Mark Campbell and Thandi Loewenson
Media. History. Ethics. Materials. Collaborations. Law. These are not supplements to an architectural project, but intrinsic, moving parts in the development of any design. They are constantly evolving, speculative, exploratory practices. Here, media is both the message and the massage (to bastardise Marshall McLuhan), providing the content and the sensorial appeal of the project. The use of these media, developed over the two years students spend in the MA Architecture programme, have their own operations, histories and internal mechanics. They breathe, they enact, they offer glimpses into these imaginations of our futures.
History is context, precedents, analysis, insight. History is a practice of revisiting, then re-writing, re-drawing and – in the process – re-crafting narratives of past and presence. These narratives are produced both alone and together. Students are engaged in contesting simulacra, giving form to the postcolony, and excavating the dimensions of the extractive logics that structure worlds of practice and possibility. History illuminates design.
Technical studies explores the relation to materials, reality and implementability. Crucially, it is also about play and the process of experimentation. A coat made of felt. A helium balloon launched into the sky. Such experiments raise more questions. How can you learn to stage a heist? What is it to build and test a temporary structure made of cake? How do you track the path of the sun across a building that has yet to be constructed?
Professional practice is radical practice. What are the productive intersections between architecture, ethics, law? Gender equality, racial justice and the climate crisis? We work together, forming collectives that seek to reject norms and bring about social change. This work continues within and beyond the programme and the power of collaborative practice will be discussed at an event led by the Power Out of Resistance (POoR) Collective, a group comprising graduates and current MA Architecture students.
Media. History. Ethics. Materials. Collaborations. Law. These are not supplements to an architectural project, but intrinsic, moving parts in the development of any design.