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Week 08// 13/11 - 19/11

​OSA Magazine is a platform for documenting, sharing and publicising the varied agendas of students at Oxford Brookes School of Architecture.

Here on our new weekly update, we will be recommending arts and culture events currently open in London and Oxford. We'll also be sharing articles from our limited edition print publications past, present and future, so you'll still be able to read contributions from the OSA writers, even if the magazines are sold out.


Image of the week:

Our featured student of the week is

Emma Sanson

Architecture Undergraduate Third Year// Unit C

Creator: Emma Sanson

Since the start of the year I have had quite the journey. From showing all my ideas through pen and paper, to being able to handle digital modelling to create the things I imagine. Learning digital modelling has been a hard but fulfilling process – it is still very much on-going – and will be for years and years to come.

To kick-start the year in Unit C we first had some intensive weeks of tutorials before we started our initial project which was to design a new entrance to the Botanical Gardens in Oxford.

Being true to the Biophilic spirit of Unit C, I decided to base my experimentations and initial proposals on the different and alien nature of deep water creatures – specifically the octopus with its adaptable body and colours.

Image: Structure to be covered in plants to create an immersive atmosphere.

My proposal so far – as this is also a subject to the ever changing and developing nature of architecture – is an immersive structure that will slowly become overgrown by plants. With the roof connecting the different structures like an octopus’s web, the entrance becomes a space of sensory experiences. Think the smell of plants, the sound of wind rustling through leaves and the dappled light through the perforated roof creating a beautiful and ever-changing scene on the floor.

As you arrive the Botanical Gardens you will see the structure spilling out through the small entrance in the wall, opening in a welcoming manner to everyone. Peeking through the opening visitors may spot the structure within covered in leaves and flowers, with the light highlighting random elements in an ever-changing scene dictated by weather and season.

At the moment I am refining the structure, researching materiality and plan to do more experiments with transparency and light as a source of safety. There is still a lot to cover, and a lot to illustrate and show clearly and I’m only just beginning. Hopefully it will evolve into something a pleasant and beautiful structure by the end of the design process that encourages people to have a more Biophilic approach to architecture.

Model process: 3D printed structure, CNC-cut foam based treated with polyfill and emulsion and laser cut roof in 200gsm paper.

To see more of Emma's work, check out her instagram @emmmasanson

OSA Field Trips:

Petya Tsokova // Photographs by Daniel Lam

MArchD 2// DS1

Check out more of Dan's photography on instagram @spatial_inventory

Paris | France | 03/11/2017- 07/11/2017

#DSun à Paris

The site of DS1’s theoretical inquiry into the themes of neo-liberalism, social justice and their vertical dimensions this year was Paris. Thematically renamed to DSun for the duration of the fieldtrip, the Studio explored the social, cultural and historic layers of the French capital B E L O W, A B O V E and I N - B E T W E E N and beyond that.

BELOW: First on DSun’s architectural programme of Paris was La Défense area. The surprising discovery of CNIT - an aboveground shopping centre, the concrete dome roof of which creates the illusion of an underground city - served as a fantastic opening of the trip. Further explorations took us on a macabre walk across Paris’s famous Catacombs, as well as a visit to the incredibly expressive Mémorial des Martyrs de la Déportation. Our last stop was the National Library of France - a multilevel complex the centrepiece of which is a grand forest garden below ground.

ABOVE: DSun’s experience of Paris’ above ground level also began in La Défense where commercial skyscrapers and the iconic building of the Grande Arche dominate the skyline. We then switched this ground-up perspective by walking down the Coulée Verte René-Dumont - an elevated park/walkway, predecessor of NYC’s Highline, that boldly cuts through recent residential developments and Paris’ classic block typology. Challenging different perspectives on the city even further, DSun also visited the Montparnasse Tower viewing platform which allowed us to take a true bird’s eye view of Paris.

