Intermediate Unit 2 - Crafted Narratives
Takero Shimazaki, Ana Araujo

‘Indeed, Hypnerotomachia is the first narrative articulation of architectural practice at the very inception of the modern age.
It already expounds a poetic vision that sets a temporal boundary to the experience of architecture, showing that architecture is not only about form and space but about time, about the presence of man on earth.’
– Alberto Pérez-Gómez, Polyphilo or the Dark Forest Revisited
Taking the book Hypnerotomachia Poliphili as our starting point and inspiration, Intermediate 2 addresses architecture as a bespoke, yet highly adaptable backdrop for human living. This approach contrasts with other post-Renaissance prevailing currents, which tend to regard architecture either as an instrumental practice (functionalism) or a formal one (formalism).

Our aim in Intermediate 2 is to provide a fertile setting for the production of poetic and humane architectures. The unit is committed to modes of making that are corporeal rather than purely visual. Such processes relate to craft-based techniques such as weaving, pottery and carpentry as well as traditional forms of printing.

Having started the year with a workshop that instructed the students in the techniques of woodcutting and wood printing, the resulting projects explored other crafts such as line drawing, photography, puppetry, gardening and ‘light chiselling’. These provide the background for narratives that address the complex living conditions in London, ranging from a scheme that proposes an accommodation for a nurse inside a family house in the wealthy neighbourhood of South Kensington to a running track that cuts across private properties in West London.