© Krystina Sevcikova

the NEXT college
designing new schools of thought

MArch Studio : Analogue Digital Production

Ernst Fuchs

There have been a great number of changes within the last twenty-five years regarding tools for communication and transfer of knowledge, as well as the political. How will these changes impact on the future college? Do we still need auditoriums? Does the college need a building at all? Does the spatial concept for “the NEXT college” resemble a kitchen, a hotel, or a church more? What spaces are now missing?

Hypothesis: The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna – a building completed in 1877 by Theophil Hansen – is to be declared an extra-terrestrial open zone for art and architecture, independent of state control. Institutes and academic disciplines are to be dissolved. Courses no longer have objectives, while a new form of communal life is to stimulate the imagination of “the NEXT college”. An initiative born from an approach where everything is possible, and can start anew.

In a first phase of collaborative research staff and students engage critically with the status quo of the academic curriculum and the spaces at the Academy and then formulate their desires in this context.

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the NEXT college
designing new schools of thought

MArch Studio : Analogue Digital Production

Ernst Fuchs

In the second phase the material collected and studied will be confronted with the world of imagination, individual ideas, fantasies and visions of what "the NEXT college" could be. Aware of what it was and is, eager to represent what it should be; the subsequent development of individual projects aims at replacing or rebuilding the existing Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

At the end of the semester, students present their results in the form of architectural manifestations (be it a building or agglomerations of buildings) together with a social vision that informs us about users, spatial tools, and desired interaction.
In the accompanying project seminar, students engage with exemplary design methods and explore their transformative potential in the mutual interplay between analogue and digital tools. To further enrich the studio, teaching models (e.g. Black Mountain College, Cooper Union) are discussed while an extended faculty contributes different fields of expertise. Additional theoretical inputs from philosophy and cultural studies are intended to add even more inspiration, pleasure and "irrationality" – ingredients to fill the open zone and to conceptualise a daring vision of “the NEXT college”

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