Design Studio (Three) Two



Tutors: Maria Kramer and Roberto Bottazzi

Maria Kramer teaches Year 3 and Part III students at Westminster and is focused on the idea of research and practice informing each other. Maria established her own award winning studio, Room 102 ltd, in 2011 and has previously worked for Hopkins Architects and Coop Himmelb(l)au. She is interested in public space and how architecture can improve our lives and create a more sustainable way of living.

Roberto Bottazzi is an architect, researcher, and educator based in London. He has studied in Italy and Canada before moving to London. He is Senior Lecturer at the University of Westminster where he has been teaching both at Graduate and Undergraduate level. His research analyses the impact of digital technologies on architecture and urbanism. He is the author of Digital Architecture beyond Computers: Fragments of a Cultural History of Computational Design (Bloomsbury, 2018) and editor of Walking Cities: London (Camberwell Press, 2017). He has lectured and exhibited internationally.


Our studio is focusing on the correlation between three related areas of life: work, live and community/culture. We investigate public spaces and how they function within the context of a work – live model, whilst also exploring gradients of privacy and community. We aim to help strengthen local identities and are interested in exploring the possibility of blurring the lines between the physical and the digital.

Our site will be in Walthamstow, the first London Borough of Culture in 2019. During term I, the students will analyse the market there, which is the longest in Europe and look at related local trades. We will visit the museum of the iconic William Morris and learn from his groundbreaking approach to design, production and business. The students will have the opportunity to develop their own public facing start-up as part of the site investigations, such as tile or textile manufacturing, artisan food production or a social/cultural enterprise, within the context of our digital age. This will be developed into a coherent spatial strategy and prototypes can be developed for a structure at the rear podium, taking advantage of another year of funding from the Quentin Hogg Trust Fund.

In Term II we will widen the scope and integrate accommodation for a larger start up community and will develop a 1:1 as part of the exhibition.

There will be group workshops, presentations, regular individual and group tutorials, visits to architectural sites and a step by step programme, guiding the students throughout the year. Self-initiated and reflective learning and a continuous testing of ideas, backed up by research of precedents will be crucial. The students will learn digital tools such as Rhino and Grasshopper and these will be used to enhance your conceptual and architectural proposals.

We believe that working methods strongly influence outcomes, so we encourage a cross-media approach, high and low tech, which helps to develop your individual approach and intellectual investigations. We aspire to an architecture that conveys an intense spatial quality, which is contextual and transparent and where facets of light, views, materiality and access to green spaces are implicitly considered; an architecture, which dares to question our times and has a strong conceptual approach.