August 25, 2004

450 students in architecture from 40 countries were expected for the annual EASA gathering. How to organize the life of such a big and diverse community in two wharehouses?

Exyzt and the EASA organizators decided to hold a one-to-one scale construction game. The conceptor team built the main collective equipment (kitchen, washrooms, a hotel) beforehand . The rest would be a village autoconstructed and automanaged by its inhabitants.

Seeing in this event a laboratory of architectural and social research, Exyzt based the experience on reactivity, adaptability and unforseeability.They would provide the frame of a real life game sufficiently flexible to enhance the ingeniosity and creativity of the participants.

The initial rules were similar to a scientific protocol. At each student’s arrival, they were untrusted with a survival kit, including a construction manual and security instructions, and a defined quantity of scaffolding and textiles. Geometrical problems could arise, as this amount of scaffolding, sufficient to build one cubic room could then be combined with others.

The affinities and exchanges between the participants were gradually translated into architectural terms. More complex, personnalized structures were developed as the participants settled in. In time, the village implantation was transformed, not only modifying the individual sphere, but the whole structure of the collective organization. The experience was completed : the inhabitants by managing their own spaces and rules organized themselves finally in what we can call an ephemeral republic.