The Bartlett Summer Show 2016 – A General Overview
The Bartlett School of Architecture celebrated its 175th year history of existence, a proud testament to educational and architectural excellence which has been exemplified in the Bartlett Summer Show of 2016. Attracting over 10,000 visitors every year, it has become one of the most internationally renowned event in the architectural world. A temporary collection exhibiting the works of over 500 students, visitors can expect an eclectic range of architectural works from digital fabrications to drawings.
The show was commenced on the 24th of June at an exhibition party by guest opener, Liz Diller, a founding partner of Diller Scofido + Renfro, an interdisciplinary studio established in 1979 focusing on the merging of architecture along the fields of performance art. In addition, the studio has created notable works, such as the Blur Building in Yverdon and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston.
The exhibition was overwhelmingly eclectic with a variety of multimedia uses that surely catered to the diverse interests of the visitors. From steam punk industrial projects to neon poster art motifs, and from the minimal to the parametric, the summer show has it all. Here are a few of the projects shown at the Bartlett Summer Show of 2016
Sapphire City // Michael Quach // Unit 10
Despite the diverse range of creative works at display, it’s hard to ignore the vibrantly striking sheets of unit 10. The cyber-punk , yet colorfully playful and inviting, realities shown tackle common societal issues that plague the urban fabric of the world today. Sapphire City by Michael Quach explores such themes by attempting to promise a fulfilling life after retirement. Through the use of vibrant collages, Quach raises issues regarding the conservative government’s campaign to win the hearts and minds of the elderly and youth through the exploitation of planning strategies.
Ekateringof Science Fiction Writers Commune // Douglas Yang // Unit 7
One of the most impressive undergraduate works was highlighted at the unit 7 stand, proving that despite the dominance of digital rendering preferences, hand sketching is here to stay and impress. The amount of detail, from the mechanical shafts to the chaotic wirings, that went into these drawings through the use of the humble pencil is extremely impressive..The works of unit 7, with its morbidly dark industrial overtones, is highly reminiscent to scenes from sci-fi classics such as Blade Runner and Solaris. The “Ekateringof Science Fiction Writers Commune” by Douglas Yang, depicts a future ancient relic of the past as a concrete monolithic theatre stored in an abandoned theme park in St.Petersburg. Inspired by 2001 Space Odyssey, the spaces depicted are used as a library of science fiction which continues to expand by welcoming more writers unto its fold.
The Masonic Temple //Mathew Sawyer // Unit 12
The world of archtiectural education has been subjected to heavy debate and scrutiny in the age of the starchitect. Have schools lost their ways with the abandonment of conservatism in the process of architecture or is it merely a progression of the current trends ? Are we embracing the progressive avante-garde and the Zaha Hadid’s parametric mantra over traditional methods ? Unit 12 shows that the architecture of stoic grandeur in all its Zumthor-ian and Kahn-esque might is still highly appreciated. Unit 12 explores the concept of the “The Public Private House” through designing a “house-institution for an international organization or society in London, which as a place to live and work has a public and private life”. The Masonic Temple by Mathew Sawyer tackles the dichotomy of public access with the Masonic Fraternity, an organization known for its historic privacy often shrouded in mystery. Despite its architectural typology of transparency, its carefully choreographed placement of plazas and furniture allows limited views into the daily activities of the Masons.
Law and Natural Order // Luke Scott // Unit 12
Law and Natural Order by Luke Scott is another project from the Unit 12 exhibition stand which is a proposal that “recognizes the law as a distinctly human practice; its associations being with the civilized and structured society”. The studio work aims to isolate nature from this socially constructed practice amidst the “sporadic life of the forest”.
A Tall Timber Future // Fergus Knox // Unit 11
A Tall Timber Future by Fergus Knox, stood out as a combination between the Metabolist Movement and Bernard Khoury’s skyscrapers due to its post-war scrapyard aura. The studio project is “an investigation into prefabricated timber skyscrapers galleons to be rolled out to the west Chicago and will challenge existing preconceptions about building with wood.
Author: Karl Abi Karam