AA Summer School 2017
with Carolina Gisimondi, Anthony Ko, David Koo
Students: Eva Castellano, Wai Tim Chow, Joseph Lui, Sylvia Chang, Peiyao Yu, Yuxin Lei, Joseph Lui, Will Tzaikos, Adam de Vere, Hamda Al Murr, Maya Nassif, Nakul
Unit 3 investigated KITBASHING, a practice where ready-made pieces taken out of commercial kits are decontextualised in terms of meaning, proportions and materiality, to create a radically new artefact.
Nowadays it is particularly relevant – we live in a moment of constant material, cultural and iconographic surplus. Unit 3 believes that architecture NOW must become a collision among this multitude of fragments, far beyond its disciplinary boundaries. Architects are NOW asked to introduce an unexpected order and unconventional hierarchies.
The unit collected, decomposed and re-assembled pieces of all kinds – industrial waste, domestic garbage or objects bought and dismantled.
In the first week, the students fabricated multiple individual artefacts, creating hybrids between reality, available materials and their fictional ideas. Then, the 12 authors became themselves a KIT, the main fragments for a collective project – a procession through a landscape of objects, highlighting different cultural backgrounds, joined (KITBASHED) into a single coherent narrative.
This vision was eventually materialised into a performative totem, a theatrical table, where the students and their audience gathered together to consume, discuss and assemble architectural ideas.
Our architectural supper outlined how KITBASHING can be a design approach rather than just a technique. It is a medicine against the flatness of preconceived architectural references, a recipe to clash aesthetics, technologies and ways of thinking which are apparently incompatible.