FRITH Stephen & BELL Eugenie Keefer

Analogical Inquiry in First Year Architecture Studios


Strategies in first year architecture studios at the University of Canberra are intended to encourage development of intellectual horizons on which increasingly complex inquiry and practice can build. Students in first semester are introduced to the language of western architecture through its origins in ancient Greek and Roman literature, especially in rhetorical manuals. ‘Dialectics’ is introduced in the idea of a ‘conversation’ between the student/architect and his/her work, as a kind of ‘uncovering’ or ‘revealing’ through which the design may emerge. Studio projects establish as primary themes the notions of translation, especially of emblem or symbol, and of interpretation. In second semester, architecture is located in the study of ‘type,’ especially of the house and its foundational theme of ‘returning to origins,’ of inhabitation, and of anamnesis, or recovery from memory into a contemporary context and setting. These projects aim to develop awareness that architecture and the language in which it is situated have histories and precedents worthy of attention, and that analogical thought is inextricably linked to the making of architecture.

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FRITH Stephen & BELL Eugenie Keefer:

Dr Eugenie Keefer Bell is Acting Head of Architecture at the University of Canberra and director of first year architecture. Her research concerns the history, theory and practice of architecture, crafts and design.

Professor Stephen Frith is Head of the Department of Architecture at the University of Canberra. On sabbatical in 2005, he is researching connections between rhetoric and architecture.