MArch in Architecture & Urbanism (Design Research Laboratory) Anri Gyuloyan, Elena Puchkova, Emre Erdogan, Re-thinking of Culture: a proposal for a transformable, artificially intelligent, spatial infrastructure as cultural museum, DRL, 2017–18

DESIGN RESEARCH LABORATORY

Director: Theodore Spyropoulos
Founder: Patrik Schumacher
Course Master: Shajay Bhooshan, David Greene
Programme Coordinator: Ryan Dillon
Course Tutors: Pierandrea Angius, Apostolos Despotidis, Mostafa El-Sayed, Alicia Nahmad Vazquez, Klaus Platzgummer, Alexandra Vougia, Dena Ziari
Technical Tutors: Camilla Bartolucci, Ed Moseley, Albert Williamson- Taylor
Software Tutors: Torsten Broeder, Paul Jeffries, Eva Magnisali, Octavian Mihai Gheorghiu

EXPERIMENTATION AND INNOVATION (V21)

The Design Research Laboratory (DRL) is a 16-month post-professional design research programme that leads to a Master's of Architecture and Urbanism (MArch) degree. Our world-renowned lab has been at the forefront of design experimentation for the past 20 years, pioneering advanced methods in design, computation and manufacturing and is based on an evolving framework of three-year research cycles that interrogate architecture and urbanism from the city-scale to the nano-scale. Led by innovators in the fields of architecture, design and engineering, DRL pursues an inter- disciplinary approach to design that extends beyond architecture, fostering collaboration with companies such as Ferrari, Festo, AKTII, Reider and Odico Robotics. The lab remains a space of cooperation and curiosity and seeks to develop the next generation of architects who will actively engage and influence the eld.

drl.aaschool.ac.uk

COURSE STRUCTURE

Four terms of study are divided into two phases. Phase I, a three-term academic year (beginning each autumn), introduces design techniques and topics through a combination of team-based studio, workshops and seminar courses. In Phase II, which begins the following autumn, teams develop their Phase I work into a comprehensive design thesis project. At the end of January, these projects are presented to a panel of distinguished visiting critics who in the past have included Zaha Hadid, Rem Koolhaas, Jeff Kipnis, Wolf Prix, Ali Rahim, Marta Male- Alemany, Alisa Andrasek, Michael Hansmeyer, John Frazer, Ben Van Berkel, David Ruy, Hernan Diaz Alonso, Tom Wiscombe, Caroline Bos, Mark Cousins, David Greene and Marcelo Spina, among many others.

PHASE I
DESIGN RESEARCH AGENDA: CONSTRUCTING AGENCY (V2)

Our current agenda, Constructing Agency, explores expanded relationships of architecture by considering the futures of living, work and culture. The aim of the research is to expand the eld of possibilities by exploiting behaviour as a conceptual tool to synthesise the digital and material worlds. Advanced computational development is utilised in the pursuit of architectural systems that are adaptive, generative and behavioural. Using the latest in advanced printing, making and computing tools, the lab is developing work that challenges today’s design orthodoxies. Architectures that are mobile, transformative, kinetic and robotic are all part of the AA DRL agenda, which aims to expand the discipline and push the limits of design within the larger cultural and technological realm.

PHASE II
DESIGN RESEARCH AGENDA: CONSTRUCTING AGENCY

FUTURE CULTURE
Theodore Spyropoulos’s studio explores how behaviour-based design methods can be used to reconsider cultural projects for today through the development of self-aware and self-structuring practices that see architecture as an infrastructure to address latency and change.

FUTURE WORK
Agent-based Parametric Semiology – Patrik Schumacher’s studio – contributes to the semiological project which promises to upgrade architecture’s communicative capacity. Concentrating on work environments, this project aims to enhance the social functionality of the designed and built environment through designed architectural code that manifests itself via crowd-modelling of the agent’s behavioural rules.

