Architectural Association
Communication and Media Studies

AA Communication & 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. Communication 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

Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu
Lab Coordinator

Architectural Association
School of Architecture

36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

+44 (0)20 7887 4000



CMS - Second Year Course Introductions and Registration

All Term 1 and 2 Courses for the 2018-19 academic year will be introduced on Friday 27 Sep at 4.00pm in the Lecture Hall. All Second Year and Visiting School students are required to attend, as registration procedures and department guidelines will be discussed. Any 3rd, 4th and 5th year students who wish to enrol for Media Studies are also encouraged to attend.

Registration for Term 1 courses will take place from 6.00pm on the same day.

Students should register online here:

Registration for Term 2 Courses will take place at the end of Term 1 and students will be reminded of the process via email


All Second Year Courses take place on Wednesdays (see course listings for times) and commence Weds 2 Oct running for eight consecutive weeks (excluding AA Open Week – Week 6).
Rooms will be confirmed on Monday 1 Oct

Shapes of Fiction
Charles Arsène-Henry + Christopher Johnson

Reading will be considered as a partially unknown phenomenon and the vessel of a quest. A phrase from Marcel Proust and a scene from David Lynch will be accessed as one enters an abandoned spaceship. A special object named Motosong will be conceived: a physical device casting an immersed understanding. Definitions of Metaphor, Phosphorescence, Analogy and Virtual will be constructed through etymologies and diagrams. These drawn definitions will compose the logics of Motosong asking the question: What if reading was given a new instrument?

Seeing slowly
Sue Barr

The American photographer Minor White, claimed that all photographs are essentially self-portraits and the prevalence of the ‘selfie’ in contemporary culture would lead us to believe they are one and the same, but the ‘selfie’ is not reflective or a considered study, it is spontaneous and ephemeral.
This course will explore the carefully composed photograph, whereby engaging with the slowness of analogue photography, the photographer fully controls the image composition, embracing ideas of memory, identity and fiction within the frame.

Alternative Endings
Eleanor Dodman

Buried deep in the bowels of the AA is the archive - a collection of projects and artefacts - documenting its numerous pasts. Together we will build on this past, by producing a physical model and a photograph of an unseen moment within the archived project. Translating a drawing into a physical model we will examine the archived projects narrative and cultural context, both within architectural history at large and within the AA, to help contextualise the project.

Suspense on a Green Screen
Jelena Viskovic

Throughout the course, we will be learning basic compositing techniques. In contemporary sci-fi films and series, the architecture of the space where an animated, composite object appears serves an aesthetic tool that creates a sense of ‘suspense’. These environments usually purely exist for ‘alien’ objects, with esoteric capabilities to create tension in the cinematic frame. The focus of the compositing exercises we will do is to reproduce the aesthetics that create tension between the virtual object and its environment.

Choice Paradox
Marko Gligorov

Choice Paradox is part 1 of Behavioral Architecture course whose main goal is exploration of retail architecture through 3D Modeling & Animation. Course inspiration comes from the limitless possibilities of the human mind and we are going to set free from the predictability of choice that we do every day. What really is a good design and why we like one design more than the other?
To achieve that we will be using a combination of Maya and Rhino, and we will learn why these tools when used together are the most powerful architectural toolset.

Drawing in the Nation’s Cupboards
Anderson Inge

The perfect escape from Bedford Square, this freehand drawing course meets each week in a specially-selected national collection or archive near the AA. Each session will be full of drawing-from-observation, amongst objects and spaces from across history, laced with rich discussions about seeing and drawing. Students will gain confidence in their ability to realise evocative freehand drawing.

Consequential Spaces
Anna Mill

The graphic novel format is a powerful temporal/spatial investigation tool in the design and understanding of space. Through its narrative lens, both architecture and life within and around its walls can be richly, evocatively distilled into a carefully composed set of fragments. Covering practical as well as stylistic methods and techniques, you will each produce a 1-4 page work to be collected into a group anthology at the end of the term. 

Future Craft: Beyond Certainty and Risk
Patricia Mato-Mora & Dylan Wozniak-O’Connor

Future Craft explores the intersection of numeric and manual fabrication. Departing from David Pye’s understanding of mechanized and manual fabrication as part of a continuum, mediated by tools, technique and material – this course explores the space between ‘workmanship of risk’ and ‘workmanship of certainty’ – material expression and algorithmic control. In this course, students will design and manufacture a ceramic dual-purpose building component through a hybrid approach of numeric robot control and manual fabrication.

Printed Matter
Caroline Rabourdin

This course considers the form of the book as a site for architectural exploration. You will learn about the role of the book in the recording and dissemination of architectural ideas with the treasures of the AA Archive, and also see how artists’ book production from the 60s might inform architectural production. You will learn bookbinding techniques and learn about book production. Ultimately, the aim of the course is to produce your own book or series of books, experimenting with paperspace and its interaction with the reader.

Mattia Santi and Francesca Silvi

Contemporary spaces extend beyond physical reality through layers of virtual relations. Data
interpretation is one of the most contemporary challenges within many fields and requires the capability of revealing patterns inside complex data. Designing through data allows to read understand and shape the new information-driven society. Re-thinking spaces and transforming architectural surfaces in user interactive devices, students will design digital artworks to transform traditional facades or interior spaces in dynamic environments offering a new user experience.

