WORKSHOP_Starting from “old” beginnings to discover “new” possibilities

May 1st, 2013

Starting from “old” beginnings to discover “new” possibilities


“All that was, has always been. All that is, has always been. All that will be, has always been”

L. I. Kahn



This workshop aims to be a “theoretical experiment”, an invitation to discover new possibilities of meanings in architecture. The idea is a consequence of my personal experience inside the courses of “History of Art and Architecture II” and “Theories of Architectural Design”. There is something emerging clearly from the words of the students: the need to build a new “Albanian” identity, from a personal and architectural point of view.

There is a general “lack of meaning” and a certain “loss of the origins” echoing from my discussions with the students.


The theoretical starting point is going to be Louis. I. Kahn and his writings:


“…is good for the mind to go back to the beginning because the beginning of any established activity of man is its most wonderful moment. For in it lies all its spirit and resourcefulness, from which we must always draw our inspirations of present needs. We can make our institutions great by giving them our sense of this inspiration in the architecture we offer them…”

“Form and design”, 1962


“New spaces will come only from a new sense of human agreements – new agreements which will affirm a promise of life and reveal new availabilities and point to human support for their establishment.”

“The room, the street, the human agreement”, 1971


One question arises spontaneously: why don’t we go back to the beginning to find out new meanings, new needs for our institutions?


The INSTITUTION we are going to work on is the SCHOOL. The students will be asked to express their idea of the institution of the SCHOOL, their idea of the building that would become a SCHOOL, starting from the beginning:


“Schools began with a man under a tree who did not know he was a teacher discussing his realization with a few who did not know they were students. The students reflected on what was exchanged and how good it was to be in the presence of this man. […] Soon spaces were erected and the first schools became.”



The evolution of this theoretical excercise will be to imagine this IDEA of the “new” SCHOOL in a given site. In order to create a communication with the historical sites/buildings and also spend some words understanding the concepts of ruins, remains etc., I have chosen a specific archaeological area in Durres (the Byzantine Forum of the V century). This could be an interesting way of confrontation with the past, an ancient one, while proposing possible solutions for the future.

PRACTICAL OUTCOME: writing a text of max. 4000 characters as a “crystallization” of the theoretical discussion. Accompany the text with sketches (made on site or later), diagrams, explaining drawings, pictures or collages, etc…

The invitation is: BE CREATIVE about Architecture!! By using words and figures.

The work can be done singularly or in couple. Works in couple can be an opportunity to build a “dialectical text”, a dialogue between the two pointing out the main ideas through a process of answers and questions.




  • A first “session” happening on Saturday, 18 May including: discussion at Epoka University in the morning + Site trip at Durres in the afternoon.
  • A second “session” happening one week later, Saturday 25 May. The students will have one week in order to develop their texts and figurative presentations. On May 25 there is going to be a public discussion of the works.



All applications must be sent to this e-mail address:

The invitation is especially addressed to students of the Second and Third year who are already familiar with some of the topics proposed. But anyone else who is interested can also feel free to apply.