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

“Books are three-dimensional objects of which the designer must consider the aesthetic, functional and structural aspects.”
James Goggin, “The Matta-Clark Complex: Materials, Interpretation and the Designer” in The Form of the Book Book (Occasional Papers: 2009).

This course considers the form of the book as a site for architectural exploration.

You will visit some of London’s best archives including Tate Britain’s special collection and learn from artists’ experiments with the medium in the 60’s, now considered as keystones in art history. You will handle rare books from the AA Archive, early forays into book production by architects looking to record their architectural Grand Tours. You will learn about book production from graphic designer Rosa Nussbaum and be introduced to bookbinding techniques during a hands-on workshop with bookbinder Douglas Bevans. Ultimately, the aim of the course is to produce your own book or series of books, experimenting with paperspace, its materiality, format and interaction with the reader.

For more info: www.printedmatter.aaschool.ac.uk
Session 1: TATE BRITAIN LIBRARY SPECIAL COLLECTIONS: Wednesday 3rd October 2018
Group visit to the Tate Library where a selection of Artists’ books will be presented by the curators.

Session 2: AA ARCHIVE: Wednesday 10th October 2018
Presentation of a selection of Architects’ books by archivist Ed Bottoms. The presentation will be followed by a discussion where students will bring material reflecting their personal interests.

Session 3: BOOKBINDING WORKSHOP: Wednesday 17th October 2018
Workshop led by guest bookbinder Douglas Bevans.

Session 4: GRAPHIC DESIGN SEMINAR: Wednesday 24th October 2018 
Introduction to the various stages of book production by graphic designer Rosa Nussbaum.


Session 5: BOOK PROPOSAL PRESENTATIONS: Wednesday 7th November 2018
Students present their first book dummy and explain their choice of paper, format, layout, fonts etc.

Session 6: PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: Wednesday 14th November 2018 
Individual tutorials on book project.

Session 7: PROJECT DEVELOPMENT: Wednesday 21st November 2018 
Individual tutorials on book project.

Session 8: BOOK LAUNCH/ MS JURY DAY: Wednesday 28th November 2018
- Exhibition of the books for the Media Studies Jury
Submission Requirements:
Students are expected to submit two copies of their finalised book project. There is no prescription on format, number of pages etc. Test prints, material samples and book dummies may also be submitted when appropriate.

In addition, students should submit an A5 booklet documenting the visits and reflecting on what they learnt throughout the course, using both text and image.
Barthes, Roland, ‘The Photographic Message’, in Image, Text, Music, trans. by Stephen Heath (London: Fontana Press, 1977)
Benjamin, Walter, ‘Unpacking my Library’, in Illuminations, trans. by Harry Zorn (London: Pimlico, 1999)
Benjamin, Walter, ‘The work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction’ in Illuminations, trans. Harry Zorn (London: Pimlico, 1999)
Borges, Jorge Luis, ‘The Library of Babel’, in Labyrinths, trans. James E. Irby, (London: Penguin Books, 1970)
Butor, Michel, ‘The book as object’, in Inventory: Essays, ed. Richard Howard (London: Cape, 1970)
De Bondt, Sara & Muggeridge Fraser, ed., The Form of the Book Book (London: Occasional Papers, 2009)
Dillon, Brian, ‘Open Stacks’ in Sorted Books by Nina Katchadourian (San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2013)
McLuhan, Marshall and Fiore, Quentin, The Medium is the Massage, coordinated by Jerome Angel (Penguin Books, 1967)
Phillpot, Clive, Booktrek (JRP Ringier & Les Presses du Réel, 2013)

Dixon Hunt, John, Lomas David and Corris Michael, Art, Word and Image: 2,000 Years of Visual/Textual Interaction (London: Reaktion Books, 2011)
Gitelman, Lisa, Paper Knowledge: Toward a Media History of Documents (Duke University Press, 2014)
Petroski, Henry, The Book on the Bookshelf, (New York: Vintage Books, 2000)
Tavares, André, The Anatomy of the Architectural Book, (Canadian Centre for Architecture, Lars Muller Publishers, 2016)

Hochuli, Jost and Kinross, Robin, Designing Books: Practice and Theory (London: Hyphen Press, 1996)
Mueller-Brockmann, Josef, Grid Systems in Graphic Design, (Stuttgart : Verlag Gerd Hatje, 1981)
Smith, Keith A., Structure of the Visual Book (Keith Smith Books, 2003)
Smith, Keith A., ‘The Book as a Physical Object’, in A Book of the Book: Some Works & Projections about the Book & Writing, Jerome Rothenberg and Steven Clay Eds. (Granary Books, 1999)