31 July 2020

co+labo radović   co+labo students successful@the end of semester design presentations   
For architecture and urban design students Spring semester at Keio Yagami Campus is, to a large degree, dominated by design. In 2020, the significant difference in relation to the pervious years was brought about by the strict measures introduced at Keio in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. All of our teaching and learning activities, including undergraduate and graduate studios, were fully conducted online, pushing everyone involved, students, guest teachers and critics and staff outside their comfort zones and business as usual. And, the results turned out to be quite good.
Undergraduate Design Studios, which are traditionally conducted under the seizu III umbrella, produce informal design graduation projects (to be complemented in Autumn semester with System Design Research Theses). The participating students are entitled to enter annual SD Design Competition, which offers further, external competition opportunities. 
While seizu III assessment covers both the quality of the process (the learning curve of individual students), SD Competition looks exclusively at the quality of the product (design itself). The seizu III Jury consists of studio leaders, chaired by subject coordinator - professors Jorge Almazán, Tatsuya Kishimoto and Darko Radović.
SD Competition Jury consists of two Special Guests, assisted by Seizu III studio leaders. In 2020, Special SD Competition Jury Guests were Professor Davisi Boontharm (Meiji University, co+re) and Sano Satoshi (Eureka, Keio). 
Both co+labo students who took part in SD Copmetition 2O2O have been awarded:
     1st prize Oguri Yurino, for her project “Self-greening architecture: Living in a vertical Roji” (above), and 
     3rd prize Sasaki Reiya, for his “Living in the edge: Life of people oozing on the street” (below).
(The runner up was Okuyama Yukio of Almazán Lab, with her “暮らしにとりこむ Firewall” project).

This year there competition for Masters students has not been held, but in Masters Studio B 2O2O both co+labo's members received the highest marks - Iwata Amami (with her "Re:", above) and Mori Yuki (with "Productive Shirokane", below. They took part in the project which was taught by Keio Architecture's regular guest teachers, Kondo Tetsuo and Chiba Motoo. In 2020, the members of the Jury included Studio Leaders, architects Noemí Gómes Lobo and Yushi Uehara, and Keio professors Almazán, Kishimoto and Radović.

12 July 2020

co+labo radović co+labo guest lectures continue with Davisi's Boontharm talk on research 
Starting from a premise that, in simplest terms, research is about acquiring knowledge, this lecture elaborated how to conduct research in architecture and urban design. In Doing ResearchProfessor Davisi Boontharm covered the key components of every research project: formulation of research questions; doing literature review; choosing and conducting appropriate, qualitative and quantitative, research methods; and the ways to present research results – at undergraduate and graduate levels. And, for co+labo significantly, her particular emphasis was on - how to enjoy doing research!
As Davisi Boontharm is with co+labo since its very foundation, to co+labo members and Keio students she needs no introduction. For the record at this blog it suffices to only remind that is Professor of architecture and urban design at Meiji University, Tokyo, International Program in Architecture and Urban Design. Her international career stretches from France, via Thailand, Singapore and Australia, to Japan. Davisi’s research and teaching are interdisciplinary and cross-cultural, with strong emphasis on environmental and cultural sustainability. Her research interests focus on resource approach to urban requalification and creative milieu. She has published several research books and a number of academic papers. Her passion for cities also finds its expression in creative work, with some of her drawings and paintings exhibited in Italy, Japan, Croatia and Slovenia.


01 July 2020

co+labo radović  research in progress day of Masters and Undergraduate presentations  
Following an intensive series of guest lectures, talks and discussions, this week the turn was for co+labo Masters and Undergraduate students to present the current moment in their own research projects. Amami Iwata, Jumpei Kawamoto (illustration below), Shinichi Nishibori, Hiroki Shigemura (M2), Oguri Yurino and Reiya Sasaki (UG) received comments and guidance from (see above) Professor Davisi Boontharm (Meiji University IAUD and co+re platform), Dr Rafael Balboa (Studio Wasabi and co+labo), Professor Neno Kezić (University of Split), Darko, and co+labo's PhD candidates Sanja Žonja and Sano-san, setting those projects up for the next phase. One of the important nuances which distinguishes 2020 from the eleven previous co+labo@Keio years was provided by Coronavirus pandemics, which questions the ways we used to conduct some important aspects of our work (such as fieldwork, workshops, various collaborative efforts).

