Architecture Live Projects 2017/18

This year ADS1: Groß, or A Room at the Size of a City are continuing their collaboration with British Land. Housing produced at scale is in a state of acute crisis throughout London, the UK and beyond. Government, clients and architecture must be ready to contribute new ideas of dwelling to shaping environments and communities. As part of this studio research and experimentation, the students are developing an experimental housing pavilion, a 1:1 mock-up of an innovative design for domestic and collective life.

The Live Project of ADS2: Intangible London asks the question “How should we curate London?” The Museum of London recently acquired a section of the ‘Fatberg' – an enormous 130-tonne mass of fat and waste matter discovered in London’s Victorian-era sewer system. This artefact, and the notion of how to conserve and display it, raises important questions about the conservation of London’s heritage. If the Fatberg is an important cultural artefact and historic narrative, then what lies next for the collection, preservation and display of London’s story? ADS2 are working with the Museum at this critical moment to develop new curatorial and interpretative strategies in the aftermath of the Fatberg.

The ADS3: Feedback Live Project is a collaborative entry for a Net Zero Energy facility architecture competition in the Bay Area, California. This entry critically investigates what 'net zero' is and which markets profit from it. The project identified a loophole around the legislative definition of 'energy storage', which the State of California forbids as being ‘off-grid’, even if that storage could reduce energy consumption. The architectural requirements were met by developing new building typologies that 'waste' energy in order to reuse it later, thereby defying classification as storage. These architectures primarily consisted of gravitational devices that incorporate cohabitation between humans and other-than-humans.

ADS3 Financially Built Environments: The Architecture of Carbon Discredits - Zero-carbon competition for the Bay Area, San Francisco

The students of ADS4: Postproduction - The Future of Retail have been exploring the future of physical retail space in relation to British Land’s masterplan for Canada Water. The Live Project builds on the studio’s ongoing research into the implications of artificial intelligence and automation on the built environment. Working collectively, the students have utilised the ‘four futures’ framework established by the futurist, Jim Dator, as a way of imagining the impact of emerging technologies on retail through a series of speculative scenarios. Informed by rigorous research, the four scenarios that result from this exercise will be conveyed through imagery and artefacts in order to make these possible futures appear tangible. The output from this collaboration between British Land and ADS4 will be a tool for engaging wider audiences - stakeholders, designers, local authorities and the public - in the decision-making process, which will hopefully result in the development of a robust, future-facing, strategy for the provision of retail space.


The ADS5 Live Project – ‘'A Place to Hang your Hat' – is a collaboration with the curator Eszter Steierhoffer from the Design Museum, London. The project involves a series of presentations and seminars that are aimed to develop “The Home” - an exhibition about the changing nature of the contemporary home. Within this, Eszter asked the students to reflect on the role architecture might play in enabling new emerging forms of domesticity. Is there an architectural permanence that defines the home? What are architectural elements of domestic space that can be dissolved or transformed with our contemporary practices of urban living? How can architecture negotiate the thresholds conditions where the private domestic space meets public space? And finally, how can architecture remain ambiguous?


British Land x RCA ADS6 Live Project: Lobby for Change questions the contemporary importance of the office lobby. Although the purpose of office lobbies has changed dramatically over the last twenty years, its architectural role has always been ambiguous and open to interpretation. This year ADS6 and British Land have continued their on-going collaboration by speculating on architectural alternatives. The Live Project is focused on producing research through material and fabrication processes. By relating digital tools and established modes of craft as a means of prioritising in-depth understanding of materiality and inform emerging fabrication technologies, the ADS6 Live Project proposals explore architectural interventions for future lobby spaces.

ADS6 Lobby Furniture - Live Project collaboration with British Land

The ADS7 Live Project consists of a year-long project on Collective Equipment. Students work in small groups of two to three students to address a series of briefs that are set in collaboration with the Municipality of Barcelona. Today, Barcelona is developing new public policies that aim to adapt existing equipment as intercultural spaces of social empowerment. ADS7 students are speculating on the potential of these equipment. The final outcome of this collaboration is a collective report that will be used by the Municipality in planning for the future.

ADS7 Live Project collaboration with Barcelona en Comú

ADS8 examines temporary, communal spaces for food preparation and consumption as a testing ground for alternative models of domestic institutions. The Live Project engages with Manifesta – the nomadic European Contemporary Art Biennial that will be held in Palermeo in 2018 – as a cultural and spatio-temporal framework. Manifesta is a travelling platform and a project based on community – its success depends on the collaboration between the international and local actors and the involvement and engagement of the local communities. The Live Project interacts with OMA’s Palermo Atlas, an urban study that will serve both as a creative mediation model for the biennial and a blueprint for the city’s development.

ADS8 Live Project collaboration with Manifesta 12 Palermo - The European Nomadic Biennial

The Live Project of ADS9: One Room – Sleeping with Strangers is a collaboration with the Doodle Bar (London), Erik de Laurens (Scale Entreprise, Paris) and Harri Lewis (Mule Studio, London) on the Super Bed Party. The project was inspired by the Indian day bed and Roman triclinium, with ADS9 students testing and constructing a large communal bed for sleeping, talking and drinking with strangers. This Live Project explored the ADS’s ambition of creating architectures that tip the balance of dwelling toward the ‘open’ – testing our abilities to make agreements that can only be reached through the experience of living together.

The ADS10 Live Project is a collaboration with the FRAC Centre of Orleans, a museum that holds a globally-renowned collection of Radical Architecture, and Modelab, a highly respected model-making workshop based in Rome. Connecting to the intellectual themes of the studio, the Live Project encompasses a range of individual and group designs, together with making and curation workshops, which unfold over three moments over the year. In October, the students traveled to Orleans to visit the Frac Centre and study the first Biennale of Orleans that was taking place across the city. In November, the founder of Modelab held a one-week intensive model-making workshop that focused on various moulding and casting techniques. For January onward, students will organise, create and fabricate an exhibition focusing on a number of projects within the FRAC collection. Each student’s Live Project Each will re-interpret one project of the collection through one text, one drawing and one model.