M.ARCH Studios 20/21
Design Research Agendas

Master of Architecture
(ARB/RIBA Part 2)


ALL CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL // Establishing New Edgeland Communities

This year, our studio unit moves to the peripheral ‘edgelands’ of the city - the disorganised but often fertile hinterland between planned town and over-managed countryside. The significance of these unstructured borderlands between urban and rural, part man-made, part natural, both for wildlife and for human exploration, demands increased focus. We will be collectively exploring the future of the ‘edgeland’ and how a growing requirement for better places to live, work and play in close proximity to ecology and nature may provide opportunities for a new kind of architecture to emerge.

Studio tutors: Carla Novak & Adam Hiles

INSTITUTION REVOLUTION // The Institution is dead, long live the Institution

Prison, museum, university, asylum, embassy – institutions like these not only shape the values that society holds as true, but maintain them over time. Through the narratives they weave – religious, political, social, historical – they mould our cultures, societies and communities. However, recent events have exposed many as outdated, peddling arcane doctrines as truth. As this ideological crisis burns today’s institutions to the ground, new ones rise from the ashes. This studio will explore this fertile territory for a new vanguard of institutions that will usurp the old or fill the voids.

Studio tutor: Bethan Kay

WWW // Way We Work

While last year’s studio looked into issues surrounding mass tourism, this year we will tackle a different flow of people. The Covid-19 pandemic has in a few months questioned the way we work with a significant portion of the world’s population forced to work from home and find new ways to collaborate. In this studio we will think about what it is to work: how is it different from other activities, what is special or not about the spaces and places where work is performed and how work forms identities and communities - thinking of work as a series of processes, but also rituals.

Studio tutor: Duarte Lobo Antunes

SYN CITY // Sonic Landscapes

The studio explores the interrelationships between architecture and sound. As both a temporal and spatial phenomenon, sound is inseparably linked to the environment in which it occurs. It is shaped and modified by, and in turn informs its spatial setting. The testbed for our investigation into sonic urbanism is the site of the former Manston Airport in Thanet, Kent. Using field recording, sampling, and other techniques from the realms of music notation, composition and production, students will expand the conventional repertoire of spatial design tools to speculate about the possibilities of an aural architecture.

Studio tutor: Gabor Stark

Master of Architecture (ARB/RIBA Part 2) 2020/21