**
Cultural context**

**
Contemporary canons have been substituting
spatial structures and their referential
Cartesian coordinate space for non-conceptual
differentiation[1].
Such differentiation relies on an equal exchange
between geometry and architecture without
revisiting or critiquing disciplinary
fundamentals. Post-structuralist theories, as a
pendulous reactionary force against previous
structuralist theories, broke away from the
philosophical conceptual premise of
deconstruction: to develop a full decomposition
of any assumed disciplinary fundamentals. Rather
than focusing on a syntax based on formal
structural logics, recent architecture
tendencies hide structural problems in favor of
a visual approach, relying on its media-based
effect that has exhausted its capacity to be
critical. **

**
Design II Studio Theoretical Background**

**
Design II studio critically revisited the
contemporary potential for a formal architecture
autonomy. Through the reconsideration of
structure, the studio searched for strategies to
redefine post-structuralist theories as a
continuity of the previous structuralist ones.
The reconsideration of latent ideas to activate
questions of structure and displacement in the
common*** nine square grid figure* in
Wittkower’s analytical diagrams of Palladio’s
villas constitute an axis of reference based on
a structuralist matrix across architectural
history. In addition, the common diagram that
Rowe traces between Palladio’s Villa Malcontenta
and Le Corbusier’s Villa Stein, Terragni’s ideas
of displacement based on the work of Palladio,
Hejduk’s Texas Houses and Eisenman’s Houses
series may complete this axis of reference.
These strategies were revisited through the
incorporation of contemporary post-structuralist
canons, to resolve a more relevant role of
deconstruction since 1970’s.

**
Recent tectonics for architecture relate to a
reactionary criticism of the modernist paradigm
of universality, which demands a reconsideration
of the role of place and territory. But after
various expansions in the limits of the
discipline, the question that resounds most is:
what’s left of architecture’s intrinsic
knowledge in relation to current state of the
expansion of its boundaries? Moreover, in
relation to Derrida’s concept of parergon[2]
that questions the origin and the frame of the
work of art, the context in which it is defined,
questioning its origin; how are the limits of
the container frame-space redefined after such
expansion? **

**
Along with this architecture expansion, the
autonomy of the vectorial surface acquired by
the dissembling of the object-container towards
the expanded field was resolved in the canonical
thickening of the ground as an inhabitable
surface. This process of expansion that was
based on the aesthetic of continuity of the
surface, derived more recently into the
emergence of spatial warping. Although along
this, Cartesian space and referential structures
have been simply ignored, rather than displaced
or critiqued. Such a scenario left only two
alternatives: neomodernist boxes as containers
and postructuralist blobs. What this studio
proposes is to develop a base to transcend such
dialectic to displace referential systems
including representation within the
reconstitution of the boundaries of the
discipline. **

**
Students studied the constitution of form
through the development of the source codes and
systems that striated them. These systems were
displaced and their origin structures
reconsidered implementing different definitions
of topology. This constituted the base for a
structuring of form that considers the relevance
of processes and relationships in systems and
that ultimately constitute the basis of some
problems in computation. Concepts of systems,
parametric design and some of the questions that
algorithms raise were discussed as students
induced displacement to linear cognitive
structures using topology and dynamic
representation. **

**
Structures and typologies were deconstructed
through multiple definitions of topological
displacements: topology as a way of resisting
predetermination; topology as relative forces,
or as degree deformations displacing absolute
categories; topology as the topo logos or the
logic of the place; and ultimately non-Euclidean
geometric topology of bi-continuous surface
deformation that forces spatial continuum and
activates spatial warping[3].
**
Multiple predetermined modern
spatial typologies are questioned through
relative topological displacements.
**
The enfolding of contemporary canons to revisit
architecture limits, proposes the institution of
a state of suspension that demands the
recognition of a hybrid transitory space.
Therefore a space suspended between a potential
topological surface-space and its absolute
stable referential Cartesian coordinate system.
This space was defined as Cartopological**
©**
**

**
Pedagogical Objectives**

**
Design II studio developed an un-house for two
individuals. Each student studied architectural
language through the development of a conceptual
and formal syntax. As a point of departure a
parametric nine square grid vectorial
frame-space was first described, then analyzed
and displaced through topological
transformations. As a meta frame-space brought
to the foreground, this organizational framework
was displaced by processes of instability geared
by programmatic constraints, inhabitation and
experience. Gradual variations were implemented
to aim for a typological and structural
transformation, critiquing the point of
departure and its original type. Each student
was asked to resolve an architectural syntax
departing from an individual sensibility to
develop a personal architecture vocabulary in
the constitution of architecture systems. Such
syntax was based on the development of
architectural categories in formal invention, to
conceptualize the architectural elements that
emerge and their functional implementation
within the array that deploy the organizational
system.**

**
Design II Exercises**

**
Parallel to typological and organizational
developments, the studio was structured in
phases that investigate the relationship between
formal spatial organization and programmatic
relationships that were taken up to a level of
experiential affection. **

**
First, the tectonics of a 30’ x 30’ x 30’
Cartesian vectorial matrix was informed by the
activation of a generative moment in
representation, searching for a certain formal
autonomy within each representational stage and
interface used. Second, the site for the
un-house was understood, in principle, as an
extension of the intrinsic relationships and
ideas that the project develops establishing
different strategies relative to its XYZ (0,0,0)
departing coordinates within a 90’ x 90’ x 90’
vectorial Cartesian frame. Third, entrance and
circulation activated subject-object
relationships and experience. The presence of
the body activated displacement to the
organizational systems. Fourth, three distinct
body positions were examined to acknowledge the
presence of the inhabitant: vertical (public),
sitting (semi-private) and horizontal (private).
Fifth, the two inhabitants activated topological
relationships in interior-exterior spatial
relationships and dynamic programmatic crossed
relationships activating spatial warping in the
un-house. Finally, preliminary site decisions
were challenged by a general group-site
structure and its emerging adjoining conditions.
External architecture problems such as
orientation and neighbor projects’ decisions
were relative to the emergence of multiple site
conditions each student had to acknowledge,
including topographic continuity, circulation
and the shifting boundaries and spaces
in-between projects. **

**
Each student worked with different media
understanding the logic of each representational
interface and aiming for the activation of a
generative moment within each of these
intermediary spaces, starting with hand
drawings, different software based computer
drawings, parametric surface transformations,
and also physical performative experimental
models and constructions. **