21 June 2020

co+labo radović    A Picture Is Worth a 1000 Words - Guest Lecture by Bratislav Gaković     
Special guest in the co+labo 2O2O lecture series, Bratislav Gaković talk decided to deliver his presentation in an unusual format, which was not to be a lecture at all! Announcing his talk, Braca explained: "I have conceived the session as a game. A game with pictures. After a very short introduction I will present you a bunch of images in an attempt to attract your attention. Should some of presented images touch you, and you would like to know more about them – the game is on. If nothing touches you - the game is over. These “trigger” pictures will be on your screens for about 60 seconds (left).
Then, they will disappear. If something intrigued you, just write down a number next to the image and ask me to tell you more about it. My answer will be followed by short explanation with some more images of the same thing - and hopefully, it will give us all the chance to expand the discussion on that theme.
In some distant way this is a continuation of Rafa’s lecture on images. Not quite though. This is totally subjective. There is no objectivity, no detachment in this. No universal knowledge, no universal truths. This is in fact a presentation of some of my work with the addition of a couple of other images. Images that mean something to me. So, these images are me. I am these images. It’s all personal. The presentation will have no references, no citations, no footnotes... All I will be talking about has been amalgamated in my head and I do not know the origins of that ‘knowledge’ any more.  If there is any knowledge in it, that is.

A picture is worth a 1000 words
Does this saying imply that pictures can talk? I think yes. Moreover, they talk to people in their own languages.  Spooky?! It is often said that the first mass communication started with images, long before the written or printed word was used.
I am talking as an architect now:  In our line of work, a picture seems to be worth more than a 1000 words.  Imagery is possibly the most important strategic/tactical weapon we have in our arsenal. We are using it all the time, through the process of designing and constructing a building or whilst conceiving and implementing an urban design plan/concept. At different stages of the process we are using different types of images. We are using them in communication with the clients, the builders, the reps, the planners, in discussions with our colleges...  Mastering the art of presentation (of which the visual presentation is usually a key part), is as important for us as being creative or possessing the necessary technical knowledge."
This was a generous present from a seasoned architect and urbanist to co+labo students of architecture and urban design and regular  contributors. As intended, it was nor followed by a discussion  but it was an (pro)active part of discussion in itself. As such, it fit perfectly into old co+labo practices of favouring indirect over direct (and thus directive) provision of information, provocation and inspiration over information to passively absorb and implement.
As always, co+labo has recorded the talk and several fragments are presented on this blog (above).

While Darko's collaboration with Braca dates back to 1980s Belgrade and the unique environment of CEP, collaboration with co+labo  has started in 2012, the he joined us in the workshop conducted in Manchester in association with Leeds University and Professor Greg Keefe, left). co+labo participants were Darko, Sano-san and now OB Ken Akatsuka, Shinnosuke Hoshikawa, Takaaki Kato and Charles Lemonnier.
In briefest, Bratislav Gaković is a Yugoslav and British architect, with rich international professional experience (1979-1989 in Yugoslavia, 1989-2018 in the UK), with a wide range of projects which included a large number of Urban Development Plans, Master Plans, architectural schemes for clients from former Yugoslavia, and major schemes working with Austin-Smith: Lord, The Open University,  John S Bonnington Partnership,  EGS Design,  Downs Variava and Ian Simpson Architects. Braca has entered more than forty architectural and urban design competitions – and won some twenty awards. His of Non-domestic Building Stock, which started at the Open University in the a990s is now based at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies at University College London.