ARCH 4101/4102/5101/5116/7113
Universum Carrousel Journey: Re-Practice Prac-Teach: A Method Making Meaning Meandering

Sections of three post-modern houses side by side

Vanna Venturi House/Robert Venturi, Maison Solaire/Patrice Mottini, House Asama/Atelier Bow-Wow

  • Instructor: Jan De Vylder, Kana Arioka
  • Time: M, W, F 12:20–4:25 p.m.
  • Location: TBA
  • Credits: 6


Universum Carrousel Journey (UCJ) is the subtitle of the chair run at the Institute für Entwurf und Architektur by Jan De Vylder at ETH Zurich in the Department of Architecture. At the same time, it is the subtitle for the recently founded practice by Jan De Vylder and Inge Vinck, architecten jan de vylder inge vinck (A JDVIV). UCJ: Universum as a world to be created and lived; carrousel as ever-ongoing and revolving; journey as an exploration and discovery. Those three words together set out a mental space in which A JDVIV / UCJ love to dance around.

Re-practice and prac-teach underline the idea of teach-ing and re-search from a practice-based perspective, a perspective that is about making and meaning, about realizing and reflecting, about meandering between the making and the meaning. But also between worlds — finding other universes — and ideas — ongoing and revolving — and cultures — the journey in between.

Making Meaning Meandering

The studio is organized into two movements. In the first movement, the studio will study five different exemplary houses through three different cultures — America, Japan, and Europe. For each culture, there are five houses, and each time one house will be about 'architecture history,' one about 'local history or tradition,' one situated in '20th-century history,' one 'nowadays history,' and one of a 'nondefined quality.' The study will happen by section drawings and detail scaled models. This study is the first movement of the semester. The aim is to understand the relation between the making — construction, material and detail — and the meaning — context, culture, and tradition. In the second movement, the studio will design for each other house two neighboring houses — of course, each time based on the ideas of the other cultures: For example, next to the American exemplary house, two new houses but based on the European and Japanese understandings built up in the first movement. Drawing and modeling are once again key.

Epilogue: Periphery

The studio embraces the drawing. Making handmade drawings is part of the ambition. Making large-scale, paper models is the other ambition of the studio — debating by drawing and modeling, modeling and drawing as a process. A field trip to Belgium/Japan is foreseen.


Jan De Vylder will be in Ithaca for several four-day visits on the following dates and teach on Friday and Monday: January 24–27; March 13–16; April 17–20; May 6–8. Jan De Vylder will also participate in the 10-day field trips on February 11–21; Tokyo, Japan, and Flanders, Belgium.

Kana Arioka will collaborate in the studio on a full-time basis in Ithaca, guide the seminar, and organize the field trips. Ghost-guest will guide in the frame of the studio a ghost-exercise and will be held from March 23 to March 27.

View a PDF of this class description.


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