Wednesday, September 26, 2007

AA Intermediate Unit 6 2007-8: Reading List

The Ghost in the Machine Arthur Koestler Hutchinson & Co., 1967

Empire of Signs Roland Barthes Hill & Wang, 1982

The Concept of Mind Gilbert Ryle Hutchinson, 1949

On Growth & Form D’Arcy Thompson Cambridge University Press, 1961

Constructions John Rajchman MIT Press, 1997

Earth Moves Bernard Cache MIT Press, 1995

Emergence Stephen Johnson Penguin, 2001

The Virtual Dimension John Beckman, Ed. Princeton, 2001

Envisioning Information Edward R. Tufte Graphics Press, 2001

Visual Explanations Edward R. Tufte Graphics Press, 1997

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information Edward R. Tufte Graphics Press, 2001

Made in Tokyo Momoyo Kaijima, Junzo Kuroda and Yoshiharu Tsukamoto Kajima Institute Publishing, 2001

Disruptive Pattern Material: An Encyclopaedia of Camouflage:Nature, Military and Culture Hardy Blechman(Ed) DPM Ltd (BVI), 2004

Ukiyo-e Gian Carlo Calza Phaidon, 2005

The Harvard Design School Guide to Shopping Rem Koolhas, Ed. Taschen, 2001

Mapping Roger Fawcett-Tang and William Owen Rotovision, 2002

Learning From Las Vegas Robert Venturi The MIT Press, 1977

The Image of the City Kevin Lynch MIT Press, 1960

Formless, A User’s Guide Yve-Alain Bois and Rosalind E. Krauss Zone, 1997

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Proposed Unit Structure

TERM 1: PHASE 1- Searching for Ghosts

The first part of the term will focus upon the development of an individual spatial and material vocabulary, initiated by the translation of Ukiyo-e (images of the floating world) into both surface and volumetric constructs.

Can materials think? The latent properties of chosen materials will be explored via a series of operations and techniques, resulting in the iterative development of physical models with specific volumetric, topological and tactile qualities. Emphasis will be given to production and experimentation via both surface and solid constructs and the introduction of composites. The advent of deformations and mutations may occur via both controlled (folding, laminating, carving etc.) and uncontrolled (casting, evacuating, melting, splitting etc.) processes. Photography will be used to record, reveal and clarify these specific characteristics and deviations.

Crack & warp column- David Nash

Week1 1-5th October
• Student interviews and registration
• 06.10 First unit meeting and introduction to Project No.1- Paper

Week 2 8th-12th October
• 09.10 Tutorials JD
• 12.10 Pin-up JD/DB, review and debrief. Introduction to Project No.2- Stone

Week 3 15th-19th October
• 16.10 Tutorials JD
• 19.10 Tutorials JD/DB

Week 4 22nd-26th October
• 23.10 Tutorials JD
• 26.10 Pin Up JD/DB plus guests, review and debrief. Introduction to Project No.3- Scissors

Week 5 29th-2nd November
• 30.10 Tutorials JD
• 02.11 Tutorials JD/DB

Week 6 5th-9th November (Open Week)
• 06.11 Tutorials JD
• 09.11 Presentation Projects 1-3 JD/DB plus guests. Introduction to Project No.4- Room

TERM 1: PHASE II: Critical Inhabitation

The second phase of the term will focus upon the potential for inhabitation via a critical evaluation of initial constructs and an assessment of their tactile, perceptual and organisational characteristics.

Sectional, axonometric and exploded drawings are constructions in their own right. Representational techniques will be tailored to accommodate and reveal hidden aspects and criteria as each student develops bespoke ways in which to frame and plot tactile, morphological or organisational criteria. Patterns that emerge may be re-described and their definitions explored.

Workshops relating to patternmaking and digital collage will provoke a questioning and crystallisation of initial thoughts about scale, perception and orientation.

A reinstatement of specific qualities will be articulated within a ‘room’ project, to begin to realise potential scale(s) of occupation through their interpretation. Each student will develop a fragment at the scale of inhabitation both through physical & digital exploratory models.

Week 7 12th-16th November
• 13.11 Tutorials JD- review of projects 1-3. Seminar ‘Inhabitation’.
• 16.11 Workshop JD/DB and guests.

