Discover the interconnections of architecture.
Architecture is moving, architecture is progressing, architecture is dancing, architecture is feeling.
The ‘Performance Architecture School’ is an exciting learning journey which combines architecture art, cinematography and performance . Their aim is to inspire, broaden and challenge the possibilities of spatial representation and design. The participants are invited to work on ways of designing that use the body as an instrument of thinking, sensing, drawing and sculpting space. The ‘Performance Architecture School’ is designed to give an alternative, critical view to the study, use and production of space on both urban and architectural scales.
Architecture, a dynamic discipline
Architecture has for long been considered a static discipline. The course focuses on applying the toolbox of performance in architectural thinking, to the production of spatial actions and bodily geometries in space. This is an incredible opportunity for the participants who want to learn new skills, emerge to an urban cultural landscape, be part of an interdisciplinary and international team, and diversify their project portfolios. Whether applying for University or for work, this alternative angle will help you stand out. The course offers an unconventional introduction to architecture under a performative approach in time and space.
Play with the city; be curious, be caring, be resourceful
Whether online or physically we invite the participants to consider their location as a resource. The city is a terrain for action and inspiration. We observe, sense and re-imagine the possibilities of our environment and act upon them in a creative and dynamic way. The urban space is a complex amalgam of culture, politics, commercial powers and constant social interactions; it is the collision of history and the present, the expression of all things human, the diversion from nature with the problems this entails. We think and discuss about our complicated surroundings bringing focus to our human nature and our physical meeting with space. We learn from the city and stay aware of its public role. One of the main purposes of this course is claiming the public space creating a set of visionary actions ;in times where the notion of public is challenged due to the spatiotemporal conditions specific to the coronavirus pandemic
As an international course, we aim to create a world map that will stand as a palimpsest of creative works / performance architecture acupunctures having occurred during times of controversy.
Who is it for?
We aim to create an interdisciplinary group and approach in understanding space. Our participants come from a variety of disciplines including dance, architecture, visual arts, performance art, acting, cinema, moving image, dramaturgy, game design, photography, graphic design, interior design and literature.
The course will be taught in English.
Toolbox; Course Methodologies & References
‘Performance Architecture’ is designed to enable participants to extend their spatial awareness, exercise critical thinking and enhance their portfolio with an alternative approach. The tuition is primarily focusing on the active engagement of the participants and hands on project based work. This is achieved with a mixed programme of lectures, physical (body and mind) workshops, study visits to various sites, individual and collaborative work, presentations and peer reviews that include both performance and spatial learning.
We will be working with image composition methodologies, movement improvisation exercises, site specific practices to challenge our bodies as a response to a selected site. We will be touching upon the theories of the ‘Dérive’, the ‘Space of Flows’, ‘Performativity’, the ‘Expanding Theatre’, the ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’, ‘Laban Movement Analysis’, et.c. in order to incorporate the everyday life in Athens’ dynamic urban landscape into a performative piece of work. In the core teachings of this course, we celebrate the idea that the whole world can be seen as a stage -Theatrum Mundi- where borders between performance and real life are blurred.
Study areas will include:
- Theory; Architecture, Urbanism, Site-Specific Art, Performance Art; discussions on key works, concepts & methods.
- Space-movement exercises; Activating senses and the embodied spatial awareness.
- Introduction to composing / ‘shaping a concept’
- Using the body as a tool to understand, measure and design the space
- Observations; rhythmic motives within our bodies, within the city, choreographing the city, ‘directing’ everyday life
- Sketching with movement and embodying the sketch
- Identification of key architectural elements and their socio political affiliations through the use of performance art; scale, thresholds, viewpoints, trajectories
- Understanding how we can radicalize action and transform it into a design thinking
What is Performance Architecture?
‘The intersection of the body, space and thought to interrogate dominant systems of power’.
Claire, 39, Melbourne, Australia- Participant of the online summer course 2020
‘The body in space with purpose’.
Mariana, 28, Porto, Portugal - Participant of the online summer course 2020
‘Understanding and questioning space through our experience of our body in time’.
Miranda, 35, Reading, UK - Participant of the online summer course 2020
‘For me, performance architecture, it's a connection of architecture with humans and everything that surrounds us’.
Mariya, 24, Lviv, Ukraine - Participant of the online summer course 2020
Performance Architecture is an innovative direction of the architectural discipline originating as a term since 2006. It focuses on the sensorial and experiential elements of space and applies the interaction of space and bodies as a methodology for designing. Classes of ‘Performance Architecture’ have recently been incorporated in the curriculum of prestigious architectural colleges, such as the Architectural Association and the UCL Bartlett schools in London, UK.
This pathway of architecture deviates from the traditional role of a master architect who produces sculptural objects for a neutral user, and instead engages emotionally as well as cognitively with a participatory, dynamic improvisation between active individuals (a community) with the surrounding environment (space, community). The role of the architect is that of the storyteller, using the vocabulary of people’s actions; The human body is seen as a drawing, thinking, making, sculpting and cognitive tool, producing notational sketches in the duration of space; Space is considered as an extension of our bodies and our bodies as an extension of space. In both small and large scale, from a room to the city, humans are shaping their environment and are being shaped by it.
