Media Studies Embedded Embodied, aluminium casting in Chings Yard with Shany Barath and Gary Freedman

Media Studies

Inigo Minns, Miraj Ahmed, Charles Arsène-Henry, Kasper Ax, Sue Barr, Shany Barath, Shin Egashira, Matej Hosek, Anderson Inge, Sergio Irigoyen, Thomas Tørslev Jensen, Alex Kaiser, Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu, Antoni Malinowski, Flavien Menu, Alison Moffett, Nicholas Mortimer, Joel Newman, David Ole Wolthers, Thomas Pearce, Joseph Popper, Caroline Rabourdin, Mattia Santi, Francesca Silvi, Antoine Vaxelaire, Emmanuel Vercruysse

Media Studies is a testing ground for exploring the processes and methods involved in making architecture. Operating a diverse multidisciplinary programme, it encourages students to interrogate the tools with which we speculate, manipulate and play; compute and control; communicate, seduce and provoke. By actively testing modes of production through focused acts of doing and making, Media Studies presents a range of opportunities for students to develop individual practice and hone dexterity with both established and progressive media. As techniques and concepts in fabrication, computation and representation continue to evolve, the programme deploys a range of tools - from pencil to point-cloud - in order to both reinforce and reinvent the methods by which students approach design and architecture.

AA Media Studio
First and Second Year students are required to enrol in studio-based courses, while Intermediate Media Studies courses are open to any Third Year or Diploma student. The department staff possesses a breadth of expertise - encompassing architecture, the arts and technology - and this year's courses address a wide range of creative media, including: hand drawing, 3D scanning, video, photography, typography, digital modelling, narrative, textiles, analogue and digital fabrication, casting, scripting, immersive and interactive media, fieldwork, curating and electronics.

AA Media Saturday School
Media Studies also offers a range of extracurricular, weekend workshops and courses for students to develop new skills and working methods to support their studio projects.

Working with the AA Computer Lab, Media Studies offers a range of one-day software courses allowing students to quickly grasp fundamental techniques in major digital applications for architecture.

Open Workshops
In addition to labs and Saturday courses, Media Studies offers a range of one-off events, short introductions, tasters and demonstrations covering a wide array of media, open to curious minds across the school.

First Year, Term 1
From Words to Spaces, Flavien Menu
The course explores spatial dimension through words, models, plans, sections and images. Starting with a diverse selection of short essays, students will develop their own translation using architectural representational tools to transform a mental space into a physical reality.

Materiality of Colour, Antoni Malinowski
This course focuses on how colour creates and manipulates space. Students will be introduced to the materiality of pure pigments with the focus on colour as micro-structure. They will create their own notational system sensitive to space, time, light and the characteristics of materials, building a 3D colour construct devised through the analysis of colour and light.

Peripheral Landscapes, Sue Barr
This course uses digital photography to examine landscapes at the edge of the city, where the urban and suburban are both complex and mysterious, and the photograph is discovered only through committed observation. Taking inspiration from Italian photography of the 1970s and 80s we will reject the iconic to instead privilege the regional landscapes of the everyday.

Seeing Your Way to Draw, Anderson Inge
This course is defined by looking and drawing, and in turn, exercising a language for both. Each session follows a distinct theme, covering powerful approaches and techniques in drawing, and takes place in exquisite national collections nearby. Classes begin with a short talk or demonstration, while the majority of time is spent actively working through drawing exercises.

One-Minute Animation, Joel Newman
In four sessions students will make an animated gif and a 1500 frame (one minute) animation with original soundtrack. The gif will focus on the individual as the subject. For the animation, all methods of production will be considered but stop-motion will be emphasised.

The Knowhow Series: Cast and Mould, Emmanuel Vercruysse
The Knowhow Series investigates the processes involved in bringing complex and exquisite objects into being. This term, students will explore reproduction through mould-making and casting. Working with plaster, clay, silicone, hot melt vinyl and low melt metal alloys, they will create a series of intuitive cast objects where the process of making informs ideas directly and organically.

Projection and Speculation, Miraj Ahmed
Architectural drawings are tools that enable a series of exploratory steps that lead to the physical building of propositions. The course will build your knowledge of 2D and 3D orthographic projection and the importance of precision as a tool for the imagination, moving from the measured re-drawing of an existing architectural precedent towards transformations and invented possibilities expressed through architectural drawing and other media.

