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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Room One Thousand

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Room One Thousand is a student-run, multi- and inter-disciplinary architecture journal at the University of California, Berkeley. The journal seeks to highlight new and innovative research pertaining to the study of the built environment by fostering conversation between members of the buildings sciences, social sciences, arts, architecture and humanities. Room One Thousand publishes written essays, photographs, architectural drawings, videos, and any other media format amenable to the web and printed page.

Architectural Expertise

Issue cover
Cover Caption:The cover of RM1004: Architectural Expertise.

What is architectural expertise? Is it only a matter of design? Any claim to autonomy, disciplinarity, specialization, social status, philosophical essence, or historical continuity seems to depend, at least in part, on one’s answer to that question. Pedagogical success is also at stake, since one of the primary institutional functions kinds of expertise, linked to the past but adapted to the needs of the present. Where is architectural expertise located? Is it in the tacit hand of the craftworker, the skillful eye in the clouds of BIM? If architectural expertise is a cognitive attribute, can we ethnographically, like a good STS scholar? If architectural expertise is a performance, for whom does the architect perform? What does the concept reveal about the architect’s relation to the public, the client, the user, the citizen? Is that relation participatory, service-oriented, intentionally provocative? In contrast to all of these ambiguities, what is clear is that “expertise,” as a keyword in our culture, is a post-1960s phenomenon. Previous generations referred to other concepts like métier when confronting many of the same issues. What changed, then, historically and culturally? How should one Finally,what is the relation between the concept of architectural expertise and the organization and division of architectural labor, as it exists internationally and throughout the building industry? How should we think about the migration or transmission of architectural expertise across space and time? What does expertise reveal about architecture as a global practice?



President-Architect: On Recent Politics and Architectural Expertise

The Art of Mud Building in Djenné, Mali

An introduction to the documentary film Masons of Djenné by the film's director, Emeritus Prof. Trevor H.J. Marchand of Social Anthropology at the school of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Saturated FAT: Replete Image in Architecture

An interpretive essay by Adam Miller on the work of British firm FAT.

First Kill All the Experts

A thought-piece from John Parmanm discussing Horst Rittel and UC Berkeley's history of evidence based design and its relationship to expertise.

Spaces of Complexity On Not-Knowing, Un- Learning and ‘Panoramas of Possibilties’

An essay by Tatjana Schneider on the work of Will Alsop and Reversible Destiny.

The Note

Images and a speculative essay on abastraction and allegory and a proposal for a morally directed smoking booth and an architecture of allegory or perhaps just an architecture which asks questions without providing clear answers.

A Career at the Hinge: Paul Groth and Cultural Landscape Studies

At the end of the Spring 2016 semester, Prof. Paul Groth retired from the Architecture and Geography Departments at Berkeley. To celebrate his career on campus, RM1000 asked Prof. Sarah Lopez of University of Texas, Austin to interview her former dissertation advisor and mentor.

Researching Architectural Research

Avigail Sachs, UT Knoxville professor and CED alumna, in conversation with RM1000 editor Jennifer Gaugler.

Book Review: Peggy Deamer's "The Architect as Worker"

Book Review of "The Architect as Worker:

Immaterial Labor, The Creative Class, and The Politics of Design"

Peggy Geamer, Ed., (London ; New York: Bloomsbury Academic, 2015)

Housing the Dead: A lense through local densification patterns

It is a fact - Death will find us, eventually. It is not a subject architects - or people in general - enjoy conversing about over dinner. Any slight consideration about death releases anxiety, confronting us to think - what’s life after death? Because of our fear of mortality, not much time is spent thinking about the subject, design of funereal architecture has not developed as much as other architectural typologies. Until we can clearly answer the cliché “Does it serve the dead or the living ?” - we will only have marginal understanding of expertise.

City of the Captive Audience

An architect’s power lies primarily in the ordering of space and perception through means of representation. The most compelling images of architecture generate desire: a desire to keep looking and a desire to inhabit. Taken to an extreme, the most successful vision of architecture is a space that you would never want to leave. What happens when a representation of a building becomes more desirable than the building itself? What happens when an image is so hypnotic that you occupy it and it occupies you?

Aether House

Early modern physics of the 19th century postulated the existence of an aether, or space filling medium which allowed for the transmission of electromagnetic waves and gravitational forces. The aether permeated all space, the substance of nothingness by which immaterial phenomena could be explained through material properties. Architects rely on representational methods to depict space, the absence of matter, in ways that best serve our intentions to manipulate it. This project investigates architecture’s primary pursuit, to create void from solid, through the design of a row house in Philadelphia.

Who What When Where How Why

A research project using a creative dialogue between clay as a material and technology as a driver of architectural design. By combining these traditional practices with novel digital fabrication techniques, this project seeks to discover new potentials for this fundamental building material.

Dynamic Ceramic

This investigation uses additive manufacturing method of clay 3D printing to create series of bricks, ceramic tiles and self-supporting structural components as part of an ongoing research project. Using clay as a fundamental material for this research provides a way for architects to bridge the gap between digital fabrication and craft. Combinging clay properties and processes with recent advanes in fabrication technological has enables a series of inventive design solutions and intriguing new aesethics for the built environment.



What is the role of expertise when architectural additions are ad hoc, opportunistic and predicated on what sits below? When development is piecemeal and reliant on the existing built environment for material and form? How do architects negotiate a newfound sense of nostalgia prompted by impending landscape change?