from an idea by 2A+P/A and Syracuse University London, with contributions by Microcities, Fala Atelier and TSPA
Interior Tales is a research developed at Syracuse University School of Architecture, London Programme, in spring 2015. The research has at its core a fundamental questioning of the instruments with which the contemporary city is produced – as, arguably, architecture is not anymore its protagonist. Perhaps, the only possible project for the urban form of today does not lie in buildings, but rather in the interior space – in the ‘system of objects’ with the narratives and the subjectivity that it generates.
As Andrea Branzi affirms, “the factories have been abandoned and the office spaces emptied; campuses and schools are occupying industrial areas; historical buildings are transformed into banks and data centres; warehouses are now design studios, fashion ateliers, shopping centres, housing or movie sets; office spaces are converted in art galleries or hotels; parking buildings transformed into recording studios, basements in research centres. We work at home and live in the office.”
A metabolic process is operating in the city, manipulating and giving form to our own way of dwelling in space before shaping space itself. In such a condition, it is crucial to challenge and rethink the grand modernist project of housing and imagine radical alternatives to the ways in which architects can intervene in the city.
Calling a number of experimental practices from across Europe to contribute to the research, the curators Francisco Sanin (head of the program) and Davide Sacconi sought to explore the theme of the interior and its narratives with a design experiment, and a series of critical interventions. The design experiment, developed by students led by Rome-based architects 2A+P/A, explored with the students the spatial imaginary of eight films, seeking to take a narrative medium and translate it into a format that is traditional to the depiction of architectural interiors, the perspective section. On the other hand, four visual essays by FALA Atelier, Microcities, 2A+P/A and TSPA explore the opposite method, unravelling the social and narrative implications of a selected number of architectural images linked to the idea of dwelling beyond the project of housing. The result is a reflection on the interior, its mythologies, and its antagonistic relationship with the city at large in which narrative is considered as the most primitive act of design, and design offers itself to the possibility to be interpreted as a form of political narrative.