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B-Pro: MArch Architectural Design

Overview

The MArch Architectural Design (AD) is a 12-month post-professional programme invested in the frontiers of advanced architecture and design and its convergence with science and technology. Composed of an international body of experts and students, it is designed to deliver diverse yet focused strands of speculative research, emphasising the key role computation plays within complex design synthesis.

Design is increasingly recognised as the crucial agency for uncovering complex patterns and relations, and this has never been more important. Historically, the most successful architecture has managed to capture cultural conditions, utilise technological advancements and answer to the pressures and constraints of materials, economics, ecology and politics. Presently, this synthesis is accelerated by the introduction of computation and the evolving landscape of production. With access to B-made, one of the most advanced fabrication workshops in Europe, AD students are introduced to highly advanced coding, fabrication and robotic skills, aimed at computational and technological fluency. Simultaneously, students are exposed to larger theoretical underpinnings specifically tailored to their inquiries. Students will be part of a vibrant urban and professional community, in one of the most exciting cities in the world, enriching the process of learning and opportunities for networking.

Approach

Placing advanced design agency at its core, AD devotes a high proportion of its time to studio-based design inquiry, culminating in a major project and thesis. The programme is organised into Research Clusters, each with its own research agenda, underpinned by the shared resources of technical tutorials and theoretical lectures and seminars. The latest approaches to robotics and AI, CNC fabrication, 3D printing, supercomputing, simulation, generative design, interactivity, advanced algorithms, extensive material prototyping and links to material science are explored. AD engages critically with new developments in technology, which are rapidly changing the landscape of architecture, its social and economical role and its effectiveness as an active agency.

Students are introduced to theoretical concepts through lectures and warm-up design projects supported by computational and robotics skills-building workshops. Throughout the year students work in small teams or individually, according to the methodology of each Research Cluster, amplifying student’s focus and individual talents in the context of complexities of design research and the project development. Projects are continuously evaluated via tutorials with regular design reviews by external critics. Alongside its cutting-edge research, AD hosts a series of public events, such as Plexus and n_Salon.

The MArch Urban Design (UD) programme and the School’s highly experimental AD programme sit within the overarching structure of B-Pro, led by Professor Frédéric Migayrou, Chair of the School of Architecture. In addition to dedicated teaching and support, both programmes are supported by complementary resources such as open lectures, classes, project reviews, and publications. Students participate in a joint exhibition in early September each year.    

MArch Architectural Design Programme Leader:
Alisa Andrasek

Structure

The course is presently divided into three Labs, offering students the opportunity to choose a distinct field of enquiry:

•    Wonderlab, led by Alisa Andrasek
•    BiotA Lab, led by Dr Marcos Cruz and Richard Beckett
•    Interactive Architecture Lab, led by Ruairi Glynn

Each Lab follows a unique approach with regular inter-lab debate, creative exchange, and vibrant discussion. B-Pro MArch Urban Design is also organised into Labs (presently two in UD), and all B-Pro Labs are seen as a suite of distinct research entities that set new research agendas in their respective fields. Work from the Labs will feature in a forthcoming B-Pro publication series edited by Professor Frédéric Migayrou.

B-Pro

Situated within one of the world’s most innovative and advanced schools of design research, B-Pro was established by the Bartlett Professor and Chair of School Frédéric Migayrou in 2011-12, as a new overarching structure for the MArch Architectural Design (AD) and MArch Urban Design (UD) post-professional programmes. ‘B’ stands for ‘Bartlett’; ‘Pro’ stands for ‘Prospective’, meaning ‘to look forward’.

From 2014-15 B-Pro AD and UD will consist of six research ‘Labs’, dedicated to advanced experimentation in architectural and urban theory through computation, geo-morphology, fabrication, interaction, biotechnology, and robotics. Operating in tandem with the School’s renowned professionally accredited programmes (BSc RIBA Part 1, MArch Architecture RIBA Part 2, and RIBA Part 3), B-Pro is the School’s incubator for new and emerging professional practice. It attracts a high calibre of staff and applicants from all over the world, and is developing new and potent links with industry and science.

B-Pro Director: Professor Frédéric Migayrou
B-Pro Deputy Director: Andrew Porter
MArch AD Programme Leader: Alisa Andrasek
MArch UD Programme Leader: Dr Adrian Lahoud
New MArch UD Programme Leader from 2015: Mark Smout
B-Pro & Programmes Administrator: Tom Mole

Labs

The MArch Architectural Design programme offers a number of research-focused Labs, all of which allow students to pursue a rigorous approach to architecture within a highly speculative and creative context.

RC1 2015 Wonderlab
Alisa Andrasek: Wonderlab’s main area of expertise is in innovating new computational territories for applications in design and fabrication processes ...
RC7 2014-2015 BiotA Lab
Marcos Cruz: BiotA is a new and innovative design research lab that merges architecture, biology and engineering ...
Interactive Architecture Lab Interactive Architecture Lab
Ruairi Glynn: The Interactive Architecture Lab is a multi-disciplinary research group interested in the behaviour and interaction of things, environments and their inhabitants ...

