Posted on 13 Nov '17 in Movement

Preliminary Experimental Setups

Videostills from different experimental compositions in the courtyard of Sint-Lucas (KU Leuven, Faculty of Architecture)

The aim of these preliminary set-ups was mainly to comprehend what the impact could be from temporal spatial interventions on the body movement of passengers. Two white blocks with following measurements 40 x 40 x 105 cm were used to make three different compositions. We observed if there was a noticeable difference in the quality of the movement between the three compositions.

A Choreographers Handbook (Burrows 2010) formed the basis to take our role as a choreographer, since we do not have any skills in making choreographies. The book exists of a range of terms which are related to the craft of choreography. Burrows (2011) explains in the beginning of his book that he has no experience in writing books, since he is a choreographer and performer. Therefore he wrote the book as how he would make a choreography. In this sense his book also is an interesting example of how we can transform from the role of an architects to the role of a choreographer. One of the concepts he describes is “habit”. He explains how choreographers have some habits whereby they tend to lose the meaning of certain movements. He argues that the only way to handle these habits, is through consciously breaking them. This argument also makes sense for designing movement with the aid of spatial elements. Therefore we broke up our habitual architectural design process. We no longer started from measuring the existing space, neither sketching nor drawing. To design movement it is essential to well-understand the already existing human movement that occurs in a specific place, in this case the courtyard of the school. The process of understanding started by consciously walking through the space and by recording the already existing movements, which serves as a baseline to compare with. The above described actions are the concrete experience where we refer to in the experiential learning model. They lead to a first reflection, which was the trigger for a first range of interventions. We noticed that people mainly walked parallel with the wall and rarely used the right door (see figure).

Architects usually make sketches of their first ideas, our first set-ups could be interpreted as preliminary concept sketches in which we attempt to break with the current moving pattern and observe how an interesting dynamic and quality in the movement can be generated.

Burrows, J. (2010). A Choreographer’s Handbook (1 edition). Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon ; New York: Routledge.