Design Studio 25

Master of Architecture (MArch RIBA Part 2)

Tutors: Alessandro Ayuso, Daniel Wilkinson & Fiona Zisch

DS25 experiments with drawings, animation, narrative, and ideas about links between bodies and architecture. We imagine building designs that are complex, intertwined, inhabited, and body-like. By aiming to create sublime ruptures with the familiar, we seek to offer new vantage points to address social and ecological issues.

Architecture’s Second Bodies

Starting point

Every year we begin by re-considering the relationship between the body and architecture. This past year, events such as the Coronavirus pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests have put in stark relief that the human body is the point of convergence in linked crises that extend across entangled sociopolitical, technological and environmental factors. To re- consider how architecture could address entangled conditions, we begin this year by exploring the idea of the Second Body.

Second Bodies are everything that is our body that is not our physical selves: our microbiomes, our virtual images, our networks of social interaction, the local and disparate impacts of the economic transactions we establish. Put another way, Second Bodies are our non-human selves.

Our question this year is: How could a consideration of ‘second bodies’ change our approach to architecture?

Term 1

  • Designing a ‘Second Body’ – Your Second Body will be an assemblage that is part you, part nonhuman, and part architectural. As an introductory exercise your second body design will help you to generate questions, but will also be a device you can use throughout the year, to help you imagine architectural possibilities.
  • Building drawings – We will explore how drawings can be tools that have a constructed quality analogous to the building they help to imagine. We will focus on drawing methods where media is combined and layered.
  • Digital Media Workshops – Fiona will run group workshops and discussions in Term 1 including tutorials on how Runway Machine Learning software can be used to integrate photogrammetry and motion capture into 3D models and drawings. (NB: Runway ML is free to download.)
  • London-based sites – We’ll be looking for moments of tension and contention in the city, where architecture could play a beneficial role to stitch, connect, overlay, or mediate. As ever, your Second Body (and the perspective you’ve generated through it) will help to guide your search.
  • Designing ‘Mediating Objects’ – A mediating object is both a body-extension and a building prosthetic. It mediates between your Second Body and the site. The Mediating Object will become the seed for your building proposal ideas.
  • Working from the inside-out—(from the body to the detail to the building) – After mid- term the mediating object will be tested as a detail from which a larger, more complex building proposition can emanate. This will involve testing strategies, moving across scales, and through discussion and tutorials, developing a programme and strategy for your building project.

Term 2 & 3

At the start of Term 2 the aim is for you to have the beginnings of a building proposition underway. Methodologies pursued in Term 2 are based on the emerging interests and directions outlined by each student’s project. Dan will join us in Term 2 with a series of workshops geared towards developing and refining your building proposals; these will involve group discussions and activities.

Archive of DS25’s work from previous years:

MArch DS25 2018-2019

MArch DS25 2019-2020