Complementary Technical Studies
Javier Castanon, Wolfgang Frese

The Technical Studies programme is a single and coherent technical education that develops a creative collaboration with the material demands of individual unit agendas over a five-year period. This programme culminates in TS3 and TS5.

The Technical Studies programme consists of lecture courses, experiments and tests, group and individual research exercises and design projects. The lecture courses form a portion of each year’s requirements, particularly in the First, Second and Fourth Years when students concentrate on critical case studies, analysis and material experiments.

Developed by the staff, the technical courses act as an integrated support mechanism that work in conjunction with the unique and diverse design unit agendas that the AA provides. This explains the great variety of themes and approaches evident in the TS3 and TS5 examples included within this review.

The Technical Studies Design submissions illustrated in this publication represent a sampling of student projects from the Third and Fifth Years. The Detail Technical Design in the Third Year (TS3) and the Technical Design Thesis in the Fifth Year (TS5) are a good representation of the work carried out in Technical Studies.

The work produced by students is a synthesis of the TS lecture course
work and one or several aspects that the individual student explores within the context of their unit work. The aim of the course is to allow the individual student to navigate a truly personal experience based on his or her own interests and goals. Thus the TS3 and TS5 work is developed over a ten-week period and results in a series of technical drawing documents through the joint effort of students, TS staff, unit tutors, external consultants (leading UK and international practices) and critics. The successful projects (High Pass) are the result of cooperation, time, dedication and perseverance by all parties involved and the best examples make the entire process truly rewarding.

Special Project
Extracts from winners of the Sharp Prize for Excellence in Writing 2011. The award aims to recognise writing as an essential part of architectural expression and as important as a piece of design work.

2010/11 Award Recipients:

Scrap Marshall, Fourth Year, Diploma 11
Essay: ‘No Escape From Modernity and Modernism – Cary Grant, Shaving and the Uninhabitable Dream’

Aram Mooradian, Fifth Year, Diploma 6
Essay: ‘Fly-In, Fly-Out, Fit-In or Fuck Off’

Sylvie Taher, Fifth Year, Diploma 11
Thesis: ‘Architects Vs. The City’