Engaging with the city
The urban space is a vast terrain for inspiration and action. We will be introducing the compositional approach ‘Site-Specific Outdoor’ where the space constitutes the prima material of the work and the concept derives from an interactive dialogue with the site, allowing it to form its content, research and evolution. Engaging with the city and performance, we will expand our thinking bodies in the urban landscape and merge with the mundane and exciting everyday life.
Building your portfolio
The participants will be benefited in building or improving their portfolio and their body of work. Upon completion of the course the participants will have produced exciting and fresh performance architecture works presented together in a form of a complete portfolio highlighting a strong and unique interdisciplinary thinking.
Learn new skills and avant-garde design methods
The participants will enrich their design vocabulary with new gestures and methods, will gain an out of the box understanding of the relationship between body and space and learn how to practically use this relationship in order to develop creative projects.
Learn how to curate and present your work
Outcomes and research materials produced within the course will be presented at the end of the course. Through project reviews and project presentation participants will form a critical stance to their personal and their group work, and critically review the effectiveness and appropriateness of their chosen performative methods and results. The participants will learn how to have a critical and contextual awareness of different perspectives and approaches within their subjects of study or work, and how to effectively present themselves and their work to appropriate audiences. Participants with fully completed attendance will be provided with a Certificate of Participation from the Viral Institute of Performance Architecture (VIPA).
The Online School runs in weekends for 3hrs each day. The participants are expected to produce work on their own and in collaboration with their online classmates.
We ask participants to engage with their individual context taking under consideration their diverse locations. The boundaries and possibilities allowed are explored within the constantly changing environment.This is particularly exciting as the notions of public and private are maleable and shifting worldwide.
Exploring the interior of one’s home and the outdoor environment of a city through the physicality of the body opens our thinking about both interior and exterior architecture, highlighting the qualitative differences and similarities.
At the end of the course the participants present to the class and to external Critics their individual projects. This helps the participants to understand the outcome of their experience during the course and identify ways of developing and enhancing their personal practice.
Chrisa, 34, Vaughan, CanadIt was such a wonderful experience a breather in all this covid craziness!
Miranda, 35, Reading, UK
It was a really nice opportunity to learn and think beyond my normal frames of reference. I really enjoyed the energy, enthusiasm and commitment from the three course leaders :) and I also really enjoyed the breadth of experience amongst the participants. I got a sense that all the participants were also really committed which I think is quite unusual over such a wide span of age and experience. Thank you for your imagination and commitment in sharing your knowledge and experience throughout the course! I hope to continue these trains of thought in other ways!
Weijie, 29, Beijing, China Many thanks to all of you for the great learning experience and astonishing lectures. Hope will have other opportunities to work with you in the future.
Victoria, 37, London, UK I wanted to express my appreciation for a brilliantly organized and inciteful course- really, I took SO much away from this!
Mijke, 22, Zwolle, NederlandsIt was really inspiring to do these different kinds of exercises that I haven't done before. In every exercise I have explored a new way of looking at space and also about how to 'represent' my ideas. I've also written down a thousand examples from the theory which are very cool (this will also definitely help me with writing my thesis next year). It was interesting to see and hear what the others had created in the breakout room and to get some valuable feedback from you [and] from the crits.
Jon, 42, Kent, UK
Such an inspiring and informative course. It brough together so many interests of mine and will inform my practice across multiple fields forever.
Claire, 39, Melbourne, Australia
A stimulating 4 week program. I’ve really enjoyed the lectures, and the tasks/activities, and I’m sad that it’s over! The program has helped my research enormously, and as I said in the crit, has pushed me to loosen up in my art practice which is only a good thing. You’ve all been incredibly generous with your ideas and feedback, it’s been a pleasure meeting you. I loved it! It was very invigorating and interesting. :)
Mariana, 28, Porto, Portugal I felt like I needed a workshop like this to move me out of my comfort zone. I get ideas during my research that involves performance, but I felt shy and blocked by it. I have a long way to go, but I'm glad I have started.
The Athens school takes place in the summer. It runs daily, during 5 days in a week. Participants are expected to produce work individually and in collaboration.
The rich cultural, social and political background of Athens and the history of performance of the city provides endless inspiration, ground for study and opportunities for creativity. The museums, archaeological spaces, art institutions, avant garde groups and vibrant public spaces form a key part of the school's programme and inform the learning experience. Participants will benefit by creating works that truly engage with the complex and rich city resources combining both intelligence and inter-disciplinary thinking.
At the end of the course the participants set up a public exhibition of their individual projects and present to the class and to external Critics. This helps the participants to understand the outcome of their experience during the course and identify ways of developing and enhancing their personal practice.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic current global legislations are constantly changing. We will be updating our website about upcoming dates for the Athens School when this will seem possible. Please visit our website or subscribe to our newsletter for any updates.