Visiting School

Musée des Arts Décoratifs
21–31 March 2011

The aim of the workshop was the exploration of novel approaches to fashion and architecture. The fashion scene today has become an ensemble of different groups, a complex terrain of architectural identities, scenery and performance – a dynamic field where avant-garde ideas incubate. To capture some sense of this complexity, our target was the merging of disciplines to understand design and fabrication as complementary features of a unique, non-linear generative process.

Students gained new intellectual and practical skills to approach a radical change in the design practice. This involved defining strategies and processes of development, rather than final outcomes as the expression of preconceived ideas. Students worked in teams and developed individual projects while testing their ideas within the group. An interdisciplinary attitude was crucial to the success. For this reason, the workshop developed a twofold laboratoire: a computational investigation lab and a physical investigation lab, whose agendas are closely intertwined.

The computational lab explored digital-based investigations, with students engaging with generative and evolutionary design strategies in architecture. The physical lab was led by experts in the field of data-driven fabrication processes, focused on the study of physical performance and manufacturing. Implemented through design-oriented studies in ‘file to factory’ strategies and CNC methods, the goal was the production of medium-scale, large-scale and 1:1-scale prototypes whose physical features are catalysts of an integral design approach.

Director                                                                     Jorge Ayala was born in Mexico City and is the founder of [Ay]A Studio, an international studio operating from Paris and committed to cutting edge research and experimentation across scales. [Ay]A engages the field of design, architecture and landscape urbanism in both academic and professional praxis. He also leads the Landscape Urbanism Unit at the ESA Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris.