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Week 01// 24/09 - 29/09

With Freshers Week over, it's the beginning of another year of architecture. Here at OSA Magazine, we hope that everyone is happy with their design studio, unit or specialisation allocations, and that you're all as excited to get stuck in as we are!

You've heard us talking about it, but it's now time for us to announce the newest issue of OSA Magazine! The theme is Ritual, and we are opening the call for submissions for articles, photo essays, drawings and more. If you've got any questions, or you'd like to get involved, please come along and see us at 7pm on the 28th September in the Students Union Bar for our first social meeting. If you cannot make it, don't hesitate to send us an email at - we can put you on the mailing list and answer any questions that you might have.

To get you started off, Emily Walsh has written a reflective piece on the value of rituals to architecture. All references refer to Understanding Rituals (Coppet D (1992) Understanding rituals European Association of social anthropologists Guildford, UK).

‘Rituals are at the core of the social identity of all communities.’ However, there are many definitions of ritual, updated to modern life and maintaining ancient traditions.

‘All rituals are in some way rites of passage’; the movement, positioning and directionality are both metaphorical and physical. The collection of steps which becomes the ritual move through social and private space, creating communities. The rite of passage is important to the architecture of ritual as it creates a series of experiences which mark the journey undertaken. For example, San Giovanni Church designed by Pado Zermanil. The long, narrow building creates a procession first down the steps of the exterior then down the line of light to a cross at the end.

The milestones of life are marked by rituals and their architecture, especially life and death. The monuments ritual creates are present all over the world from Stonehenge to modern examples like Sagrada Família. All religions create monuments and like Stonehenge can withstand long after their meanings have been forgotten.

The second important definition for architects is domestic, the ritual of the everyday. To define this, it is important to include ‘formal, repetitive behaviour’ which participants have ‘their own reasons, viewpoints and motives’ for undertaking, and is often ‘made up as it goes along’. Within this definition most human life can become ritualised and its architecture can be the street or the house instead of the monuments of the rite of passage.

So how do architects view ritual? What new rituals are being created? How will monuments change? With the world quickly changing the ritual is important to understand what maintains important to communities. This issue hopes to explore the ritual and its relevance to architecture and society.

Each week on the blog we showcase a student of the week, someone who is nominated by their peers or tutors for exceptional work. This week, instead of a new student of the week (as work has barely started yet) we'd like to invite you all to get nominating. Just catch the team in studio, or email us at to put a friend forward.

We would also like to announce a new collaboration with Architravel and OxArch. In the past we have asked people for field trip reviews to feature on the blog, so we're really excited to be working with an architecture travel blog! If you're interested in getting involved, we'd love to hear from anyone who would perhaps like to write about their trips over the summer, or who has some upcoming plans. Otherwise, watch this space for updates from Architravels in our weekly posts!


From our sponsors, Jessop and Cook:

We are looking for a Part I Architectural Student to join our small office in the centre of Oxford. Full time. Whoever joins will work on a wide selection of projects, on all aspects from planning to site works and get a proper work experience! We have an ethically based ethos in how we work and what we work on. If this is of interest, please email the office:


Before everyone gets too busy with design work, there's a great opportunity to check out exhibitions and galleries in the area. If you do, we'd love to hear from you - any recommendations and reviews are always welcome on the blog! Here's our pick of what's on this week:

The Ashmolean - Ending soon! A Century of Women in Chinese Art

Weston Library - Sappho to Suffrage: Women who Dared

Victoria and Albert Museum, London - Videogames: Design/Play/Disrupt

And of course, at the end of the week, OSA will be having our first meeting. On Friday the 28th at 7pm, please come along to the Student Union Bar if you'd like to get involved with any aspect of the magazine, from social media to submissions to layout. We look forward to seeing your there!

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