AA Design + Make Masters study at the Architectural Association Hooke Park


Design-Make Studios

The Design-Make Studios lead towards the production of a full-scale construction at Hooke Park. Progressively, methodologies of designing through making are introduced and developed. Each studio is supported by visiting tutors, mentors from practice, consultants and other invited lecturers, critics and jurors; and is carried out in the D+M studio space, the fabrication workshop, and the ‘Big Shed’ assembly workshop.

1. Induction Studio
The 4-week Induction Studio is a series of classes and tutorial-workshops through which the foundation skill-base for an integrated digital-material design-make methodology is established. On an iterative cycle software and fabrication techniques are learned and applied to the formation of an individual digitally-derived material-spatial speculation that is potentially relevant for the subsequent build projects. Each student selects an existing construction technique, researches and analyses its processes, and develops a generative parametric digital model that allows that technique to be deployed in a non-conventional way. Then, at Hooke Park, each student fabricates a ‘sampler’ produced through this digitally-controlled technique, using the equipment available in the Hooke Park workshop.

See recent Core Studio projects here. and here.

Sample dossier Mohaimeen Islam, Weaving Pattern as Structure:



2. Core Studio
The 6-week Core Studio introduces the material processes of full-scale experimental construction at Hooke Park, and develops a design-make approach driven by the landscape considerations of our woodland site. Here, the focus is on the development of a design methodology that reciprocates between on-site making and studio-based representations. The inhabitable constructions act as vehicles to research and test architectural ideas that will be developed further in proposals for the Project Studio and accommodated in the final built project. An individually produced design-dossier submission documents this research.

See recent Core Studio projects here and here.

Sample dossier Zachary Mollica & Yung-Chen Yang, Inhabitable Tetrahedron:



3. Project Studio
The Project Studio consists of the collective design and prototyping/construction of full-scale architectural structures at Hooke Park. Designs are developed through prototyping, mock-up and physical testing in collaboration with engineering consultants and specialist builders.
For the MSc students, this prototyping exercise is completed in a full-scale experimental timber construction at the end of Term 3, which forms the research basis for the subsequent MSc dissertations. The prototype is designed with the explicit intent to test new architectural applications of timber, and radically exploit the woodland and fabrication resources (including new robotic fabrication equipment) of Hooke Park. Research topics are agreed with tutors during Term 1, and are related to the innovative technical application of timber within architecture.
For the MArch students, the Project Studio design is of a permanent building, following the brief for a new building for the Hooke Park campus. Students are organised in teams (MArch) of typically 3 to 6 students) according to interests and the current project briefs. Construction of the buildings starts in the third term, with completion in the autumn. The range of research topics within these projects is broader than for the MSc, and can encompass individual interests in environmental and construction technologies, alternative forms of design practice, or issues relating to Hooke Park’s topographic and cultural landscape. The build phase begins around the middle of summer term, with the mobilisation of the project’s site as a managed and regulated building site, with the relevant CDM and other health & safety regulations observed. Depending on the nature of the building project, professional contractors and trades-people are engaged where necessary to supplement the skills of the students. The AA SummerBuild programme enables other volunteers to be involved in the construction phase. MArch students are required to spend a minimum of 4 weeks at Hooke Park during this period, contributing to the making of the building they have designed.

Sample dossier Timber Seasoning Shelter, 2012-13:


Sample dossier (extracts) Biomass Boiler House, 2013-14: