Desk, Wall, Room, City

Design Studio at Harvard GSD (M.Arch II)


Design Studio at Harvard GSD (M.Arch II)




Eric Lapierre


Desk, Wall, Room, City

At the core of academic architectural production is its most sacred yet seldom discussed aspect – rigor. The yield of architectural work is the only basis of its potentiality, and only through it can architecture be contemplated. The studio’s purpose, much like that of the terrifying blank canvas, is filling to the brim with content. 

Students of architecture in the city have four platforms at their service – the desk, the wall, the room, and the city — each with its own system of surfaces and coordinates and tools of exploration. A student explores the city’s ground surface, synthesizes the exploration on the desk surface, displays the synthesis on the wall, and places the wall in a room for the city to see. Each wall is a body of knowledge and synthesis method, overflowing, and spilling out into the city.


Diving into a Miesian thesis on spaces of pedagogy

The Premise of Universal Space

Left: a tidy studio, day 1

Right: a full studio, day 90

As architectural projects and projections take on the complexities of ongoing projects, the pedagogical space of the studio becomes full. Being inarticulate in essence, the architectural components of universal space bear the entire programmatic responsibility of the building, as even the floor becomes a surface for storage.

Left: The Paris salon and the overflowing wall

Right: The monk’s scriptorium

The two edges of architectural production – rigor and display

A new type of total environment