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School of Architecture


Convening Sociality

This introduction developed out of a conversation between Adrian Lahoud, Beth Hughes, and Marco Galofaro.

We often talk of buildings and built–form as a political act. One that works across scales, materials, and typologies, as we debate and stretch the politics of architectural form, action, use, reuse, insertion, and extraction. While these are important debates, the most exciting projects this year reveal architecture's capacity to convene – to examine what happens in and around architecture, to question what is at stake, and consider how buildings and built–form can create sociality, pass on knowledge, and provide forms of life that are truly meaningful.

This show celebrates our physical return to the studio. We should all enjoy the muckiness of hands in clay and mud, the blending of material and craft with digital and virtual work, the calculation of agency and carbon sequestration, and the fun of each other’s company. Much of this work stretches material form to foster social engagement and bring people together. The work is varied – whether it involves coastal restoration, mangrove rehabilitation, material collecting, brick–making, or performance – in order to invent new perspectives across generations that attempt to expand beyond the boundaries of conventional architectural form and transactional relationships. The work seeks to understand material value, the impact of our interventions – beyond its financial return, or carbon value – and the capacity of community, atmosphere, touch, feeling, and hope. At its best, this work offers a new understanding of design practice that inspires our imagining of a new understanding of value.

Beth Hughes (Acting Dean) & Adrian Lahoud (Dean)

Image by Elfed Alexander Samuel