An undergraduate 'studio' (or postgraduate 'unit') is a smaller study group taken by Year 2 and 3 undergraduate students in art, architecture and design and postgraduate architecture students at The School of Art, Architecture and Design. Each studio is led by a member of academic staff, often in association with a professional practitioner or organisation. At the start of the year, the leaders of each studio present their studio's themes, position and approach to all students during a 'market day'. Students then choose their preferred studio from the wide range of issues, methods of working and types of projects available. The studio approach brings many benefits including smaller and more focused teaching groups, a joined up approach to modules, experience of professional practice, collaboration and teamwork, opportunities to exhibit and even an element of healthy competition. If a studio isn't popular enough with our students it doesn't run – so our academic staff work hard every year to make sure that they are appealing, engaging, challenging and relevant.
Our studios evolve year on year. You can see details of older studios in our studio archive.
3D Studio 01: Oomph!
Will Smith (Studio Lead), Cathy Stack, Peter Marigold
We now need ‘Oomph‘ to create amazing outcomes and the year we have planned will give all students an opportunity to do this... However this takes guts and perseverance whether you work from pure instinct or critical theory (and anything in between) we ask you to add your heart and soul.
3D Studio 02: Mind and Matter
James Hunting (Studio Lead), Gina Pierce, Sam Wingate, Claire Whelan
Everything will mark a moment in your development, another steppingstone to your creative realisation. Our resources will include the French student led art movement of ’68, the punk approaches to art, political making, some lovely textiles from history, the processes and gestures of the maker and the tactile qualities of what we use. Being a member of this studio requires thought, adventure and a willingness to understand who we are.
3D Studio 03: The Eye Has To Travel
Karen Coughlan (Studio Lead), Gina Pierce, Claire Whelan, Sam Wingate
"The only real elegance is in the mind; if you've got that, the rest really comes from it." – Diana Vreeland The Eye Has To Travel will be the textile studio with a dash of fashion, fuelled by the ingenious spirit of the late great Diana Vreeland. Her personality and influence will shape our world, changing ordinary things into glamorous and exotic inspirations.
3D Studio 04: Rattling the Cage
Marianne Forrest, Simone ten Hompel
Social, personal and local histories – objects to object to – jewellery as message and reliquaries for protest and maybe simply for simple ideas. Whether by circumstance or by design we shape our futures and the jewels we create communicate our constraint as well as our freedom. We choose and yet we succumb to expectation. Why? This studio encompasses our past experiences and rattles the chains that bind us.
3D Studio 05: Freaks
Steph Aman, Roisin Dunne, Karen Coughlan, Jolanta Cerniauskiene, Theresa Hewlett
Are you a freak? What is normal? Is there such thing? Within each one us, is lurking an inner “freak”, and now is the time to let it out, burst free and don’t hold back! Throughout history, those who moved against the norm have been referred to as “freaks”, they made their own rules, they embraced and used their imagination, they saw and embraced things others are often afraid to. Often misunderstood, or ahead of their times. Step out of your comfort zone and explore a new perspective.
3D Studio 06: Geeks
Steph Aman, Roisin Dunne, Karen Coughlan, Jolanta Cerniauskiene, Theresa Hewlett
To be a geek is to have a great passion, a great thirst for knowledge and to celebrate and relish in the sharing of this with others of similar interests. Geeks have given hours and hours to this great passion, accumulating an immense wealth of knowledge that they can creatively implement to their chosen field. Geeks have a big imagination and a great capacity for creative thought which can lead to amazing discoveries. Where would our civilisation be without them?!
UG Architecture Studio 01: The City: After the Office
Jillian Jones, Andrew Budd, Kieran Wardle
Studio 01 will be exploring a new future for the City of London no longer dominated by the office. Developing new housing models and public buildings that provide the social infrastructure for new residents of the City.
UG Architecture Studio 02: Back to Front
Charlotte Harris and Colin O’Sullivan
As the need for alternatives to building anew with unsustainable material becomes increasingly urgent, Studio 02 will continue to explore the themes of tolerance and compromise, through appropriation of existing structures and vacant sites, from innovative imaginative insertions to ambitious adaptations, that offer something other to the city.
