J. Carrasco, C. Marcos, A. Allepuz

Universidad de Alicante (SPAIN)
As part of the know hows in First year of Architecture of the new degree adapted to Bologna Process (in spring of 2011) in Alicante School of Architecture, students have chosen one of Rem Koolhaas houses (Dall’Ava, Dutch, Nexus and Burdeos) and have started some graphic investigations producing new drawings, partly based in Bruce Mau communication strategies.
One of the context starting point for this year is that there is a tight and narrow relation between Koolhaas’ desing process for his set of houses and the communication strategies in SMLXL book of Bruce Mau, his graphic designer. Each composition, each reconfiguration of data, the order in a sequence, the tone or color chosen, etc. has emotional and social implications, that can be learned and reused by students.

Students have chosen a theoretical background from which they have started to develop a new graphic narrative, beginning with vectorial and raster graphics and finishing with video compositions, in any way that could explain any synergetic or controversial character of the original house.
The set of three practices related to the same Koolhaas house means a progressive recognition of complexity in narrative for architecture, starting with orthogonal and frontal views (with specific software for each one); going through axonometric drawings (in which different conditions of transparency, hierarchy and deployment are tested); and finally arriving to free compositions in video software, depending on the chosen narrative.

Each week, teachers have implemented some technical abilities adapted to precise learning time (four presential hours and six non-presential hours each week, which is one of Bologna goals) practicing, for example, the differences between space for graphical construction and space for layout; or practicing some design strategies (like layering of information, the mixture of hand diagrams and complex digital drawings, the transparency and opacity of layering, the combination of micro and macro contents, chromatism possibilities, etc.); finishing with the transfer of static procedures towards dynamic goals (like the use of slides or frames; the partition of video frame to combine drawings and images, etc.) arriving, in a sense, to incorporate time, change, evolution or any other temporality description.

Some of the results reveal, at different levels of complexity, a reconstruction more than a representation (in fact, students need to de-construct the information in order to make new interpretations); a emphasis about the relation between the domesticity and the public; the relation between the subjectivity of the owner and the landscape; the relation between Koolhaas' recurrent thoughts and bi-nuclear program of the houses, etc, to finally achieve some degree of emotional and physiological description of the context.