Week 8 19th-23rd November
• 20.11 Tutorials JD
• 23.11 Workshop- Collage Room- JD/DB

Week 9 26th-30th November
• 26.11 Tutorials JD
• 29.11 Tutorials JD/DB

Week 10 3rd-7th December
• 03.12 Tutorials JD
• 07.11 End of Term Review Presentation Projects 1-4 JD/DB plus guests.

TERM 1: PHASE III- Fieldwork Tokyo

Week 11 10th-14th December + Week 12 17th-21st December
The unit will travel to Tokyo, Japan. Focusing upon several specific localities, each student will investigate situations analogous to their earlier material, spatial, topological and organisational concerns, immersed within the wider scale and complexity of the city.

Research will manifest itself via an extensive series of individual mappings and notations, diagrams, and three-dimensional model representations. The task will be to unravel, record and redefine latent qualities, intensities and patterns relating to built fabric and its occupation. This will reveal different scales of operations, the relationship with infrastructure, open space, mixtures of programmes, temporal issues etc.

TERM 2: PHASE I: Collective Intelligence

Following a review of the Tokyo research, the second term will focus upon the development of collective site research and strategies for a site in Kings Cross. The site for proposed intervention is a prominent urban block, peripheral to the territory of the Kings Cross Central Master plan. The group will focus upon the investigation of the physical locality, site qualities and an evaluation of policy before publishing a comprehensive site research document reflecting their findings.
An exquisite corpse workshop will yield unexpected group strategies and form a loose series of strategic concerns that will be developed by unit clusters. This work will also form an appendix to the site research publication and a starting point for individual propositions.

Week 1 7th-11th January
• 07.01 Tutorials JD
• 11.01 Review of Tokyo Research JD/DB plus guests.

Week 2 14th-18th January
• 15.01 Introduction of Site Research Brief JD. Seminar ‘Mapping’
• 18.01 Group Tutorials JD/DB.

Week 3 21st-25th January
• 22.01 Group Tutorials JD.
• 25.01 Pin-up/ Progress + Group Tutorials JD/DB.

Week 4 28th-1st February
• 29.01 Group Tutorials JD.
• 01.02 Strategic Workshop JD/DB.

Week 5 4th-8th February
• 04.02 Group Tutorials JD.
• 08.02 Pin-up/ Progress of Strategies + Group Tutorials JD/DB.

Week 6 11th-15th February (Open Week)
• 12.02 Group Tutorials JD.
• 15.02 Group Presentations of site research, group publications JD/DB + guests

Week 7 18th-22nd February
• 19.02 Introduce Project 7- Proposal JD/DB
• 22.02 Individual Tutorials JD

TERM 2: PHASE II: Individual Proposition

The final phase of the year focuses upon individual propositions. Each student will develop a brief positioned within the physical, social and political framework of the site. An individual strategy will evolve from collective proposals and may also reflect earlier concerns within Tokyo research. Workshops early on in the last phase will focus on production through the translation of strategies into the development of skins, surfaces, patterns or layers. The evolution of a pattern may allow individual elements to respond or adapt to local site conditions, creating ghosts of the parent original.

Week 8 25th-29th February
• 26.02 Individual Tutorials JD
• 29.02 Workshop- (Non) Repetitive Pattern- JD/DB + Guests

Week 9 3rd-7th March
• 04.03 Technical Tutorials- Development of Strategy JD/ SA
• 07.03 Tutorials JD/DB.

Week 10 10th-14th March
• 10.03 Individual Tutorials JD
• 14.03 End of Term Review JD/DB + Guests


Within the final term a number of pin-ups will focus upon individual drawings in order to refine the organisation and structuring of each individual portfolio.

The objective will be to develop a scheme from strategy to detail, developing initial spatial, material and organisational approaches. Incorporating the final stage of technical studies, each student will produce material fragments, both drawn and modelled, at a variety of suitable scales. Each will redefine tectonic fabric in relation to technical concerns alongside the inter-articulation of specific spatial, topological and programmatic characteristics.