UG Architecture Studio 03: How will we live in urban cities and rural areas post-Covid?
Sandra Denicke-Polcher, Jane McAllister and Rita Elvira Adamo (Academic Facilitator for Calabria Project)
Lockdown! "It’s reminiscent of the post-apocalyptic horror film, 28 Days Later. For many cafes, pubs, shops and restaurants, the pandemic could be terminal... Others cite London as a social, cultural and economic drain on the life of our country. They believe that declining big cities give us an opportunity to revive towns, to end the suburban commuter crawl, restore lost industries, embrace home-working and cut carbon emissions." (BBC4, 29 July 2020)
UG Architecture Studio 04: rework, reuse, redefine
Jennifer Gutteridge, Katherine Nolan, Alex Butterworth
Studio 04 will consider the architecture of city-making at the scale of the building. We will explore how urban areas have been left vacant during the pandemic, as people work from home. How can we transform existing office buildings to activate the city?
Interiors Year 2
Interiors Year 2 Studio 01: Rise and Shine
Andrew Siddall, Iain Hales, Chiara Cola, Suzanne Smeeth-Poaros
In imagining a successful 24-hour city we will aim for a diverse night-time vision: a vibrant nightscape engaging communities, workers and visitors with culture, performance, celebration, places to socialise. Covid-19 has impeded our human instinct to connect. We are discouraged from touching our friends, families, shun strangers and fear the surfaces of our city, this has led to mass sensory deprivation. Can we build a 24-hour London whilst combating the Sensory Deprivation of the Covid City?
Interiors Year 2 Studio 02: London Calling
Kaye Newman, Janette Harris, Luigi Simione, Cristina Morbi
The studio is concerned with the notion of time, some people believe it’s a part of a greater collection of subconscious senses. We are interested in peoples use of time, their engagement with it and the environments they inhabit and how they make time relevant, active, meaningful and alive. The studio will explore the notion of time through the voice, the written hand and the materials for publishing through two projects using the spaces within the Whitechapel Gallery.
Interiors Year 2 Studio 03: Red Rose Haven
Cecilia Sjoholm, Laura Encinas-Ortega, Theodora Alfredsdóttir, Patricia Mato-Mora
Our site is Whitechapel Gallery, a public art gallery situated on Whitechapel High Street. As well as exhibiting the work of contemporary artists, the gallery organises activities that involve the local community. Studio 03 will operate in the interstice between East London’s artist communities and the neighbouring City, with its workers and commuters racing between the office and their suburban homes. Specifically, we will investigate what the future holds for this symbiotic relationship.
Interiors Year 3
Interiors Year 3 Studio 01: Rise and Shine
Suzanne Smeeth-Poaros, Andrew Siddall
We will investigate the performative nature of interior design; the temporary and transformative, choreographing flexible work rest and play spaces, connecting the public with the city on a 24 hour cycle. In the current climate our human instinct to connect and touch is deeply affected. Are we experiencing a form of 'sensory deprivation'? How can we devise innovative solutions to re-engage our senses and invigorate the day-scape and night-scape of the city - from day to night; from night to day?
Interiors Year 3 Studio 02: London Calling
Kaye Newman, Janette Harris, Cristina Morbi
The studio is concerned with the notion of transience and transition of people within space. What opportunities are emerging from the temporal environment? How can these non-places have better connection and relevance, be active and a catalyst for change? The studio will explore the notion of transience and transition through two projects situated in Euston Station.
Visual Communication Year 2 Autumn: My Justice
Sara Carneholm, Emily Evans, Angharad Lewis, Ricardo Eversley, Kieron Baroutchi
Challenge yourself, challenge design and disrupt the status quo through design
Visual Communication Year 3 Autumn: Pitch + Kick
Ricardo Eversley, Kieron Baroutchi, Angharad Lewis
Develop your best idea ever, learn how to shape it and get it out to your audience. This studio prepares you to launch with confidence into your Final Major Project.
Visual Communication Studio 01 Spring: Studio Amplify
Sara Carneholm, Angharad Lewis
Put together the ingredients of type, image, language and a human-centred approach to create a high impact campaign.
