lost in translation (aka: studio kumbaya)
lost in translation This studio will explore various strategies of architectural translation, interpretation, and transmutation and to determine if such strategies may be productive for architecture.

What is being gained, or lost, by making translations? Does architecture have it’s own voice? Are some strategies more effective than others? Students will study the nature of translation, various strategies of translation, and then determine criteria by which we may judge such translations. In other words, why is the book always better than the movie? Concurrent to the ARCH 302 Seminar, we will then engage a study of architectural translation: projects that have relied upon translation, those strategies employed by such architects, and, again, the criteria by which we can judge such translations. Can a bad translation still make a good building?

Through the course of the quarter, students will be asked to make a series of architectural translations to test the criteria by which other translations have been successful. There is the possibility that all translation will be considered an invalid method of architectural. In this case, students will be obliged to communicate that which cannot be translated.

The study will also include tactics of representation. As we know architects rarely, if ever, make buildings. We do, however, make drawings of buildings. Builders and contractors then translate such drawings, models, and text into built form. Ideally, though rarely ever, is this translation automatic, from one system (drawing) to another (building). Even if translation is automatic the meaning of such communication is still open to interpretation. The communication of meaning through built form (always ripe for misunderstanding) is always open for interpretation by inhabitants, neighbors, critics, historians, tourists, and others. As such, students will be asked to make architectural representations that are not intended to be further interpreted as built work, but is architectural in and of itself.

corpse Exquisite Corpse.
For the final project, students randomly chose another student’s opening and then developed that opening into a final project. Due to the short time (a 10 week quarter), students were limited to a 16”x 16” drawing. These were assembled into a checkerboard grid, leaving an opening between each drawing. The second iteration filled in the empty spaces in-between and responded to the new site conditions (the drawings on each side). The final drawing measured over twenty feet wide and is a composite of multiple iterations of a program developed from another’s opening, sited in another’s city.
hilken Russell Hilken: First Movement con instrumento di fiato.
“‘What meaning does your construction have?’ he asks. ‘What is the aim of a city under construction unless it is a city? Where is the plan you are fol¬lowing, the blueprint?’ ‘We will show it to you as soon as the working day is over; we cannot inter¬rupt our work now,’ they answer. Work stops at sunset. Darkness falls over the building site. The sky is filled with stars. ‘There is the blueprint,’ they say.”
monkaba Adam Monkaba: Lost in Translation.
The stream of Time in rapid current…Sweeps off-away-all people’s deeds…And sinks in abyss of forgetting…The nations, kingdoms and kings…And even if some few remains…Through sounds of the lyre and horn…That will be swallowed by eternity…And won’t avoid the common fate.
schaal Greg Schaal
“Signs form a language, but not the one you think you know.”…I realized I had to free myself from the images, which in the past had announced to me the things I sought: only then would I succeed in understanding the language of Hypatia.
“Where is the sage?” There is no lan¬guage without deceit. Of all the changes of language a traveler in distant lands must face, none equals that which awaits him in the city of Hypatia.