Translation of Objects through Drawing, Shin Egashira
The course explores the unfamiliarity of familiar objects by splicing, hacking and reassembling through drawing, physical modelling and collage. Alternating between cutting, drawing and describing, the course introduces the ambiguity between forms of representation and that of designing.

First Year, Term 2
The Household Glitch Mounted Scouts, Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu The Motion Studio is a time-based media and digital storytelling garage exploring digital tools through analogue processes, prototyping real-time experiences for a real-time digital environment. These four sessions will address the field of game design. Using dynamics, 3D animation and the anatomy of movement to create gamified digital installations.

Collaborative Transformations, Thomas Tørslev Jensen and Kasper Ax
This course pushes beyond the conventional understanding of architecture as a linear process to explore the collaborative potential of design. Through separate but interconnected exercises, design artefacts will pass from one designer to the next, gradually transforming from simple everyday objects into reinterpreted architectural designs. The course introduces digital drafting, 3D modelling, visualisation and prototyping.

Taking Measure, Caroline Rabourdin
In order to understand the relationship between the body, geometry and architecture, we will look at feet and inches to measure bodies. Students will draw 2D metric patterns, define a datum and complete the representations with bespoke annotations. The aim of the course is to make drawings that contain instructions for making.

The Drawn Mistake, Alison Moffett
The course explores the function of drawing within architectural practice, concentrating on drawing as a thought process or a visualisation of ideas. We will discuss how drawing has worked to enlarge concepts and students will use different techniques to build up an understanding of practice, composition and concept in order to think through drawing.

Continued from Term 1
Materiality of Colour, Antoni Malinowski
Translation of Objects through Drawing, Shin Egashira The Knowhow Series: Cast and Mould, Emmanuel Vercruysse developing more advanced custom codes and generative design strategies. The design process emerges from the use of code-based tools alongside digital platforms such as Maya, Rhino and Grasshopper.

The Household Glitch Mounted Regiment, Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu
The Motion Studio is a time-based media and digital storytelling garage. This eight-week course uses the field of interaction design to process and design digital environments. We will utilise 3D motion tracking and IoT sensors, real-time render engines and screen based media while choreographing space through yocto-seconds.

Active Matter, Shany Barath
This course explores material design as an architectural protagonist and the potential of fabrication techniques as activators of material systems. Students will experience material in its raw state and gain an understanding of its tactile, structural and innate properties. The studio will function as a material laboratory, shifting from analogue experiments to digital fabrication.

Shapes of Fiction, Charles Arsène-Henry
You hold a metacamera in your mind and plug a video game controller onto the spine of a paperback. Beneath adventures and stories you detect glyphs, operations, transitions and speeds. You draw an axonometric of a dissolve and give voice-over to diagrams. Phantom rides and interior monologues blur. A general state of literality rises. What if you could access a text or a film the way you enter an abandoned spaceship: as a faceted volume to be examined with a sense of slowness, care and wonder?

Dada-Digital III, David Ole Wolthers and Kasper Ax
Inspired by the dada movement, where 3D objects were reinterpreted as purely expressive spatial artefacts, this course opens up creativity through computational means. We will reinvent everyday objects as architectural components, transforming them into spatially complex constellations through plug-ins and visualisation techniques. The course provides a digital toolbox for digitally fabricating physical models using CNC, 3D printing and laser-cutting.

Painting Architecture, Alex Kaiser
By bridging and exploiting the space between hand-drawn and computeraided representation, this course remixes an aggregation of drawings at a high speed, using digital collage, line drawing and rendering techniques. Later in the course, large-scale compositions are constructed to allow investigations of new types of spaces, typologies and landscapes.

Intermediate, Term 2
Inflected Space - 2/3/2D, Anderson Inge and Antoni Malinowski This course is an exercise in design thinking, form, vocabulary and image production through model studies, transformations, projections and ceaseless. drawing. Digital-free sessions will sustain the development of design ideas. We will ferret around design as a process of predicting which benefits from immediate access to all the tools in the box - from 2D to 3D, and back again.

Designing from Within, Sergio Irigoyen
The course will focus on video game engines as architecture tools and AR/VR headsets as the medium to experience digital environments. Students will construct virtual spaces from inside-out while inhabiting them through VR. The course will provide students with the skills to design and visualise a space while in virtual reality through the use of video game engines like Unreal engine or Unity engine and VR headsets like HTC Vive or Oculus Rift.

Video, Joel Newman
This course explores the medium of video. After introducing pre-production and camera craft, students work together to make original video pieces and soundtracks that both emphasise experimentation and question accepted forms and structures - ie, live-action footage, editing techniques, narrative and non-narrative explorations, performances and spaces created by chance.

