Ant Farm, Media Burn (1975)

Director Mark Campbell,

Faculty Pier Vittorio Aureli, Mark Cousins

Consultants & Collaborators, Yoni Bentovim, Polly Braden, Barbara Ann Campbell-Lange, Emily Harris, Thomas Haywood, Catherine Ince, Reuben de Lautour, Charles Rice, Jack Self, Eva Stenram, Laura Tunbridge, Antoine Vaxelaire, Kieran Wardle, Mark Wasiuta, Edwin Zwakman

MPhil in Media Practices (five terms)

In an era defined by the instant transmission of information, the five-term taught MPhil in Media Practices questions the ways in which various media can inform and represent a reading of architecture, itself a discipline characterised by the laborious speed at which it is often produced. Media Practices is intended to develop the student’s capacity to engage in wider architectural discussions through a broad spectrum of means, opening up a series of potential career paths including further academic study. The course stems from the argument that the conventional techniques of making and understanding architecture – drawing, modelling, talking and writing – now require augmenting in the contemporary world. As such, the programme aims to reconsider how alternative practices might elicit an expanded investigation of contemporary architecture. Students will study historical and traditional modes of representing architecture before undertaking investigations into alternative and expanded practices – including film- and audio-based work, documentary and nonconventional publications. This preparation will lead to the production of a thesis that draws on diverse media practices as a means of investigating current architectural issues.

The course aims to help students develop both the intellectual framework and skills-based knowledge necessary to employ a range of novel and unconventional practices as they begin to hone a fuller understanding of possibilities within the discipline. The first year provides the basis for each student’s final research project – through seminars, workshops and research modules, students will explore topics such as investigative methodologies, project development, contemporary discourses, documentation, archiving, publishing and radical architectural media practices. In the second year students will develop a self-initiated thesis that conceptualises and realises their work at an advanced graduate level. In addition to a written explanatory component, the thesis might take on a number of forms – including an extended photo-essay, cine-essay, film- or sound-based work, or non-traditional publication materials – allowing the author to test and deepen arguments through practice.

The programme draws on the diverse and intellectually rich resources of the AA faculty, along with invited consultants and collaborators, including academics, writers, journalists, critics, publishers, sound and media artists, filmmakers, experimental documentarians and others. In addition, the course will develop associations with cultural institutions in London and beyond. The course is directed towards students with a degree in architecture and an interest in developing a critical consideration of their subject