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The Usual Suspects

Still from the movie The Usual Suspects

ARC3020Y F
Instructor(s): Filipe Magalhaes, Ahmed Belkhodja, Ana Luisa Soares
Meeting Section: L9108
Tuesdays, 9:00am - 1:00pm, 2:00pm - 6:00pm

After the second world war, japan lived a period of profound social and physical reconstruction. in a moment of intense demand, single family houses were seen as architecturally and culturally irrelevant: generic in their ambitions, they were a lesser architecture.

In the early 60’s, a young architect originally educated as a mathematician, whose production consisted, at the time, of only a few small, and apparently traditional, detached single family houses, decided to publicly focus on the commissions the big figures of the previous generation disregarded. in 1962, kazuo shinohara bluntly stated that “a house is a work of art.”

Following what could be seen as a disciplinary declaration of war, in the decades that followed, shinohara became the main figure of a generation of young architects that, in disbelief with the state of the art, and almost exclusively through the design of single family houses, defined a new architectural universe. the house became the laboratory for an entire generation: different approaches, priorities and rhetoric were taken to insane new limits.

We'll study a careful selection of single family houses built in japan between 1960 and 1990.

In the first semester, we'll research, depict and attempt at understanding the objects. we'll study and document the houses we'll become familiar with; we’ll catalogue and review them weekly, in group. during the second semester, each student will design his own house, exploring the layers, themes and concepts studied before.

Single family houses will be the perfect testing ground for optimistic architectures.