Diploma Honours 2012/13

AA Diploma Honours is the AA's highest award. Each Summer Term exceptional Diploma School students are chosen to present for Honours awards, which are given to the student or students who achieve an exceptionally high standard in the academic year. Those awarded Diploma Honours then exhibit their work early in the next academic year.

Friedrich Grafling, Diploma Unit 4

Contemporary Court - a `Großraumbüro´ for the Mittelstand and Wiesen

Tutors: John Palmesino, Ann-Sofi Rönnskog
   
Having organised a contemporary art exhibition in a village last summer after my fourth year, I developed a fascination with these autonomous, rural cell structures. I continued my studies on the coast of Europe in fifth year, focusing on these rural settlements. What at first glance appeared to be untouched, almost “hinterländliche” areas in fact turned out to be dominated by family-owned Mittelstand companies. These Mittelstand companies – highly specialised, medium sized enterprises, focusing on innovative and high-value niche products – turn these villages outside the metropolitan space into neo-feudal estates. Such singular dependencies present a danger in that they dilute the voice of the citizen. For this reason, I am introducing contemporary courts, carried forward from my fourth year thesis, as a means of linking supply chains across a wider territory and re-establishing local civic spaces, rights for the citizens and territorial networks. Further to this, and triggered by a newspaper article, the thesis turned into a real action plan for the village of Wiesen. Close negotiations with various local and metropolitan stakeholders have established a real court scenario to revitalise not only the municipality of Wiesen but moreover reconnect it to a wider territory. The result of my research commands a new view of the European space beyond the metropolitan that calls existing versions into question and explores its architectural potential. This is a new urban typography that challenges the traditional model of patronage, calling for wider social and cultural unity.

Text excerpted from AA Conversations

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Ja Kyung Kim, Diploma Unit 5

"Oi! Your shadow’s over the line!”

Tutors: Cristina Díaz Moreno, Efrén García Grinda, Tyen Masten, John Ng

No sign, no cars, no lights….a no man’s land between North and South Korea. It is a desolate landscape that lasted for 60 years whose only inhabitants are wild animals and danger. A new inflatable salon rises far above the border where the spaces are purely dominated by women. The market and two chariots around this new landmark create giant landscape propaganda on the DMZ. These territorial games redefine the boundary and critique the immature attitude of men over political divisions.Using the landscape, the tower and the market, which is a hybrid program, a new form of geo-politic is created from the point of view of the Korean women.

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Mond Qu, Diploma Unit 6

Aditnálta: An Island dispersed across the internet

Tutors: Liam Young, Kate Davies  

Aditnálta is also entirely fictional. In our Department of Ghost Geographies, Mond Qu has constructed and dispersed the forged fragments of this island across the internet. This imaginary place is made manifest through hoax listings on Wikipedia and Google maps, live webcams of scale model stage sets, faked articles on news sites and green screen CGI composites on Flickr, Youtube and Panoramio. Just like the real landscapes of outsourced electronics production, we consume Aditnálta at a distance, through these edited media narratives, disconnected from the realities that go on there.

Through the construction of elaborate fictions we can reveal important truths.

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Antoine Vaxelaire, Diploma Unit 9

Natasha Sandmeier

The project is a response to what I see as two crises of the European city: One, the city’s form is deeply rooted in a past that freezes it in place. Two, the ways in which we conceive that city prevent it from keeping up the pace of a constantly accelerating world. To cure these weaknesses the project ruthlessly rejects old conventions and will therefore erase the Figures of Europe, both physically (as in buildings) and conceptually (as in culture). The levelling operated by the Machine imposes two changes to the European City: First, it liberates it from a heavy and burdened past. Second, it provides the grounds for a possible future. To liberate the City all the Figures that have held the city a prisoner of its past have disappeared. Stripped of Icons and Masters, the city now belongs to the new generation, one that does not have time to burden itself with History. As for the grounds, the Machine, because it can only operate within the Now, provides the frame for the future, but certainly not it’s content. And that frame exposes a refreshing and optimistic vision: That if the institutions of Europe are destroyed then the Youth itself will become Europe!

 

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Facade 1

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