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Henry Chesney, ADS6 2021/22

If we accept that buildings and cities are instruments of time, and both are as much of the mind as they are physical, then it is easy to see how film and architecture share a visual and material world. The perception of a space is as much defined by its associations as by its physical qualities. When we watch a film, we register all the mental, sensual and physical faculties that are engaged in a particular space at a particular time. And yet such permanence does not have to be a building which is recognisable by its material appearance. Let us equate filmic experience to that of physical space and consider how we can intersect the making of films and buildings. In 2022/23, ADS6 will continue to develop a series of briefs under the umbrella ‘Film Make Place,’ with particular emphasis on filmmaking. This year we want to explore film in relation to making and place. Can filmmaking be understood as a spatial practice?

Anna Russel

Fluid Place in Time

A film is an act of space making, which makes itself seen, and an act of building shaped in time. Architecture and film share an interdisciplinary correspondence. A desire to ‘build worlds’ for spectators to inhabit. Furthermore, as both architects and users, our understanding of space is conditioned by how it is represented. The accepted image of architecture on film has become normalised to conventional, static, ocular-centric and binary representations of the so-called ‘man-made environment.’ In response to this position, in ADS6 we are introducing the idea of the architectural film essay as an alternative way to think of architecture. A way in which openness, fluidity and interdisciplinarity create links between space making and film language. We challenge architecture not simply as a platform that accommodates the viewing of subject, but also as a viewing mechanism that produces the subject. The film as an essay can provide an architectural infrastructure in which tolerance and hope allow for a slowed engagement with the complexity and ambiguity of the world.[1] A distinct analytical and spatial arrangement, which supports ideas evolving in multiple directions, as interwoven and material as a carpet, worked between the gaps of each field of study, architecture and film.

Freya Emerson

One may view film language as very different from that of space, but is it? By identifying film practice as a form of space building, we want you to interrogate how processes, such as cinematography and editing, might be explored in connection to their spatial implications? We encourage you to underpin your film-based research with hands-on, in-person, site and material investigations. To develop and explore how film, as a creative medium, can interrogate architectural questions independently of all established conventions, terminologies and methods. The intention of this work is not to fulfil a preconceived goal, but rather to propose a space built on polysemy and multiplicity, which demonstrates the possibilities that arise from examining space-making from a cinematic perspective. We will explore how one can build a spatiality that has architectural qualities, but is immaterial. A spatiality that can hold material memories, built-in light and sound, with a constantly changing appearance to express a space of poetic intelligence. A multi–dimensional energetic combination of contradictory elements that are governed by a single logic.[2]

Freya Bolton 2

Static Time in Space

If time is not a fixed element in space, then how can filmmaking articulate shifting ideas of place-making? If change is constant, are fixed viewpoints the best way to catch them? As images move through the camera gate, space is caught in frames per second. Inside the belly of the camera, space and time transcend their traditional representation. As architects what can we learn from the architecture of film to re-examine readings of place in time? In ADS6, we believe that we make for a given place and what we make is of that place. As a means of exploration, film can make the arrival – or return – to place possible. This year we will encourage you to use film to explore places and people. To make films that interrogate our environment, not to depict reality in its most accurate form, but rather to provide sensory measures that question reality.

Emma Naylor

If a location is where we are – and a place is the perceived images we see of that place – then to make a place is to develop a focused understanding, which is on the edges of how we see placeness. The camera offers the opportunity to determine a position. Every time you set up a shot you must think about what you want in the frame. But what you want in the frame is also defined by what you keep out of your frame, outlining a field of vision. When one presents a camera to a scene as a tool of enquiry, the question of how we evaluate what we see becomes paramount. ADS6 invites you to enquire, establish, and explore the value of site-specific making/filming practices that involve intimate engagement with materials, people and stories.

Ben Child

Film Make Place

Film Make Place. These are themes that can be explored through personal, or collaborative design projects. What impact will such a form of practising architecture have on your design decisions? How can the making of architecture also be a way of seeing? Your ADS6 design project will evolve over the year, providing the material to establish critical positions in architecture that not only occupy the centre, but also the periphery. Illuminating both the place and what is out of place.

Thomas Philips

[1] Adorno 1984: 274

[2] Schoening 2006 :11