AA Summer School 2018 - UNIT 2

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An Hour in London A Grand Narrative of Fragments

July 2018

Unit 2

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An Hour in London A Grand Narrative of Fragments Every day a multiplicity of stories are told, from idle gossip to crafted novels. Information technology has allowed these stories to grow larger in number and reach further than ever before. Yet at the same time, as a society, we are becoming more nervous about the dissolution of a shared discourse. Fake news, information bubbles and echo chambers are all examples of a multitude of narratives that coexist, yet never interact. What does this have to do with architecture? Critical to any architectural project is the site. Architects have long sought different ways to analyse and understand the site, from Nolli’s map of the public spaces of Rome to Venturi and Scott Brown’s drive down the Las Vegas strip. Unit 2 will attempt to understand site, not through first hand experience, but through assembling the fragmented narratives of others into a new whole — a grand narrative.

Medium

Site

Architecture is a medium of communication; from the classical orders, the height of a Gothic cathedral, to the transparency of a contemporary government building. One of the most direct and evocative manifestations is the stained glass window. Used throughout history to represent everything from saints to adverts.

Unit 2 will work across two different scales. The first is one of the AA’s Georgian sash windows which we will commandeer as the location and the context for our 1:1 intervention. The second is Trafalgar Square, which will be the focus of our analysis and the source of our fragmented narratives. Trafalgar square marks London’s central point as defined since 1663. Sited at the location of the original Charing Cross, erected by Edward I in honour of his dead Queen Eleanor. It is where Google drops the pin for London and from where distances to the capital are measured. It is where protests end and celebrations begin. The location of Norway’s gifted Christmas tree and a popular tourist attraction. It signifies London all over the world, the subject of an myriad of fragments.

Working at 1:1 Unit 2 will assemble fragments, both literal and figurative, to create our own stained glass window.

AA Summer School

Unit 2

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July 2018

Unit 2

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Fragment to Grand Narrative We will over the course of the three weeks collage, overlay and re-frame fragmented narratives. We will digitally alter and skew images, stories, recordings and videos through a series of workshops. We will paint, laser cut, slump and print our fragments on glass. The window, as our final assembly, will tell a grand narrative of a fragmented now. Step 1 - Search the Search Unit 2 will search the internet and trawl social media to collect as many narratives as possible about Trafalgar Square, focused on a single hour in time. We will collect, collate, forage, hack and aggregate. The collective narratives will form the basis of our site exploration and our first set of fragments. Step 2 - Fragment 1 - Filter the search Going through the bounty of found narratives we will seek to weed out those most interesting or maybe those most banal to represent within our window, looking to portray Trafalgar Square in all its glory. Step 3 - Visualise the Search We will start to visually represent our fragments. Through a series of workshops we will curate, splice and collage the fragments into a drawing or template - the beginnings of our stained glass window. Not bound to the flat plane we will begin to manipulate our fragments using 3D modelling and other digital techniques to transform images, videos and sound recordings into 3D objects. Step 4 - Grand Narrative 1 Once our individual narratives have been chosen, we will as a unit assemble the first mock up of our stained glass sash window. Interim Jury Step 5 - Fragment 2 We will begin to make our narrative fragments out of glass fragments. Workshops will be held to discuss different methods of working with glass such as: assemblage,laser-cutting (perspex), layering and manipulation, painting, laser etching and transfers. We will explore the theme of transparency,how it can be used to create different forms of hierarchy not possible with a printed media. This will add another dimension beyond that of a typical architectural drawing. Step 6 - Grand Narrative 2 The final step will be to assemble the 1:1 window. Final Jury

AA Summer School

Unit 2

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July 2018

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Schedule Week 1 Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

10-1

Introductions & unit presentations

Stained glass window site visit

Re-search the search

All day representation workshop with invited guest

All day 3d modelling workshop for 3d glass elements

Materiality of the digital workshop

2-6

Unit selections & first unit meeting

Selecting a window (the site)

Search the search ‘an hour in London’

6-late

Sunday

Unit dinner at Angel In The Fields

Drinks at the Champion Pub

Week 2 Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday

10-1

The grand narrative 1

Intermediate jury

Post jury discussion

Glass workshop visit

Image analysis workshop with invited guest

Studio time

2-6

Studio time (jury prep)

Intermediate jury

Working with glass workshop

Studio time

Studio time

Studio time

Tutorials with invited guests

Drinks at Old Bell Tavern

Post jury drinks

6-late

Sunday

Week 3 Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

10-1

V&A glass exhibition visit

Studio time

Constructing the window workshop

Studio time

Final jury

2-6

Studio time

Studio time

Studio time

Studio time (jury prep)

Final jury

Saturday

Sunday

Party

6-late

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François Espinasse - Bibendun,1911

Iconoclasm at Cantebury cathedral

Gilbert and George

Gerhard Richter - Cologne Cathedral, 2007

Selective erasure of religius figures, 1643

Red Morning Trouble, 1977 and Dream, 1984

Eleanor Dodman

Tobias Jewson

Graduated from the Architectural Association in 2014. Whilst at the AA she was student editor of AArchitecture the schools tri-annual newsletter. She was awarded the AA prize for significant contributions to the school and the Nicolas Pozner Prize for single best drawing of the year.

Graduated from the Architectural Association in 2013. His Part 1 project was awarded a commendation at the RIBA President’s Medals Awards. He has worked at Foreign Office Architects in London, OMA in Rotterdam and is currently working at 31/44 Architects.

After having gained experience at Wilkinson Eyre Architects, working across a range of scales and sectors, she left in 2018 to set up her own practice. Most recently her work has been exhibited at the London festival of Architecture and the Royal Scottish Academy Summer Exhibition.

July 2018

Unit 2

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