Visual Communication Studio 02 Spring: Illustrate Animate
Emily Evans, Kieron Baroutchi
Telling stories with visual language.
PG Architecture Unit 02: Creative Kentish Town
Tony Fretton and Jillian Jones
Exploration of the social and urban possibilities of contemporary work and leisure, and designing unusual forms and facades.
PG Architecture Unit 03: A Museum For Now
Pippa Nissen, Marie-Lise Oulmont, Andrea Hickey, Kate Coghlan
Our unit is looking at architecture from the point of view of experience and how we can design a series of spaces as a carefully choreographed route. We are working on two projects over the year. Firstly, a smaller building to house an exhibition, and then a new museum building in the Hackney Marshes. We will ask you to think about themes around light and materials and how we can make our cultural buildings relevant today; how has the pandemic changed our view of culture and society?
PG Architecture Unit 04: Virtual Laboratory; Wilderness In The Making
Jonas Lundberg, Nate Kolbe
How can we plan cities and buildings adapted to physical distancing, remote working and increased resilience to extreme natural events? How can we reduce our ecological footprint by making new provisions for public space both real and virtual at the same time as we embrace the COVID induced thriving biodiversity of our cities? We work with digital tools in two design projects direct to factories in the exploration of engineered timber: timber pavilions and tall timber towers.
PG Architecture Unit 05: The Borrowed Landscape
Michael Dillon, Amy Bradley Smith, Lauren Shevills
This year we explore the layers between outdoors and indoors in dwellings. Forming skins and spaces that mediate climate. By manipulating thermal enclosure, we look to reduce the material consumption of building and make landscape more manifest in the interior. The borrowed landscape transgresses ideas of ventilation, enclosure, live/work and a more cyclical and outdoor life-cycle. We are actively engaging with the climate emergency, designing to reduce embodied energy.
PG Architecture Unit 06: Loose Fit City
Professor Maurice Mitchell, Dr Bo Tang
This year, Unit 06 will be investigating two London settings looking for ways to transform hard boundaries into loose borders into which students will introduce appropriate social infrastructure to create and expand common civic grounds. We will encourage you to find new ways of representing your ideas, fostering cooperation between fellow students and provoking new ways of looking, imagining and representing.
PG Architecture Unit 07: Self Build: Furniture, House and Housing with an Emphasis on Timber Construction
David Grandorge, Ted Swift
Unit 07’s primary interest this year is self build, by which we mean to self construct as well as to procure and manage the construction of a dwelling or dwellings. This idea will pursued at two scales at two sites in the London Borough of Hackney. The two projects will address some of the issues raised by the housing crisis and the impact of architecture on resource depletion and climate change.
PG Architecture Unit 08: Enough Already
Takero Shimazaki, Paolo Emilio Pisano and Karabo Turner
We have enough already: enough resources, enough buildings, enough space. Unit 8 explores the notions that everyone might enjoy private sufficiency and public luxury, and that of a '15 Minute City'. Leading from a provocation that daily life can be organised within a small. accessible radius, we will propose singular architectural interventions, challenging ideas of private and public space, re-use of resources and building stock, minimal intervention, and juxtaposition of programmes and spaces.
PG Architecture Unit 09: Rus in Urbe
Stephen Taylor and Theodoros Thysiades
This year in Unit 09 we will explore how architectural projects that sustain a feeling of the countryside whilst living in the city could be developed. We will work in a suburban setting and test how good design could help cultivate a sense of community and liveliness. We will aim at creating environmentally sustainable and economically viable architectural forms, suitable for a diverse urban society able to live in harmony with nature.
PG Architecture Unit 12: The Dream of the Metropolis
Peter St John, Fabienne Sommer, Ben Speltz and James Hand
At a time when its celebration is under threat, the studio will look at how we protect public life and sociability, by looking at the provisional and the festive social spaces of the city. Reflecting on some important questions of this time, we will look at architecture that is independent of the permanent city fabric, and is instead immediate, short-term, diverse and public. We will start with the design of a small interior, a café or a bar, and finish large with the design of a public park.
