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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.

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