Architecture as Gesture

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Civic Generosity

Studio tutor: Michael Badu



“Architecture is a gesture. Not every purposive movement of the human body is a gesture. Just as little as every functional building is architecture” – Ludwig Wittgenstein, Culture & Value.

This studio is propositional, i.e., based on the idea of an architect who ‘sets in train’ societal and productive* direction through their critique and questioning of what is already happening. This critique and questioning happens through design. 

This studio will address an architectural approach that is gestural, i.e., the idea that minute observations of human life and situations can lead to convincing architectural responses to the human condition (in all its forms), responses that need not be of a large scale or even permanent to be effective.

This studio will seek to both learn from and critique the gestural approaches of Ludwig Wittgenstein and Aldo van Eyck in relation to their thinking (particularly the notion of ‘forms of life’) and the projects they did for extremely specific clientele (Wittgenstein’s sister living in Vienna and children/mothers respectively in Amsterdam), in order achieve ‘civic generosity’.

Four students laughing while sat at a bench, outside the Students' Union

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