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Open until Saturday 13 July at 36 Bedford Square, projects on display at the Architectural Association engage with the real and the fictional demonstrating the same creative attitude, ethical acumen, and care. From affordable housing, reuse of materials, to the reinvention of democracy, the ideas, work and practices developed are exercises in the redefinition of the discipline of architecture, but more importantly our world and its future. This year’s show includes the work of 779 students, spanning extensive visual portfolios, films, models, business plans, and other representational modes. Taking a closer look at this year’s show, Something Curated highlights some of the most exciting work being exhibited.

Jeanne Clerc || A Home Truth on Childhood and Continuity

Jeanne Clerc

Childhood is becoming increasingly restrictive, physically as well as creatively. Jeanne Clerc’sproject aims to physically blur the boundary between playground, house and nursery. An abandoned car park in East London is transformed into a privately owned park, shared buy the families that inhabit it. Inside it are built abstract sculptural elements. These elements were made with clay in an attempt to use a kindergarten like technique that would remove pre-determination of scale and function from the form, using manual work and the material to keep the elements abstract and to stimulate the imagination.

Lucas Wilson || An Ash Tree

Lucas Wilson

By singling out a solitary ash tree for complete 3D scanning and analysis, Lucas Wilson’s project aims to more effectively and better use timber from UK woodlands. By focusing in on trees in Hooke Park the hope was to develop ways of re-examining conventional thinking in forestry, design and making practices and generate conversation between these areas. The work provokes a wider rereading of trees and a resetting of attitudes towards conventional forestry.

Chanel Kuo || The Monarch School for Autistic Children, Guatemala

Chanel Kuo

Chanel Kuo’sproject is about redesigning the Monarch School for Autistic Children in Guatemala through a series of enclosed gardens. The client of the brief desires an identity and unity to the school that is currently composed by two different houses. Kuo explains, “I started the idea of enclosed gardens by giving life to a small unused green space in the school that is used as a route between the houses, then expanded the concept to create a series of enclosed gardens with different functions that provide a sequential experience around the school so to improve the daily lives of the teachers and students.”

Chris Kokarev || Select, Order, Navigate: Traversing the Cloud of the Digital Self

Chris Kokarev

How can architecture be used to construct and navigate individual archaeologies in the digital space? Chris Kokarevproposes a three-dimensional, vertically growing system for data organisation, that exists on a decentralised data protocol in the near future. Each individual has their dedicated data tree, and in proximity to other persons’ trees they together form a digital ancestry garden. From the tombs of Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs, to the Wunderkammers of transatlantic scientists and explorers, organisations of personal attributes and worldly objects have operated as the storytellers of our individual life events. 

Ryan Cook || World War E

Ryan Cook

Responding to the urgency of the IPCC report on Climate Change, Ryan Cookproposes the definition of a new contextual condition – World War E. In interpreting continued emissions as amounting to acts of global warfare, World War E legitimises a new set of operational rules. As the agency charged with the preservation of the nation and the crown – the project explores the role the military could play in the combat of global warming and the cultural project arising from the war footing of the British state. The project proposes the deployment of ecological bombs across the UK land mass, in order to establish more extensive, efficient and diverse territories within an accelerated period of time.

Hangyul Jeong || Continuous Line Continued Life

Hangyul Jeong

Today, after the Stone, Bronze and Steel ages, we now live in the “new age of Plastics”. In endless waves of overflowing plastic, we are living a modern life that focuses only on needs and purposes, forgetting the limit of nature’s purification abilities. Considering the large amount of plastic used in the domestic space, we must now think about returning this plastic waste in an architectural way. Hangyul Jeong’s workexploits the characteristics of plastics that can be melted and re-solidified to offer alternatives to replace new and existing residential and retail spaces.

Lukas Pauer || Staging Facts on the Ground: On the Material Power of Border Markers in Contested Domains

Lukas Pauer

Lukas Pauer’s dissertation investigates material objects and compounds as sources of evidence for the projection of power. Border markers link authority, an immaterial force, to its claimed domain. Objects that are seemingly minor or banal can nevertheless have enormous territorial implications. Artefacts materialise social relations in space. In their various historic appearances, border markers are the subject and structure in this research. In its larger aim, the research seeks to define immaterial concepts through their material conditions, becoming apparent through human-made spatial facts on the ground in various types and scales.

Voisin Isdahl || Come Clean

Voisin Isdahl

The perception of a shared identity is crucial in our understanding of group, political and institutional behaviour. Voisin Isdahl’s project proposes a demarcated social arena for teenagers and youths. The park provides privacy from other institutions, offering visitors a break from their everyday life. By creating a physical space for young people to gather, the project encourages the formation of groups and bonds, ultimately aiming to enable young people to contemplate and question societal norms together. As Isdahl puts it, “Liberty is a practice, but spatial distributions facilitate it.”

Feature image: Jeanne Clerc, A Home Truth on Childhood and Continuity | All images courtesy Architectural Association, Students & Graduates

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