Design Studio (Two) Six

BA Architecture

Tutors: Victoria Watson & Tszwai So

Dr Victoria Watson is a Senior Lecturer and director of Doctor Watson Architects. She is a qualified architect and architectural historian and has run experimental design and History and Theory courses here at the UoW and at the RCA.

Tszwai So is director of Spheron Architects and has recently won the RIBA Journal’s ‘rising star’ award for his Belarussian Memorial Chapel and the ‘Eye Line’ drawing prize for his Memorial to the victims of Totalitarianism.

CAR PARK TO COSMOS

No atom in the universe can avoid a complicated life. (Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, Second Truth, Theorems of Life)

This studio is about Architecture and Cosmos. Modernism taught us we are organisms, dependent on our environment for our survival. Postmodernism taught us we are global citizens, politically, economically, ecologically and unavoidably connected to events taking place locally and all around the world. Cosmism tries to teach us about our inter-stellar connectivity, to think and feel our entanglements with the deep matter, waves, particles, stars and exploding galaxies of the cosmos.

Studio DS2.6 launches on the fiction of an International Institute of Cosmism (IIC) that plans to build a prototype development in the environmental context of Stevenage Railway Station. Stevenage is a new town, it is located north of London, on the edge of the Green Belt and can be reached by train from central London, with a journey time of only 20/30 minutes. The station is located on the Western edge of the town. It is a bridging structure, spanning above the rail tracks, over a dual carriageway and through the leisure centre building. The station acts as a gateway and a bridge, connecting the bus station and historic New Town centre to the East with Stevenage Leisure Park and the Industrial Area to the West (https://vimeo.com/301190660). The IIC plan to construct two separate buildings. The first will be to the east of the station, programmed as a museological installation space and annex to the local museum. The second will be on the more challenging site west of the station, in the Leisure Park, a Cosmist Cinema and Art Space. The IIC need imaginative and talented young architects to work on the project and the teaching and learning of this studio is conceived as a training ground for just such individuals. Throughout the year trainees will investigate:

  • The idea of the New Town and the history of Stevenage New Town
  • Air Space Industries and their importance for Stevenage
  • The History of Cosmism
  • Contemporary Cosmism

Ultimately the purpose of the studio is to produce architectural design proposals of the highest quality; and there is no prescribed method for doing that. However, methods of investigation and representation will include: reading, writing, drawing, sketching, scale drawing, model-making, site investigation, field trip, formal analysis, technical studies, environmental studies, photography, painting, animation, documentation, poster & magazine work, orthographic projection, etc, etc…

Car Park to Cosmos – a selection of animations: https://vimeo.com/341885171

A Trainspotter Theatre for Stevenage Station: https://vimeo.com/341886402