Architectural Association
Media Studies

AA MEDIA is an experimental testing ground for exploring and interrogating the tools of the discipline – tools with which we speculate, manipulate and play; compute, control and test; communicate, seduce, and provoke.

Acting as both training camp and laboratory, it is a diverse, multidisciplinary program where unexpected collisions and obsessive attention to detail expose a rich seam of creative potential. Media Studies presents an opportunity to develop individual practice, where students hone their dexterity with established and progressive media, actively testing modes of production through focused acts of doing and making.


Kate Davies
Head of Media Studies
Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu
Lab Coordinator

Architectural Association
School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

+44 (0)20 7887 4000




Image: Jorinde Voigt


Wednesdays, 10am-1pm, Room TBC in Term 2

The course deploys animation and time-based media as a mode of exploring and expressing dynamic conditions. We question the potential actions and operations of the architect in the field and how those practices can generate a particular, peculiar kind of conceptual work that mediates site and studio.

Somewhere out there, beyond the studio is a messy place that we call Site - a corner of a city or a pocket of landscape - where our creations, crafted in the clean laboratory spaces of our desk[top]s, may one day venture. How can we capture the complex essence of a place - that elusive creature; that cocktail of the visible and invisible - to lure it gently, alive and wriggling to our desks like a mysterious bottled ghost?

We are hunting the intangible and the elusive, as we explore the hidden dynamics of site through active and obsessive ‘field recording’. We will work on-location, gathering data and field-notes to use as raw material for alternate, wild, abstract and notational depictions of places and events.

The product of this fieldwork is, at its heart, the telling of a story. Back at HQ, we will construct time-based drawings and animate them, bringing them to life as characterful portraits of complex sites. These dynamic drawings will form thick descriptions - visual music, embodying a symphony of relationships, events and occurrences that defy capture in a photo. We test the limits of the visual, looking beyond the depiction of physical things to explore alternative languages with which to describe the world.

Course Outline

Session 1:
Wednesday 10th January 2018
- Studio session
- Introduction/ discussion of site/field work
- The field journal, field tools, modes of survey/ recording

Session 2:
Wednesday 17th January 2018
- Site Visit/ Field Work
- Field notes and observation [qualitative]
- Group discussion of initial observations
- Develop time-based sketches from observations

Session 3:
Wednesday 24th January 2018
- Studio session
- Lecture: History of experimental notation and abstract cinema
- Introduction to animation software – with a focus on Adobe After effects
- Developing animated notational systems from initial field notes
- Discussion of site instruments

Session 4:
Wednesday 31st January 2018
- Studio session
- Finalise first time-based drawings and notation set
- Development of site instruments


Session 5:
Wednesday 14th February 2018
- Site Visit
- Field notes, actions and observation [quantitative]
- Field recording/data logging/ measurement
- Develop animated sketches from information gathered

Session 6:
Wednesday 21st February 2018
- Studio session + Tutorials
- Drawing observation/ abstraction/ notation/ instruction
- Development of personal visual language for final animated works.

Session 7:
Wednesday 28th February 2018
- Studio session + Tutorials
- Development of final animated works

Session 8:
Wednesday 7th March 2018
- MS JURY DAY Presentations
- Screening of final Animations