Summer School 2017 – Unit 5 Taught by Benjamin Groothuijse, David Schmidt & Korbinian Kainz
16 August 2017 Architectural Association, London  

During Summer School 2017, the Studio State formulated a critical project as a comment on today’s society and its formal constitution. In its commentary, the Studio State was not only a response to, but became itself a direct expression of an architecture of now.


The Studio, be it an artist's studio, the creative sanctuary of a recording studio or in our case the space of a unit within the Architectural Association, has always been a safe space for the development of critical ideas. The premise of the Studio State subverted this safe space into a political one by the ceremonious act of declaring its territory a State.


As an analogy to the idea of the micro-nation, the Studio State became a vehicle for comment and critique by a precise formulation of what defines the Studio States’ relationship towards the hegemony. By using the critical potential of satire to bring to the surface current and controversial issues of our times, the project came to stand in direct dialectic relationship with the State from which it claimed its independence.


As power was laid out in an elaborated system of codified cultural goods, the unit allowed for the discussion of the Studio States’ material culture as a reflection of its values and in a wider context that of the values of our own; asking us to re-examine and question the embedded values in all objects that surround us every day.

  Credits: Tutors: Benjamin Groothuijse, David Schmidt & Korbinian Kainz Guests: Camiel Van Noten, Caspar Frenken, Joseph Halligan, Mara Kanthak Students: Aysenur Onaran, Giles Reed, Hanzhang Lai, Haoran Wang, Laila Apene Feitoza, Moe Omiya, Niveda Karuppuswamy, Rachelle DiGregorio, Ramya Lakshmi Puram Mani Kumar, Rewa Ratra, Sofia Leijonberg, Stephanie Baer, Xiaoqing Xu  

For more information:

Summer School 2017 – Now That's What I Call Architecture 2017

Unit 5: Studio State Brief

Studio State Instagram

Studio State Publication

Benjamin Groothuijse

David Schmidt

Korbinian Kainz