WIRE - Winter School International Research and Education; Art and Architecture is a Lifelong Learning Erasmus Intensive Programme (IP) Project. Encouraging efficient and multinational teaching of specialist topics which might not be taught or experienced at all in the existing curriculum of architectural education, this IP encourages a multinational, multicultural teaching with an interdisciplinary approach. Integration of art and architectural design in an interdisciplinary approach is mostly taught in the basic design studio in the first year of architectural education. If we consider the rest of the architectural education we can see that this topic is mostly neglected or not considered in the curriculum at all. Proposed IP aims to enhance interdisciplinary research and education in architectural design studio and thus it aims to provide a specific studio that will focus on art and architectural design. Such an experience will help students and academics to get involved in an interdisciplinary search both for discovering new design methods and also new presentation methods in architectural studio. Such interdisciplinary experimental design studios support the curriculum of contemporary architectural education in the institutions.
So, the main contribution of IP is the mutual benefit that both students and professors experience of staying in a different cultural, social, and academic environment, fresh input of new approaches and/or renewed interpretations of content and methods regarding architectural education, better understanding of the place of their own school within the international context the improvement of their linguistic skills, cultural and personal enrichment both for students and academics.
It is a fact that architectural design education has become the focus of an extremely complicated set of issues and conscientious debates. Today, neither the standard curricula nor the duration of the education are able to absorb all the miscellaneous aspects transforming the know-how of architectural design education. The objectives of WIRE are to provide the architectural education with complementary activities in relation to the major issues of the architectural agenda and pedagogical practices and shared experiences of architectural design teaching.
Methodology of the IP inhabits teacher training as well. It is believed that the teaching exercises to be taken during the IP will also inspire and contribute to raise the quality of the architectural design studio. Moreover the professional and academic experience gained during this IP project will turn out to be a publication like guide book for the realization of future chains of international workshops.
IP will benefit the innovative and alternative architectural design studio education based on a multinational, multicultural and multidisciplinary project. It will act as a showcase of increased quality based on hands on experience in architectural design education. In architectural education art is significant tool both for understanding design and also representing it. The integration of art and architectural design studio will help the students to experience and develop new design methods and also new presentation techniques.
Mainly the course will be group work. Under an interdisciplinary theme such as art and design, groups will carry out the studio with an emphasis on a related sub-theme choice of their own, with the supervision of the studio conductor(s). Studio conductors will be free to develop and announce their sub-themes related with art and design studio. In order to get benefit from the personal and academic experiences of the conductors, the choice of sub-theme and topic is left to their decision.
This interdisciplinary theme has chosen as art and design. In relation to major issues on the agenda of architecture, the tools of contemporary art open up many more possible channels to architectural creativity. The theme will be declared to the students in advance. In so doing, students will be provided with authentic/actual contexts. The theme and the program are left to the students to work out, thus exploring the relation between the two fundamentals of architecture; theory and practice. The final products of the specific design studio under the umbrella theme art, can be the design of an art object, an installation related with space, an installation related with the urban landscape, an urban artifact, a video presentation or a movie etc., As it is mentioned in the objectives such an experience will help students and academics to get involved in an interdisciplinary search both for discovering new design methods and also new presentation methods in architectural studio. Materiality of the final product will be decided by the studio conductor due to his/her sub-theme and experiences.
All the material available within the context of IP will be put in the web site a month ahead the IP week. Hence, ensuring that the IP duration will be as efficient as possible.
The studio medium will be fed by lectures, seminars, key notes of studio conductor(s) besides of invited professionals, academics and some governmental representatives if possible. Also this IP proposes daily workshops based on hands on art studio conducted by creative artists from different disciplines and academic backgrounds. It aims to develop experiences on a wide range of art issues such as; visual arts, digital arts; photography, video presentation workshop, film making etc. It aims to enhance innovation in architectural design and education.
Innovation questions the way things are done and requires an argument transcends the mere concerns and competencies of architecture. Innovation requires theory. So, IP aims to organize theoretical lectures on different art issues. In that sense the contribution of IP will be to establish awareness, consciousness and sensitivity in architectural design studio by experiencing hands on art workshops and lectures. To support the innovative character of the studios and workshops, thematic exhibitions, panel discussions and conferences will be organized. In the work program, on the 2nd and 3rd days and on the 7th and 8th days there will be hands-on art & design studios conducted by invited expert artists. These hands on art classes will be short term workshops, realized in the afternoon and end with an exhibition of the related art study at the end of the day. On the 4th and 5th and also on the 6th day there will be lectures on interdisciplinary design issues that will support the theoretical discussions.
