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ARCH-ZINES: Learning contemporary architecture thru the making of fanzines

While teaching the History of Contemporary Architecture course at Unicap Architecture and Urbanism school for many years I realized two effective and relatively simple strategies in approaching the broad content the course requires, which encompasses architectural history and theory since the late 1960s: Applying the theoretical knowledge acquired to simple design exercises through design-build experiences and having students critically analyze the various theories and design approaches by producing authorial fanzines.

 

Both tools have proven to lead to engaging the vast majority of students in the theoretical realm of architecture much more easily and faster than limiting the course to traditional lecturing, debating, and written tests. The fanzine experience is shown here.

 

With the course content organized in five modules (post-modern architecture in town; the contemporary museum, minimalisms, sustainability, and digital design), students are asked to conceive a fanzine (name, aesthetics, and editorial approach) to which they add content according to these 5 topics, each at a time. The partial fanzines are produced digitally, and at the end of the course they also have to deliver a printed version of the work, encompassing all five modules.

 

Throughout the years we have had various approaches explored in the students’ archzines. Here we show a few of them.

A series of fanzines produced by students on a display created by them

Some of earliest and latest examples of the fanzines developed in the History of Contemporary Architecture course

Some of the essays from various students' fanzines

The Void zine

The C.O.D.E.S. zine

City and colour zine

i9 zine

The activation of fanzines in the campus

The fanzines reaching a broad audience in the campus

 by Ana Rolim.