Studio 02


Oskar Kazmanli-Liffen + Rennie Liffen

This studio is available to students enrolled in ABPL90142 Studio C, ABPL90143 Studio D, and ABPL90115 Studio E.

Studio Description

As evening light fell on the Bosphorous, we boarded…..
The pair in their crisp white shirts…….logos on pockets, packets in pockets,
Hearts on their sleeves.
Knights of the road, the road south.  Night Bus bridging,
bridging from shore to shore, from city to sea… the clear blue….
Our friends would be there, old faces, new faces, faces from childhood,
waiting, singing, loving, laughing, making…..happy
As only - they - could be in - that - place.
It transformed them, it transformed us, it was our place….her place

All I can remember is simple and authentic,
white, blue, crimson, blue, crimson, blue……blue
Now I live in that photo.
If you ever get lost
Inshallah you’ll find me in the warmth, the humdrum of
Bodrum. Bodrum.

Studio 2 continues to investigate ‘the form of ritual’ in architecture by exploring intimate and idiosyncratic projects that reveal the human dimensions of contemporary life. The poetic architectural potentials of rituals, routines and occupations of buildings and spaces are at the forefront of the studio’s interests and the refinement of these across the minutes, days, seasons and lifetimes of selected communities underpins the work of the studio.

The studio promotes sensitivity and humility in architectural thought and process, but also seeks opportunities within projects to explore empowerment and social equality. Context provides this opportunity and is perceived as something beyond the physical, where narrative and imagination are the surveyors of the intricate detail of fictitious places and characterful locations, creating a unique, provocative and shared setting for projects.

Archetypes are explored within the studio design process and suggest a focus on the pragmatics of composition, geometry + proportion with reference to the established formal structures that are embedded in human understanding and give self-referenced meaning to buildings and spaces.

The studio therefore carefully walks a line between the poetic, the pragmatic and the politic where each step is guided by a robust design process. This semester the studio looks at the rituals of innocence, of authenticity and the everyday expressed in the objects and spaces that surround us and the meanings that they offer us. We argue that in much of contemporary life, we are losing touch with the material objects that have nurtured human development for thousands of years and that the value and emotional importance of everyday artefacts and spaces has been lost. We are interested in re-establishing an agenda of authenticity by designing architecture that celebrates the social and emotional values of materials, objects and spaces ‘that we know to be useful or believe to be beautiful’.

Studio Outcomes

We will produce small, highly resolved architectural projects responding to the continuing themes of Studio 2.  We will engage particularly with the experiential and phenomenological implications of an architecture of both ‘individual’ and ‘community’ and will take inspiration from the work of selected film makers, musicians and writers. Narratives detailing our imaginary ‘context’ and ‘communities’ will be developed in conjunction with our collaborators. Each student will form the functional and emotional brief for the architecture of a small building of unique typology, addressing both the dilemma of the value placed on everyday objects and spaces in contemporary life and their role in shaping the human condition within the context of an imagined Turkish coastal location.

Students will explore a truly iterative design process in conjunction with studio leaders and studio collaborators, where abstract (orthographic) drawing, descriptive writing and physical model-making are the central activities. A disciplined and methodical approach which uses drawing, writing and model-making incrementally and values and exhibits every ‘trace’ of the process as the ‘archaeology of the mind’. This will involve the rigorous exploration of a single architectural composition including spatial experience, environment, landscape, technology and materiality. Final outcomes will be restricted to specific and consistent communication tools with a focus on the representation of both ‘atmosphere’ and ‘construction’. Students will be expected to produce significant and sophisticated drawings and models throughout the semester, communicating their intentions with clarity and passion.

Studio Leaders

OSKAR KAZMANLI-LIFFEN is a graduate of architecture from RMIT University. Originally from London, Oskar has co-led studios across the masters and undergraduate degrees at RMIT. Through teaching and practice his interests lie in architecture with transformative social and experiential consequence.

RENNIE LIFFEN is a British Architect from London who has practiced in Europe and Australia. Rennie was involved in design studio teaching for many years in the UK and has been living, working and teaching in Melbourne since 2005. Rennie lived and studied in Istanbul in the early 1990’s and travelled widely to the Aegean and Mediterranean coasts of Turkey. This will be his seventeenth Masters CDE studio and his sixth in collaboration with Oskar Kazmanli-Liffen.

Readings & References

  • FERZAN OZPETEK – Film, Steam, The Turkish Bath
  • MFO (Mazhar Alanson) – Pop Music + Video
  • YENI TURKU – Music + Video
  • EAA EMRE AROLAT – Architecture
  • ORHAN PAMUK – Writing, The Innocence of Objects
  • GLEN ADAMSON – Writing, Fewer, Better Things
  • PETER ZUMTHOR – Architecture and Theory
  • JUHANI PALLASMAA – Writing and Theory
  • TADAO ANDO – Design Process
  • ATELIER BOW-BOW – Architecture + Graphics
  • LAB-LAB FOR ARCHITECTURE – Theory + Graphics

Schedule Mondays 12:00-15:00 and Thursdays 18:15-21:15

Contact Handbook

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