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
“No place is boring, if you've had a good night's sleep and have a pocket full of unexposed film...”
Robert Adams

Throughout its history photography has been used to classify the world and its people.

Belief in the cameras seeming objectivity has drawn artists to produce typological imagery to investigate particular visual phenomena, presented as a group of images or related forms and shot in a consistent and repetitive manner.

We will use analog photography to investigate typologies of the everyday; objects and events so ordinary that they escape our notice, but which are revealed through the photographic process.

Limited to shooting just 1 roll of film per week, students will have to think precisely about where to position the camera, to see through the visual noise, disorder or chaotic forms present in a location, to discover the inherent potential of their photographic composition.

The course will introduce students both to the technical aspects of camera controls along with an introduction to the history of photography and also aesthetic and conceptual issues in photography.

The AA will provide 35mm analog cameras and tripods to students attending this course if they do not have their own.

Session 1: Wednesday 3rd October 2018
Introduction to the history of photography
35mm camera workshop:
Technical camera controls: aperture, shutter speed, ISO, manual focusing and depth of field

Session 2: Wednesday 10th October 2018 
Presentation - Portrait Typologies
Review and editing of student photographs

Session 3: Wednesday 17th October 2018
Presentation - Architectural Typologies
Review and editing of student photographs

Session 4: Wednesday 24th October 2018
Exhibition visit – details T.B.C.


Session 5: Wednesday 7th November 2018 
Presentation - Still life typologies
Review and editing of student photographs

Session 6: Wednesday 14th November 2018 
Presentation – Conceptual art typologies
Review and editing of student photographs

Session 7: Wednesday 21st November 2018 
Review and editing of student photographs

Session 8: MS JURY DAY: Wednesday 28th November 2018 
Final project Presentation and submission

Technical and course submission requirements:
Every week, prior to our timetabled Wednesday morning class, students will use one roll of 24 exposure film (provided by the AA) to explore their project ideas. This film must be processed and developed in time for presentation and discussion in our weekly classes.

(Ideally the negatives should also be scanned in order to enable the production of a final project submission.

A selection of the photographs made each week must be ‘curated’ into a final project, the manifestation of which is the choice of the student, but it must be a physical, printed form. i.e. a book, leporello or large format poster. 

Reading list:
The Photography Reader – Liz Wells
On Photography – Susan Sontag
Photography, Key Concepts – David Bate
The Photograph as Contemporary Art – Charlotte Cotton
Beauty in Photography – Robert Adam
Why People Photograph – Robert Adam
Thoughts on Landscape – Frank Gohlke
The Complete Essays 1973-1991 – Luigi Ghirri