Architectural Association
Media Studies

AA MEDIA is an experimental testing ground for exploring and interrogating the tools of the discipline – tools with which we speculate, manipulate and play; compute, control and test; communicate, seduce, and provoke.

Acting as both training camp and laboratory, it is a diverse, multidisciplinary program where unexpected collisions and obsessive attention to detail expose a rich seam of creative potential. Media Studies presents an opportunity to develop individual practice, where students hone their dexterity with established and progressive media, actively testing modes of production through focused acts of doing and making.


Kate Davies
Head of Media Studies
Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu
Lab Coordinator

Architectural Association
School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

+44 (0)20 7887 4000



Image: Roman Signer

Workshops, talks and events offered by the Media Studies department are open to all students of the AA. They are offered as extras, and are additional opportunities for students across the school to explore the role and potential of various technologies, tools and media. They are intended to be fun and are not a formal requirement for any student.


Details about the workshops and talks will be posted throughout the 2nd term, both on this page and on Twitter @AAMediaLab, as they are confirmed.

Drawing Inspiration workshop

A one day celebration of drawing as both action and object, focusing on the physicality and materiality of the line. The day will involve hands-on practical workshops on drawing expression, drawing technique, and drawing play, as well as discussions and presentations - all the while immersed in a room full of inspirational drawings from a range of sources, including incredible drawn works from AA archive

Shin Egashira & Andrew Holmes, Drawings and Process: Artist talk
Ed Bottoms, Drawn Artefacts: AA archive drawings , Table-top presentation

Workshop 1
Stop and Think About Drawing
Miraj Ahmed & Valentin Bontjes van Beek
The workshop will give us the opportunity to stop and think about the constructive process of drawing. We will look at concepts of projection and make drawings while mindful of the fact that they are things that have a life of their own and not just a means to an end.

Workshop 2
Exquisite Corpse
Alison Moffett & Anderson Inge
This session will be about drawing with wild abandon. We will be dealing with drawing both on an off the picture plane. In ever changing pairs, we propose to play our way through drawing, to wall construction, to sculpture, arriving at spatial propositions. We will enjoy reflecting on what we see and do throughout.

PLEASE EMAIL: kate.davies@aaschool.ac.uk

Nelly Ben Hayoun
Designing the Impossible
The Origin Story – Media and Making in Practice
Wednesday 29 November
Lecture Hall

Dr. Nelly Ben Hayoun, the Willy Wonka of design and science, will create a space for thoughts, debate and provocation around the sociological and critical impact of new technologies.
Acting as a critical explorer and provocateur, the Wired Innovation Fellow will define her practice as a designer of experiences and demonstrate how the human condition can prevail over emerging technologies. The talk will explore the challenges she faces in trying to defy and design in the gravity of the hyperreal, a world where fiction is as truthful as reality. Covering some of her larger scale projects (The International Space Orchestra, Disaster Playground and the University of the Underground) she will introduce students to the 'hammering and total bombardment' philosophy that gives momentum to the designing of the impossible.

With Paul Bavister

Saturday Jan 13th
11 - 5pm

This experimental sound workshop will be made up of physical demonstrations of acoustic phenomena, talks and hands on practical experiments, recording, visualising and working directly with sound as a material, and will end in a ‘performance’ of collected source material from in and around the school.

Sound is all around us, often calming, often intrusive. Sound is manifest in our consciousness and affects our being. Sound is driven by both natural sources, and our actions. Sound is modulated by the spaces we occupy and inhabit; architectural surfaces and volumes working together to create an acoustic experience relating to the human condition. Naturally occurring sound is beyond organisation, and is not music. Sound is often considered noise, unwanted, intrusive and wearisome.

By looking at ‘structure borne sound’, room acoustics and compositional aesthetics, this study takes a critical position on the existing landscape of acoustics and sound. It seeks to engender discussions on current acoustic design methodologies alongside speculative thinking on acoustic futures. This will mean addressing key issues that impact the understanding of ‘sound’ as a whole, from the point of propagation to the point of reception; and the architecture, engineering, and thinking that enables its journey.

PLEASE EMAIL: aamedia@aaschool.ac.uk

GREY MATTER: Vincent Walsh in conversation
Wednesday 31 January
AA Lecture Hall

The Weapons of Choice series, hosted by Kate Davies, gathers together multidisciplinary doers and thinkers to delve into the underlying processes behind the making of creative work. Engaging wild minds from the fields of art, design, technology and science in discussion, to explore how the tools available to creative minds activate design thinking in peculiar, particular ways. In conversation with leading cognitive neuroscientist, Vincent Walsh, this lecture will engage in an interrogation of creative practice, asking to what extent it is possible to manipulate or nurture creativity.

Vincent Walsh is professor of Human Brain Research at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience at University College London and a world expert on the brain and performance. His research group is now entirely concerned with using modern brain science to change behaviour and performance in the world beyond the lab. In the space beyond the lab he has been scientific advisor to the Southbank on the presentation of Messiaen’s synaesthesia, Scientist in Residence at the Royal Academy of Music, where he organised the first joint meeting of the Royal Society and the Royal Academy of Music on Creativity and the Brain, and chair of the Medicine and Music symposium at the Royal College of Medicine. He has published 225 scientific papers on vision, awareness, time perception, music, synaesthesia and technical aspects of brain stimulation.

1:1 Construction workshop
Hooke Park, Dorset
6th - 9th Feb

A collaboration between Design+Make, Media Studies and the AA Photo Studio - the project to build the AA’s new forest darkroom is underway.
This small building is a meditation on the act of image making; housing a wondrous alchemy of mechanical and chemical processes in its dark belly, carefully nested on an edge condition between the territory of the workshop and the enveloping fabric of the forest.

We are looking for a team of dedicated and committed students to take part in an intense 4 day build session.
An opportunity to get hands on with a live 1:1 building project and to be a part of constructing a new analog darkroom facility for all students across the school to use.

Places are very limited. To sign up email: kate.davies@aaschool.ac.uk
We will email to confirm your place by Friday 26th Jan

1:1 Furniture making workshop
with master craftsman Bim Burton
Hooke Park, Dorset
27th + 28th March

Part 2 of a series of workshops to help build the AA’s new forest darkroom; a collaboration between Design+Make, Media Studies and the AA Photo Studio
This two day workshop will immerse students in timber craft, making beautiful bespoke furniture for the new AA Hooke park Darkroom and its adjacent studio ‘Lightroom’.
We are looking for a team of dedicated and committed students to take part in an intense build session.

Bim Burton has been creating furniture and interiors in London UK since 1980, gathering a grounded understanding of materials and intricate making processes.
His work for a wide variety of clientele has always been joyfully received, responding to their needs and wants often with a playful undertone.

Places are very limited. To sign up email: kate.davies@aaschool.ac.uk
We will email to confirm your place by Friday 16th March