Week 1 14th-18th April
• 15.04 Review JD/DB + Guests
• 16.04 Tutorials JD/DB

Week 2 21st-25th April
• 22.04 Inter Previews JD/DB
• 23.04 Inter Previews JD/DB

Week 3 28th April-02nd May
• 29.04 Technical Tutorials JD/SA
• 02.05 Tutorials JD/DB

Week 4 5th –9th May
• 06.05 Technical Studies Interim Review JD/ SA
• 09.05 Review- 1:100 Ground Plan JD/DB + guests

Week 5 12th –16th May
• 13.05 Tutorials JD
• 16.05 Review- Axonometric/ Exploded/ 3d Drawing JD/DB + guests

Week 6 19th –23rd May
• 20.05 Tutorials JD + TS Final Submission
• 23.05 Review-1:20 Section JD/DB + guests

Week 7 26th –30th May
• 27.05 Tutorials JD
• 16.05 Tutorials JD/DB

Week 8 2nd –6th June Intermediate Jury Week
• 03.06 Tutorials JD
• 06.06 Final Jury JD/DB + Guests

Week 9 9th –13th June
• 03.06 Tutorials JD
• 06.05 Tutorials JD/DB

Week 10 16th –20th June
• 16.06 2nd year End of Year reviews JD/ DB
• 20.06 3rd year Tutorials JD/ Exhibition meeting/ building

Week 11 23rd –27th June
• 23.06 Intermediate (Part 1) Final Check JD/DB
• 24.06 Intermediate (Part 1) Final Check JD/DB

Week 12 30th June– 4th July
• 01.07 Intermediate (Part 1) External Examination JD
• 04.07 Opening of Exhibition

Unit Structure/ Support

Unit Master: Jonathan Dawes BSc(Hons) AA Dip ARB

Unit Tutor: Dagobert Bergmans Ir.

Visiting Critic: Ellis Woodman, Buildings Editor, Building Design Magazine

Technical Consultant: Scobie Alvis- Technical Director, Structures, Hyder Consulting

Proposed Workshops:

Repetitive Pattern/ Building skin: Drusilla Cole, Author ‘Patterns- New Surface Design’

Tokyo Workshop: Yuji Fukui, Tokyo Geidai University, Ueno, Tokyo

Patternmaking Workshop: Bora Aksu, Fashion Designer

Site Strategic Workshop: Unit Staff & Guests

Unit Programme 07/08

Ghost in the Machine

How can the latent qualities of building fabric affect our inhabitation, behaviour or perception of space? How can we expect the unexpected, pre-empt spatial effects or phenomena that are otherwise hidden, fleeting?

We will examine the tectonic potential of materials through experimentation, construction and invention. We will also study the inherent characteristics of spaces and their surface, topological and organisational properties. The unit will focus on measures to comprehend, re-describe and propagate these qualities on their own terms, to develop a self-regulating process where an architectural language takes on a life of its own.

Ghost patterns

We will investigate the tailoring of spaces through their effects upon movement, light, hierarchy and comfort via processes of folding, cutting, wrapping, variegation, lamination etc. Emphasis will be given to the deformation and mutation of spatial models and the iterative development of patterns and taxonomies. Specialist workshops will focus upon the exploration of building fabric, adapting to changes in condition, scale and task.

Tokyo Ukiyo-e: Learning from the floating world

Ukiyo-e, fictional representations made famous by Hokusai and Hiroshige each captured selective, fleeting parameters from the real world. The images depicted extreme social and economic transformations through cultural happenings and changing habitats. Using this analogy the unit will travel to Tokyo, Japan where we will explore the extremities of the city and draw out their narratives, at the intersection of the real and fictional. We will examine the intensive, interwoven topological and programmatic conditions of Shibuya alongside the expanding territory of boutique architecture in Omotesando and Ginza. Analysis will extend to the dispersed organisational field of Harajuku, the large-scale infrastructure of Shinjuku and the vertical complexity of Akihabara.

Exquisite Corpse: Unnatural composite

Propositions will be formulated for the re-evaluation of a mixture of uses within a complex armature between road and rail infrastructure in London. Working both at a strategic level and the scale of inhabitation the unit will operate both individually and as a collective. Using exquisite corpse methodology, contributions will manifest themselves into a series of strategic potentialities from which individual propositions will evolve.

Ghost writing

Ghosts cannot be captured on film. A specific instrumentation will be developed in order to reveal latent site qualities. The unit will develop mapping techniques, plotting double signals and tracing site conditions to create alternate readings. ‘Ghost writers’ will be invented, who will guide our hands and initiate architectural responses that will redefine the process of construction. Through consideration of material properties and spatial criteria we will crystallise critical realisations with hidden characteristics that emerge at an unexpected moment.