Urban (Infra)Structure//SP 15
This year the Barry Onouye Endowed Chair Design Studio was taught by Professor Paolo Desideri of the University of Rome and ABDR Architetti Associati in collaboration with Associate Professor Brian McLaren of the UW Department of Architecture. The studio concentrated on the design of urban infrastructure in the downtown core of Seattle. It followed in the tradition of past Onouye Chair studios in engaging student in a collaborative design process that focuses on the integration of structure as a generative element within the broader context of the formal solution of design. Rather than seeing structure as providing only physical support to architecture, these studios view it as a central element in the development of the form of architecture — that is, its morphology.
The exporation of mophology and architecture, both at an urban and architectural scale, has been a constant theme in Italian architecture since the 1960s and was the unique didactic instrument of this year’s Onouye studio. In this tradition, the form of architecture has more than an aesthetic basis. It is a key element in the solution of a range of issues, from programmatic and functional ones to those that involve the urban context of the site. In addition to simultaneously posing the problem of form and structure and urban and architectural scales, the focus on urban infrastructure in this studio is intended to thematize the architectural importance of such utilitarian elements that are part of our daily experience of the city.