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© Aiste Ambrazeviciute

{Natures Mortes}: THE FOREST

MArch Studio : Analogue Digital Production

Oliver Domeisen

“He who imitates nature, rigorously and faithfully, just as she is, is – as it were – no more than her historian, but he who composes her, exaggerates, alters, and beautifies her, is her poet.” (Francesco Milizia, Principj di Architettura Civile, 1781)
The project: You will design a secular twin to the Stephansdom that emerges from the insular cacophony of Karlsplatz in the form of a Neo-neo-gothic Romantic ruin. A digital re-imagination of medieval structure and ornament will create a free space for the people of Vienna. Acting both as a pseudo-natural agora and a Picturesque foil to the city this - in scale and affect - sublime intervention will embody the horror and beauty of a primal forest.

The method: As a surveyor, explorer and poet you will immerse yourself in the real forest to determine the constituent parameters of its spatial and environmental qualities. In parallel you will immerse yourself in the cultural and artistic codifications of the forest found in painting, literature and film, which dictate its perception within the popular imagination.

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{Natures Mortes}: THE FOREST

MArch Studio : Analogue Digital Production

Oliver Domeisen

Your creation of a unique grammar and vocabulary of architectural ornament for the 21st century will then become the generative force driving your building design. Inspired by principles of intricate gothic design you will work from the small towards the large scale – always aware of contemporary material- and constructional opportunities. Deliberate methods of abstraction will gradually transform the natural fragment into the poetic whole.
The portfolio: Expanding upon the traditional representations of architecture you will employ sounds, written and spoken word, moving images and other artistic means to communicate the immersive qualities of your project. The studio aims to convey the tactile and seductive qualities of architecture with a rigorous competence that is usually reserved for the demonstration of its rational and technical aspects.
Through their thesis the students will produce unique answers to the following questions:

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{Natures Mortes}: THE FOREST

MArch Studio : Analogue Digital Production

Oliver Domeisen

What are relevant contemporary methods of translating nature into architecture beyond environmental optimisation, structural metaphors and iconographic biomorphism? Is it possible to transpose the affect of an immersive natural environment, as well as the meaning produced by its wider cultural re-imaginations, into contemporary architecture? How can the architectural design process be enriched through the employment of artistic practices? How can ornamental practice as a form of rarefied expertise and knowledge be re-defined as an architectural metier for the 21st century?
A return to the forest is a return to the mythical origin of architecture itself. As we venture together into the subconscious  ‘heart of darkness’ of our own discipline the student will need courage, dexterity, imagination and an open mind to emerge unscathed and triumphant.