"The Estranged Gaze of Compassion”
The 2023-24 academic year at the Architectural Association Interprofessional Studio (AAIS) marks the culmination of the studio's “identity” series, focusing on the theme of "compassion." This year's overarching objective explores the methodology of "intellectual empathy." It researches and applies the concept of “alienating theatre,” drawing inspiration from the approach of Berthold Brecht. The AAIS recognises the essential, enabling role of compassion and understanding in collaboration within creative ensembles. With "intellectual empathy" as a guiding principle, students are encouraged to engage in critical thinking while empathetically considering diverse perspectives. Through this approach, students gain an applied understanding of the social, cultural, and political dimensions associated with performative creations. Building upon this foundation, students will be introduced to the techniques of alienating theatre, drawing inspiration from the work of Berthold Brecht. Alienating theatre challenges conventional storytelling methods, prompting the audience to critically analyse performances and encouraging intellectual engagement and empathy. The AAIS has a rich history of collaboration with renowned institutions throughout the UK and across Europe as a network of intercultural exchange. Past collaborations have encompassed partnerships with Trinity Laban, The Place, Matadero Madrid, Las Heras in Girona, Teatro Aberto in Lisbon, DQE in Cologne, and Krakow Design Biennial among others. For the 2023-24 academic year we will collaborate with the Shoreditch Arts Club in London and Marseille Modulor (MAMO) and Ora Ito in France. These partnerships offer students unique opportunities to engage with diverse artistic and creative communities, expanding their sphere of creative disciplines and the exchange of creative ideas beyond boundaries and cultures. The AAIS continues to build the foundation for a new generation of creatives who create meaningful, thought-provoking, socially conscious design. Through the lens of "compassion," incorporating the methodology of "intellectual empathy" and alienating theatre, we aim to provide an immersive and transformative applied network for our students.