A lecture by Clara Kraft: From Architecture to Film ~ Pascal Schöning’s Cinematic Architecture in the AA

Date: 8 August 2009

Venue: House of Tomorrow (Minato-ku, Tokyo)

Guest: Clara Kraft, tutor of East London University and the Bartlett School of Architecture

Ms. Kraft studied Diploma Unit 3 (Prof. Pascal Schöning) and now makes films. She talked about the Diploma Unit 3’s unique approaches, showing her project. She also presented her current film works.

She also presented her current film works. 


From Architecture to Film: Pascal Schöning’s Cinematic Architecture in Architectural Association Pascal Schöning’s Cinematic Architecture in Architectural Association

Clara Kraft

I remember Pascal always telling me “In the end you don’t need to say anything because the films will do the talking”. I strongly believe that this is the case with the work made in DIP 3. The films are produced to be understood in their entirety therefore independent of introduction or presentation. While the viewer may not comprehend everything included, he/she will come away with an understanding based on images/sequence/narration that allows them to inhabit the film, if only for a moment. That is what I believe Pascal referred to when he said that the architecture is in the film.

Within the film and in time you create your space/architecture. How well or carefully you design this will determine whether the audience believes the reality of the space you have created and therefore your project. It is precisely the better examples of DIP 3 work which are successful in constructing such a space and therefore a new reality within the film. The feedback I received was that many did not understand large parts of the films due to language (which is my next point) but came away with an understanding of a distinctive sensitivity for architecture. I think this is important, even though not wholly successful this time, it certainly is something to be explored. In the end, the films are not there to provide answers but to pose new questions.

THE LANGUAGE of DIP 3 (and the AA)
I misjudged how much of the English V.O. the audience would understand, and one simple suggestion is that all films really should be subtitled in Japanese.

Regardless of language, however, the academic language used both within the unit and within the AA is highly specialized. Even when I started working at the Bartlett just up the road from the AA, my colleagues did not always understand what I was saying, my creative language had become quite specialized. Within DIP 3 as with all units at the AA, language is created and used as a protective mechanism within which to shelter the unit’s work. While this process can be both inventive and intriguing (Pascal was forever inventing catchphrases, such as “building with bricks in space”, whatever that meant!) to those outside the unit and the AA this specialized language can also be alienating. Bringing the work of the unit into a public arena outside the school requires addressing the way we both speak and present the work.

To Cinématic Architecture Tokyo
I strongly believe that the work and effort Cinématic Architecture Tokyo has committed to create a forum in which ideas can be discussed and presented is to be really admired. I think you have done a terrific job of creating an atmosphere within the gallery which welcoming and relaxed.I really enjoyed the event and I thank you again for inviting me. It is important that we continue discussing the ideas that Pascal initiated at the AA, especially now that the unit no longer exists. I think where the question really lies is where and how those ideas are important in our current work. Something which as I explained in the lecture, within myself I am still trying to understand.