BA First Year

BA Architecture


  1. Group ATutors: John Edwards & Chris Daniel
  2. Group BTutors: Richard Watson & Emma Perkin
  3. Group CTutors: Richa Muchia & Tszwai So
  4. Group DTutors: Duarte Santo & Jenny Kingston
  5. Group ETutors: Matthew Stewart & Vasilija Abramovic
  6. Group FTutors: Jean Wang & Natalie Newey
  7. Group G Tutors: Ursula Dimitrou & Neil Kiernan

Semester One

1. Human Scale

In the tradition of Da Vinci‘s ‘Vitruvian Man‘ and Le Corbusier‘s ‘Modulor’, we will measure and draw the proportions of the human body. We will also investigate the relationship between the human body and space. During this task the students will be introduced to orthographic drawing as we record our findings by producing scaled drawings.

Workshop Activity 1: Body Mapping

Working in groups of 3 or 4, the students need to make 2 drawings. Each drawing should be accurate in terms of size and proportion of the human body and should be at 1:1 scale (full scale). Drawings do not need to be made using hands. The students are encouraged to explore different ways to capture a particular movement; swinging arm, jumping, etc., and be loose with their definition of “drawing”: to free up, to take risks, paint, print, tear, stick, make marks, make their own drawing tools, etc.

Post-Workshop Activity 2: Scale

Rescaling the drawings produced in the workshop.

The students are encouraged to use a variety of methods to do this, try a couple out on different drawings. To use the photocopier to reduce the drawings in sections and recombine into a finished drawings. To overlay a grid and re-draw the same grid but 10 times smaller on tracing paper and transpose each grid square by hand. To measure using the scale ruler and redraw on another sheet of tracing paper.

Workshop Activity 3: The Body in Relation to Space

Working in groups of 3 or 4, students are to work out the smallest space that the group is comfortable occupying with all of them standing and with a combination of sitting, standing and lying down. The idea is to try a variety of arrangements. The outcome should be a series of at least 2 accurate drawings at scale 1:10 in both plan and elevation.

2. Reading Dwelling

Developing our research and analytical skills we will learn how to read a building. The students will be assigned a case study/dwelling to redraw, model and analyse. We will investigate well-documented and seminal projects and understand how these dwellings respond to site, context, historical context, and the clients’ brief. By redrawing we will see how spaces and programs are arranged, how spatial sequences are developed and how building materials are used to create these spaces.

3. Furnitecture

● First the students investigated human scale and the shapes and quantities of space we inhabit.
● Then studied exemplar houses and how they make and arrange space.
● Now the students will propose ‘furnitecture’ in order to explore possible relationships between ourselves and those houses.

The first design challenge is to design a piece of ‘furnitecture’ (furniture/architecture) for a selected case study. Responding to all they have learnt about the building and also reflecting on their human scale experiments, the students’ task is to design and communicate a piece of furniture that can be used in more than one way.

4. Urban Bothy

The final brief of this semester the students are to design their first building: an Urban Bothy. This will provide a retreat and social gathering spot for a particular group, or a ‘tribe’. The building will be small and multifunctional, and students are to apply the techniques that you have developed so far this term to design a space that meets the needs of your user.

We live in an era of social indeterminism. Social media and contemporary technologies have helped disrupt historic notions of class and what might be described as traditional behaviours. Communities are formed around activities, likes, beliefs and character traits, irrespective of geographic locale. Some are formed by choice, others by circumstance -simple by virtue of the work that they must do to earn a living.

The city provides the backdrop for all groups. Some are well catered for, with permanent infrastructures in place to support their continued existence. Others have no fixed home, buffeted around by fluidity of their needs. Some are new, some are transient, some simply can’t afford to compete for land in an unyielding real estate market and others might just be seeking respite from the intensity of the city.