IN-BETWEEN: DSun is interested not only in extremities but also the spaces in-between. On ground level, we first visited the urban farm Passage 56 - a tiny but active and abundant in greenery communal allotment situated between two residential buildings. Next on your list was Bernard Tschumi’s famous Parc de la Villette - a large-scale park scheme that has completely transformed footfall and presence in this area of Paris. Further to that, we visited Le Corbusier’s Cité de Refuge - an iconic piece of architecture that fulfills its function as accommodation ran by the Salvation Army to this day.

BEYOND: When we were not busy exploring verticality in the city of Paris, DSun took every opportunity to soak into other sides of Paris’s architectural character. Some of our off-research destinations included Le Corbusier’s work (like Villa la Roche and Maison Jaoul), Centre Georges Pompidou and Le Cordon Bleu.

In order to truly understand the city, we immersed ourselves not only in Paris’s architecture but also its culture and lifestyle as much as it was possible. Street food on the go, streetside cafés, varied restaurants were our stops along the way and often, our final destinations for the day; vintage French prints and magazines and ironic berets were our accessories. Over the span of five days, DSun was truly living and breathing vertical Paris.

Events visited by OSA members:

Maira Tzanidaki

MArchD 2// DS1


Dates: 19 October 2017 – 10 November 2017

Location: Bloomsbury Square, London

Entrance: Free

To mark the 100th year anniversary of the Russian, as part of the Bloomsbury festival, Russian artist Alexander Brodsky has worked on an installation at Bloomsbury square, a pavilion dedicated to Russian poetry written in exile.

Entering the pavilion one instantly gets the feeling of being in a train, with the poetry pages on the walls flicking from the wind and the video projections enhancing the idea of the journey. The artist’s intention was to resemble that notion of the train journey, one to an unknown destination, to exile.

The poems hung on the pavilion walls are those of Russian poets written during exile or written in response to that situation.

The guide at the pavilion explained to us the concept of the 101st km, which was the distance poets and other exiles has to maintain from the big cities, and the mysterious expression that used to be heard on the trains “Further Everywhere” as an announcement for calling stations after leaving Moscow.

The pavilion and exhibition are open 11am-dusk every day 19 October - 10 November. Free entry.

Executive architect support from Robin Partington & Partners.

Events around Oxford and London:

John Pawson on Colour

Where: RIBA// 66 Portland Place, W1B 1AD London, United Kingdom

Date: November 21/11/2017

Tickets: Link Here

Post-Cyber Feminist International

Where: Institute of Contemporary Arts, London

Date: November 15 – 19, 2017

More information on the event: Link here

Full programme of events: here

OxArch events of the week:

13// 11 // 2017- Jumper Design Competition

It's that time of the year again!! Our Jumper competition has officially launched.

Please incorporate the OxArch logo, or an adaptation. The design must have a maximum of 2 colours only, and include the name "Oxford Architecture Society"

Send your submissions to:

The winning design will be chosen by public vote. Good Luck! We can't wait to see what you come up with!

21// 11 // 2017- Cullinan Studio

To practice as architects, we need a methodology we can take from project to project that will act as a stable platform to develop each design. This is the foundation for the story-telling role of the designer, finding the resilient narrative that will help the whole team to make the thousands of decisions that must be made on every project, and bring them together into a convincing, cohesive whole. Using a set of design strategies, we must be able to secure the buy-in of clients, users and all the team members - based on challenging a brief, on consultation and on context. Ideas that are continually tested as the design progresses through a sort of ‘washing machine’ cycle of scrutiny for relevance, value, cost and delight. It’s an iterative process and we are looking for those ideas that are resilient under test.

More information on the event:

23// 11 // 2017- Pimp my Project

OxArch in collaboration with the RIBA have set up a one-off guest tutorial session with dozens of architects to run personal one to one tutorials with students. You will be free to discuss your project in an informal and relaxed setting, this should give you a fresh pair of eyes on your project and help you in your final push before the end of term! Each tutorial will be approximately 20 minutes each. Sign up via the Google Form link posted on our facebook page. Details of timeslots will be given nearer the time. Sign up here:

More information on the event:

Have a fab week

- OSA team

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