Course Outline

Over the two week summer school we will construct a series of diagrams, drawings, and objects to illustrate and speculate on future scenarios. Students will be guided through a series of workshops run by Dutch collective and performative design practitioners The Rodina and computational narrative and illustration group (ab)Normal.

Designed to provide structure to the creative process of world-building, students will navigate multiple perspectives in their constructed environments, speculating on the consequences of their design decisions. Utilising topical socio – political events, both real and fictionalised, a world of characters and consequences will be layered and montaged together to form context to their proposals. Each day we will review these worlds as a group, ensuring that the projects remain at a radical and critical distance from reality.

Week 1 @ The Design Museum

Day 01  The World As We Know It
We’ll kick off the course with a group mapping exercise, asking students to place topical events, phenomena and rituals onto a wall sized atlas split into fields of politics, technology, environments, society and economy.

Day 02 Triggers and Timelines
Using the atlas created on day 1 as a base, we will build collaged timeline diagrams to propose a speculative direction for a future world, focusing on the influencers, triggers, affectors and deflectors that will shape it.

Day 03 Fictional Actors
Using narrative design and storytelling, the projects will be developed through a character building exercise in order to populate and inhabit their worlds. Students will present the protagonists, antagonists and every (wo)men in their scenarios. To supplement their arguments, the students will produce a para-fictional slice of media (such as a newspaper clipping, Wiki article, YouTube video comment section conversation, etc) illustrating their actors and scenes.

Day 04 Future Gazing
Using the timelines, characters and scenes produced in the previous workshops, students will illustrate key moments along their timeline in 2D. We will encourage students to create and visualise using references in popular culture and media: familiar territories with the broadest visual impact. These will later be developed into more nuanced interpretations.

Day 05 Speculative Objects
Moving into 3D and in order to inhabit their future scenario through architecture, each student will design first a diegetic prototype model or future spatial intervention. These objects will be designed to act, perform or transform their context and will evidence and articulate issues pertinent to their world and its inhabitants and will.

Work-In-Progress show at the Design Museum
This is a chance for students to display their work at one of London’s most visited design institutions. This will be an ‘open house’ of sorts, giving the public a chance to view our in progress projects and illustrations.

Week 2 @ The South London Gallery

Day 06 Critical Processes
The 6th workshop aims to enhance the structure and presentation of students’ projects ahead of the crit. Going through tools of presentation to strengthen student’s arguments we will analyse projects through ‘The World Today’, ‘The Future Tomorrow’ and ‘The Consequences’.

Day 07 Crit Day!
A traditional day long crit, with a panel consisting of guest tutors, lecturers and relevant professionals and academics in and around the field, to provide rigorous critical feedback on their work and give students a taste of architectural education.

Day 08 & 09 Production
Two days for the production and refinement of items for students portfolios and the SOS exhibition. Individual tutorials throughout.
Alongside continued development and production of individual material, we will coordinate the exhibition design to create a layout and format dictated with the work itself and students interests. This final group design exercise will reshape and redefine the students final output requiring them to reconsider their projects in the context of an exhibition space.

Day 10 Exhibition
The final day will be spent building the exhibition, the group and individual works will be displayed for a week at The South London Gallery!
The exhibition will display the School's research to the wider architectural community, illustrating not just the efforts of the students over the 2 weeks.