FUTURE LIVING
Shajay Bhooshan’s studio, House.Occupant. Science.Tech.data (HOSTd), explores robotic fabrication while enabling mass-customisation strategies that can compete with contemporary co-living models in highly productive cities. The promise of mass-customisation integrated with new models of housing now allows for the generation of a vibrant community fabric.

PHASE I DESIGN WORKSHOPS
MATERIAL BEHAVIOUR
Term 1

Shajay Bhooshan, Apostolos Despotidis, Mostafa El-Sayed, Alicia Nahmad Vazquez
Three design workshop modules are devised to emphasise computational and material prototyping as both an analytical methodology and the prime mode of design production and representation. Each five-week module focuses on a specific set of methods and an intended design output to introduce students to a range of concepts and techniques that can be further developed in the year-long Phase I and Phase II studio projects.

PHASE II PROTOTYPING WORKSHOP
ADAPTIVE SYSTEMS AND STRUCTURES
Term 1

Theodore Spyropoulos, Patrik Schumacher, Shajay Bhooshan, Pierandrea Angius, Mostafa El-Sayed, Alicia Nahmad Vazquez
This five-week workshop at the midpoint of Phase II addresses a detailed aspect of the spatial, structural, material and environmental systems of each team’s thesis project. The workshop emphasises modelling techniques that can feed back into the testing and development of larger-scale proposals. A presentation in November will serve as a major interim review.

PHASE I CORE SEMINARS
DESIGN AS RESEARCH
Term 1

Theodore Spyropoulos
Pursuing design as a form of research raises a series of questions that relate to larger technological, economic and cultural contexts. The seminar will explore ways of associating design with forms of research and the implications of using this methodology in architectural and design practice. An overview of computational approaches to architectural design, strategies and processes will complement the seminar and weekly readings on software technologies and design systems will survey computational work in art, music, new media, science and other aspects of contemporary architectural discourses. Teams will make weekly presentations related to the readings and provide analyses of selected projects.

CONCEPTUALISING COMPUTING
Term 1

Mostafa El-Sayed
This seminar offers a foundation in the contemporary history of design computation, tracing the field from the deployment and conceptualisation of computational logics and strategies relative to design objectives.

CONSTRUCTED HISTORIES: TECHNOCENTRIC HISTORY OF DESIGN AND RELATION TO THE MATHEMATICS, TOOLS AND MATERIALS OF THE AGE
Term 2

Shajay Bhooshan
This seminar traces synoptic histories of the built environment as a consequence of the liberating power of geometric abstraction to then understand such histories as additive manufacture of yesteryear in bricks and stone, influenced by and reciprocally shaping mathematics of graphic statics and stereotomy.

PHASE I PROTOTYPING WORKSHOP: RESPONSIVE SYSTEMS
Term 2

Apostolos Despotidis
The workshop introduces students to prototyping and physical computing. Students will learn to use the Arduino platform while exploring various fabrication processes to give shape to their ideas. In Phase II, these techniques will serve as essential skills during prototype development.


BEHAVIOUR: EXAMINING THE PROTO-SYSTEMIC
Term 2

Theodore Spyropoulos, Ryan Dillon
This core seminar follows a behaviour-based agenda to engage with experimental forms of material and computational practice. Through an examination of cybernetic and systemic thinking in relation to seminal forms of prototyping and experimentation, the seminar will look at experiments that have manifested since the early 1950s as maverick machines, architectures and ideologies. Team-based presentations will examine these methods and outputs as case studies for studio experimentation.

SOFTWARE PLATFORMS: MAYA, RHINO, 3D STUDIO, PROCESSING, ARDUINO, SOFTIMAGE, ADOBE SUITE, PYTHON, OPENFRAMEWORKING & SCRIPTING
Terms 1 & 2

Shajay Bhooshan, Torsten Broeder, Apostolos Despotidis, Mostafa El-Sayed, Paul Jeffries, Eva Magnisali, Octavian Mihai Gheorghiu
These optional workshops introduce a number of digital tools and software systems to give students a grounding in the skills required to construct and control parametric models and interactive presentations. Sessions will build up to advanced scripting, programming and dynamic modelling techniques.

