Metaxography means the study of relationships. We work on the speculative hypothesis that architecture is not only about designing entities – such as buildings and blocks – but also about designing relationships between them and between people and the object world. Might there be types and dynamics of relationships that can be classified? Could they help us in recognizing hidden logics and exploring unknown territory in architecture? Can we learn from the study on relationships made in other fields – drama, literature, painting, or music? Can we read classics of architecture and urban design from a new perspective on relationships? Is it possible to liberate architecture from the tyranny of technocratic problem-solving? Metaxography can contribute to the theoretical and experimental development of computational architecture, where there may be found new algorithms for relationships in architecture. This emphasis concerns for example our Advanced Building Design course.
We have had many joint design projects with friends from other fields outside architecture and especially interior design, fashion design, service design and environmental design. We have accomplished integrated projects, where designers from different fields have analyzed a design task and created a concept together, followed by discipline-specific designs fitting nicely together. Almost all of our cross-disciplinary projects in building design have also been international collaborations with such institutions as Royal College of Art (service design), Shibaura Institute of Technology (urban planning), Tongji University (environmental design) and Donghua University (fashion and interior design). Our USP Capstone course is part of the interdisciplinary programme in urbanism, including political and social sciences as well as art and landscape architecture.
Environmental Design & Landscape Architecture
Social & Political Sciences
Instead of concentrating in technical (environmental) sustainability, which is definitely also important, our focus is on social sustainability. This refers to such themes as diversity, tolerance, memory and projection, belief and meaning, enquiry, learning, consumption, livability, cultural explorations and competence, quality of life and identity. We let others work on CO2 and the energy performances of materials and technical installations. Our past projects related to social sustainability include speculative design explorations based on the consumer generations of Japan, streetification (turning modernist road environments into lively streetscapes) and School as a Service (school environments supporting social learning).