Groups will be arranged ensuring the balance in composition. At the end of every studio day groups will have discussion on the findings and evolution of the day. Roving critics will be invited to enrich the discussion medium of the studios. All students will be offered extensive use of computer network enhancing the learning experience.
The direct beneficiaries are firstly 54 students of the partner institutions and 30 students of the coordinating institution and finally 20 students of other schools of architecture in Turkey. They will be credited a 3 ects elective course.
Students that have completed at least two and a half year of undergraduate study, have good marks, are recommended by the contact person of each institution are welcome in the program.
Secondly, 18 teachers from 9 institutions are direct beneficiaries as their costs will be covered and they will get a standard part-time lecture payment for their contribution in teaching in Winter School, WIRE 2013. The lectures are selected based on their field of interest, their academic qualifications, and their documented will of participating in the IP, their communication skills, and their importance as leaders of the students.
Students will earn 3 ects upon completing all the IP requirements, attending the studio hours, attending all lectures and seminars, submitting the final proposal of the design problem, earning a passing mark from the studio conductor, presentation of the design work in the evaluation panel, submitting an evaluation report of IP. The elective course will be available for the partnering institutions students and teachers to attend for three years with the same broader theme and different site each time. This IP offers a basis for a common curriculum development where each of the partnering institutions will offer courses in exchange for IP.
Mainly two group of activities are planned for the implementation period of WIRE 2014, namely educational activities such as lectures, seminars, conferences, technical excursions and architectural design studios and visits of roving critics, and social and cultural activities such as week-end excursions, happy hours, welcoming and farewell parties, dinner parties.
WIRE 2013 was held between 21 January 2013-1 February 2013, at Gazi University, Faculty of Architecture, Ankara, Turkey. The number of participating students as a whole was 118. The number of students coming from partner institutions was 35, the number of students coming from coordinating institution was 62, and students participating from other schools of architecture in Turkey were 21. During the project 7 architectural design studios were conducted by 16 professors from partnering and coordinating Universities. Some of the professors coming from partner institutions stayed a week and then left their places for their colleagues coming from their Universities for the second week. Some of them stayed for the whole two week period in Ankara.
During WIRE 2013 keynotes and lectures were organised to enhance the theoretical and empirical approaches to the topic, to introduce the project site, cityscape, art and installation. Under an interdisciplinary theme that is art and design, groups carried out the studio with an emphasis on a related sub-theme choice of their own, with the supervision of the studio conductor(s). Studio conductors were free to develop and announce their sub-themes related with art and design studio. In order to get benefit from the personal and academic experiences of the conductors, the choice of sub-theme and topic was left to their decision. The groups worked in Ankara, yet the selection of sites was decided by studio conductors. Sites were visited altogether by groups as a part of intensive city tour. During the trip and after, necessary information about Ankara and its urban characteristics, urban dynamics and texture was given as background information. The theme and the program were left to the students to work out, thus exploring the relation between the two fundamentals of architecture; theory and practice. The final products of the specific design studio under the umbrella theme art became installations related with space, and related with the urban landscape. The studio medium was fed by lectures, seminars, key notes of studio conductor(s) besides of invited professionals, and academics. The aim was to develop experiences on a wide range of art issues such as; visual arts, digital arts; photography, video presentation workshop, film making etc. The theoretical lectures organized on different art issues enhanced innovation in architectural design and education. The final projects of the students were evaluated and assessed by their own studio conductor who was inclusively involved in the studio and who was a competent on conducting the design studio. The evaluation and assessment were done within the conceptual framework of the sub-theme and topic of the studio that was proposed by the studio conductor. They gave the final grades and sign the evaluation report.
Finally WIRE 2013 has established awareness, consciousness and sensitivity in architectural design studio by discovering and experiencing new design methods and also new presentation methods in architectural studio. The variety of solutions and projects surpassed expectations. In addition to this high level of contribution all the participants, students and academics get involved in an interdisciplinary search. After the final presentations each group received their participation certificates. On the last day all the participants enjoyed themselves in the closing dinner party. All the final presentations, all the projects of WIRE 2013 were put on the web site of WIRE immediately after the organisation.