AA.MEDIA

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.



CONTACT:

Kate Davies
Head of Media Studies

Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu
Lab Coordinator

AA MEDIA
Architectural Association
School of Architecture

36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

+44 (0)20 7887 4000

STUDIO

MS-CORE
FOUNDATION, FIRST AND SECOND YEAR (AND OPTIONAL FOR YEAR 3-5)







TERM 2


Foundation, First and Second Year students are required to complete one CMS course in each of the first two terms.
Introduction videos for all Term 2 Courses are available to review here :

Registration for Term 2 courses will open on Friday 04 December.
Students should register 4 preferences online on the link below, and full instructions will be provided by email.

https://home.aaschool.ac.uk/CMS

Course allocation is not first come first served, but on a lottery basis, meaning you can register anytime between 12 noon on Friday 04 Dec and 6pm on Friday 11 Dec when registration closes. Each course has limited places, but we do our very best to give you one of your preferred courses.

All Term 2 courses commence Weds 13th January and run for 8 consecutive weeks (excluding AA Open Week).
ALL CMS Studio Courses take place on Wednesdays – (see course lists for times)
All courses alternate between am and pm sessions across the two terms to accommodate student time-zones.

Confirmation of Media Studies Enrolment
Confirmation of enrolment status will be emailed to students by Friday 18th December.


INTRODUCTION VIDEOS FOR ALL CMS COURSES
ARE AVAILABLE TO VIEW HERE

(Scroll down for CMS)

ALL EXTENDED COURSE DESCRIPTIONS AND WEEK BY WEEK DETAILS CAN BE FOUND BY CLICKING ON COURSE TITLES


AMWEDNESDAY
0900 -1200 GMT:

--------- The Mark and Space ---------

TRANSLATION THROUGH DRAWING / Unmaking, Collaging and Drawing / Shin Egashira
The course introduces the conceptual and technical aspects of orthogonal drawings in combination with the procedures of collaging and object making. Our process will begin by taking ordinary objects apart allowing us to unlearn about things that are too familiar to pay attention to. We would like to assume that there is no difference between means of representation and that of design. A succession of works will evolve in parallel with discussions of seminal architectural writings on a systematic approach to representation. Students must approach drawings with an understanding of intrinsic formal attributes of objects using concepts of formal addition and subtraction.

ABSTRACT NATURE / 3D modelling / Sebastian Andia
We will explore the creative process of design combining natural elements framed as an abstract image used as an inspiration to create forms which will contain space. The course starts with a research of abstract images of natural elements. These will be use an inspiration to generate three dimensional geometrical principals to design architectural spaces at the scale of pavilions. To enable the students to create these objects, we will focus on learning Polygon Modelling (Autodesk Maya) as the main drafting tool to develop a function form. In the process of learning new techniques, students will gain not just excellent skills, but also bring out their personal singularities to build up their own design language.

PIXEL POINT PLANE / 3D Modelling and Photogrammetry / Harry Kay
Photogrammetry and 3D Modelling are powerful tools that are used by architects and designers to record space, develop designs and convey ideas. We will focus on utilising these tools as part of our design process; from scanning a site, to modelling our ideas. The focus will be on learning the key principles of using photogrammetry software, and then 3D drafting software to digitise our proposals and model our ideas. The course aim is to integrate these tools into our creative process, and open up new realms in which to explore and share ideas.

---------Materials and Making---------

CNC FOR DESIGNERS / Digital Prototyping / Henry Cleaver
This course will give an in-depth introduction to CNC milling and will look at the importance of prototyping in the design process. Whilst undertaking several design briefs, students will learn how to problem-solve, plan, set up and run the CNC machine, and crucially how this knowledge informs their design development. Research and experimentation will concentrate on materials, machining tolerances and designing within limitations thrown up along the way. Students will engage in group discussions and design sessions online and machine operation can be done live, virtually, if not in person in the DPL. This course is for first-year students who like to make things.

POLITICS OF COLOUR / Practical work with Pigments / Antoni Malinowski
The course looks at the language of colour as a tool for social and political interaction within the urban and architectural context. We will discuss both the historical colour strategies and contemporary projects. From ancient Rome to Bauhaus to Memphis to now. This will open up avenues of individual student’s research. The research will be accompanied by practical workshop sessions where we will test the effects of painted / pigmented surfaces in relation to 3D space. Each student will make a 1:1 colour installation / intervention. This course will empower students to successfully use colour in their design work.

