24 September 2013
Architectural Association, London
Unit 1 explored the new public space potentials of London’s roofscapes, using exclusively live action film as an analysis and design tool, and social media as a research and testing tool, despite the best efforts of the students otherwise.
Unit 1 started with no prior film skills; after two weeks they were able to use moving images as a tool to observe, see, analyse, think, evoke, imagine and convey new architectures. They never claimed to be filmmakers; they were designers using the moving-image for their own architectural purposes.
Unit 1 had a wealth of experience in using social media; they learnt to use it as a tool to test, actively engage, and communicate architectural ideas internationally across demographics and cultures, in real time. They sought to enrich pure academia with the everyday, and they started a conversation which continues beyond these shores to this day (#iwantyourroof).
Unit 1 focused their test projects in a flooded future London of 2043, in the immediate context of the AA; Bedford Square will be gone – leaving Bedford Lake, surrounded by the highly-sought after Bedford Roofs. They then explored with vigour and rigour the new potentials of live-action film to explore latent possibilities of architecture to transform these roofscapes into new types of public space over time.
Unit 1 presented their final architectural trailers for their proposals in an immersive four dimensional world of multi-screened sound, colour, and atmosphere, using only screens and projectors. Together their projects conveyed the complex ambiguities between depravity and desire, the past and future, calmness and isolation, sharing and acting, excitement and fear, and the symbiotic relationship these ambiguities held with their proposed architectures. The jurors had never experienced anything quite like it. All that could be agreed upon was that the true meaning and impact of what we all experienced together would not be known for some time – just like the Summer School itself.
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Mark is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and architect, and founder of Repeat Differ; he is currently also the University of Cambridge Department of Architecture Teaching Fellow and Visiting Lecturer.
Dolores is a practising architect, educator, and co-founder of Semisotano Arquitectos; she is currently also the General Secretary of the Architecture Sustainability Association (ASA) in Spain.