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Architecture (MA)

ADS5: The Universal Campus


ADS5 explores the spatial qualities of buildings through an intuitive process of enquiry into form and modes of inhabitation. For architecture to preserve its integrity and remain resilient in the context of an uncertain future, we believe the purpose of a building needs to be ‘universal’. This purpose is defined less by predetermined function, than it is by the potential to be appropriated for different uses and desires over time.

We like to work ‘backwards’, designing buildings in Term 1 that are devoid of context and program, then, in Terms 2 & 3, contextualising these buildings in relation to programme and site. The underlying idea is to focus on the architecture itself – to explore and discuss form and spaces without resorting to abstraction, or narrative devices.

This year we worked on the idea of the Universal Campus – a city within the city. The campus has served as a space for dialogue between students, a collaborative virtual model or ‘common ground’. It’s been our platform for working together, apart.

Taking inspiration from the temporality of camping, we speculated on ways of living on campus. We approach the building as a landscape where potential uses are defined through the pragmatic placement of an incremental infrastructure. As temporary occupants, or campers, we bring with us objects. Some have meaning, or represent memory, while others are there simply to fulfil a function, like making coffee, or reading a book. How we position these objects has the potential to alter our perception of architecture.

Image: Spaces of Spillages, Rethinking Jakarta’s High-rise Social Housings by Jessica Tiffany Hindradjaja.