1:1 (dis)section: Learning through full-scale dissection and transformations of abandoned buildings

Mo Michelsen Stochholm Krag, Tina Bering Keiding

Publications: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


The section is an essential tool for understanding, exploring, representing andcommunicating spatial relations, structure and materiality in architecture, design andengineering, and therefore a recurring topic in the curricula. The section itself is destructiveof nature and incompatible with a built environment in use or under construction. Hence,students throughout their education meet the section in the form of diagrammaticrepresentations, that is, as forms of meaning emptied from scale, spatiality and materiality.This article reports on a series of four workshops, held in the spring semesters from 2011to 2014 for first-year students at Aarhus School of Architecture. The aim was to providefirst-year students with an experience of the relation between the section as adiagrammatic representation and the materiality, structure and spatial relations of aconcrete building. The climax of each workshop was a full-scale dissection andtransformation of an abandoned house. As we shall see, the workshops fulfilled not only theintended learning goals, but created an initially unforeseen and unique context for learningabout the relations between building and place and introduced the question regardingdepopulation of rural areas as a pertinent processional challenge. Beyond an educationalvalue, the research project ‘Transformation on abandonment, a new critical practice?’transpired from the workshops. This research project and the interplay between teachingand research are discussed in the last part of the article.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberArticle ID: JADE12184
JournalInternational Journal of Art & Design Education
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sep 2018


  • full-scale dissection
  • hands-on
  • research-based teaching
  • progressive education
  • Transformation

Artistic research

  • No

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