PRODUCTIVE DRAWING / Drawing and Model-making / Juliet Haysom
Unlike artists who usually make their work directly, architects’ designs are conventionally translated into built form by someone else. Throughout this course, students will develop skills as both authors and makers by testing how drawings mediate between design and construction. Each week, students will produce anonymised drawings that will be translated into constructions by someone else within the group- without reference to verbal or written instructions beyond the drawings themselves. We will focus on plans, elevations and sections, as well as notational diagrams that might be necessary to explain the assembly of the construction. We will work between hand drawing and various software, with a focus on Adobe Illustrator. Finally, drawings will be issued to a masonry works and cut into stone by a professional stonemason, allowing students to witness live the processes employed within a commercial workshop. By the end of the course, students will have a practical, empirical and playful understanding of how working drawings describe, inform, instruct and occasionally confound.

--------- Time-Based Media and the Lens---------

FILM HOME/ FILM STUDIO / Filmmaking / Joel Newman
Students on this course will make an original video with accompanying soundtrack, discovering methods, techniques and principles rooted in narrative and non-narrative film making. Emphasising performance to camera and addressing the relationship between actor and audience, we will use physical constraint and experimentation as tools in creating new worlds and escapes. All components to the final piece must be created/ authored by the student.

POINT REALITY / Photography and Game Engine Technologies / Ana Maria Nicolaescu & Sebastian Tiew
Lewis Baltz’s camera faces the world directly. It steps from art into reality, from modernity into its demise. Today, a new type of image has emerged: shot with a virtual camera that constructs rather than represents, which shoots at a new world that competes with reality. This course will use gaming technologies, open source workflows and camera mapping
techniques to reflect back on Baltz’s photographic works while exploring their reconstruction and reshooting with a camera that now points at a new world.

RENDERING ARCHITECTURE / Digital collage / Matej Hosek
Architectural visualisation has become a mainstream tool for depicting architecture. This course will be an introduction to the field and will explore overlapping of two opposites - real and abstract. We will utilise Vray for Rhino and Photoshop to create an image merging the mainstream’s craftsmanship with the sublime style of an individual.

--------- Narrative and Fiction---------

CONSEQUENTIAL SPACES / Narrative and the Graphic Novel / 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.

---------Digital Worlds---------

DATASCAPE / Data Visualisation / Mattia Santi & 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. Students will design and develop data sculptures to create a collective virtual museum. The workflow will engage students with the use of computational tools to express their ideas, understanding, interpreting, designing and visualizing patterns inside data. Starting from the fundamentals of programming, the students will develop Media Architecture projects using Processing and Houdini. In this course students will develop cores skills in coding and visual programming gaining experience in procedural modelling, mapping and data visualization.

TACTILE TECHNOLOGY / 3D Scanning / Thomas Parker
Tactile Technology aims to create a dialogue between analogue objects and environments and their technological counterparts in contemporary high precision 3D scanning. Throughout the course we’ll explore experiential methods of photogrammetric 3D scanning, alongside a collection of contemporary software, that can be used in both digital fabrication and visual representation of 3D scanned data. We will actively seek to create complex compositions between different data sets to form new visual languages and hybrid representations of space.


PMWEDNESDAY
1300 -1600 GMT:

---------The Mark and Space---------

SEEING YOUR WAY TO DRAW / Freehand Drawing from Observation / Anderson Inge
This course is devoted to freehand drawing from observation. Students will gain confidence in their ability to create evocative freehand drawings. Each session will have a distinct theme and will begin with a short talk or demonstration to explain powerful approaches and techniques in drawing. We actively work through seeing and drawing challenges proven to develop evocative drawing. Our time will be laced with rich discussions that will refine how we see and draw, and we will develop a vocabulary of form that will extend the power of both into design.

CELLAR DOOR / Drawing and Image Making / Inigo Minns
Through a series of tests using different media we will 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 we will develop a series of strategies for bringing more visual intent, beauty and power to your work. We will look at composition, colour, projection, and both digital and analogue image making techniques with the aim of developing a unique drawing language suitable for your projects.

THE DRAWN MISTAKE / Decision Making through Drawing / Alison Moffett
Based on the idea of a paradox, this course will endeavor to combine opposing visual techniques. We will explore how one might make interesting or challenging material, technical, and compositional decisions to best illustrate an idea. By looking at examples and trying our own experiments: using different drawing tools, blind drawing, reconfiguring shapes and collage, and exploring the trace left through action, we will work towards creating critical individual drawings that capture the magic of opposition.

