http://www.wastelands.fi/

This workshop plans on giving participants the opportunity to explore their own architectural concerns through the medium of language. Students will be informed of current theories relating to language and architecture, and will be encouraged to discuss these during class. Following these a written project will be set which will allow participants to give form to their ideas. The final projects will be decided by students themselves and will evolve over the course of the school. These projects may vary from purely literary essays to typographic installations based in the city streetscape. All projects will be documented and collated for publication. This publication will be produced as part of the workshop to be handed out to participants and fellow architecture students.

Forty, A, Words and Building. A Vocabulary of Modern Architecture. Thames & Hudson, London, 2000.



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