Inflected Space
Anderson Inge and Antoni Malinowski

Inflected Space develops in-the-moment design thinking through continuous experimentation around spatial experience. This course focuses on the perception and experience of space, being central to architectural design. Each session will be a workshop exercising the use of line, tone, colour, texture, shape, and rhythm, exploring how these influence the perception of form and space. We will weave between 2D drawing studies, photography, 3D experiments at full scale, and 4D studies involving movement. Our work will clarify and expand a vocabulary for form/space interactions. The successful outcome will be the development of a spatial idea offering a coherent spatial experience realized with economy and subtlety.

Thomas Randall Page

This course aims to explore the relationship between forces and forms through the medium of fluids and fabrics. We will use a methodology of analogue experimentation and critical analysis to produce artifacts. These objects may become details, or scale models of far larger structures. This year we aim to culminate the course with a trip to Hooke Park where as a group we will put what we have learnt into practice 1:1.

Experimental Film
Yoni Bentovim

Focusing mainly on experimental film practices, we will be looking for the various elusive borders of what defines film as film; whether these borders encapsulate time/movement, materials, narrative, spectatorship. or other, we will examine our findings and each student will complete at least one short film while doing so. This workshop will help students enhance their understanding of the audiovisual medium and will deepen their knowledge of experimental film practices from the 40's to now.


Works on Paper
Miraj Ahmed

A description borrowed from fine art is used here to explore the idea that architectural drawings can have a life of their own away from the baggage of the ‘project’. In this regard the architectural drawing conventions can be questioned, used, mis-used and extended - where the drawings can exist for their own as well as cross over into other media and spaces.

The Cast: Void into Form
Juliet Haysom

This course will explore the physical transformations of certain materials over time, and the reciprocal relationship between moulds and casts. We will have minutes to work with alginate and plaster; observe (and interrupt) the setting of concrete the course of a day, and consider how its strength increases over weeks and months. Taking cues from geology as well as from the histories of art and architecture, we will work with pigments, aggregates and additives to create tests. These will be jet-washed, etched, cut, and polished in our exploration of materials and methods. Using a range of additive and reductive processes we will translate void into form.

Piece to Camera
Joel Newman

Over an eight-week period, students on this course will make an original video with accompanying soundtrack. We will discover methods, techniques and principles rooted in narrative and non-narrative film making. This year emphasis is on performing to camera and addressing the relationship between actor and audience. Expect to see examples and to discuss works formed from an avant-garde tradition as well as mainstream cinema. We emphasize experimentation in order to challenge hegemony. All components to the final piece must be created/ authored by the student.  

Cellar Door
Inigo Minns

This course explores the fundamental qualities of drawing and image making. Through a series of tests using different media, students spend 8 weeks exploring how we make images and how we can make them better. Starting with architectural drawing formats as well as works from graphic design and fine art, students will develop a series of strategies for bringing more visual intent, beauty and power to their work. Analysing composition, colour, projection, media, and image making techniques, the aim of this course is to develop a unique drawing language suitable for every student project.

Tactile Technology
Thomas Parker

Tactile technology focuses on creating a dialogue between the analogue tools used to represent and communicate our surroundings and their technological counterparts in contemporary high precision 3D scanning. Focusing this year on the digital/analogue doppelganger as an active place of experimentation, we will seek to create complex compositions between different data sets to form hybrid objects with their own unique aesthetic languages.

Inhabiting the Virtual
Paula Strunden

By combining VR (HTC Vive), hand tracking technology (Leap Motion) and real-time game engine (Unity), the course explores new forms of creating and experiencing interactive virtual spaces. Over a period of eight weeks, each student will design one tactile object that upon being touched unfolds a time-based virtual environment to be inhabited with a VR headset. The students will learn how to translate traditional design methods such as sketching and physical model making into immersive and interactive VR content on a 1:1 scale. Different tools and methods will be explored to create real-time virtual environments ranging from photogrammetry to 3D sketching, to spherical panorama rendering and interactive animation.

Digital Dioramas
Ana Nicolaescu and Sebastian Tiew

In the 19th century, the diorama was a three-dimensional model that aimed to replicate a scene or moment in time. In Greek, the word “diorama” literally means “through that which is seen.” This course would like to consider that the construction of a virtual environment or set today is analogous to that of a diorama. Moving beyond its traditionally understood definition, the aim of this course is to use its very concepts and principles to create a freeze a moment in time through the application of emerging technologies and tools.

Continued from Term 1
Shapes of Fiction, Charles Arsène-Henry
Seeing Slowly, Sue Barr
Choice Paradox, Marko Gligorov
Printed Matter, Caroline Rabourdin



CMS2 requirements:
Students are required to attend and complete the submission requirements for TWO Courses (one in the Autumn Term and one in the Winter Term). Students must submit a booklet submission for each course at the end of each term, thereby completing their CMS2 requirements for entry into their 3rd year of study at the AA.

Note for 3rd Year students and above:
Whilst there are no submission requirements in Communication & Media Studies for the Diploma School, 3rd Year students and above are encouraged to attend courses in which they are interested. However, priority will be given to those students who are undertaking the course for submission purposes.