Diploma 9 - iContext
Natasha Sandmeier


We built our contexts this year much in the same way that the wunderkammers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were formed. We collected objects, characters, histories and artefacts, inserting them within our rooms to form individual architectural microcosms – personal theatres through which to enact and enable our spaces. On the following pages you see the kontextkammers formed by each of the students of Diploma 9 as they negotiated and manipulated relationships between various pieces from these imaginary worlds, constantly shaping and designing their context as much as the architectural project within. 

Context is the interwoven set of relationships tying a building to its time, culture and site. It is the collection of stories (which in our worlds are sometimes fact and sometimes fiction) from a place, its makers and its history that enable us to construct a new form of architectural project.

Manijeh defines a world within her library of books by designing, reading and presenting a project entirely through its various monograph forms. Elena sets her world inside a vertical Olympic city, stacking sport and urban life to question the construct of the community as a defining aspect of the city. Kim searches for an original in a sea of Miesian copies, while Carlos inverts Mies’s plinth into a golden public trench generating a new ground and urban centre for Stevenage’s New Town. Hannah mediates the murderous battleground between the Looshaus and the Hofburg Palace, rewriting the story of Michaelerplatz along the way. Shaelena searches for a way out of a space defined by its fragments – the bits and pieces of architecture and story. Saki collects and choreographs theatrical spaces throughout London while Ben tries to resolve social injustice through a mediating series of spaces, materials and actions. Naoki uses both time-travel and the frame to reread the tourist space of the city. And Katerina develops a space machine to unfold the histories, corners and spaces of Venice, challenging the visitor to experience the city through ceremony and reconstructed perspective.