The symposium, INSIDE dialogues.

The symposium, INSIDE Dialogues, started in a warm atmosphere after a lunch, in a large room of KABK filled with copies of ancient ruins. It was quite an odd setting where one comes from Egypt another from Greek, but then it somehow reflected the study consists of three discrete studios with each distinct approach. Structured in three parts, each part of the symposium started with a short introduction of each studio's theme followed by a guest's lecture. 

After Hans Venhuizen's introduction, Jan Jongert started the first part, presenting the idea of "flows" with a number of examples. He explained how design process can be started by an analysis of our surroundings in terms of flows and then developed in direction of improving those flows. Kyong Park then introduced APAP(Anyang Public Art Project, Korea) which he directed in 2010. He challenged this city-sponsored program aimed at re-branding of the city, asking artists to focus on intervening existing lives of people there rather than making art objects. If we view the project in terms of flows, we find that the project was focused on a rather unmeasurable layer beyond flows, which, I personally think, raised a valuable question on the inevitably abstract nature of the approach through flows.

A study of flows, 2012Architects

Raumlabor's project in APAP 2010

In the second part, Kristian Koreman(ZUS) talked on their wider perspective on "interior", so to speak, urban interior. With ever increasing control permeating every parts of our lives, the boundary between public and private spaces became blurred, challenging the conventional notion of "interior". His studio will focus on large-scale public interiors of terminals, imagining the network of terminals connected by Highspeed Train as one city. Such imagination became more convincing as Mark Pimlott talked on his study of the Underground City of Montreal, Canada, a huge physical underground infrastructure spreaded over 30km connecting stations, offices, shopping malls.

Interior of Schiphol Airport

Underground City of Montreal, Canada [image courtesy of]

The third part was more of an open discussion on "chance". Anne Holtrop introduced how chance can be embraced into architecture with a number of examples from fine arts and design. Bertjan Pot, a dutch industrial designer, argued his approach, which Anne Holtrop saw as focused on chance, was not about allowing chances but more about being led by process. The discussion continued on if the examples were about allowing chances or about degree of control, then even further on whether a chance can even exist. Although the discussion couldn't be continued because of the time limit, I think the questions should be continued and examined in the studio accompanied with more refined, shared definition of the term, chance.

A given example of chance, 3 Standard Stoppages by Marcel Duchamp

As the symposium was a departure, not an arrival, all other presented ideas will be also experimented and transformed in the studios throughout a year. And no doubt this blog will be a site for sharing its process which I am looking forward to taking part of.

*More information of the symposium and guests can be found on the website.

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