On the Ground

  2/9 After Thursday’s blizzard prompted Yale College to cancel classes, Students hopefully awaited a similar announcement from YSOA. At 12:54 PM, students received an email from the Dean’s Office, cancelling classes from 12:00 PM. At 12:55PM, most students realized their critics were already in the building, and that they […]

Justin K Lai, Yale School of Architecture, M.Arch I

“Marketing” is a term that all architects love to hate, simply because it rings associations of corporate, mainstream, sellout etc. However, it’s time we changed our perception of this in order to avoid insularity and irrelevancy. I would argue that a narrative is a self-reassuring fable that runs zero risk […]

Kazuyuki Takeda Architects, Tokyo, Japan

When I visited the Angkor ruins, I was at a loss at whether it could be considered architecture. This is because half of it has collapsed and seems to have lost the conventional function of architecture. If a computer is broken, we throw it away. However, we can continue to […]

Jia Weng, Yale School of Architecture, MED

Maybe we can approach the subject of the essence of architecture through a reflection on architects themselves. Is the architect an inventor, an artist, a guru or merely an employee? Should design, as the process of imagination and representation, be understood as work or labor? According to Hannah Arendt, work […]

Mark Yu-Chen Lien, Cornell AAP, M. Arch I

In both the academic realm and real world markets, the application of narratives can be an effective technique to communicate the abstract concepts or intentions of space, forms and organization to the common logic and issues of the world that architecture reacts to. For the design process, narratives are effective […]

Melinda Agron, Yale School of Architecture, M. Arch I + M.B.A.

I actively work against the narrative that has been framed for me. Within the walls of Rudolph a business school student is driven by goals of “power” and “capital,” the antithesis of the loftier goals of Architecture and Design. Those of us who choose to enroll in both schools are […]

Ipek Tureli, Ph.D., Assist. Prof. of Architecture, McGill University

In “The Picture Frame” (1902), Georg Simmel distinguishes the great work of art from applied arts: The products of the latter are utilitarian and do not have the hermetic (“island like”) nature of the work of art; e.g., furniture cannot be a work of art: “The essence of the great […]

Misha Semenov, Yale School of Architecture, MArch I + M.E.M.

There is perhaps no narrative as often faked, abused, and misappropriated as the so-called “green architecture” narrative. We’ve all seen those swooping natural ventilation arrows in architectural sections (99% of which are invented on the spot) and heard presenters proudly announce their projects’ LEED credentials. Part of the reason I […]

Hui Rong Liu, The Cooper Union, B.A.

I believe that the formation of one’s ideology is a retrospective process rather than a constructive one. A student’s  ideology develops from architectural exercises in the form of studio prompts and criticism from the professors who set these frameworks. One can argue that given frameworks are nothing more than starting […]

Neri&Hu Design and Research Office, Shanghai, China

The notion of narrative in architecture is particularly poignant to us and relevant in our practice at the moment. We are often asked about “practicing in China”—what that means to us, and we have always explained that our decision to situate in Shanghai is purposeful; because of how fast it’s […]

Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, Copenhagen, Denmark

The narrative is a very precise part of our architecture at Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects. We work with the narrative as a process of retelling a story or a place, not as a diagram, but as one big common story that we try to tell with one voice and with […]

fala atelier, Porto, Portugal

Passion: It starts with the overriding passion for architecture, with our unhealthy determination to work. We see architecture as a way to engage with the world, always working with a genuine curiosity and sensibility, breaking up with the accepted conventions.   Youth: We are aware of being a young office. […]

Evan Bruetsch, Designer, MADE Design x Build, New York, NY

Humans have always relied on narratives to make sense of the world around them. Narratives offer us ways to imagine new realities and explain the un-explainable and thus have always been important to architecture, a field that exists mostly in a projective state. However, narratives are very seldom a simple […]

Todd Reisz, Daniel Rose Visiting Assist. Prof., Yale School of Architecture

In simple clothes he dressed himself quickly and left: doing just as an actor does who, when the performance is over, changes his attire and departs. “King Demetrius,” C.P. Cavafy Like any woman or man who arrives on the scene, the architect frames it. And like any storyteller, the architect […]

Erin Hyelin Kim, Yale School of Architecture, M.Arch I

Times New Roman, at least in America, is the conventional typeface that is used in academic writing. Most academic writing is formatted the same, implying that the writing is mainly about content, not necessarily visual representation. I’m speculating on any kind of texts that are used in architectural representations (labels, […]

Thomas Phifer and Partners, New York, NY

I seek a balance between an architecture of narrative, experience and pure form. Each new project is an opportunity to explore these three dominant philosophies in our work. We ask in our Yale studio, in what ways can a new space in Marfa interrogate Judd’s original intentions and reclaim an […]

Dua Office, Jakarta, Indonesia

As designers, we feel that we could easily get lost in an excess of facts when constructing a design brief. Data, programs, temperature, etc are vital and important concerns, but we think that we should not write a dry brief. We believe that storytelling, narratives, scenario, are some approaches which […]

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects, New York, NY

We believe that our work must be based on principles and not on form.   “We believe that our work is done in service to others so we try to work for schools, museums, and other non profit institutions. We believe in the importance of experience over object making. We […]

Dhruv Bansal, Developer, Delhi, India

I view architecture as a continuation of a long tradition of mediation between man and his environment. The past is as relevant as the future, and limitations are its most immediate canvas. Each instance is an opportunity to redefine a present belief, adapt a foreign substrate into the present context, […]

Dan Lenander, Associate, Kasian Architecture, Vancouver, BC

Every project has a narrative. There is always an end, middle and beginning, with twists and turns like a detective novel. A narrative frames the way you experience the project. It’s important to bring everyone along on the journey; be inclusive, descriptive and expressive about how this project can be […]

CHAT Architects, Bangkok, Thailand

When I first came back to Thailand after graduating from the GSD, the “framework” through which I viewed architecture was derived from my Western-centric architectural education.  However, the more I tried to design through these preconceived narratives, the more I (and my work) suffered.  This is because the narratives that […]

Urko Sanchez Architects, Nairobi, Kenya + Madrid, Spain

We are deeply committed to environmental stewardship, and for each project, the team considers the cultural roots of the structure, and how the building will be best integrated into its environment: the view, the indigenous materials, and the flow of the surroundings. Hallmarks of Urko Sanchez projects include contemporary twists […]

Alexandra Karlsson Napp, Yale School of Architecture, M.Arch I

First the world was flat, then it was round, now it’s orthogonal, like the IKEA manuals.   You’re a healthy fish in poisoned waters. Swim towards meek goals. Win your weight in debt shot out of a champagne bottle.   Live like a queen, a completely natural progression following lost […]

Shuyi Yin, Yale School of Architecture, M.E.D.

If we define the frame of architecture as columns and beams, then the chosen materials that make up these elements become fundamental to architecture. I believe that materiality is the essence of architecture, for the latter cannot exist without its frame. For instance, we find ourselves awed by the majestic […]

Abel Feleke, University of Western Australia, M.Arch

Design is communication. A medium to convey thoughts, ideas and narratives that hopes to engage with an emotive response from the user. I feel one of the greatest opportunities that exists through architecture is the possibility to interact at both the scale of the individual and community. During my study […]