Forget about a one year project, CARTHA is still here. One year of life didn’t feel like enough. The debutant year brought new friends, experiences, a great number of learnings and it seemed to keep offering us glimpses into a 2016 full of new opportunities. One of them presented itself as the participation as an […]
Forget about a one year project, CARTHA is still here.
One year of life didn’t feel like enough. The debutant year brought new friends, experiences, a great number of learnings and it seemed to keep offering us glimpses into a 2016 full of new opportunities. One of them presented itself as the participation as an associated project in the Lisbon architecture Triennal, which will have as a theme “The Form of Form”.
Such theme could hardly fit better as a counterpart for the previous “Relations in Architecture”, so we took it as our own. The magazine’s second cycle, “On the Form of Form”, will consist of three issues, a number of events, an exhibition in Lisbon and a book.
But CARTHA will not undertake this journey into Form alone: Bureau A in the present issue and Victoria Easton, Matilde Cassani and Noura Al Sayeh in the upcoming issue, will act as guest-editors. They will share their own take on the cycle’s theme and, with all certainty, enrich the editorial body of the magazine.
“How to learn better” ,edited in collaboration with Bureau A, inaugurates this new cycle questioning, through a series of posters, the learning methods around architectural production. A wide spectrum of different personalities ranging from architects, artists, writers, photographers to graphic designers, contributed with their very unique vision on the matter, showing us in nine contributions a variety of directions that could hardly diverge more on the pedagogy of architecture.
While the HTLB issue focuses mostly in architecture learning, its origins and conclusions encompass broader fields. Learning is definitely not exclusive to architecture, much less is form.
In his book Art and Agency, Alfred Gell proposes an anthropological theory of visual art in which he treats among many subjects, the impossibility of using ‘aesthetics’ as a universal parameter of cultural description and comparison. He states that “Evaluative schemes of whatever kind, are only of anthropological interest in so far as they play a part within social processes of interaction, through which they are generated and sustained.” (1) He adds: “ The anthropology of law for instance is not the study of legal- ethical principles- other people’s ideas of right and wrong- but of disputes and their resolution in the course of which disputants do often appeal to such principles.“ (2)
Under this lens, each experience or piece of information contained in our context will inform the way we relate to it and will play a decisive role in our perception. While learning architecture, we create an image of what it is supposed to be in our consciousness and we build a hierarchy of values that may reaffirm and/or reshape previously formed conceptions.
By having almost half of the contributions produced by non architects, a window into several different experiences and contexts opens up to us, greatly enriching and expanding the questions around architecture pedagogy.
As mentioned by Bureau A, and reaffirmed by Sennett and Gell, form cannot exist without a prior conception of it and, while the architecture learning process may sometimes feel like a box checking matter 4, the questions around it should be as broad as possible. With these nine posters CARTHA and Bureau A pose an honest question : How to learn better?