Signy Svalastoga, Jonathan Cook and Edward Simpson

Unit 10: An Architecture of Relationships V

image credit: Eugene Asse

Unit brief

An Architecture of Relationships V
A collaboration between Diploma Unit 10 and Moscow School of Architecture (MARCH)

Starting from a concrete situation of urbanity, the unit stresses the use of a combination of research, thinking methodologies, material experimentation and making, and creative practice to propose strategic interventions that span extremes of scale, from the immediate and personal, to the collective and geographical. A common attitude and investigation into the material manifestation of the environment underpins continuity from the detailed to the large scale. Architecture, landscape and urbanism themselves are not seen as a shift in scalar thinking, but as overlapping and inseparable fields, occupying the same territory.

The location for this year’s projects will be Tarusa, Kaluga Oblast, Russia, a small town south of Moscow. We will work in collaboration with Eugene Asse, Narine Tyutcheva, Xenia Adjoubei and colleagues at the Moscow School of Architecture MARCH, where we will conclude the field trip by making a presentation and discuss our readings of the town to the School.

"Tarusa is a relatively small town in Kaluga region, little touched by industrialization, allowing it to preserve its natural landscape and cultural heritage. It has the status of the ‘architecture and nature reserve’. The first mention of Tarusa dates back to the mid-13th century. The town is located on the picturesque bank of the Oka River and occupies 12 km2.

The beauty of the surrounding landscape turned out to be Tarusa’s main asset, which gave the town a boost in the late 1800s, attracting major painters and writers to the area. In the mid-20th Century many Soviet dissident authors – writers, poets, composers – found a haven there. Tarusa has preserved its cultural spirit to this day.

Tarusa also developed as a science centre. In 1986 an Institute for Space Research was established. 240 people work there today. Total population of Tarusa in 2016 was 9267 people. Summer time due to summer residents and tourists, the Tarusa population increases about 10 times.

History, nature and people of Tarusa made the town a rare place which escaped the rough urban intervention. Currently there are problems of further city development. Tarusa needs a planning strategy which would allow it to preserve its values and to make the town competitive."
Narine Tyutcheva and Polina Lyslova

"... Walking is central to how we learn urban space. This is not just a spatial learning of urbanism, but a temporal practice of space, and is part of a wider set of rhythms that characterize urban places... Walking is a pre-reflective form of knowledge, although it sometimes entails discovering and transforming our conception of urban places through making and remaking of connections to past, present and future, between real and imagined, and through noise, smell, vision and touch..."

"The city that is ‘stitched together’ through walking is a relational city of multiple times and spaces, memories and bodily experience, and constituted though an assembly of translocal commodity chains, ecologies, histories and unfolding events."
Learning the City, Colin McFarlane, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011

Rooted in our individual and unique experience we will again start the year with two linked short projects aimed to develop and fine-tune spatial and social observations, explored through drawing, making, mending and repair. We promote notions of ambiguity and imperfections as productive to the design process, looking at how ordinary spaces can hold the extraordinary.


Course Professional Diploma in Architecture - RIBA 2
Tutors Signy Svalastoga
Jonathan Cook
Edward Simpson

Goulston Street
Room GS2-24

When Monday and Thursday

Professional Diploma in Architecture (RIBA part II)

Unit 02: Classicism, modernism and architecture in the present time

Tony Fretton

Unit 02 will run this year as a project in three parts at Somerset House London.

Unit 04: Building Laboratory | Frozen Timber

Jonas Lundberg, Eva Diu and Andrew Grant

Unit 04 aims to participate in the debate on environmental adaptation, design and development of the new town of Kiruna, which is forced to move three kilometres to the east of its current location.

Unit 05: The Infrastructure of the Street

Alex Ely, Michael Dillon and Lydia Johnson

Unit 05 are interested in how changing the infrastructure of a singular street and the housing within it can alter the urban contribution.

Unit 06: Civic Fit

Professor Maurice Mitchell, Francesca Pont, Dr Bo Tang, Jane McAllister and Sandra Denicke-Polcher

Unit 06 offers students a choice of three settings: Athens, Greece; Belmonte, Calabria; or Kirtipur in the Kathmandu Valley.

Unit 07: A Lean Architecture

David Grandorge and Paloma Gormley

Unit 07 will begin the year with an ambitious project, Timber Translations, re-imagining the industrial structures depicted in the photographs of Bernd and Hilla Becher in timber allowing us to and explore languages of jointing, supporting and bridging in a single material at a large scale.

Unit 08: Midland Cities II – Nottingham Translations

Takero Shimazaki (t-sa) and Summer Islam

Unit 08 will continue to focus on the urban development of cities in the Midlands and propose architectural interventions as opportunities for civic renewal.

Unit 09: Making Urban

Stephen Taylor and Theodoros Thysiades

Unit 09 will continue its two Semester / project structure this year.

Unit 10: An Architecture of Relationships V

Signy Svalastoga, Jonathan Cook and Edward Simpson

Unit 10 will again start the year with two linked short projects aimed to develop and fine-tune spatial and social observations, explored through drawing, making, mending and repair.

Unit 12: Hotel Sphinx

Peter St John, James Hand and Ben Speltz

Unit 12 will continue to examine the different conditions of London and the potential of the city's current reinvention.

Unit 14: Dis-place

Pierre d’Avoine and Pereen d’Avoine

Unit 14 will work in the East End this year, specifically in Tower Hamlets and will be concerned with diaspora displacement and the indigenous.

Unit 15: Building Society

James Binning, Ellie Howard and James Pockson

Unit 15 will redefine the terms of the self-build movement and transcend the trope of homes made by home makers, exploring instead self-build as a powerful economic and urban alternative to developer-driven housing.