Conferences, 2007

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Elizabeth Anne Shotton

Last modified: 2007-09-10


Rather than seeing a distinction between theoretical discourse and the science of building Vitruvius, a Roman architect and engineer active in the 1st century BC, argued convincingly for the breadth of knowledge necessary to practice architecture with authority, that "knowledge is the child of practice and theory". The crux of his argument is that a sufficient breadth of training, to appreciate both the theoretical and practical sciences, is necessary to lend authority to creative vision.

In like spirit, a series of workshops in UCD Architecture has sought to challenge the contemporary lack of sympathy between theoretical discourse and the science of building which disables the authority with which both students and practitioners practice. Embedded within each workshop are variations regarding intent, from the cultural discourse of the international collaboration of the North Atlantic Rim project, to the theoretical concerns of the Ateliers Series and environmental bias of the Irish Timber course, each drawing upon discourses external to architecture and leavening them against the inherent logic of material and structural imperatives. The resulting evolution in design process, linking both technological imperatives and conceptual intentions to the creative act, shatters the prevailing disjunction between theoretical concerns and technological explorations in the discipline of architecture.


Technology; Material Practice; Design Build; Education

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