Our starting point is to acknowledge the complexities and paradoxes inherent in orthodox architectural documentation in order to unearth the dubious simplifications and missed opportunities that result from the tendency to privilege the visual at the expense of our other senses.
In anticipation of 'the creative user', all our proposals originate from a close focus on the existing condition, paying particular attention to local takeovers, autonomous occupations and the blurring of boundaries of ownership and programme. In considering issues of technology, we are concerned as much with intuition, desire and chance as with precedent, economy and established practice.
During semester 1, the projects set for the Preliminary Design module provide an opportunity for students returning to education to take stock of their position, evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and identify ambitions for future study. Lecture courses in technology and the chosen optional module run in parallel.
Technology and Material Practices
The central concern of the work undertaken in this module is to investigate the ways in which a building’s materiality, systems of construction and service infrastructure provide an opportunity to bring into sharp focus the polemical, ethical and philosophical positions that underpin the project as a whole. The module consists of a series of lectures and workshops focusing on visual, thermal, aural, climatic, structural, constructional and sustainability issues.
By semester 2, work undertaken for the Main Design module consolidates and extends the priorities, ideas and strategies established in Preliminary Design (talks and tutorials on Technology and Material Practices continue to run parallel with the studio project).
Throughout this module, you develop your research skills to construct research questions, hypotheses and methodologies, which you will adapt to issues of personal interest. You also develop and submit a research project proposal.
The Masterwork is the culmination of the course and may be undertaken through creative design practice supported by critical text or as a text-based thesis. The development of the Masterwork proposal is supported by research-based seminars and regular seminar presentations with supervisory input from your course tutors.