PROMPT SCORE ENSEMBLE
Yeoryia Manolopoulou, Thomas Parker
For Unit 17 the connection between architecture and experience not only exists in the relationship
between building and inhabitation but is also played out within the process of design itself. The Latin
word experimentum reminds us that experiment and experience are twinned: to experiment is to
experience through practice.
A provisional score to be expanded towards new variations through individual or collective responses:
Setting Purpose Tempo Expression
Act 1 Studio Identity Briskly Oneness
Act 2 W11 4EY Erasure Interval Closeness
Act 3 Margate Doubt Cyclical Contradiction
Act 4 La Tourette Bricolage Interval Polyphony
Act 5 Thanet Habitation Prolonged Continuity
Minds: The Architect, The Artist, The Critic, The Strategist, The Tactician, The Poet, The User,
The Programmer, The Body, The Ensemble
Ecologies: Of Longing, Of Climate, Of Harmony, Of Scale, Of Migration, Of Economy,
Of Community, Of Atmosphere
Mediation: Human – Machine Relations; Tacit – Digital Media; Time; Cooperation; Ethics; Play
Everything is a Mix. This phrase is a provocation. You may embrace it or resist it.
Economic, social and environmental questions are multiplying and no single governing author,
idea or technology can handle the complex conditions our societies face. Accepting that architecture
is a composing act able to synthesise numerous considerations, we propose to turn its core practice
of design into an embodied action of performance: a performance that requires dialogic imagination
and that can be openly scored, directed and potentially enacted by architects.
Scores aim to describe a process; they are works in themselves but also preparatory pieces
for influencing further work. Time is the essential element of the score, through which relationships
between parts are structured. Open scores allow you to invent and adapt units and relations both
temporally and spatially. Just as a musical score can organise sonic space in time so an
architectural score can structure time, materials and relations in space.
Scoring can unlock new ways of communication, production and inhabitation in the
architectural process, encouraging much needed slippages between tools, ideas, authors and users.
It can mix in unexpected ways times past with times future, and human intuition and skill with other
forms of intelligence. Ensemble means a mix of separate things, actions or people, all forming
together a coordinated and cohesive whole. Through open scoring, we can associate and
disassociate the parts or collaborations of an ensemble to create drawings and buildings that while
they will evoke oneness and inclusivity, they may also be contradictory, malleable and ambiguous.
Unit 17 is an experience-based learning and design environment which fosters equally the
role of autonomy and collaboration in architecture, encouraging its members to produce research,
partnerships and proposals inside and outside the university both as individuals and as groups. You
will adopt different roles: that of the designer and that of the critic, that of the strategist and that of
the poet, that of the collaborator or that of the competitor.
We are inspired by the ethos of Black Mountain College that made little distinction between
teacher and learner, and life and art. Here, in the 1940s and 1950s, architects, artists and
composers—such as Buckminster Fuller, Anni and Josef Albers, John Cage and Merce
Cunningham—developed highly influential individual practices within a non-hierarchical and
experimental learning community. We attempt to find an equivalent form of architectural education
While we will support you to develop individual whole-year projects, we will complement
tutorials with workshops and first-hand experiences through the physical encounter of places,
buildings and artefacts. So far special visits and workshops have been booked: in the four houses of
Walmer Yard, as part of its ‘Architecture and Neuroscience’ program; in Margate and the peninsula
of Thanet; and in La Tourette where we will stay and produce a drawing installation in one of its
magnificent halls, conversing with Xenakis’ and Le Corbusier’s collaborative score making.
We will welcome both Year 5 and Year 4 students.