Staging Architecture focuses on how theatrical forms of representation, performances and fictional scripts can be used as tools for the architectural design process.

Tommaso Campanella’s “The City of the Sun” (1602) was an early utopian work whose literary future was narrated through the description of a city. Written while in prison for conspiring against Spanish rule, Campanella envisioned a society based on the community of goods, with, of course, many contradictions. The society imagined and their stories are intrinsically connected to the fictional city envisioned by Campanella.

Seven groups of second-year students from the Gerrit Rietveld Academie’s Architectural Design department worked during the spring of 2020 to develop fictional stories and a scenographic space within which their speculative narratives can be read. The classic design process dedicated to space or objects was replaced by possible stories around these artefacts. The script and scenography became both the tool and the space in which a possible performed action can take place.

The design of each scenography departed from a common format: a simple two-by-two-meter wooden panel structure, which students were free to modify. The scenographic element was conceived as a sort of background accompanying the narratives.

The works presented here were originally prepared for Rietveld Uncut, an exhibition at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. However, due to public safety measures put in place in response to the outbreak of COVID-19, the museum was closed, and the exhibition did not take place.

As a virtual exhibition, this website continues to reflect on and explore the themes dealt with in the studio. If at the beginning the focus was on how to display architecture in a museum through speculative narratives, scenographies and performances, conceiving a website as a digital space brings more questions on how we can transpose it on a screen-based spatiality. Every project has been transformed and not simply adapted to the new format, thus exploring the possibility of an on-line platform. The website has been conceived as a proper space, a stage where different acts can take place. The public, exploring the platform, is free and able to add another layer, deciding the order and the sequence of the narration.

Students: Arnar Freyr Sigurðsson, Britt van Dam, Floriane Libilbéhéty, Gabija Nedzinskaite, Herman Berge, Julia Hager Jutterström, Lene Antonopoulos, Leonie Marie Wegertseder, Neža Kokol, Nikolai Kold Aarre, Robbie Doorman, Tania Phuong, Valter Torsleff, Wimke Dekker, Yuriy Krupey.
Studio Tutors: Parasite 2.0
Website: Joana Chicau