Department Field Trip to Tbilisi 


In February of 2023 the Architectural Design department spent a week in Tbilisi, Georgia. We had 6 days of program with the generous guidance of the architects, historians, and professors associated with the VA[A]DS, Free University:  @ksnelashvili @10se8 #LevanKalandarishvili @dimitrieristavi @uknowhowweduu @davidbostanashvili @dabrooooo


Each day we focused on a different part of the city and its contemporary landscape. 


Day 1: We met with @ksnelashvili and #IosebAndrazashvili at the @vaads.freeuni where they introduced their practice @re__city and then took us on a tour of Gldani, the most densely populated neighborhood of Tbilisi and site to countless self initiated building extensions and reuses of public space.


Day 2: We were guided by #LevanKalandarishvili, an architectural historian, around the old city and learned about its architectural history in the context of Pre-Soviet and Soviet building projects.


Day 3: We met @dimitrieristavi @uknowhowweduu (architects and co-founders of @maudiatmaudi) at Expo Georgia, a Soviet-built exhibition pavilion. From there, they guided us into the maze of the Eliva Market, a building material bazaar supplying lumber, metal work, hardware, machinery, auto repair parts, etc, etc. We finished the day with a visit to the building site surrounding the CCA Tbilisi.


Day 4: We met with @davidbostanashvili at the Georgian Technical University where he introduced his studio on the ‘Poetics of Architecture’ a decades long course and study that combines philosophy, culture and architecture into a radically imaginative space of production. We followed his talk with a visit to the Tbilisi Open Air Museum, opened in 1970’s to preserve traditional Georgian architectural typologies from across the country.


Day 5: We met #LevanKalandarishvili for a walking tour through the city to learn about the post-Soviet buildings including 2000’s-contemporary architecture and the influence of ‘starchitects’ in Georgia. We encountered a range of semi-finished buildings waiting for a function to fully operational large-scale new builds all responding to bringing international influences, materials, and skylines into Tbilisi.


Day 6: We had our final day of program with @dimitrieristavi @uknowhowweduu starting at the mediatheque in Kikvidze park, and then taking a van to the Chronicle of Georgia, visiting a current IDP housing block, as well as a newly developed housing project and business park funded by international investment into Georgia. We finished the day with some shared drinks and food at @dabrooooo’s incredible home-in-progress.