UNKNOWN FIELDS: The Dark Side of the City

AA Gallery 1/10/2016 - 25/2/2017

NB. Closed 17 December - 8 January (AA Christmas Closure)

Monday to Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday 10:00-17:00.
If you require assistance with access please contact security on arrival.


Unknown Fields is a nomadic design studio that ventures out on expeditions through the shadows cast by the contemporary city to trace the alternative worlds, alien landscapes, industrial ecologies and precarious wilderness that its technology and culture set in motion. These distributed landscapes, the iconic and the ignored, the excavated, irradiated and the pristine, are embedded in global systems that connect them in surprising and complicated ways to our everyday lives. Systems that form a network of vast but elusive tendrils, twisting threadlike over everything around us, crisscrossing the planet, connecting the mundane to the extraordinary.


In The Dark Side of the City Unknown Fields takes us on a road trip through a reimagined city that stretches across the ends of the earth. It is a portrait of a place that sits between documentary and fiction, a city of fragments; of drone footage and hidden camera investigations, of interviews and speculative narratives, of toxic objects, reimagined landscapes and distributed matter from distant sites. The Dark Side of the City is a collection of stories from the constellation of elsewheres that are conjured into being by the city’s wants and needs, fears and dreams.


Photo: The Human Conveyor Belt, Ilakaka Gemfields, Madagascar, 2013. Toby Smith/Unknown Fields

Colour Strategies in Architecture

Front Members' Room 12/11/2016 - 16/12/2016

Monday to Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday 10:00-17:00.


This exhibition explores the potential of colour to modify space and the way in which buildings are perceived.  Colour plays a significant role in architecture – affecting the atmosphere, meaning, spatial understanding and hierarchy of architecture, and of place.  Whether inherent in material or applied, it can be used to tune and transform the way we perceive surroundings.  Yet specific strategies employed by architectural practices in relation to colour are rarely considered in texts and colour is seldom integral to the discourse in architecture schools.

The exhibition and accompanying book are the products of a four-year international interdisciplinary research collaboration between the Haus der Farbe, Zurich and the University of Edinburgh. Drawing on examples from the 20th and 21st centuries, six different strategies are presented on the basis of buildings in Berlin, Zürich and Edinburgh: Painterly Promenade (Lux Guyer, Zürich), Tectonics Clarified (Basil Spence, Edinburgh), Immersive Pop (Rainer Rümmler, Berlin), Holistic Interplay (Hans Scharoun, Berlin), Hushed Tonalities (Reiach & Hall Architects, Edinburgh) and Second Layer (Knapkiewicz & Fickert, Zürich).

Over 350 colours observed in the projects were replicated in hand-mixed and hand-painted samples and are presented through abstracted ‘building portraits’ that show the proportion, palette and use of colour on specific buildings, and ‘visualisations’ that aim to communicate possible alternatives for a strategic use of colour in architecture.

Researched and produced by Fiona McLachlan, AnneMarie Neser, Lino Sibillano, Marcella Wenger-Di Gabriele and Stefanie Wettstein.

Supported by The University of Edinburgh, Haus der Farbe, Gewerbemuseum, Keim Paints and Clockwork Removals & Storage.

AA Honours 2016

Graduate Gallery 19/9/2016 - 16/12/2016

Monday to Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday 10:00-17:00.


An exhibition of work by the four students achieving AA Honours in 2016 - Panagiotis Demiris, Christopher Mark Johnson, Maridia Kafetzopoulou and Lorenzo Perri.

Contact details

Head of Exhibitions:
Vanessa Norwood
T: +44 (0)20 7887 4031

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