AUTUMN STUDIO

VESSEL

AA1DS2 - An introduction to Site 2

The Autumn Year 1 Design Module, Support Structures introduced students to processes of appraisal and proposition, and the opportunities and responsibilities of the architect as an agent of change. It is based on the premise that architectural design is driven by an utopian impulse, a conscious striving to change the world for the better made manifest in the architectural project.

Rather than setting out to solve a problem, the students identified specific moments within the town which they thought should be cherished and developed site specific interventions which supported those aspects of place, creating a new way for it to be perceived or an opportunity for it to be appreciated.

The interventions were conceptualised, discussed, made and re-made, in a small team. The result was scaled up to full size and deployed, photographed and filmed in the town.  Subsequently students measured the part of town that they situated their device and created a drawing that combined every aspect of the project including the conceptual, locational, propositional and experiential performance.

As a public work installed on site the project also required students to engage with the multiple publics of Reading to consider architectural works as something constructed with, for, and in relation to others.

Module Convenor: Amy Butt

Design Studio Team: Penelope Plaza, Darren Bray, Amy Butt, Zoe Berman, Graham Thompson, Juan Leiva, Vsevolod Kondratiev-Popov

Visitors: Thomas Aquilina and Ceri Williams

The Autumn Year 1 Design Module, Edge Conditions introduced students to processes of appraisal and proposition, and the opportunities and responsibilities of the architect as an agent of change. It is based on the premise that architectural design is driven by an utopian impulse, a conscious striving to change the world for the better made manifest in the architectural project.

Each student started the project by undertaking detailed observation of a small-scale threshold within Reading to develop an intimate understanding of the specifics of place. These edge conditions were understood as the moments where patterns of behaviour shift and the rules seem to change. Through this close examination of the everyday borders within urban environments, the students developed an attentiveness to architectural expressions of power, as well as questions of accessibility and spatial agency.

From this close observation the students identified specific experiences or activities which they thought should be cherished. Rather than setting out to solve a problem, they developed site specific interventions which supported or enhanced that which was already present. Each intervention was designed to accommodate or create a form of interaction where the imagined user (be that human or non-human) might engage with this cherished aspect of place. By focusing on a site specific moment of engagement, these projects expressed the urgent need to consider the social and environmental implications of architectural design at all scales.

Module Convenor: Amy Butt

Design Studio Team: Penelope Plaza, Darren Bray, Amy Butt, Graham Thompson, Juan Leiva, Vsevolod Kondratiev-Popov

Internal Guests: Lorraine Farrelly, Stephen Gage, John Harding, Sayan Skandarajah, Carolina Vasilikou

External Guests: Thomas Aquilina, Laura Harty and Azadeh Zaferani