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, 2-5pm

“Autonomy and Freedom of choice are critical to our wellbeing, and that choice is critical to freedom and autonomy.”
The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwatz

Choice Paradox is part 1 of Behavioral Architecture course exploring retail architecture through 3D Modeling & Animation. Course inspiration comes from the limitless possibilities of the human mind, as we aim to release ourselves from the predictability of the choices we make every day. What does good design really mean and why do we like one design more than another?

Brick-and-mortar retail has been losing its strength for quite some time now and in this course we are going to try to re-invent it. Contemporary technologies and rapid invention of mass media have made everything more available for us. The abundance of choice initially designed as a solution for consumers has ended up creating more problems. There are multiple studies done showcasing how having plethora of options can cause anxiety and depression.

We will be using a combination of Maya and Rhino, and will learn why these tools when used together are the most powerful architectural toolset. We will learn low-poly and sub-d modelling, animation and generate beautiful images that truly portray our design methods.

Session 1: INTRODUCTION: Wednesday 3rd October 2018
- Course Introduction
- Showing the substrate for the design process (model to be provided for students)
- MAYA Workshop 1

Session 2: SHOW & TELL: Wednesday 10th October 2018
- Students Show & Tell
- Concept Setup
- MAYA Workshop 2

Session 3: DESIGN DEVELOPMENT: Wednesday 17th October 2018
Design Development
Materiality – Geometry
MAYA Workshop 3

Session 4: THE CHOICE PARADOX: Wednesday 24th October 2018
Showcasing how our design leads to better choices
MAYA Workshop 4


Session 5: THE EXPERIENCE: Wednesday 7th November 2018
4D design – Human memory as 4th dimension
MAYA Workshop 5

Session 6: THE STRETCH: Wednesday 14th November 2018 
Recurring in Design
MAYA Workshop 6

Session 7: THE AVAILABILITY: Wednesday 21st November 2018 
We have seen it all before
MAYA Workshop 7

Session 8: FINAL PRESENTATION: Wednesday 28th November 2018 

Submission Requirements:
- 1 x A2 Key Board
- Bound submission documenting the work produced (including summary of work, references, catalogues and design outputs)
- Video - Animation showcasing your design.

Reading recommendation:
The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less by Barry Schwartz
Predictably Irrational: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions by Dan Ariely
Misbehaving - The Making of Behavioral Economics by Richard H. Thaler
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
The Art Of Choosing: The Decisions We Make Every day of our Lives, What They Say About Us and How We Can Improve Them by Sheena Iyengar
Behavioural Economics: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Michelle Baddeley
Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
Escape from Freedom by Erich Fromm