Architectural Association
Media Studies

AA MEDIA is an experimental testing ground for exploring and interrogating the tools of the discipline – tools with which we speculate, manipulate and play; compute, control and test; communicate, seduce, and provoke.

Acting as both training camp and laboratory, it is a diverse, multidisciplinary program where unexpected collisions and obsessive attention to detail expose a rich seam of creative potential. Media Studies presents an opportunity to develop individual practice, where students hone their dexterity with established and progressive media, actively testing modes of production through focused acts of doing and making.


Kate Davies
Head of Media Studies
Inigo Minns
Acting Head (maternity cover)

Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu
Lab Coordinator

Architectural Association
School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

+44 (0)20 7887 4000


FIRST YEAR / Term 1 & 2


Tuesdays, 2-5pm

This course will explore the physical transformation of certain materials over time, and the reciprocal relationship between mould and cast form. We will have minutes to work with alginate and plaster; slow down the setting of concrete over days; and consider how its strength increases over weeks and months. We will work with pigments, aggregates and additives to create tests which we will pressure-wash and etch. We will reveal the contrast between interior and exterior by dissecting and polishing. Finally, we will develop appropriate methods for representing and translating our multiple experiments into two dimensions.

Session 1: PRECEDENTS: Tuesday 2nd October 2018 
- Site visit to the Southbank Centre to explore an iconic group of cast buildings. We will carry out a close-reading of its form and surfaces, and will record our observations in the form of measured drawings, sketches and photographic documentation.

Session 2: FABRICATING FORMWORK: Tuesday 9th October 2018
-Using the observations made at the Southbank Centre as a starting point, we will fabricate our own formwork structures from which the first plaster casts will be made

Session 3: CONCRETE: Tuesday 16th October 2018
- Introduction to concrete, including pigments, sands, aggregates and additives. Each student will produce a series of experimental test panels.

Session 4: CONCRETE: Tuesday 23rd October 2018 
-Based on last week’s tests, each student will make a concrete cast from their formwork. Students will decide at what stage of the setting process they wish to reveal their cast


Session 5: CONCRETE: Tuesday 6th November 2018  
-Last week’s casts will be critically analysed. Further iterations will be produced

Session 6: CONCRETE SECTIONS: Tuesday 13th November 2018
-Final revisions to formwork and casting iterations.

Session 7: CONCLUSIONS: Tuesday 20th November 2018 ? 
-Working in the photographic studio, we will draw and photograph the work made during the workshops and critically review our work in preparation for the MS portfolio submission. On Saturday there will be an optional visit to a masonry works to oversee the casts being cut and/or polished

Session 8: MS JURY DAY: Tuesday 27th November 2018
- Presentation and discussion.

Submission Requirements: A portfolio of drawings, photographs and 1:1 scans representing all the work made during the course, from the translation of the Southbank Centre observations to the subsequent moulds, formwork, test samples and experimental casts.