Clusters and showcases

The MArch Architectural Design programme offers a number of research-focused clusters, all of which allow students to pursue a rigorous approach to architecture within a highly speculative and creative context.

RC1 2015 Cluster 1
Alisa Andrasek, Daghan Cam: Open Synthesis _ Increased Resolution Fabric of Design// - Recent arrival of extreme volumes of computation, enabling inclusion of simulations into the fabric of design via GPU-run ...
RC3 2015 Cluster 3
Ruairi Glynn, Christopher Leung, William Bondin: Domestic Ecologies - The Interactive Architecture Lab is a multi-disciplinary research cluster interested in the Behaviour and Interaction of Things, Environments ...
RC4 2015 Cluster 4
Gilles Retsin, Manuel Jimenez: Computational Substances: printing Architecture - With an exponential increase in the possibilities of computation and computer-controlled fabrication, architecture is ...
RC5 2015 Cluster 5
Guan Lee, Vicente Soler - Of Part and Whole: a non-materialist approach to materials in Computational Architecture - With the prevalence of digital fabrication tools, such as numeric controlled machineries, 3D...
RC6 2015 Cluster 6
Daniel Widrig, Stefan Bassing, Soomeen Hahn - Impacting on all aspects of creative production digital design and manufacturing technologies enable architects and designers to work in pace and ...
RC7 2014-2015 Cluster 7
Marcos Cruz, Richard Beckett, Javier Ruiz: BiotA Lab/RC7 - New modes of production and simulation in architecture, as well as advances in the field of synthetic biology, biotechnology, molecular ...

Staff

Professor Frédéric Migayrou
B-Pro Director
Frédéric Migayrou is Chair, Bartlett Professor of Architecture at The Bartlett School of Architecture and Deputy Director of the National Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou in Paris. He was the founder of the Frac Center Collection and of ArchiLab, the international festival of Prospective Architecture in Orléans. Apart from recent publications and exhibitions (De Stijl, Centre Pompidou, 2011; La Tendenza, Centre Pompidou, 2012; Bernard Tschumi, Centre Pompidou, 2013; Frank Gehry, Centre Pompidou 2014), he was the curator of Non Standard Architectures at the Centre Pompidou in 2003, the first exposition devoted to architecture, computation and fabrication. More recently, he co-organised the exhibition Naturalising Architecture (ArchiLab, Orléans 2013), presenting prototypes and commissions by 40 teams of architects working with new generative computational tools, defining new interrelations between materiality, biotechnology and fabrication. In 2012 he founded B-Pro, The Bartlett’s umbrella structure for post-professional architecture programmes.

Andrew Porter
B-Pro Deputy Director
Andrew Porter studied at The Bartlett School of Architecture and has collaborated in practice with  Sir Peter Cook and Christine Hawley CBE. In 1998 he and Abigail Ashton set up ashton porter architects, they have completed a number of award winning commissions in the UK and prizewinning competitions in the UK and abroad. Andrew is co-leader of The Bartlett’s MArch Architecture Unit 21, and has been a visiting Professor at the Staedel Academy, Frankfurt and guest critic at SCi-Arc, Los Angeles and Parsons New School, New York.

Alisa Andrasek
AD Programme Leader, Wonderlab Director, RC1 Tutor
Alisa Andrasek is a director of Biothing and Bloom Games. She is a Reader at The Bartlett, and Professor at the European Graduate School. She has taught at the Architectural Association (AA), Columbia, Pratt, UPenn and RMIT. Her work has been exhibited at the Centre Pompidou, Paris; New Museum, New York; Storefront, New York; FRAC, Orleans; and TB-A21, Vienna. She curated exhibitions for the Beijing Biennial 2006, 2008 and 2010, and is a co-curator of the PROTO/E/CO/LOCICS Symposium in Rovinj, Croatia.

Richard Beckett
BiotA Lab Co-Director, RC7 Tutor
Richard Beckett is Manager of The Bartlett’s 3D printing centre, RC7 tutor and leader of MArch Unit 20 with Marcos Cruz and Marjan Colletti. He recently co-created Syn.de.Bio with Marcos Cruz. Before studying architecture, Beckett studied physiology and biochemistry and worked as a physical properties scientist. His investigations in to architecture have remained cross-disciplinary, focusing on the impact of biotechnology on architecture and investigations into the use of living or semi-living materials in our built environment.

Dr Marcos Cruz
BiotA Lab Co-Director, RC7 Tutor
Marcos Cruz is an architect and Reader at The Bartlett School of Architecture. He was the Director of the School from 2011-2014. He leads BiotA Lab and co-leads The Bartlett’s MArch Unit 20 with Marjan Colletti and Richard Beckett, and recently co-created Syn.de.Bio, a forum for bio-digital work at the crossroads of design, biology and engineering. Cruz’s research has focused for many years on the design and creation of innovative environments in architecture, particularly the use of living matter, such as algae and bacteria, in buildings. Cruz has written, taught and exhibited internationally.

