In reference to some of our recent talks on the significance and influence that buildings and space on how people behave and work. Through Matthew Cornford’s talk I have become increasingly interested in how the concept of the ‘art school’ as a place that can exist as a physical building or site in which things ‘happen’ in OR as a concept or set of rules, an ethos or group of people that share a creative practice. During my thinking I came across a blogpost I wrote back in 2014 in which I researched some of the above and found the example of the school below;
Nobody asked you to do nothing /a potential school
Report prepared in November 2007
At Columbia University, School of the Arts, Graduate studio program.
Things will be out of sync. There will be a large sauna. The edge will be perceived from the inside and outside simultaneously. The idea of boundary pushing will remain. There will be lots more bicycles. Some surprising things will be free. There will be more difference. There will still be a studio problem. There will be big sheds. There will still be a sense that one is forced to find an activity. Delusion will remain. The question will remain, what kind of space are we in? …There will remain a focus upon the idea of students choice. This will remain an incomplete project. There will be many places to sleep. There will be showers on demand. There will be the possibility of collective action. There may well be citizen artists. There will be a free, or progressive tuition scale (increasing expense with duration of attendance). There will definitely be massages from trusted people…. There will be a sense that there is less structure. …Some things will be more mobile. Some people will be more migratory. Some effects will remain local… Some structures will be disintegrated. There will be fewer clear representations of power within the hierarchy of the place. There will be no possibility of an architecture that clearly expresses relationships. … There will still have to be a building. …In the manner of pre-schools there will be reading lofts and soft places to rest. …Incomprehensible wealth will circle the school. There will be no equilibrium…Who is them will remain a reasonable question…There will be a reduction of appropriateness. There will be an increase in duration. Some will explore the potential of every possible resource. There will be large scale 3-dimensional printers, and scanners. Full time computer programmers will be available at all times. Student status will remain unclear. There will be even more examination of the idea of the university as a concept. An increasing attempt will be made to ensure an infection of disciplines by those who attend the school. Concrete, wood and water will be combined in most of the buildings and structures. Large terraces will be covered in plants. The structure will be located near the ocean. Composting will be used as a method of production. …There will be a permanent thesis show. A cumulative thesis shows will continue forever with work being added every year. There will be a frustrated desire for consistent knowledge from the beginning of the year. There will be an encouragement of non-directed energy. Attempts will be made to create lots of seemingly arbitrary rules. There will be internal openness combined with public reticence. Friendly qualities will endure. Viewing ports will be suggested but the idea that they are cut into studio walls will be rejected. There will be a well-loved swimming pool. There will be an abandoned climbing wall. Water will become the most popular meeting place. …The studio will be a location of desire but some people will fight against this. Some people will dream of the creation of an honest nostalgia. There will be many spaces that produce incomprehension. Role playing will be discouraged. Repetition will be impossible. Someone will always doing something every day. There will be designated moments when you are there on your own, and you know it. Clear times when you alone are allowed in the building. There will develop the option of manual labour, students can clean the windows, dig drainage ditches and package chewing gum. A big experimental Greenhouse will be donated to the place by an anonymous benefactor. Animals will roam free and cause problems from time to time…Confrontation with past desires will be accepted as a normal part of life. New relationships with service will produce a new understanding of obligations. There will be places to jump around and wrestle. 4-dimensional studies will become a well-loved fable from the past. Personal relationships will multiply. Claustrophobia will not exist. Gaps in between shallowness and repetition will expand and fill the world with a whole new kind of artistic production. Teachers working alongside the students will forget to teach. Ghost towns will proliferate. Students choosing staff choosing students choosing staff will replace each other in perpetuity. Lectures in foreign languages with no translation will become the most popular event of the week. The institution will declare its politics and people will wait for the statements with eager anticipation. Statements of position in the society will be greeted with warm condescension. Collectivity as an assumption will no longer need to be questioned. Social status and hierarchy within the culture will no longer have any effect on what is produced but will still be understood. No mission statements will exist outside the ancient archives of the place. A description of what’s what will start each morning. Starting again every two years will mean that there is no them and us. No overlaps will be accepted. Keep asking what is collectivity even if nobody cares and you will be thrown out. Once accepted, you will stay, for a long time, but the faculty will change every year. Beta-testing rights for all things will become the norm. A strong graphic sensibility for all outside communication will become standard practice. Who is responsible will be the question of the day. Set something in motion will never be just for its own sake. The observation deck will be broad and wide and show a vast panorama. Planning will be a necessity. Populism will be excused. Good cases and bad cases will create a new language. Cultural importation will increase. Dispersal will endure. Open access will be the cause of many arguments… There will be no institutional furniture. Custom built databases and permanent data managers will be as common as their absence today. Drinks trolleys will be everywhere and regularly get restocked. Leakage will remain a problem. Speed of production will cause arguments. Suspended judgement will no longer be a defence. Interest from others will be the source of contentment. Continuing regardless will be viewed as a crime…Democracy and non-democracy of space will considered at the start of each year. Abuse of space will be encouraged. Uniforms will be optional. It will feel as if unicorns are about to return. There will be lots of different buildings…Orchards will bloom. The potential for growth will be suspended. The department of rhetoric and announcements will hold people at bay. No-one will feel qualified to develop a curriculum. Secondary production techniques will be encouraged. Large roaring fires will frame places of thought. An infinite number of departments will be established to represent the diverse interests of the place. A place to play music will be maintained and well loved. No painting will take place, but not because anyone prevents it….Instant mythology will flourish. The question of when should things finish will become a distant memory? An extensive program of field trips and events will take place before anyone gets up. Traces of these journeys will remain in the stories of the drivers.