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




Wednesdays, 10am – 1pm

'If we … begin to see architecture in the 21st century as part of a wider discourse of spaces of information, speculation and immersion, then the possibilities of what architecture can be and what architects can do becomes greatly expanded. To achieve this, the need for forms of representation that are themselves speculative, immersive and time based becomes essential.'
Nic Clear, Drawing Time, 2013.

Working with HTC Vive, Leap Motion and Unity the course aims to explore a new sensorial form of making and experiencing space. Over a period of eight weeks each student will create a tactile object that upon being touched unfolds a time-based virtual environment to be experienced with a VR headset and hand-tracking technology. By focussing on soft design factors we will learn how to translate traditional design methods such as sketching and model making into immersive VR content on a 1:1 scale. Different tools and methods will be explored to create these virtual environments ranging from photogrammetry, to 3D sketching and spherical panorama drawing to stop-motion, 360 rendering and interactive animation.
Software: 3ds Max, Unity 3D, Agisoft, Gravity Sketch, Adobe Premiere/After Effects/Audition

Session 1 : IMMERSIVE DESIGN: Wednesday 9th January 2019
- Course Intro: VR/AR in Architecture today
- Workshop 1: 360 Stop-Motion
- Introduction to spherical panorama drawing/collage + Adobe Premiere + Google Cardboard

Session 2: SKETCHING IN VR: Wednesday 16th January 2019
- Workshop 2: Animating digital drawings/models
- Introduction to Gravity Sketch (Leap Motion) + 3ds Max + HTC Vive

Session 3: CAPTURING OBJECTS: Wednesday 23rd January 2019 
- Workshop 3: Capturing physical models and exploring a game engine
- Introduction to Photogrammetry (Agisoft) + Unity

Session 4: CREATING EXPERIENCES: Wednesday 30th January 2019
- Workshop 4: Creating interactive digital content
- Introduction to Unity (Playmaker)
- Task: Storyboard for 10 seconds VR experience


Wednesday 13th February 2019 
- Designing 1 virtual space
- Defining and capturing 1 physical object

Session 6: OPTIMISATION: Wednesday 20th February 2019
- Refining the virtual environment by combining it with the physical piece

Session 7: SETUP: Wednesday 27th February 2019
- Compiling all virtual environments in one collective Unity file
- Placing objects and testing interaction
- Group discussion: Soft Design Factors & Sensitivity for Virtual Environments

Session 8: PRESENTATION (AA MEDIA JURY DAY): Wednesday 6th March 2019 
- Final presentation/exhibition of physical object & virtual environment
- Hand in 360 spherical panorama image and supporting documents

Submission Requirements:
- Time-based VR experience (10 sec)
- Final spherical panorama image: 360 hand drawing/collage/rendering or animation still of the individually developed virtual environment (A2)
- Process booklet: document containing work process and design development of virtual space and physical object