Transformations: On Contingent Form in University Studio Teaching with Two Case Studies
This paper begins to ask by what means and in what form might the university studio functionsothatitcontributestoinﬂectingthebiases,limits, and reserves of architecture to allow it to better adapt to changing environmental and social challenges? More generally, the paper aims to contribute to debates concerned with the manner by which the university studio can be the site not just for training in design processes but for knowledge production as well. The paper frames an approach to these ambitions through a brief comparative analysis of a multi-yearstudiodeliveredbyPeterEisenman at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (1981-1985) and a limited cycle of studios completed under Colin Rowe in his Urban Design Studio, Cornell University, with a focus on urban-scale projects undertaken under Rowe’s direction in those same years. Two hypotheses underlie the paper. The ﬁrst is that the Eisenman and Rowe studios extend and transform ideas and composition devices treating the contingent over the abstract and that such teaching systems might aid in development of a practice that begins to address changing complexities and the call for new forms of knowledge. The second hypothesis is that contingent form is a potentially innovative composition strategy and conceptual tool, one awaiting theorisation and resuscitation. The paper adds to scholarship on architecture education, makes a modest contribution to EisenmanandRowestudies,andaddressesaspectsofconferenceTheme3Education and Professional Practice Across Borders.
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 See also Eisenman, P. (1984). The End of the Classical: The End of the Beginning, the End of the End. Perspecta, 21, pp. 154-173.
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 Rowe, C. (1979). The Present Urban Predicament. The Architectural Association Quarterly, 12 (4), pp. 40-63.
 Cobb, H. (1986). Foreword. In Marvel, J.J., ed. (1986). Investigations in Architecture: Eisenman Studios at the GSD 1983-85. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Graduate School of Design., p. 5.