Walking around the Architectural Association in Bedford Square, London, you can see the student work exhibiting until the 26th of June.
The school is filled with models, drawings, videos… anything that can attract the attention of the visitors. Under a layer of fashionable graphics and materials it appears that hundreds of hours have been spent on thinking, researching, changing and finalizing what we can see as a more or less polished end-of-the-year product. The topics developed are the most disparate, unrealistic and speculative and this shows the richness of the research undergoing in the school.
The researches focus mostly on the contemporary city where architectural exploration can infiltrate and propose new approaches. The city becomes a field of challenges, as, for example, a contemporary factory or a dense organism populated along the city’s skyline.
Imaginary cities are tested as interfaces between built matter and dreams, constructs of the mind. Students pursue visionary approaches that can lift and solve the issues and the pressure that is generated by living in the city, especially a city like London. London is presented in many projects as an exemplary contemporary city. In here the pressure of investments, of political interests, of growing density, of lack of space and a rising hyper -capitalistic lifestyle are phenomena to be studied from the architectural point of view.
The globalization of the urban space, meant as homogenization of culture and built environment, transforms the city and the way of exchanging knowledge and using the space. The role that architecture tries to play in the students’ projects is to become an instrument of investigation in social scenarios and mediation of geometries and structures.
On the other hand, some of the projects explore unknown fields (as the Liam Young dipolma 6). Nature, landscapes that are far away, forgotten and utopic are resources for investigation.
Geographical knowledge and latent territories offer opportunities for design speculation.
What we can see in this exhibition is a wide range of stories – from the most practical to the most remote and imaginary. Those researches might not be the most effective, but are of great importance. What is displayed here shows how much fun you can have with architecture when there is the freedom to do it. Academic versus profession.
Architectural Association Projects Review 2015
26 June- 18 July : Monday-Friday 10 am- 6.30pm Saturday 10-5pm
Architectural Association (AA) School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES