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




Tuesdays 2-5pm
(*NB: This course will be run by Will Gowland while Kate Davies is on Maternity leave.)

The course deploys animation and time-based media as a mode of exploring and expressing dynamic conditions. We question the potential actions and operations of the architect in the field and how these practices can generate a particular, peculiar kind of conceptual work that mediates site and studio.

Somewhere out there, beyond the studio is a messy place that we call Site - a corner of a city or a pocket of landscape - where our creations, crafted in the clean laboratory spaces of our desk[top]s, may one day venture. How can we capture the complex essence of this place - this elusive creature; this cocktail of the visible and invisible - to lure it gently, alive and wriggling to our desks like a mysterious bottled ghost?

We are hunting the intangible and the elusive, as we explore the hidden dynamics of site through active and obsessive field recording. We will work on-location, gathering data and field-notes to use as raw material for alternate, wild, abstract and notational depictions of places and events.

The product of this fieldwork is, at its heart, the telling of a story. Back at HQ, we will construct time-based drawings and animate them, bringing them to life as characterful portraits of complex sites. These dynamic drawings will form thick descriptions - visual music, embodying a symphony of relationships, events and occurrences that defy capture in a photograph. We test the limits of the visual, looking beyond the depiction of tangible things to explore alternative languages with which to describe the world.

Session 1: Tuesday 8th January 2019
Studio session
- Introduction/ discussion of site/field work
- The field journal, field tools, modes of survey/ recording

Session 2: Tuesday 15th January 2019
Site Visit/ Field Work
- Field notes and observation [qualitative]
- Group discussion of initial observations
- Develop time-based sketches from observations

Session 3: Tuesday 22nd January 2019
Studio session
- Lecture: History of experimental notation and abstract cinema
- Introduction to animation software – with a focus on Adobe After effects
- Developing animated notational systems from initial field notes
- Discussion of site instruments

Session 4: Tuesday 29th January 2019
Studio session
- Finalise first time-based drawings and notation set
- Development of site instruments


Session 5: Tuesday 12th February 2019
Site Visit
- Field notes, actions and observation [quantitative]
- Field recording/data logging/ measurement
- Develop animated sketches from information gathered

Session 6: Tuesday 19th February 2019
Studio session + Tutorials
- Drawing observation/ abstraction/ notation/ instruction
- Development of personal visual language for final animated works.

Session 7: Tuesday 26th February 2019
Studio session + Tutorials
- Development of final animated works

Session 8: MS JURY DAY: Tuesday 5th March 2019
Presentation and discussion
- Screening of final Animations