ARC 606: Memory, Build! – Material Culture Research Studio - Faculty: Miguel Guitart

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We are memory. What are we without memory? How does memory become part of architecture? How does architecture preserve or eradicate memory? How important is architecture's mission of recording or conveying the memory of places, users, and times? Memory is an instrumental dimension of humans that conditions the forms of tradition, history, and knowledge in general. Whether the intent is to break up with the past and tradition or use history as a base for knowledge, experience, and progress, memory needs to remain at the core of the discussion. More specific to the studio, what are the operating connections between materials and memory?

Inspired in Vladimir Nabokov's 1951 Speak, Memory and Oliver Sack's best-selling book, Memory, Speak! the MC GRG Studio Memory, Build! will explore the productive connections between material strategies and the tracing, preservation, and construction of memory-based narratives. Students will be tracing material narratives that focus on the memory of places, attempting to identify, reveal, and register these traces. The students will work on strategies that select, integrate, preserve, and display part of that memory. Group proposals will focus on processes of imprint, layering, embedding, reusing, and carving, among others, applied to the construction of a small cubicle for one person built with earthy materials, such as rammed earth, clay, or stone.