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Architecture & Media Focus

The Architecture and Media focus within the MRes Architecture pathway seeks to create a community of researchers and practitioners that are committed to the interrogation of media and its complicity in issues of architecture, visual art, politics, human rights, and environmental conflict. Architecture and Media seeks to exploit the contemporary condition of media ubiquity by instituting a new rigour and methodology to the analysis and interpretation of media.

Central to this project is the acknowledgement of the role that media plays in the inception, description, formation, and interpretation of the built environment. Our students will create and contribute to a new species of media studies, one in which spatial design incorporates a refined knowledge of media. The goal is a mastery of media at the scale of the single image to that of planetary visualisation, including an investigation of those who create and also consume new forms of media. 

Potential areas of research include the spatial politics of the image, the use of media in the interpretation of global events, the forensic interrogation of documentation as an evidentiary body of knowledge, the articulation of an media-based practice spanning disciplines, formats, dimensions, and temporalities, among others. Architecture and Media welcomes emerging researchers with backgrounds in architecture, photography, media studies, fine art, science, investigative journalism, publishing, curation, and human rights.

What is the location of media in contemporary architectural, political, social, and scientific contexts? What is the instrumentality of media? What is the complicity of media? Architecture and Media asks these questions by reviewing a diverse range of media and spatial practices that acknowledge the complicity of media as an active agent.

Through shared guest lectures and workshops, roundtable discussions, reading groups, writing exercises, and technical workshops in the Architecture Pathway, Architecture and Media supports the individual identification of a unique research question that includes a written and practical outcome. This question will be refined through a series of regular pin-ups, installations, publications, performance lectures, and public events, as well as a variety of contexts, including collective roundtables, offsite studio visits, field trips, and technical and conceptual workshops.

In the final individual research projects that culminate in written and practical outcomes, students will be expected to be highly iterative and fluid in their production while experimenting with a variety of forms of output including emerging and historical media. The goal of this final part is to envision and implement a new practice situated in the composite context created in the previous semesters, to identify a political or social network in which the student will embed, to propose a new body of visual work and its deployment in the public, or to propose further PhD study.

Led by David Burns.