“Energy can neither be created nor destroyed; rather, it can only be transformed or transferred from one form to another” —Law of conservation of energy
Destruction, deconstruction and the breaking down of old ideas is a necessary step and a powerful tool in the creation of the new. It is the beginning of the liberation of energy, once stuck and now free to be transformed into something fresh. This studio will embrace Mikhail Bakunin’s revolutionary anarchist mindset, “the urge for destruction is also a creative urge!”. Allowing us to take risks, to question ‘what-is’, and to push the boundaries of what is possible, ‘what-ifs’. Arguing that the best way to destroy something is to create 'the new' making the existing, 'the old' obsolete.
“Without new visions we don’t know what to build, only what to knock down. We not only end up confused, rudderless & cynical, but we forget that making a revolution is not a series of clever manoeuvres & tactics, but a process that can and must transform us.” —Robin D.G. Kelley
"So much of the work of oppression is policing the imagination." —Saidiya Hartman
Students should not fear this studio being political. Despite popular claims that everything is political, this studio will start with the foundation that not everything is inherently political and it is not only possible, but potentially more impactful to study, discuss and affect culture without the need to delve into politics. Politics is only an aspect of culture and not the other way around.
“The ultimate, hidden truth of the world is that it is something that we make, and could just as easily make differently.” —David Graeber
“Others have seen what is and asked why. I have seen what could be and asked why not.” —Pablo Picasso
The studio will not be fixed in its ways, but will morph and adapt to the needs of the collective week by week. It will be a fluid, dynamic and responsive environment in constant evolution, shaped for and by the individuals within it. A place where growth is actively cultivated, tended to, and nurtured. A living, breathing entity that will provide the fertile ground needed for the development of new and exciting ideas. A place where the individuals who make up the collective are encouraged and required to bring their unique perspectives and ideas to the table. This studio is built on the idea that the collective has the capacity to be greater than the sum of its parts, what Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing calls a happening not merely a gathering or “a rising tide lifts all boats”.
The questions that interest us, the ones we ask of ourselves and of each other will determine the paths we go down. Starting with what moves you? What moves us? What prevents and restricts that natural urge and need to move? How do we free ourselves and in the process move others?
“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society” —Jiddu Krishnamurti
“If you touch an idea too much without actually making it, just like a dough or plaster, it dies. I think it’s better to make and bake it and throw it away than to imagine how it would have worked or tasted.” —Zeynab Izadyar
This studio will engage in lively dialogues and the exploration of existing and emergent speculative, critical and liberatory directions in design and beyond. We will strive to break free from preconceived notions, societal norms and habitual ways of thinking by developing a more fluid and adaptable mindset essential for navigating uncertainty and change. We will aim to foster an environment of open communication where all voices will be heard and ideas openly shared without fear of judgment or rejection. A place where playfulness and creativity are the norm, a focus on enjoying processivity over productivity, a place that is constantly in motion and flux, with curiosity and wonder as our guides. We will build a culture of experimentation, a willingness to let go of what is not working and seeing failures as opportunities for individual and collective learning and growth.
This studio will consist of three assessment tasks: research, creative and reflection. The briefs will be made up of a range of milestone deliverables that are interconnected and build upon each other. The idea is that each assignment will set the foundation for the next based on the outcomes and knowledge acquired from the previous tasks, allowing for the edges of each assessment to blur into and interact with each other in a very organic way.
James Webb Young: A Technique For Producing Ideas
“An idea is nothing more nor less than a new combination of old elements. The capacity to bring old elements into new combinations depends largely on the ability to see relationships. To some minds, each fact is a separate bit of knowledge. To others, it is a link in a chain of knowledge. It has relationships and similarities. Consequently, the habit of mind which leads to a search for relationships between facts becomes of the highest importance in the production of ideas.”
Thích Nhat Hanh: The Fourteen Precepts of Engaged Buddhism
Prentis Hemphill: Finding Our Way podcast