XS / Excess: A Polemical Exploration of Scale

Advanced Architecture Studio 5

Fall 2012

Amale Andraos + Sam Dufaux, critics

The studio asked whether Scale was still relevant to architecture today and, if so, how? After re-examining scale’s long standing generative relation to architecture––from the anthropocentricism of the classical body to that of the Modulor and from the destabilized body of Post Modernism to its later displacement by other objects and species––students were asked to re-consider Koolhaas’s 1994, “Bigness” and its continued implications today.

The studio took stake of “Bigness’s” transformation from a polemical manifesto to reinvigorate architecture at the time of its publishing to the epidemic of size inflation, which has since taken hold not only of architecture, but also of our bodies and food. In contrast, students found inspiration in questions of compression, infrastructure and density occurring at the urban scale today as well as in recent architectural practices invested in a productive economy of means. Using the hotel as program and type, the studio re-invented twenty scale strategies to re-imagine Scale’s potential not only to create new kinds of architectural effects but also to reclaim architecture’s intelligence with regards to resources, re-discover the pleasure of its compression and reassert its active relation to context, not only immediate, visual or experiential but rather infrastructural and environmental.

Owen Nichols A/B
Yun Shi C
Yuri Jeong D/E