Works on Paper, Miraj Ahmed
'Works on paper' describes a fine art practice whereby art is made on or with paper - such as drawing, collage, pigment, mixed media. It seems absurd to use the term in architecture since architectural drawings tend to end up on paper. But when applied to the discipline, 'works on paper' suggests the idea that such drawings might exist for their own sake. This course explores the architectural drawing and the spaces that lines inhabit on paper and beyond.

The Sub-Millimetre Surreal, Thomas Pearce
In this course we will prime the daunting blank canvas of our digital modelling space with a coat of delightful resistance. The course will introduce 3D Lidar and object scanning, mesh/NURBS modelling and digital fabrication, enabling students to subvert given spatial conditions by designing and fabricating sub-millimetre accurate surgical incisions which unfold the surreal in the real.

Continued from Term 1
Printed Matter, Caroline Rabourdin Seeing Slowly - Black and White Analog Photography, Sue Barr Shapes of Fiction, Charles Arsène-Henry Rendering Architecture, Matej Hosek Painting Architecture, Alex Kaiser Active Matter, Shany Barath BodyScape, Mattia Santi and Francesca Silvi

Unit Staff

Miraj Ahmed is a painter and architect. He has taught at the AA since 2000 and is an associate lecturer at Camberwell College of Art. He was a design fellow at Cambridge University from 2006 to 2014.

Charles Arsène-Henry founded the speculative research agency White Box Black Box in 2009. He is conceiving The Library is on Fire and writing the metafiction Mallarme Multiverse.

Kasper Ax is a PhD fellow at CITA in Copenhagen and founding partner of AWJ Architects. He has worked at LASSA Architects and Asymptote. He has taught at a number of schools including the AA, the Bartlett and the University of Westminster.

Shany Barath and Gary Freedman are the co-founders of SHaGa Studio, a design collaborative based in London and Tel Aviv. Their work fuses extensive practical experience with design methodologies, technological innovation and creative material application across varying scales. They direct the AA TLV Visiting School.

Sue Barr studied at the London College of Printing where she specialised in photographing brutalist architecture and now works internationally as an architectural photographer. She is currently a PhD candidate at the RCA.

Shin Egashira has taught at the AA since 1990 and has been the Unit Master of Diploma 11 since 1997. He conducts landscape workshops in rural communities around the world.

Matej Hosek studied architecture at the TUL in the Czech Republic before working at Vyonyx Studio in London and then teaching at the AA School. He is now a senior visualiser at AsymmetricA studio.

Anderson Inge trained in both architecture and structures at MIT, and in fine arts at Central St Martins. He has developed a pedagogy for drawing and visualisation, which he delivers at numerous institutions, currently at the AA and the Rural Studio.

Sergio Irigoyen is an architect, computer graphics artist and video game developer at Neutral Digital. He holds a Masters from the Bartlett and teaches digital studies at IE University in Spain. He has taught numerous workshops worldwide.

Thomas Tørslev Jensen is an architect and founding partner of AWJ Architects. He holds an MArch from the AADRL and has taught at Aarhus School of Architecture, the Royal Academy in Copenhagen and the AA School.

Alex Kaiser studied architecture at Oxford Brookes and the AA. In 2011 he co-founded the practice Ordinary Ltd, an East London studio focused on creative investigations at the intersection of architecture, digital fabrication, material sciences and theory.

Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu is senior interaction designer and art director at Neutral Digital, an agency that specialises in VR and other immersive interactive solutions. He has taught at Princeton University School of Architecture, the Bartlettn and the AA.

Antoni Malinowski is an artist who works with pigment, light, movement and time. Recent commissions include Spectral Flip, Mathematical Institute, Oxford, 2015 and Everyman Theatre, Liverpool, 2014 (in collaboration with HTA).

Flavien Menu is a London-based architect with a postgraduate dual degree in urban affairs from the London School of Economics and Sciences Po. Apart from his practice developing strategic research projects and urban development schemes, his writing aims to fuel the societal, political and cultural debate on built environmental issues.

Nicholas Mortimer and Joseph Popper are artists, designers and the co-founders of Scene Everything studio, specialising in built environments and narrative experiences for cultural events and exhibitions.

Joel Newman studied fine art at Reading University. An AA course tutor since 1998, he has exhibited video work at galleries including the Architecture Foundation, LUX, ICA and the Whitechapel.


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