LT Ranch Sessions

LT Ranch_SS13_0231JS

LT Ranch_SS12_0059KK

Exif_JPEG_PICTURELT Ranch Summer Sessions, Stučiai (Lithuania), 2009-13

Chelsea College of Art & Design / University for the Creative Arts

This is an intensive week long summer Live Project program in a relatively remote and rural site in Stučiai, Utenos Region, NE Lithuania.

The summer session projects are student-led developed from the chemistry and activity of the group’s use and experience of the place combined with their experiences and background. The site is self-sustained (well water, cooking, sleeping is on site and locally supported). Negotiated amongst the participants; students and leaders, weather and ways of making, assembling, dismantling, reconstructing from found or locally sourced materials, is an experimental site of response, spontaneous and unpredictable. Traces of previous group visits, though semi-temporary, potentially inform the next group’s interventions. These landscapes are embedded in local economy and a wider context of newly formed democracies on the periphery of Europe. During these summer sessions the socialisation of 24/7 layer the everyday.

These summer sessions follow a student lead workshop construct. Various ways of familiarising students with this autonomous site, enabling difference of each group’s response with their own processes and students beginning to know previous years’ participants work begins the dreaming and therefore design processes before arrival. Thus there is no preparation required, only a list of things to bring; layered clothing, wellies, head torch, sun cream and mosquito repellents and a ‘tool’. Upon arrival, walks in the landscape, storytelling, and initiation into how the everyday needs of inhabiting the site, along with safe ways of using the site are shared, a schedule of cooking and washing up is prepared. A day tour by car around various and changing locations in the local area, as well as (this year a day in the capital- Vilnius) gives us all a varying and revised way (for those who have been before) of familiar yet changing environments. The rural condition and the city, layers, histories, familiar and unfamiliar instances inform the making and interventions and site placements. Temporary, temporal, non-web based (the site has no internet), links reading and living in an organic environment, with its infrastructural/semi-sustainable conditions, ad hoc adaptability of the everyday, changing weather patterns and a basic tool set for individual and or small group projects, students are encouraged to follow their playful, accidental, carefully observed moves capturing further possible meanings in the site as extensions of the spontaneous experience of perhaps this unfamiliar landscape environment. Documentation is essential, and the media used is student led: film, image, analogue or digital etc. Projects in some instances are taken ‘home’ within this media but in some cases, returning in a suitcase, migrating further afield.

An online archive via Dropbox has been the mode of exchange of documentation (films & images) upon returning to the UK. A small yearly catalogue is produced and blog charts the meanwhile of the site and other research questions and musings of the site and its temporal conditions.

As a non-profit site, students are aware that their fees are the entire budget for the sessions. Leader flights and expenses, airport transfers, food and subsistence, day trips, some materials (if not available on site), petrol for daily provisions (as a remote site, trips are kept to a minimum and copious lists made). Any remaining budget is retained to publish a limited number of the catalogue.

Client: The students

2013
Students: Abdulbari Kutbi, Jacqueline Chia-Chen Hu, Jialing Ling, Nicole Mengjie Liu, Mirella Dourampei, Jerry Sang Kyong Jeong, Wan Yun Tsai, Van Xin Wan, Ya Gao, Yang Bai
Tutors: Janice Shales, Jiri Hanzlik, Kristina Kotov
Technical local support: Stasys Sklaiustis

2012
Students: Chris Humphrey, Enzo Guida, Keun Hye Lee, John Wo Min Kang, Mamo Juelin He, Marcus Boyle, Max Thomson, Mo Ja, Neda Kahooker, Patrick Yi-wei Chen, Paresh Parmar, Recy Shao Feng, Sam Lo Ming Shum
Tutors: Emma Hunter, Kristina Kotov
Technical local support: Stasys Sklaiustis

2011
Students: Ami Kanki, Changda Wu, Dayea Kim, Georgina Walker, Hyunsuk Park, Lewis Barton, Sofia Anastasiou, Spyros Anastasiou, Sylvia Yeun Yebing
Tutors: Rob Nice, Kristina Kotov
Technical local support: Stasys Sklaiustis

2009
Students: Anna Parfirenko, Yi-Chuan Liu, Yu-Ting Wang
Tutors: Ken Wilder, Kristina Kotov

Research Question: The research revolves around modes of discourse, exchange and engagement in the roles of spatial designers and makers in this cumulative landscape environment within an experimental and spontaneous 24/7 social condition. As it is student led, the preparation prior to travel is limited unless the student desires this in advance, researches and brings ideas to the table. It is a type of inverse migration, though temporal. Participants have thus far come from 15 different countries with as many languages (linguistic as well as design methodologies) shared and re-invented.


+, 11-50, Analytical, Architecture, Chelsea College Art+Design, Client-funded, Collaboration, Creative Arts Univ., Days, Extra-curricular, Interior Architecture, Postgraduate, Propositional, Self-funded, Semi-permanent, Stuciai, Students with tutor, Temporary, Undergraduate