The Architectural Association’s satellite campus in Hooke Park, Dorset, is a laboratory for architectural research through 1:1 fabrication.
Students of the Design + Make programme inhabit an environment that combines, forest, studio, workshop and building site. Developing hands-on research in design and fabrication through prototyping, the large-scale fabrication facilities act as a testing ground where students devote time to advanced speculative research.
The programme's core agenda is to advance the materialisation of architecture through the synthesis of advanced technologies, craft techniques, and deep understanding of natural material. The key proposition is that new digital design and fabrication technologies enable traditional making techniques to be re-invented as innovative and appropriate processes for architecture. Emerging tools such as digital 3D scanning, generative modeling and robotic fabrication provide new opportunities for replicating the feedback between natural geometry, material properties and designed form that had previously connected designer, maker and the artefact.
MArch students use full scale building projects at Hooke Park as a vehicle for design research. Formulating individual research interests within a group project each student reflects critically on aspects of the work in their thesis. MSc students have a more explicit technological focus on the innovative application of timber in architecture, which is developed and tested through full-scale system prototypes using new fabrication technologies.