Antoine Vaxelaire
Diploma 9
The project takes the form of a tableau and is based on the idea that rather than showing or representing an event, the architect shows the possibility of an event, what Godard calls the “probable possible”, meaning the possibility of a world encapsulated within a single room.

It is through the room, its protagonists as well as its physicality that this project proposes an architecture where production and representation are collaged in a singular image. This is it then, I understand the potential of your collages now, what this room or stage set is doing in term of slippages is what your collages were doing in terms of confrontation, juxtaposing the production of architecture with its direct surrounding, therefore accepting a contextual approach but absolutely refusing contextualism. The context isn’t so much of a specific existing place as it is a collective understanding of a society and a culture.The student entering the architectural world today is faced with the simple fact that architects stopped designing architecture and are now stagging it. The planimetric understanding of the drawing board was replaced by the visual effects of computation and the city transformed into a virtual gray animal.
But as easy as it may sound to criticize this new way of working the student decides to explore it, openly convinced he is on his way to architectural truth, yet unaware that it might simply not exist... During his conversation with Mies the student is told that there is a architectural trial taking place across the plinth, and Mies proposes they go together. It is as they descend the building that the student can appreciate Mies’s early life stacked as floors which will inevitably lead to the production of the most famous room, the Barcelona Pavilion, a dadaist collage of major architectural elements constantly manipulated into Mies’s office.But what is the role of the architect, because if its intrinsic ways of working have changed the profession still exists, and more than ever it has to provide what movies did in the 30’s and 50’s. The architect is the mastermind of a doubled side screen, he is a mediatic figure as much as his work is Media. One might argue that Mies’s greatest project is himself and that LeCorbusier has become a brand, I would argue the architect is a director who creates a master as much as a master piece, both of which are controlled enough to be seriously regarded but abstract enough to invite for many interpretations and critiques.It is on their way to the court house that the student realises he is leaving the scale of the room for the one of the building, and that the issues Mies is struggling with are the same at both scales. Therefore the plinth in Spain has become a plaza here and the red curtain transformed into a light facade. Once inside the court room, all the jurors starts debating under the twelve shinning lights of Shinckels chandelier and as the Room transformed into a Building the students sees his individual discussion with Mies growing into a major debate. A debate were the very idea of context is constantly argued, wether through Rem’s colourful statement about the pavilion, Colomina’s mediatic understanding of Mies or Johnson’s curation and copying of his friend’s oeuvre.This debate is leaving the student with the clear understanding that the silent buildings Mies built are the physical embodiments of the Master’s own silence. A silence which allows for multiple mis-readings and appropriation of both the man and the architecture, Mies is nothing else than a marble plinth onto which we can display almost anything. Happy to grasp this information the student decides to leave the court room to join the queue he sees from the window. Going down he passes through the cloud of journalists waiting for the verdict and goes toward what seems to be the Cinema. It is indeed with the cinematic world that he understands that the city has the specificity to submerge an audience, a mass of people waiting for a collective dream, a fraction of their life to be transported somewhere. But if the audience sees a finished product the student wants to see the backstage, where this new reality is created, which appears to be on the roof of the building. There he finds the exact same set as in the court house but the characters are different, rem became john malkovich and wright clint eastwood for instance, and the facts are also different, like the historian is subjectively creating history the film director is shaping facts to fulfil the will of the collective audience. On is way back to see Mies in is tower the student can’t avoid laughing at Mies transformation into Aldred Hitchcock, the perfect combination!!It his with the conviction that architects are now directors that the student now wants to capture the role of elements within the set. As he starts his last tour of the giant room he sees in the cardboard fragment of the pavilion how film is now used not as a “as if” tool for architectural production but rather as architecture itself, the balance as changed, we don’t generate architecture as if we were a camera moving in a 3 dimensional space but it is as moving lenses that we enjoy the flattening of our world. A world that has inevitably transformed into an isolated simulacra of paper within which the stage set has erased past architecture and actors have replaced historical figures, all of which are dancing on the empty plinth of time, place and history.Firstly, the student enjoys the capacity the room has to accept slippages in Time, with the 1920 directly facing the 21st century, or slippages in Places, were a New-York like city starts reflecting views from Berlin or London, almost as if architectural history was printed on facades, allowing the seagram building to reflect its German grandfather or Stirling’s Poultry Lane building to shine on the windows of the ministry of architectural truth. But the most useful slippage appears to be the possibility for characters to jump in time, in such a way that historians are facing their subjects, critics are debating with their muse and architects confronted with their agging buildings.On this sad but respectful day I cut the umbilical cord and embrace the possibility of a world where the architects strongest tool is the construction of fake realities. It is therefore as a director that I see the stagging of architecture as the way to produce but also present space. The possibility of a Universe has replaced the necessity of one as much events and actors have become more valuable than facts and figures. If there are many possibilities for a truthful reading of our collective past it has now become clear that there is no such thing as a Truth to be found, wether in Mies, History or even Architecture.