2017/18: Research-Lab: Architecture, Urban Artefacts, Collective Representation
R-Lab focuses on the role of public memory and its symbolic relationship to architecture, monuments, and landscapes. Students will pursue long-term individual research projects and participate in international workshops producing new and experimental practices that engage with contested public sites in the Baltic and in the Balkans. The course is open to architects, designers, artists and urban practitioners.
The course is primarily committed to the development of individual advanced research projects: course participants are encouraged to explore ideas and concepts that can be transformed through critical studies and experimental practices.
This year’s overarching strategy, and that will guide the work developed during the collective travel workshops, focuses on the role of architecture, monuments, and artefacts in determining collective forms of representation.
R-Lab will collaborate directly with the Skissernas Museum in Lund to assess how public monuments impact on social memory. The museum’s very significant collection of public art in public spaces, its extensive archive and contemporary commissions provide a wealth of precedents and ongoing examples to examine, and interact with. Course participants will take part in a two-day workshop at the Skissernas related to their upcoming exhibition, Monuments and Memory.
The course is run by Professor Peter Lang
An investigative and interactive travel workshop to Sarajevo in Bosnia-Herzegovina to take place in October 2017 will complement research undertaken at the Skissernas Museum. We will be looking specifically at historic and contemporary monuments and memorials that were either central to the city’s pre-war cosmopolitan society or that mark specific war-time events.
A second investigative and interactive travel workshop will be planned for March 2018 in Vilnius Lithuania. Here many of the city’s landmarks, monuments and significant buildings have been altered, removed, over-layered or re-interpreted to reflect the changing social attitudes during the more recent shifts in the country’s history.
While individual research projects are not necessarily linked to the travel workshops, many tactics that will emerge from these experiences in Sarajevo and Vilnius could help determine the kind of observations, discussions and proposals used to inform each of the individual student’s working procedures. R-Lab’s core methodology is otherwise derived from a theoretically informed, research based hands-on practice.
The fall semester covers historiographical and theoretical methods examining working practices in architecture, design, and media. The semester presents critical methodologies intended to guide the first phase of research and documentation. R-lab introduces course participants to a set of theory based strategies to help critically structure the parameters of the individual’s research project. These strategies include developing critical research skills drawn from multi-disciplinary sources: visual analytical methods encompassing mapping and diagramming, digital graphics and multi-media documentation, as well as tactics for public engagement and discourse.
The spring semester is dedicated to advancing individual research projects, as well as developing innovative research practices, including digital media, audio and visual media, event based performances, print and internet, and material based projects.
Teaching will take the form of course lessons and seminars on theory, methodology and practice (average four course meetings per month), tutoring/individual advising (average one meeting per month), individual student enrolment in material workshops and media laboratories, and collective travel workshops and public seminars.
Students must themselves defray the travelling costs to get to Sarajevo and Vilnius. Those students who will not be able to participate in the study trip(s) will be given an assignment.