Intermediate 10 Andreea Vafilcin and Lior Ramon, interface of a generic chair and Tajik (sic!) sock: a sock inverter


Valentin Bontjes van Beek, Winston Hampel

‘The posts are put up, the stage is set, and everyone expects a feast.’
–JW Goethe, Faust: A Tragedy, 1808

With this year’s focus set, the unit will continue its exploration of design as a process of addition to and subtraction from an existing context. ‘Post’ here constitutes a) the physical, the column, the underpinning or bracing structure, the vertical; b) a place, position or station: simultaneously act, state and location, a postcode; c) the following, the afterthought, reflective and associative: post-rationalise, post-industrial, post-modern, post-human; and d) the literary and the media: promotional, complimentary or hostile commentaries or declarations – posted either on a wall or online.

From these strands, we will begin to single out and activate specific aspects to guide our way towards the point of destination: an architectural proposal for London and its periphery. We will be going through an array of measures, starting with the object, body and image scale, moving to room, street and community, and arriving in the strategic, economic and infrastructural scale of the city – bearing in mind that the existing and emerging metropolis often outmanoeuvres the ever-newly imagined one.

Along the way, we will work on post-object, post-images and post-writing: from designing an outpost of a humble yet instrumental nature, to laying out and losing ourselves in a set of survey drawing of an unknown and foreign location, to establishing a position, both physically and ideologically, to seamlessly segueing into a fully-fledged and well-tempered proposal for London, and eventually post-rationalising and conveying our explorations.

‘Constantly obsessed with the difficulty of the manoeuvre, I lose much of my timidity, I no longer physically avoid the entrance, I start circling around it, it’s become my favourite occupation, almost as though I was the enemy now, exploring the best opportunity to stage a successful break-in. If only I had someone I could trust, whom I could set in my observation- post, then I could calmly make my descent.’
– Franz Kafka, The Burrow, 1931

Extended Brief

Unit Staff

Valentin Bontjes van Beek runs vbvb studio (London), has taught at the AA since 2001 and is a professor at the Munich University of Applied Science (MUAS). He trained in Germany as a carpenter and worked as an architect in New York with Bernard Tschumi and Raimund Abraham before returning to London to practise and teach.

Winston Hampel studied architecture and design in Hamburg, Paris and Stuttgart, where he received his Diploma, and graduated from the History & Critical Thinking programme at the AA. He has taught across AA First Year Studio, History & Theory and the DRL. He has worked for practices in Germany and France, and is now based between Munich and London.

Intermediate School


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