Datum: student journal of architecture: Volume 7, Issue 1
Architects are both organizers and archivists. In addition to all pragmatic concerns of building making, architects bear the responsibility of locating a project in relation to history. Architecture flattens the past and present, providing a ‘fixed-position’ in order to understand contemporary structures. Structures ‘fix’ themselves in relation to history through the medium of space. These spaces, or the three dimensional environs2 that we inhabit, serve as a means to inhabit and manifest ideas, events, or people that no longer occupy the contemporary context. As constructed objects, these manifestations exist in the ‘real’ visible realm for a large length of time. This characteristic means that architecture should serve as a carefully planned physical repository of things that are physically absent; that is, architecture should serve as a memory bank.
When you think of a typical design studio, the first scene to come to mind is probably a high end project within a sprawling cityscape where your main concepts are based off of views and daylighting, not whether or not your building can withstand heavy firepower. The latter is definitely a concern when designing in a war zone, which is exactly where Interior Design Professor and Chair Lee Cagley’s “In Harm’s Way: Interior Design for Modern Combat” studio set up camp this past Fall semester. The goal of this graduate level Interior Design studio was to challenge the way combat outposts are designed to keep our military safe from both enemies and the potential onset of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The students of “In Harm’s Way” have initiated the beginning of an era where design can protect our deployed military both physically and mentally.
This year marks the second consecutive year that the Department of Architecture has welcomed Elia Zenghelis to host an intense, week-long masterclass. Similar to last year, the ultimate objective was to, in Elia’s words, “cultivate a particular way of thinking.”
Caroline Freese is an Iowan furniture designer who draws on the traditions of her home state to create handmade furniture and ceramics. She uses multiples in her designs to emphasize her focus on craft and modern shapes.