Architectural Design and Improvisation: The Notion of Creative Dialogue in the Production of Collective Dwelling

By Alexandros Kleidonas.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The main purpose of the paper is to examine the circumstances that allow the act of improvisation to be converted into a form of creative dialogue between those who take part in the design and the actual making of architecture.
Thus, the issue does not involve exclusively and specifically one of the partakers of an architectural project (i.e. architect, contractor, user) but their union as a whole. Taking into account its social aspect and effect, architecture should provide all and each of the parties involved in the process with the possibility to express their distinctiveness.
The research focuses on the design of mass, collective dwelling and in particular on the discussion in the theory and practice of participatory planning. Within this framework, I believe, emerge those positions and perspectives that recognize as a necessary precondition in the process of constructing residencies the establishment of equal relations between all – or almost all – parties involved. Here we also acknowledge the fact that in certain stages of the process we need to employ improvisation, in order to create a more user-friendly space.
In the context of this research, a basic question rises: if we accept that architecture as a form of creative expression is closely linked to music, is it possible to make use of this analogy, so as to discover those theoretical tools that will enable us to perceive architectural improvisation as an on-going, collective and creative play? This question becomes even more interesting, if we consider that improvisation in music is an artistic process that leads to the assembly of a play with unexpected results.

Keywords: H. Fathy, H. Hertzberger, L. Kroll, Architecture, Participatory Planning, Improvisation, Music

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.31-42. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.586MB).

Dr Alexandros Kleidonas

Architect, Ph.D. Candidate, School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, Athens, Greece

After completing his first degree in Architecture – Engineering in the National Technical University of Athens, Alexandros Kleidonas continued his studies in the field and holds a Master’s degree in Architectural Planning. He is now a Ph.D. Candidate in N.T.U., where he works as an assistant instructor. He is also a practising architect, focusing in designing and supervising the construction of private and public projects. He participates and has been awarded in architectural competitions home and abroad. He has published and exhibited his research and work in architecture and he has also been involved in musical performances as well as construction of musical instruments.

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