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, 2pm – 5pm
This course explores rapid prototyping narratives through a hands-on approach by producing instructional videos of future jobs. We will investigate automation and post-work ideologies, through character development by prototyping ideas, objects and scenes at 1:1 scale. We will explore how to communicate complex ideas through visual narratives, improvised environments and short vignettes.

Emphasis is on film-making, production, play and iteration while considering critical and speculative design methods for exploring alternative visions of society. Students will generate fictive structures from provided starting points, generating films, scripts and characters as a response to future employment scenarios.

NB: The course will move through conceptual ideation techniques such as role-play and gaming techniques towards more technical film making approaches. This willnotbe a digital effects workshop, rather focus will be on the fictions generated and with hand-made and analogue techniques used to realise them.
Session 1: EMPLOYMENT CEREMONY: Wednesday 3rd October 2018 
-Intro to course
- Receive instructional scenario ingredients and Randomly generated Job Descriptions
- Translation workshop with computational poetry
- Quick generation of narratives
- Role-Play initial ideas

Session 2: SCENARIO & SCRIPT: Wednesday 10th October 2018 
- Play test each other’s scenario ideas
- Writing of micro scripts and directions
- Finalising of world built working scenarios

Session 3: PRODUCTION [PROPS AND LOCATIONS]: Wednesday 17th October 2018
- Making or appropriating key prop items
- Scouting for locations
- Storyboarding with instagram
- Photo gathering and quick reccy’s

Session 4: PRODUCTION: Wednesday 24th October 2018 
- Prop making
- Costume creation
- Analogue effect rigging


Session 5: FILMING: Wednesday 7th November 2018  
- Working in the photo studio
- Camera angles
- Lighting
- Act out narratives with additional props and set pieces

Session 6: FILMING: Wednesday 14th November 2018  

- Working in the photo studio
- Camera angles
- Lighting
- Act out narratives with additional props and set pieces

Session 7: FINAL STORYTELLING: Wednesday 21st November 2018 
- Editing and voice-over
- Formatting of moving image and sound recordings
- Colour grading

Session 8: MS JURY DAY: Wednesday 28th November 2018
- Presentation and discussion
Submission Requirements / Outcomes
30 second film comprising a short sequence or a single choreographed shot, designed by the students featuring their handmade props.

Booklets including: final film stills, scripts, sketches, storyboards, WIP shots, and tests. The students can also include a short story expanding upon their wider fictional scenarios.
Selected Reference Material:
Harun Farocki - How to Live in the FRG (1990)
Robert Longon - Johnny Mnemonic (1996)
Oliver & Tellervo - I love my Job (2012)
Ex Machina - Dir. Alex Garland (2015)
Westworld - Dir. Michael Crichton (1973)
Charlie Chaplin - Modern Times (1936)
Bong Joon-ho - Okja - (2017)
Terry Gilliangham - Brazil (1985)
Chris Marker (1962)
La Jetee Metropolis (1927) Dir. Fritz Lang
Jaque Tati - Playtime (1967)
Blade Runner (1982) Dir. Ridley Scott
Alphaville (1965) Dir. Jean-Luc Godard
Electric Dreams - Dir. Steve Baron (1984)
Minority Report (2002) Dir. Steven Spielberg
Dr Marbuse Trilogy (1920’s/30’s) Dir. Fritz Lang
Honey I shrunk the Kids (1990) Dir Joe Johnston
Capricorn One - Peter Hyams (1977)

Artists / Designers
Ming Wong
Julian Rosefeldt
Cedric Price & Joan Littlewood
Noam Toran
Saskia Oldewolbers
Mika Rottenberg
Omer Fast
Matthew Barney
Sophie Calle
Chris Marker
Stan Douglas
Cindy Sherman
Taryn Simon
Thomas Demand
Anne Hardy
Thomas Hirschhorn
Ettore Sottsass
Sarah Sze
Michael Landy (Break Down)

Player Piano - Kurt Vonnegut
Inventing the Future - Srnieck and Williams
Stanislaw Lem - The Cyberiad
The Refusal of work - David Frayne Freedom - Daniel Suarez
The political Theatre - Erwin Piscator
Ursula Le Guin - The Dispossessed
JG Ballard - Passport to Eternity
Solutions Series - Sternberg Press [Ingo Niermann et al]
Hard boiled wonderland and the end of the world - Haruki Murakami
Plot - Tirdad Zolghadr Future Shock - Alvin Toffle