In the context of its intervention for the European Capitale of Culture 2015, le collective ConstructLab proposed a moment of sharing and prospection at the architecture school of Mons. The workshop tackled the design of a living space at the “suspended garden”, a grove of wild cherry trees on the rooftop of the former military bakery of the city. The aim of the week was for ConstructLab to share with the students a vision of conception and the construction of urban spaces based on the specificities of a social context and all the history associated with it.
Let’s start from the hypothesis that architecture is a social matter. We always talk about “people”, and “inhabitants” but who are these persons really or what is it that they desire ? The task was to invent one character as a small group and then to plan for all of them a micro-city at the scale of the garden. How do we negotiate to make space ?
At the end of the week, the students performed with live forms and models the characters, their ways of living and a pavilion that they designed for them. The potential inhabitants were : a blind man, a chameleon, an aboriginal tribesman, a hip hop artist, a robot, a man-pen, the icon of Mons, a homeless man who lives only in the air on electrical lines, the ghost of a former Dutch soldier, the Rodin thinker, a man running against time ...
In his Inquiry into Modes of Existence, Bruno Latour explains that “there is no common world, it has to be perpetually composed”. The workshop was an attempt to envisage the task of architecture in this composition of the common world.