Advanced Studio, Spring 2012: McCarter

  • Work by Jinfan Chen for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2012.
    Work by Jinfan Chen for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2012.
  • Work by Jinfan Chen for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2012.
    Work by Jinfan Chen for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2012.
  • Work by Sally Shadlun for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2012.
    Work by Sally Shadlun for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2012.
  • Work by Haley O'Brien for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2012.
    Work by Haley O'Brien for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2012.
  • Work by Kirsten Akerman for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2012.
    Work by Kirsten Akerman for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2012.
  • Work by Kirsten Akerman for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2012.
    Work by Kirsten Akerman for advanced studio taught by Robert McCarter, Spring 2012.

Advanced Studio, Spring 2012
A MONTESSORI SCHOOL: Space and Learning in Contemporary Elementary Education

Robert McCarter, Ruth and Norman Moore Professor
Robert Gero, Lecturer in Art

In this comprehensive studio, students engage the design of a small Montessori School. They begin with two projects that are inspired in part by art and architecture critic Adrian Stokes' thoughts on carving. The first project, "Carving the Classroom: Abstract CUBE," is intentionally abstract and requires each student to construct a highly resolved proposal for a single Montessori classroom. The second project, "Etching the Earth: Concrete DATUM," is intentionally concrete and requires each student to evolve a highly resolved spatial proposal, deploying the programmatic elements of the Montessori School to construct a "society of spaces" as an inhabited surface.

Following these initial projects, the site for the school is given and developed over the remainder of the semester. This final project asks students to bring the building design to a high level of resolution. As is appropriate to the "tectonic culture" of modern architecture, students are asked to resolve "the poetics of construction" for their design, developing the materials, construction, and details that shape the interior experience of the school's inhabitants.

This architecture studio works in parallel with a graduate art seminar; the two groups meet at least once a week to pursue a variety of parallel exercises centered on the subject of Montessori education, as well as its precursors and offspring. The collaborative setup introduces students to the "tradition" of architects and artists sharing concepts of space, order, and perception as they work across fields to construct joint pedagogical events and exercises.