PROJECTION & SPECULATION / Architectural Drawing / Miraj Ahmed
Architectural drawing is the language we use to develop and represent our architectural ideas. As a language, it uses the rules and conventions of measured orthographic and perspective projection. The course will build your knowledge of hand-drawn 2D and 3D projective drawings as tools for the imagination. Redrawing and analysis of an existing building precedent through a set of plans, sections and axonometrics will be the starting point to reinterpret explore and speculate.

---------Materials and Making---------

FUTURE CRAFT / Robotics and Materiality / Patricia Mato-Mora & Gary Edwards
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.

FLUIDS/FABRICS/FORMS/FORCES/ Experimental analogue making / Thomas Randall Page (This course runs in Term 2 only)
This course aims to explore the relationship between forces and forms through the medium of fluids
and fabrics. We will use iterative analogue experimentation and critical analysis to produce physical
artifacts. We explore how traces of the making process can be read in the resultant object.
These objects may be abstract and sculptural or may begin to be applied, becoming details, or scale
models of far larger structures. The course takes the form of a conversation through objects. Although
the objects themselves are physical, we may use digital technology to facilitate the exchange.

---------Time-Based Media and the Lens---------

EXPERIMENTAL FILM / Filmmaking and Editing / Yoni Bentovim
Focusing mainly on experimental film practices, in this course 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 audio visual medium and will deepen their knowledge of experimental film practices from the 40's to now

SEEING SLOWLY: THE ANTI-SELFIE / Photography / 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 analog photography, the photographer fully controls the image composition, embracing ideas of memory, identity and fiction within the frame.

SUSPENSE ON A GREEN SCREEN / Digital Compositing / Jelena Viskovic
The course encompasses a range of basic digital compositing techniques. We will learn camera tracking in After Effects and real-time compositing using Augmented Reality tools in Unity 3D. We will look at examples in popular sci-fi films where 'alien' objects appear in a familiar environment, creating an uncanny scene. The exercises will explore the aesthetic of ‘suspense’ by contrasting a 3D model against its background to create tension between the virtual object and its real-world environment.

---------Narrative and Fiction ---------

SHAPES OF FICTION / Reading as Thought Method / Charles Arsène-Henry & Buster Rönngren
What if you could access a text or a film as one enters an abandoned spaceship? With a sense of slowness, attention, wonder. A poem from Wallace Stevens or a scene from Max Ophüls will be transposed as volumes made of planes, levels, layers. A vessel named Motosong will be conceived to undertake a metafictional exploration of these volumes. Definitions of Metaphor, Analogy and Virtual will be constructed through etymologies and diagrams. These drawn definitions will compose the logics of Motosong.

---------Digital Worlds ---------

IOEZ.LIVE/21 / Online Tools, Remote Technologies and Augmented Realities / Raluca Grada-Emandi & Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu
INHABITANTS OF EXCLUSION ZONE is an online-only, remote and open-source community located on a server near you. IOEZ celebrates ‘online’ as a place. A necessity, reminiscence, not nostalgia of an isolation but embrace of the future, partly educational infrastructure partly professional collective. An updated academic framework revolving around the professionals of tomorrow while conveying the exploration of digital environments defined by the use of data and technology. Version 21 will explore new territories and data landscapes while focusing on methods of digital inhabitation. With a focus on remote locations, we are accessing exclusion zones through digital translocation. A celebratory exploration maintained by connectivity, 3d content, real-time render engines, visual scripting, remote technologies and digital tools.

A ROOM OF ONES OWN / Virtual Reality/ Paula Strunden (This course runs in Term 2 only)
The Spanish artist Joan Miró once said of his studio: 'I think of it as a vegetable garden, where things follow their natural course. They grow, they ripen. You have to graft. You have to water.' A critical and often overlooked aspect of artistic creation is the physical studio space and the atmospheric dimension it possesses. What constitutes a creative environment? How could a physical-digital workspace look, feel and sound like to stimulate our imagination and resourcefulness? The course starts by analysing and drawing existing architects' and artists' studios. The students will gradually transform the 3D modelled studio spaces into their own personalised work environments using photogrammetry, 3d modelling software and real-time game engine to finally explore their designs in VR.