PG Architecture Unit 13: Industry in the City
Jane Clossick, Beatrice De Carli, Colin O’Sullivan, Mark Brearley
If you want a city with industry, with makers and menders as part of its diversity, join us to develop bold proposals for a chunk of the Old Kent Road. Start with the design of a large scale multi-let workshop building, later work to shape and advocate alternative plans to save the area from becoming a super-suburb of residential conversion and make space for industry and craftsmanship. Embrace one of the city’s big design challenges, and join the tussle over how this place should evolve.
Studio 01: Another Place
Out of a direct treatment of place, whether subjective or objective, emerges another place. It is neither new, nor fixed in time, but it has remained unexplored, scarcely documented – piles of lime and useless cicadas.
Studio 02: Feminist Approaches
The Dissertation Studio 02 seminar series will address feminist practices within architecture, history and activism.
Studio 03: Narrative and Storytelling
This studio focuses on modes of storytelling and narrative conventions. We will particularly consider how narrative intersects with, and informs, identity.
Studio 04: The Conquest of Joy
This studio encourages dialogues around the cultural production at a time when narratives founded on certainty have ceased to make sense.
Studio 05: This is my truth; show me yours: Post-truth, propaganda and bulls**t
This studio will look at the emergence of the notion of "post truth" and explore links between other ideas around propaganda and Harry Frankfurt’s argument about "bulls**t". We will consider the usefulness of these ideas, and how they can be explored in creative practice.
Studio 06: The Practice of Space – Writing Atmospheres in Art and Architecture
Nico de Oliveira
Dissertation Studio 06 looks at space as practice, since each location is a mutable entity framed as a moment in time, populated by individuals and shaped by their actions as artists, musicians, curators, designers, architects, writers and spectators.
Studio 07: Meaningful Work
This studio will consider the value of making in itself, independent of the product or outcome, exploring the idea of craft as meaningful work.
Studio 08: Speak, Form.
Dissertation Studio 8 asks: How is it that form might speak? This studio looks at the power of rhetoric, of the medium as message, of the figure as discourse.
Studio 09: Thinking with Ruins
This studio pays heed to these cultural forms and persuasions but asks, how might we productively think with ruins in the present?
Studio 10: Sport and Aesthetics
Dissertation Studio 10 will examine the concept of aesthetics as applied within that most everyday activity: sport.
Studio 11: Le Marteau Sans Maître (The Hammer without a Master)
In a networked world where knowledge and information seems to be accessible everywhere and in any form; and where people in distant places appear to speak to us in real time from our computer screens, Studio 11 tries to imagine an ‘immediate’ and performative experience of the world – outside language and not shaped by our intellect and will.
Studio 12: Material Culture and Transcultural Exchanges
Dissertation Studio 12 is concerned with the increasing complexity of the material and symbolic flows of fashion, textile, artefact and commodity.
Studio 13: B(read)
Focussing on two of life’s key ingredients, reading and bread, this Dissertation Studio offers sessions that will encourage you to experience and experiment with both.
Studio 14: Rewilding
In this Dissertation Studio, we will examine some of the many ways in which art, architecture, and design connect to the discourse on rewilding.
Studio 15: “If I stay silent nothing will change”: Identity, Politics, Social Change and Creative Culture(s)
This cross-disciplinary studio considers how power, culture, politics, identity, representation, activism, social media, and mass culture theory intersect with a range of arts practices, including photography, architecture, design and fine art, film studies, fashion and music, sound, pop art, and theatre.
Studio 16: A Material World
This Dissertation Studio will be based on the processes that are intrinsic to the design and making of textiles, however it will also be looking at the materiality of these textiles as objects.
Studio 17: Souvenir
This studio is concerned with those objects that are lent a particular enchantment because of their relationship with the past. It considers the role of memory and how it is embodied in cultural artefacts.
Studio 18: Modes of Human Exchange (Being-with and without)
This studio considers the current (exceptional) conditions of human exchange in a broader historical/social context, highlighting how facial/bodily gestures and the decorum of their physical/ambient surroundings have provided essential clues to the way we respond to, and interact with, the ‘other’.