Design Studio 25


Tutors: Dr Alessandro Ayuso, Daniel Wilkinson and Martyna Marciniak

Body Agent Architecture

DS25 takes the fundamental relationship between bodies and architecture as the starting point for unabashed speculation through filmic representations and haptic forms of making. Through establishing conceptual and material ideas of the body, we seek to catalyse inventive architecture.


Embodiment & Body Agents. Experimentation. Speculation. Narrative. Alterity (Other-ness). Thinking Cinematically. Historical precedents as a source for creativity and inspiration. Multi-media processes of design (making + drawing + animating). Active processes of design (performing, installing). Heterotopias (or, ‘worlds-within-worlds’).

Term 1: Methodology + Schedule

In Term 1 we will teach an approach we believe results in rich possibilities for the Term 2 project. This approach begins with each student:

  • Inventing a Body Agent – Body agents will be based on a precedent from Art or Architecture; they are devices that open possibilities and give more depth to your design.
  • Learning Animation – …with the aim to animate the body agent and the design. The aim is not necessarily to make a polished film, but to think cinematically about one’s design. Martyna will run workshops on Cinema 4D and Adobe AfterEffects.
  • Exploring through making – To investigate material possibilities and consider the materiality of your body agent and the architecture that would relate to it, you will make a series of exploratory models. Dan will run workshops on this process of ‘haptic making’.
  • Making Spatio-Temporal Recordings – The ‘Recordings’ are multi- media drawings that document the animations and models and help to generate design proposals. These will be the basis for your design drawings. This approach will culminate in Term 1 with a small architectural proposal sited in London. This ‘Monument’ will be the DNA for the Term 2 project.

Term 2

Methodologies pursued in Term 2 are highly individual, based on the emerging interest and direction outlined by each student’s project. Further workshops will be run by Martyna and Dan on animation, drawing and portfolio design. Based on their research in Term 1, 2nd year students will formulate their own brief. 1st year students will have a suggested programme and site; both years may choose to stick with their London site from Term 1 or choose a site in Vienna.

Field Trip to Vienna & Graz

Vienna and Graz offer an opportunity to see a cross-section of radical approaches to the vital relationship between conceptions of embodiment and the designs associated with them. In Vienna we’ll have the chance to see Baroque and Rococo architecture teeming with figurative ornament, tour Jugendstil buildings of the Vienna Secession, and projects by architects who reconceptualized the body and architecture in the 1960s before (and during) going on to build. A contemporary take on 1960s radical architects’ re-conception of the body will surface again when we visit Cook and Fournier’s Kunsthaus Graz, ‘the friendly alien’.

Two special parts of the itinerary will be a visit to the office of Coop Himmelb(l)au in Vienna and to Walter Pichler’s studio in St Martin where his sculptures and buildings are integrated with the surrounding landscape.