Diploma 15 John Baldessari, Throwing Three Balls In The Air To Get A Straight Line (Best of Thirty-Six Attempts), 1973


Lucy Styles, Simon Taylor. Unit Critic Virgil Abloh. Unit Visiting Tutor Oana Stănescu

‘Every four-year old is an architect, some move on but others, the architects, stay.’
– N. Brosterman, 1997

To imagine the future is to live in the moment: alternating between the collective and the personal the studio uses play to explore process, sequence and the prospective city. By means of experiential fragments, on-site models and code, this course will encourage a work-in-progress culture and a reinvention of the 1:1. To fully understand something we need to build it ourselves.


Play is composed of rules that we learn, rules that we unlearn, rules that we design.

Play is sequential, sensorial and unfolds through experience and unfiltered engagement. Play can be all-consuming, casual or suspended, exposing the world in a different light.

Play is the discovery of uncharted territories; a manipulation of what we think we know.

Fragmented landscape
Play builds sprawling landscapes from clusters of de ned fragments, real and imagined.


The unit is composed of three strands at three scales:

London will be our primary testing ground: at once a forest, a river- bank, a museum and a loose network of villages, it has been home to radical spaces of play for centuries, from pleasure gardens to fun palaces.

As the design world becomes increasingly about collaboration, speculative ideas will collide with real-world projects unfolding in real time. These workshops will encourage genre crossover and dialogue between communities: you will speak to the tourist and the purist at the same time. We will engage with Virgil Abloh through a quick- re range of design endeavours such as reimagining the home, the Paris runway, the Mafia-ridden shell of a Sicilian village and global commerce.

These satellites will land back at the AA in a room that serves as a live playground for experimentation, commercial collaboration and layered installations.

Extended Brief

Unit Staff

Lucy Styles is project architect at Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa & Associates. During her time at the practice she has completed the Serpentine Pavilion and the Louvre-Lens museum. She is now responsible for the SANAA Paris office and projects in Northern Europe.

Simon Taylor is a founder of the multidisciplinary communication and design studio, Tomato. He works with institutions including the European Commission, Olympic Legacy Corp and the UN and International Expo.

Unit Collaborator

Virgil Abloh, trained as a civil engineer and architect, was named by Time magazine among the 100 most influential people in the world in 2018. He is currently artistic director of Louis Vuitton's menswear collection and founder and creative director of Off-WhiteTM.

Unit Visiting Tutor

Oana Stănescu runs her eponymous studio (NY) and co-founded the design practice Family New York. Projects include +POOL and collaborations with Nike, MoMA, Kanye West, PlayLab, 2x4, New Museum and Storefront for Art and Architecture.

Diploma School


AA School of Architecture Admissions (Undergraduate)
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

T: +44 (0)20 7887 4051
F: +44 (0)20 7414 0779
undergraduateadmissions @aaschool.ac.uk

Links & Downloads

More Details

Extended Brief

Projects Review 2018

More Information


Prospectus 2018-19
AA Prospectus

Special Programmes Course Booklet
Special Programmes Course Booklet

Undergraduate Course Booklet
Undergraduate Course Booklet


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