In the video we see Alex Römer, one of the summer school's open-build project managers, talking to participants about this night’s take. This situation took place on the evening of the summer school’s first day just before dinner was served. Römer asks students to focus on one function in their homes and produce a minimal notation sketch. All participants at the table are asked to return to the table with their material the next morning in order to discuss potential uses and appropriations of the already partly erected support structure. This process allowed all participants to make a beginning in the projection of the summer school’s motive in take 3 'constructing a prototype for an architecture in and from within which new modes of futurity can be practiced'.
One could also speak of creating a motive within the motive. That means connecting one’s own subjectivity with the project’s rationalities in a mode of practice. What Alex Römer does here is implementing a minimal take into the larger take. This example shows how a take works: It is directed towards function, if not in a formal than in a structural way. The interest is not to find a form for a function, but to think about the totality of the function of dwelling and thereby initiate a subconscious appearance of a structural attractor according to the function. While Heidegger (2006) has reminded us that dwelling is a totality (Strukturganzes, Sein und Zeit, § 39) that can never be grasped as such, one nevertheless has to find modes of entering and localizing oneself in this totality in order to produce knowledge about it. That is exactly why Alex refers to the function (something we cannot see) instead of referring to a form. By concentrating more or less blindly on the affective power of function when it is freed from form, the structural aspects of the totality can be represented and analysed. One always has to keep in mind that this analysis is a structural and not a formal one. It is about a process and not a product.
This implies thinking the process as structured and thereby giving up the dichotomy of agency vs. structure. As indicated by the function, agency itself creates structure. Now we get to the central point of what we understand as project management: it means orienting oneself in an open process without closing it. This orientation is produced by the emphasis on minimal structure: the structural analysis of a situation or, as in Alex’s example, starts with minimal structural entities either as elements (chair, staircase, table) or a whole pattern or a theme (kitchen, living room, bathroom). It is important to see that the variations are created on the basis of these structures. The technique of creating variations on the basis of a minimal structure is what we call take. It is exactly through organisation that minimal structures can lead to the potentialities of action.
Actants and actors of the project’s process become devoid of structure. They draw organization out of the material that in its function is not predetermined. To think about function and to get the assemblage of heterogeneous actors and actants functioning is what is at stake. To do this in an open form is only possible with a minimal structure. Only a minimal structure can vary and at the same time relate to actors and actants in the relational field. It allows for relational practice.
Heidegger, M., 2006. Sein und Zeit. Tübingen: De Gruyter.
What is the function of the question in relation to the motive?
The process of refining is used as a method to further articulate the motive including all data collected in the process so far. One can say that the question serves as a medium for the motive. With the question one can plug into the content field of the project's process?