Play with the Rules

Architectonics: The Infancy of Architectural Discourse

Fall Conference Proceedings

Author(s): Shantanu Bhalla

The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture’s Architectonicsstudio, the very first course in the school’s curriculum,presents a curious threshold between non-architect andarchitect, to address the fundamentals of creati ve inventi on.Unpacking the pedagogical archive, maintained rigorouslyby the school, reveals, from a body of studio exercises andwork, holistic and critical methods to access spatial ideas,elements and tools that employ a culture of play as “thefirst steps” towards a professional educati on in architecture.This research calls into analysis the Architectonics studioinstructed by Elizabeth Diller, from 1983 to 1985, whichembodies a stage of infancy, within the pedagogy of theschool, by creati vely playing with—bending and extending—established “rules” of the discipline. Using the Englishpsychoanalyst D.W. Winnicott ’s concepts in Playing andReality as a lens, this research re-establishes the need for aninfantile place of play, or, “potential space,” in contemporaryprofessional architectural educati on curricula, to holisticallyaccess new material processes, technologies and tools.

Volume Editors
Jasmine Benyamin, Kyle Reynolds, Mo Zell, Nikole Bouchard & Whitney Moon