(For anyone confused by the gap between me sounding very fed up in Tel Aviv, and this post – I’ll backdate it as soon as I can upload the photographs)
Trying to get my head back into my dissertation, I’ve been looking back at the material I have collected over the last few months. I’m trying to draw a ‘Practice Diagram’, as alluded to by Teddy Cruz in the video below. It should usefully serve as a record of the contingency of my research, and help to make sense of the emerging argument running through it.
As Cruz says, “…as artists, we like to think [of the world as] palimpsest; dense, rich. But we need [sometimes] to make sense. As artists we [sometimes] hide in ambiguity, where not knowing is also important…but we need [here] to get to a level of specificity, committing to a certain set of ideas that can rigorously take us through a process”.
Thus, I hope the Practice Diagram will be a way to navigate through the complex sets of ideas I’ve been assembling, exacerbated by an innate inability to reject anything I find along the way. I’m developing a bit of an interest in ‘architectural epistemology’! i.e. On what basis do we claim to know what we know? How do we go about knowing? Important questions I feel, for a discipline that makes claims to professional knowledge, especially amidst growing doubt about what we do, actually, know…
(Presentation recorded at the Designing Civic Encounters conference, Ramallah, Palestine on 24/07/2011. Further material is available here)
Initiating Architecture is a Doctoral Research Project being undertaken at the Sheffield School of Architecture by Anna Holder, under the supervision of Prue Chiles and Cristina Cerulli (who is also my dissertation supervisor).
I share some of the project’s motivations and aims, and find the website linked above a useful and worthwhile resource for my own dissertation. Anna is currently compiling a long-list of projects initiated for social or public good,so if you have something to offer then drop her a line via the website!
Noun: The actual application or use of an idea, belief, or method as opposed to theories about such application or use.
Hill Holt Wood are taking a stand at this year’s Ecobuild Exhibition / Trade Fair…examples of their work, and details of their presentation can be found here.
John Habraken is a potential source for dissertation (role of the architect), ARC571 (architectural education) and studio (Open Building)
I’ve found that when I do written assignments, I always write about one third too much (in relation to the prescribed word count…). Although it is perhaps a necessary part of my process (I tend to write a lot and then reduce it down to the most eloquent parts), I could do with reducing the amount by which I ‘overwrite’…
I find that the most productive parts of writing are when I change activity or environment….sitting at the laptop at a desk all day (until you get something done!) is just not always the best way…
For example, with the a recent assignment on methodology, the biggest surges in self-confidence came when I watched the videos of the speakers again, and made detailed notes (I felt like I now knew my subject…) and when I printed out a current copy and went through it with a big red pen (I could comprehend the extent of what I had written, and engage with it in a more intuitive way than through mouse and keyboard…). Maybe I should just be more agile in my approach to writing?
I also need reminding that its important to keep the phrase ‘I’ out of academic writing, despite the style of much of the edgy pop-architecture literature that gets pushed my way…