YEAR THREE – DS3.1
Tutors: Jane Tankard & Thomas Grove
DS3.1 approaches the design studio as a site of experimentation and innovation. A laboratory of transformative ideas underpinned by the creative process, and professional and technical understanding, it embraces ideas of politics, film and feminism.
Jane Tankard is a full-time Senior Lecturer, RIBA / ARB registered Architect, and researcher. Her work focuses on experimental pedagogy, praxis and the role of the architect in collaborative multidisciplinary contexts.
Thomas Grove studied at Liverpool John Moores University and the University of Westminster. He works for the architectural practice in London and is interested in film, ornament, traditional modes of representation ad the socio-political ramifications of architecture.
Pleasure… Urban cultural space in a time of plague
Continuing our exploration of filmic narrative as a mechanism for understanding architectural discourse, we have studies three films where the relationship between architecture and society takes centre stage: Ladj Ly’s story of police and state violence in the banlieues of Paris, Les Misérables (2019); David Byrne’s suburban fantasia, True Stories (1986); and a BBC documentary profiling the architects of the social housing scheme, Robim Hood Gardens, The Smithsons on Housing (1970). These films provided an opportunity to interrogate our recent architectural history and consider ways in which, through cultural, social and architectural interventions, we might challenge the orthodoxies of the ‘neoliberal city’, which seeks to obfuscate the often anecdotal and culturally specific histories of our societies.
Pleasure Garden: An anatomy of social space in the 21st century
DS3.1 began the year by focusing our attention on the borough of Poplar and the remnant of Robin Hood Gardens. Considering the pandemic and the privatisation of public space, we proposed the creation of a Pleasure Garden to provide both the existing community and their neighbours with a unique ‘threshold’ for social connection and sensory pleasure. Additionally, students were asked to provide a dwelling for a custodian, a key member of the community who would care for site.
Discourse, Dialogue and Exchange: Performance for a time plague
In the second half of the year we relocated to the site of a former Bell Boundary in Whitechapel, an area undergoing significant gentrification where asked students to make propositions for a theatre and place of cultural exchange. Considering the challenges posed to such institutions by the ongoing pandemic, they have developed proposals with hybrid programmes in which performance spaces are juxtaposed with secondary and entirely self-sufficient use that responds to the needs of the immediate community.