Sunil Bald, Assoc. Prof.r Adjunct, Yale School of Architecture / Partner, Studio SUMO

I am a big proponent of the utility of narrative in architectural education. But this is not the same as master narrative or architectural lineage. Narrative is a tool to communicate with oneself as much as others in a design process. It is an expression of intent, whether spoken or unspoken, whether conceptualizing an object or reacting to an object. That said, narrative can be malleable, discursive as well as pointed. Narrative can be a part of productive act of play that finds invention within constraint, utility within whimsy. As such, narrative can embrace multiplicity. Alternatively, I am suspicious of ‘essence’ that connotes purity and singularity. While ’essence’ can seem to project aesthetic freedom, unbounded by words, and ‘narrative’ is often purported to be a didactic act, one can argue it is actually the other way around.