Ruairi Glynn
Interactive Architecture Lab Director, RC3 Tutor
Ruairi Glynn is The Bartlett’s Lecturer in Interactive Architecture. Alongside his teaching and research he practices as an installation artist, exhibiting at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, and Tate Modern, London. He is co-founder of the Fabricate conference series and directs the Interactive Architecture Lab.

Stefan Bassing
RC6 Tutor
Since completing the architecture and design programme at the State Academy of Fine Arts, Stuttgart, Stefan Bassing has been involved in numerous national and international design projects. His work is focused on contemporary design methodologies involving computation and object- orientated research for the capacity to comprehend and respond to architecture at a multiplicity of scales.

William Bondin
RC3 Tutor
William Bondin is a Maltese architect and creator of Morphs - a reconfigurable interactive architectural system developed under the supervision of Ruairi Glynn. He completed his professional studies in Malta (UoM) and then undertook The Bartlett’s MArch AD (formerly GAD). His design practice takes a fabrication- oriented approach towards architectural performance and behaviour.

Daghan Cam
RC1 Tutor
Daghan Cam is an architect and a researcher whose work is focused on supercomputing. He holds an MArch degree from the AA. Previously, he worked for Zaha Hadid Architects and taught at AA Visiting Schools and on various other workshops.


Mollie Claypool

Report Tutor
Mollie Claypool is a writer, designer and theorist with research interests in mechanisation, production and fabrication, the philosophy of science and computational methodologies. She is a Teaching Fellow in Architectural Design at The Bartlett, where she is the BSc Architecture Programme Leader and runs MArch Architecture Unit 19.

Lisa Cumming
Report tutor
Lisa is currently working with Wilkinson Eyre Architects, London. She graduated from the Architectural Association with a Masters in Architecture and Urbanism. Prior to this, she studied in both New Zealand & Denmark, gaining her BArch from Victoria University Wellington. Lisa has tutored within architecture in New Zealand and has worked in a number of architectural practices both in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

Natsai Audrey Chieza
Report tutor
Natsai is a designer and researcher at Studio Natsai Audrey, a London-based Design Futures R&D studio working within the realm of living technology, or biodesign. The studio's research and creative endeavours are driven by a desire to develop, prototype and question resilient systems of manufacturing and design-making through the convergence of life science technologies and design craft processes. In addition to a growing portfolio of R&D projects for industry, she is also deeply passionate about her role as an educator in this field, and is always keen to share new ways of thinking and making with students in Design and Architecture. Natsai holds a degree in Architectural Design from the University of Edinburgh, and a Masters from MA Material Futures, Central Saint Martins.

Manuel Jimenez Garcia
RC4 Tutor
Manuel Jimenez Garcia holds an MArch from the AA (AADRL) and has previously taught at the AA, Universidad Politecnica Madrid and Universidad Europea Madrid. As well as teaching on AD, he is Unit Master of MArch Unit 19; co-curator of the Bartlett Plexus and co-founder of Emeidiem, an architecture practice based in London.

Professor Stephen Gage
Report Module Coordinator
Stephen Gage studied at the AA and has worked in the UK and California. He has taught at The Bartlett since 1993, where he is Professor of Innovative Architecture. He has been an external examiner at The University of the Arts and the University of Liverpool; he is part of the RIBA architectural course validation panel.

Soomeen Hahm
RC6 Tutor
Soomeen Hahm is a senior designer at Zaha Hadid Architects. Her interests are focused on generative and algorithmic design through the use of computer coding. She is also involved in various educational projects, such as Plethora-project.com – where she is Director for China, as well as being Director of the AA Seoul visiting school.

Dr Guan Lee
RC5 Tutor
Guan Lee graduated with a BSc in Architecture from McGill Montreal, and received a Diploma and MA in Landscape Urbanism from the AA. He holds a PhD in Architecture by Design from The Bartlett School of Architecture. His practice, Grymsdyke Farm, is set in the Chilterns in Buckinghamshire.

Dr Christopher Leung
RC3 Tutor
Christopher Leung trained as an architect at The Bartlett and earned a doctorate from UCL for his work on passive thermal actuators applied to environmental control in buildings. His work explores the relationship between machines, occupants and buildings, and has been published in peer-reviewed journal articles, together with his collaborations in the sixteen*(makers) group.


Sam McElhinney
Report Tutor
Sam founded MUD Architecture in 2012 as a vehicle to bring together strands of research, teaching and practice. Sam currently runs the MA Architecture course at the Canterbury School of Architecture and is a member of the ‘Space Group’ at UCL. His research work is focused on developing real-time and motive spatial analytic models.

Gilles Retsin
RC4 Tutor
Gilles Retsin’s work investigates new architectural models which engage increased computational power in design and fabrication. He is interested  in the impact of computation on the core principles of architecture – the bones rather than the skin. Prior to founding his own practice, he worked in Switzerland with Christian Kerez, and in London with Kokkugia.

Vicente Soler
RC5 Tutor

Daniel Widrig
RC6 Tutor
Daniel Widrig founded his studio in London in 2009. After graduating from the AA, Daniel worked for several years with Zaha Hadid. He has received international critical acclaim and has been published and exhibited internationally. He is a recipient of the Swiss Arts Award, Feidad Merit Award and the Rome Prize.