No. 5 (2020): When Tools Become Instruments: Masterful Articulations in Architecture and the Arts

There is something about invention in architecture and art that cannot be properly willed, cannot be reduced to a minimum effort for a maximum effect. Almost counter-intuitively, it is through repeated practice that something that was not possible suddenly becomes so. Whether it is addressed in education, practice or research, this poses a particular challenge, because it seems to preclude recourse to any single normative and prescriptive design methodology or pedagogy. If future architects and artists are no longer simply to emulate unquestionably the ‘geniuses’, how can educators, practitioners or researchers work with the technics available today not as tools to be learned, but as instruments with which one cultivates, through repeated practice, a literacy or a mastership?

This special issue of Contour features contributions from a session chaired by Michael R. Doyle (U. Laval) and Diana Alvarez-Marin (ETH Zurich) as part of the Scaffolds symposium organized by the ALICE lab at the EPF Lausanne and held in Brussels in 2018.

Includes contributions from: Adil Bokhari (ETH Zurich), Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou (TU Wien), Diana Cristobal-Olave (Princeton), Nick Mols (U. Edinburgh) and Riccardo Villa (TU Wien).

Published: 2020-06-19


When Tools Become Instruments: Introduction to the Special Issue

Michael Doyle; Diana Alvarez-Marin
Abstract 768 | xml Downloads 150 pdf Downloads 294 | DOI

The Space Within. Notes on the Architectonics of the Mirror

Riccardo M. Villa
Abstract 1073 | xml Downloads 140 pdf Downloads 280 | DOI

Uncertainty and Poetic Inhabitation: Or how to articulate chance

Emmanuelle Chiappone-Piriou
Abstract 860 | xml Downloads 153 pdf Downloads 322 | DOI