ARCH 4509/6509
Matter

an abstract sculpture resembling waves of cream colored ribbon

Tara Donovan, Untitled (2008), polyester film, altered light.

  • Instructor: Tom McKeogh
  • Time: F 10:10 a.m.–12:05 p.m.
  • Location: 261C East Sibley Hall
  • Credits: 3
  • Territory of Investigation: Architecture and Representation

Focus and Goal

The premise of this intensive seminar is to produce innovative work that is experimental, personal, ambitious, weird, exquisite, and investigative — rather than definitive, preconceived, or referential.

Our seminar is a space of intensely iterative exploration and inquiry into the spatial potential of material. You will think, make, and record with rigor, repetition, and an open-ended determination.

Constraints facilitate productivity. You will navigate matrices of catalytic variables, iteratively negotiating material potential, craft, and effect. The primary output of the seminar will be physical, produced within the precise constraint of a 9" x 9" x 27" volume that explores the following material categories:

  • Concrete
  • Plastic
  • Metal
  • Biomatter
  • Methodology

In 12 weeks, you will craft six material territories, each responding to specific criteria. The first week in every two you will create a new 9" x 9" x 27" material construct. You will then remake, interrogate, refine, and transform your artifacts in new media "landscapes." Critical positions and firmly held personal narratives will emerge informed by your material obsessions.

Our seminar is a platform for intense testing, trial, and exchange. We take critical dialogue seriously. You will perform as both supporter and critic of your seminar colleagues. You will benefit from productive contamination by the best of your peers, infusing your work with greater strategic intelligence.

Our seminar presumes a level of expertise — each participant will bring their previously earned technical capacities and their unique abilities that can be exploited to awaken material innovation.

Students must attend the first class. Bring something physical — made prior to this term — that is the result of your effort and makes you proud, with a back-story that you'd like to share with the group.

View a PDF of this class description.