Visualizing Relations in Architecture: A Pedagogical Approach

By Socrates Stratis.

Published by The Design Collection

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

The aim of this paper is first to present the results of how first year students of architecture are exposed through an introductory course, (2nd semester, University of Cyprus), to ways of visualizing relations in time rather than objects in space. Further on, the paper will link such pedagogical approach to a broader thinking of making explicit relations, therefore performances in architecture and especially in “architecture as practice”. Usually students, through architectural education, become acquainted with means of representation of objects in space. This approach quite often, leads to “architecture as building” approach (object-based design) rather than “architecture as practice” one, (process-based design). The difference between the two is that the latter takes into account not only the object to design but also the systems of actors who are involved in the design process and their priorities. In order that architects find a decisive role within “architecture as practice” approach, they need to be able to visualize relations between project actors, their complex environments, their priorities and the design outcome.

Such approach gives to the notion of performance a prominent role and of that of diagram an important tool in communicating such information, especially on how performative are relations between project actors in a process based design approach.
To accomplish such objective the workshop uses the 'cosmos' of musical instruments. Every year the workshop focuses on different types of musical instruments in different kinds of context: wind instruments during the rehearsal of Cyprus State Orchestra, chord instruments in “Buena Vista Social Club” movie of Wim Wenders, percussions in “You Tube’ video music clips.

Keywords: Performative Diagrams, Performance, Architectural Education, Representation, Architecture as Practice, Process-Based Design, Visual Studies

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 4, Issue 3, pp.207-238. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 7.237MB).

Dr. Socrates Stratis

Assistant Professor of Architecture, Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, Nicosia, Cyprus

Socrates Stratis is an assistant professor of Architecture at the University of Cyprus. He was born in Nicosia, in 1964. He obtained his architectural degree (B.Arch and M.Arch) in Cornell University, USA, with a Fulbright scholarship, and his doctorate degree in Urbanism in University of Paris 8, France. He has been awarded with several prizes for high scholastic achievement. Some of them are: Clifftors Beckwith Brown Memorial’, ‘Student Medal of the American Institute of Architects’, ‘New York of Architects Certificate’. His research lies on establishing connections between teaching, research and practice in architecture and urbanism. Such hybrid structures of research/action could incorporate social and political issues in the sphere of architectural creativity. In this way there is an emphasis for architects to seek a new public role within a broader system of institutions dealing with contemporary urban environments. He uses as vehicles for such studies the notion of “publicness”, of “urbanity” and that of “local /translocal”. He organized an international conference, “Liminal Zones”, Nicosia 2008, with the University of East London and Goldsmith’s College. He is the editor of “Public-private relations viewed through the role of topography: the production of the built environment in Cyprus”, in Architectonika Themata Journal, Greece, 2007. He is member of the Scientific Council of Europan Europe.

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