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Week 8// 11/11 - 15/11

We are entering the the heavy part of the semester where ideas are starting to formulate, the beginnings of dissertations are being formalised, and deadlines are ever looming. However, remember to keep eating and sleeping regularly and looking after yourselves! This course is not just mentally challenging but can be physically challenging so remember to stay active and make time to see the great outdoors!

This week Professor Jane Anderson (Programme Lead for Undergraduate Architecture at Oxford Brookes) gave a talk on 'Live Projects and Architectural Education'. Drawing on her research, it provided a positive light within the current ongoing discussions on architectural education. Our full review on this talk will be up soon!

In addition, Chloe Loader's on going series on the RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship continues. Recent editions on Sao Paulo and Brasilia are now up. Check them out great and insightful reads! If you want to know more about RIBA Norman Foster Travelling Scholarship check out Chloe's first blog, it provides a great beginners understanding about the scheme and how to apply, which you can check out here.

Students can find out more about how to approach Management Practice and Law by reading The Dissection of Failure rewind by Luisa Pires. The article draws on her experience with Lucid Chart as a Neurodiverse student and gives you some examples of businesses empowering people today.

Submissions for Issue XII:REBEL are still open! We welcome written, drawn, photography and modelling submissions - so get creative and see where the REBEL in you takes you! Send submissions to for your chance to be featured.


Studio Feature: Design Studio 2

Our studio feature this week comes from our Postgraduate Design Studio 2: "New Digital Vernacular"

DS2 explores learning through making-engaging with new digital tools, material and geometry in a spirit of curiosity and experimentation.

The creative and critical capacity of the human mind, working at 1:1 with local materials over successive generations, has refined, innovated and developed its knowledge into a vernacular, or ‘building craft’ – creating a progressive evolution of material understanding, intelligence, complexity, technique and beauty in its application. The culmination of this is a knowledge database, thousands of years in the making, compressed into an architectural language and intuition specific to the spirit and ecology of a place.

In the modern age, many methods of mass production and assembly have become divorced from the intelligence of the local vernacular. Design in itself has become a distant and abstract exercise, leaving buildings which are often clumsily assembled, lacking an attention to the human scale, and disconnected from the natural world.

With the rise of parametric design, digital fabrication and augmented reality, the world of design is evolving into an eco-system of codes and tools. The maker movement is enabling young designers to learn how to collaborate with other designers and work with machines directly to materialise their ideas. Design, engineering and fabrication processes are merging, giving birth to a new kind of digital polymath role which straddles multiple disciplines. We are witnessing a worldwide revolution of unprecedented creative output, fuelled by optimism behind what is currently being described as the third industrial revolution. Through this technological revolution, vital ideas about materials, craftsmanship and culture are reborn.

The focus of the unit is to tap into the rich archives of evolved material intelligence database, exploiting and unlocking its potential for the future through a critical engagement with the current revolution in digital design and manufacture.

(Adam Holloway, Michael Kloihofer)

Group Design Competition - Shrine

Tallinn Architecture Biennale Pavillion (2019)

Tallinn architecture Biennale Pavilion (2019) by Soomeen Hahm, Gwyllim Jahn, Cameron Newham, Igor Pantic

Though we think of buildings as inert assemblies of material. The way these materials are balanced and formed, the way in which they engage with light or define space, or the way in which they engage with the sensory aspects of human body, can dazzle our senses, move us to emotion, or even evoke an element of the supernatural or the divine - refining and in some cases defining the apparatus of “culture” over generations.

In many cultures, shrines and sacred spaces often encapsulate the most emblematic and highest expression of a cultural vernacular through its architecture. These buildings feature a spatial and tectonic material language that has been developed and refined over time creating a progressive evolution of material understanding, intelligence, complexity, technique and beauty in its application.

Split into four groups of similar craft interests, each group was challenged to explore their chosen craft and develop a shrine. There was no given brief of what the shrine should relate to but a space for 1-2 people to occupy. The concept was to challenge the chosen craft by testing, playing, modeling and exploring, with the end goal a scale model 1:5 or 1:10 of their final design.

Team Orange

Our team was challenged by innate tensile properties of timber and how this can create a self--supporting structure. The shrine is a place of reflection possibly in a forest clearing, offering varying levels of openness from hard woven timber. Elegantly designed connection details create the illusion of seamless struts within the form,

Knot Nests, Nest Knots

A digitally fabricated nest formed through a process of weaving mdf living hinge surfaces with PLA knot connector components. Defying Gaston Bachelard's quote 'men can do everything except build a bird's nest'


The components group work was inspired by the stone hedge and further exploration of polyhedral volumes . After careful study of various space filling polyhedral volumes we decided on the sphenoid hendecahedron because it paved way to test asymmetric elements together that broke the generic case of how sacred spaces are usually symmetric .The motive was to think about organic assembly of the components.


Inspired by Japanese craft and joinery, the group worked to explore how we could use this craft to create a collision between this tradition craft and Baroque architecture. Based upon the concept of a confessional space the sweeping form closed in on itself to obscure the opposing participant, with the structure conceptually based upon the chidori joint.

At the end of the competition the studio voted on the winner. It was decided unanimously that Team Orange won!

You can continue to see what we are up to for the rest of the year follow us @osads2 on Instagram.


Want your work featured on the blog? Or know someone whose work is worth celebrating? Simply send us an email at with your submission! We look forward to hearing from you!

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