The Emergent Studio: a paradigm of transcultural architectural design and research

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

110 Downloads (Pure)


The postgraduate Emergent Studio nomenclature was adopted from the writings of Fritjof Capra who identified two models of human organisation; the designed structures that provide governance and order, and the emergent structures that provide creativity, dynamism and represent communities of commonality and shared interests. The Studio is driven by a phenomenological agenda that seeks to explore poetic and tectonic approaches to architecture responsive to the particular context of particular place. Since inception in 2007, the Emergent Studio has translated this ethos to develop design projects that interrogate the potential for students to make design interventions within cultural contexts that are not their own, encouraging a deep immersion in the concept of 18place 19. The Studio is predicated upon collaboration with academics and students from those diverse contexts. We have worked consistently with the University of Aalborg, Denmark and L 19Ecole Nationale d 19Architecture of Morocco. These collaborations not only provide effective conduits into an understanding of place but diverse pedagogic influences that enhance and inform the student experience. We begin in what Norberg-Schulz describes as 18the North 19, a Nordic world imbued with atmospheres that are represented through theoretical writings of Fehn, Norberg-Schulz, Utzon, Aalto Pallasmaa and others. The conjunction of the physical location and the theoretical platform provide students with a deep understanding of the particularities of the Nordic locations we have worked within. We move then to Norberg-Schultz 19s South, Morocco, and students are encouraged to translate their previous learning experience to what is apparently, a distinctly different context. Yet, somehow consistently threads emerge that draw these two diverse locations together. The Paper will, through illustrating student work and the theoretical underpinning, illustrate the value and potential of a trans-cultural paradigm in architectural education.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAAE inaugural conference: proceedings
PublisherAssociation of Architectural Educators UK
ISBN (Print)9780957600911
Publication statusPublished - 2013


Dive into the research topics of 'The Emergent Studio: a paradigm of transcultural architectural design and research'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this