The SUDt – thinking outside the new black

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Kevin Mark Low
Visting Professor, Architect, Director smallprojects,
James Coleman, Teaching and Research Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Program: Building Interventions
Site: SUTD Campus
Scale: Varied
Image Credit: Ángela Bonadies, Juan José Olavarría


The accessibility and democratisation of knowledge through the internet asks what rituals and opportunities are available exclusively within physical spaces of learning. Through the discovery of questions regarding what a school is rather than what it should look like, students will be required to collectively produce a version of their university of design and technology, through subtle but profound intervention/s of the existing campus that should extend critical discourse on the constituents of a creative environment. The studio will begin by uncovering the relationship between technology and design – and what the issue of style may have to do with either – and in doing so, introduce and build on a process where spatial and formal outcomes are less contrived from the image/s and experience of form itself, than derived from raw principles of content.

Working off the premise that sustainability is not actually possible under a global economic model founded on acquisition, each intervention may or may not utilise systems thinking to develop critical attitudes regarding the dominant paradigms believed to define sustainability, but they will have to build up to a coordinated physical solution, finding development through the lens of profound relationships, rather than that of purely expressive shape and space-making. Which is to say that the studio will distinguish between truly cool sexy thinking and merely sexy cool stuff, and prioritise the technology of content and the mind over the technology of new material and purely unique form – it will be about the discovery of thinking outside the new black.