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B-Pro: MArch Graduate Architectural Design

Overview

The Masters programme in Graduate Architectural Design (GAD) is a 12-month full-time post-professional course, leading to a Masters of Architecture (MArch) degree. The programme is structured around six Research Clusters curated to deliver diverse yet focused strands of speculative research, emphasising the importance of advanced design in complexities of acute context.

The MArch GAD is part of B-Pro, a new umbrella structure for prospective architecture, urbanism, design and theory at an advanced level.

Design plays a key role in the accelerated convergence of matter and information. While data visualisation exposes the hidden beauty, and complexity of observed systems, data materialisation can produce such beauty and complexity within new synthetic fields. The boundaries of disciplines are increasingly porous, giving architecture and design an expanded agency at the centre of open synthesis applicable to a myriad of complex domains.

GAD addresses the adaptation and enrichment of local cultures, complex natural and constructed environments, and active rethinking of design as an extended ecology. The programme recognises the synthetic power of design at the core of complex ecologies, and its ability to bind a plethora of agencies.

Through computational resources, architects have increased access to the physics of materials and structures at different orders of scale. These physics of matter are embedded in the design-search process, incorporating the constraints and inputs of manufacturing and constructability. Research Clusters explore the latest approaches to robotics, computational physics and simulation, generative design, interactivity, advanced algorithms, extensive material experiments and links to material science. GAD engages critically with such developments, which are already radically changing the landscape of architecture, its social and economical role and its effectiveness as an active agency particularly within urban ecologies.

The programme is structured so that students are introduced to theoretical concepts through lectures and initial design projects, supported by computational and robotics skill building workshops. During the second stage, students work in small teams or individually, according to the methodology of each Cluster, allowing the student to focus on their individual interests in advanced design research and the development of a design project. There is a continuous evaluation of work via tutorials with regular design reviews organised between Clusters which include external critics.
Alongside cutting edge research, GAD hosts a series of public events, which this year includes the ‘Material Matters’ and the ‘n_Salon’ lecture series, and the Plexus Project (a continuation of last year’s Nexus).  Apart from in-house events open to the larger community, the exceptional pool of the GAD faculty includes some of the most prominent young practitioners and researchers in the field and beyond.

Frederic Migayrou
Bartlett Professor of Architecture
Director of B-Pro

B-Pro Directors

Professor Frédéric Migayrou, B-Pro Director

Andrew Porter, B-Pro Deputy Director

GAD Staff and Research Clusters

Alisa Andrasek, GAD Programme Leader

Professor Stephen Gage, Report Co-ordinator


Direct teaching by:

RC1 - Alisa Andrasek, Daghan Cam

RC2 - Isaie Bloch, Moa Carlsson

RC3 - Ruairi Glynn, Ollie Palmer

RC4 - Gilles Retsin, Manuel Jimenez

RC5 - Philippe Morel, Thibault Schwartz, Guan Lee

RC6 - Daniel Widrig, Stefan Bassing, Soomeen Hahn

Different workshops will be initiated during the year for a better access to fabrication, scripting and conception. In addition other seminars and lectures will help the students to increase their understanding of the contextualisation of architecture through historical understanding, aesthetical and critical positioning, socio-political integration and intervention.

B-Pro

The Bartlett Prospective or ‘B-Pro’ is the new structure for the Post-professional Masters Programmes at the Bartlett School of Architecture. It is directed by the Bartlett Professor and Chair of the School, Frédéric Migayrou.

Post-professional programmes include the MArch GAD (Graduate Architectural Design)and the MArch UD (Urban Design). All programmes are 12 months full time.

In the first phase of the B-Pro the MArch GAD programme was redesigned in the 2011-12 academic year. This has been joined by the MArch UD programme for the 2012-13 academic year.

The B-Pro is a new umbrella structure for prospective architecture, urbanism, design and theory at an advanced level.

Students on the B-Pro programmes will develop research and speculative design that is underpinned by contemporary design theory. There is a particular emphasis on the impact of digital theory, politics and culture within the contemporary city and their influence on the conception and production of architectural space.

Research and design throughout the B-Pro extends from the tools of spatial and demographic analysis, to the software of creation and production, the hardware of digital fabrication and manufacture through to the organization, infrastructure and choreography of the contemporary city.

Both the MArch GAD and UD programmes are driven by research clusters. Each cluster develops it’s own manifesto for design and employs strategies and techniques that are unique to their pedagogy and particular design ethos. Within the GAD programme the clusters predominantly focus on a number of ways to deploy computational tools, digital techniques and their connection to tools of fabrication. The UD programme clusters develop their differing approaches through both the lens of various themes such as politics, archeology and ecology and the challenges posed by particular cities within in the lands of the Mediterranean basin.

Since September 2012 the B-Pro has been housed within a new annex to the Bartlett School of Architecture at the Royal Ear Hospital (REH) in nearby Capper Street. This is the first new building occupied by the school since they took up residence in Wates House in 1975. Within the REH large open plan studios have been created  to house both the GAD and UD programmes. It is the first time the Bartlett has been able to offer a studio culture for an entire programme and the marks a significant change in student space. In addition, the REH is a new hub for evening lectures, seminars and exhibitions.

B-Pro Structure

B-Pro Director: Professor Frédéric Migayrou
B-Pro Deputy Director: Andrew Porter

MArch GAD Programme Leader: Alisa Andrasek
MArch UD Programme Leader: Adrian Lahoud

B-Pro & Programmes Administrator: Tom Mole
Send Tom a message

Structure

MArch Graduate Architectural Design course (GAD) uses a module structure based on a credit system where the total number of credits over one year is 180 credits.

Early in Term 1, after a short workshop, students are allocated to Research Clusters. From this point students start working with their allocated tutors, on the design intensive aspect of the course.

In the second half of Term 1 students start working with a Design Report Tutor, allocated to their Research Cluster, to discuss the Report and it’s relationship with the design work.

Modules

BENVGA01 – Main Design Thesis. (135 Credits)

BENVGA02 – Design Report. (45 Credits)

Content

Difference between GAD Research Clusters

The MArch Graduate Architectural Design Research Clusters develop their own briefs, each defining its own particular interpretation of the programme and its pedagogical approach.

Main Design Thesis Portfolio
(ENVSGA01)

The programme is structured so that the first term introduces students to the theoretical concepts through lectures and initial design projects. During this period students confirm the subject of their thesis project and report and then work in specialist teaching groups, known as Research Clusters. There is continuous discussion of work via tutorials and reviews. The subject of the thesis is negotiated between the student and their Research Cluster Tutor.

Design Report
(ENVSGA02)

The design report is a 5,000 – 10,000 word illustrated document. It must describe the initial ideas that underpin the design proposal, the design investigation and associated information that has been gathered during the design process. It should include a conclusion that summarises the way that the design work informs the theoretical themes.

Clusters and showcases

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

RC1 Cluster 1
Alisa Andrasek, Daghan Cam: Non-trivial Synthesis: Increased Resolution Fabric of Architecture -  At the core of RC1's research is the premise that architecture excels in its ability to… 
RC2 2014 Cluster 2
Isaïe Bloch, Moa Carlsson: Augmented Dexterity - The rise of digital fabrication is a complete game-changer for crafters of all stripes. At present, the enterprise of craft and design is in a state of flux, evolving through...
GAD RC3 Cluster 3
Ruairi Glynn, Ollie Palmer, William Bondin: Flights of Fancy - From the birdlike automaton of 4th Century BC Greek Philosopher Archytas and 3rd Century BC Chinese Inventor Lu Ban, to the daring manned flights of the...
RC4 2014 Cluster 4
Gilles Retsin, Manuel Jimenez: Deep Substances: Computational Multi-Objects  With an exponential increase in the possibilities of computation and computer-controlled fabrication, architecture is now...
RC5 2014 Cluster 5
Philippe Morel, Thibault Schwartz, Guan Lee: Applications of robotics to discrete and continuous spatial lattices - We will challenge the architectural and constructive relevance of novel branches of geometry...
RC8 Cluster 6
Daniel Widrig, Stefan Bassing, Soomeen Hahn

Applying

Application procedures, fees, funding and scholarships

Please visit the UCL Postgraduate Application and Entry page for information on how to apply.

Programme-specific information follows below.

Prior qualifications

The MArch Graduate Architectural Design programme is open to students with a degree in Architecture or a similar cognate discipline.