SYNTHESIS: PROJECT SUBMISSION, WRITING & RESEARCH DOCUMENTATION
Terms 1 & 2

Alexandra Vougia, Klaus Platzgummer
In weekly sessions students will review the basics of writing and research related to course submissions. Presentations will cover resources in London and beyond, the preparation of thesis abstracts, writing styles and issues related to essays, papers and project booklets.

Staff

Theodore Spyropoulos (director of Minimaforms) is an architect and educator. Resident artist at Somerset House, and former research fellow at MIT's Center for Advanced Visual Studies, Spyropoulos's work is in the FRAC Centre for Contemporary Art, Signum Foundation and the Archigram Archive, University of Westminster. He has exhibited at MOMA, Barbican Centre, Onassis Cultural Centre, Detroit Institute of Arts, Leonardo Da Vinci Museum of Science and Technology and the ICA.

Patrik Schumacher is a practising architect and architectural theorist promoting parametricism. He studied philosophy and architecture in Bonn, Stuttgart and London and holds a PhD in cultural science from Klagenfurt University. He is a partner at Zaha Hadid Architects and was recently the John Portman Chair at GSD, Harvard University.

Shajay Bhooshan is an MPhil candidate at the University of Bath and a research fellow at ETH Zurich. He also heads the research activities of the Computation and Design (co|de) group at Zaha Hadid Architects in London.

David Greene – born Nottingham, England, 1937 – usual English provincial suburban upbringing, art school, and onto London to begin a nervous, nomadic and twitchy career; from big buildings for developers to T-shirts for Paul Smith to conceptual speculation for Archigram, which he founded with Peter Cook. Currently Greene is, perhaps, Provost of the Invisible University.

Ryan Dillon studied at Syracuse University and the AA, where he is currently Unit Master of Intermediate Unit 5 and a lecturer in the History & Theory Studies programme. He previously worked at Moshe Safdie Architects.

Apostolos Despotidis is currently working for Foster + Partners and previously worked for Minimaforms. He holds an MArch from the AA's DRL and an architecture and engineering degree from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.

Mostafa El-Sayed is the co-founder of Automata Technologies and previously worked as a member of the Computation and Design group at Zaha Hadid Architects. He is a graduate of the AA and the American University of Sharjah. He has taught and presented work at various events, workshops and institutions in London and internationally.

Klaus Platzgummer studied architecture at ETH Zurich and holds an MA in History and Critical Thinking from the AA. He currently co-teaches DRL's synthesis seminars and serves as a teaching assistant in the History & Theory Studies programme.

Albert Williamson-Taylor has been DRL's lead technical tutor since 2011. He is an active member on the steering committee of the Council for Tall Buildings, co-founder of design-led structural engineering firm AKT II and has extensive experience in award-winning designs that emphasise innovation and computational research.

Alicia Nahmad Vazquez is a PhD fellow at the Welsh School of Architecture, University of Cardiff. She previously worked with the parametric design group at Populous, London. She is researching the mediation between digital design and traditional material crafts
and the incorporation of human-robot interactions on the construction site.

Alexandra Vougia studied architecture in Thessaloniki, Greece and holds an MSc in Advanced Architectural Design from GSAPP, Columbia University. She was awarded an MPhil from the AA in 2016. She has worked as an architect in New York and Athens and has taught at the AA and the University of Westminster.

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Programme site

drl.aaschool.ac.uk


Projects Review 2018


Contact

Graduate Admissions Team AA School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

T: 020 7887 4067 / 4007
graduateadmissions
@aaschool.ac.uk

Links & Downloads

ONLINE GRADUATE APPLICATION FORM 2019/20



Prospectus 2018-19
AA Prospectus


Graduate Prospectus
Graduate Prospectus


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