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PART 2: MArch

If you are looking for a truly progressive and practical route into the architectural profession, come to the LSA for your Part 2. We provide a progressive and practical educational model that unites a world-beating network of professional practitioners and academics (the first of its kind in London), alongside a design-focused curriculum that combines studio-based study with practice-based learning. These pages will give you insight not only into what we teach, but how we enable, and collaborate with, our students to meet their ambitions.

YEAR TWO: PROTO-PRACTICE

INTRODUCTION
DESIGN SPECULATION
DESIGN THESIS
DESIGN TECTONICS
DESIGN HISTORY
DESIGN SYNTHESIS

INTRODUCTION

We view Year 2 of the programme as the first year of your career in practice: we call it the Proto-Practice Year. Students are supported to develop their own direction and to set the terms of their own enquiry. You will develop an individual thesis design project through three core design modules – Speculation, Thesis and Synthesis – supported by methodological exploration of precedent, typology and morphology in History, as well as Tectonic studies to achieve a high degree of technical resolution in the thesis project.

DESIGN SPECULATION

Design speculation_ Nancy Jackson

Nancy Jackson, Design Speculation 2020

The module provides the framework for you to undertake an intense period of design experimentation to deliver a first iteration of a comprehensive design proposal in a form akin to a competition submission.

You will bring a design brief developed from your work in First Year, as well as a critical position explored in your Critical Practice Manual and Manifesto. The design brief will set the context (the ‘who’, ‘what’, ‘why’, ‘where’ and ‘when’) for your design thesis to be developed in detail throughout Second Year.

You’ll develop an architectural proposition – in the form of a building – of an appropriate scale, complexity and type, in the context of an identified London borough, using a range of media. You will state the purpose and project’s higher goal; test a range of architectural strategies and plan out a relevant programme; research a range of appropriate formal and material strategies; conduct detailed contextual surveys both of site and wider economic and political conditions; as well as research and identify a client body.

The design hypothesis is further evidenced through a series of workshops that establish a common vocabulary of drawing standards with which to test iterative design and tectonic solutions, and historical precedent. A critical reflection on the result of this module informs the direction of design and project development in the subsequent modules, Design Thesis and Design Synthesis.

DESIGN THESIS

Design Thesis_Priya Nahal

Priya Nahal, Design Thesis 2020

Design Thesis carries the next stage of design development forward in the second term. Students refine of all aspects of their brief and develop their design response. This design phase offers up ways in which students can take control of their agency as architects, understanding the role in the context of all other consultants and stakeholders in a given project. Fundamental choices about methods of procurement, specification and design intent are tested from ethical and professional perspectives.

You will be asked to reflect critically on how design intent aligns with the realisations that emerge. You will consider what has and has not worked; what can be rejected or reconsidered as unexpected design opportunities; what new information is required to meet the aims of the brief; where that information should be sought; how methodology can be refined so that you learn to make informed design decisions at a variety of scales from detail to building to public realm with the end users always in mind.

You will produce a revised series of design documents including general arrangement drawings and models of site and building proposal, scale plans/ sections/elevations/axos and details, material/structural/environmental options, visualisations of modes of inhabitation and compile/edit supporting research and contextual materials to consolidate the thesis position. Particular emphasis will be put on the production of an artefact at 1:1/1:5 scale.

DESIGN TECTONICS

Nicholas Ivanov, Design Tectonics 2023

The comprehensive design thesis project is augmented and evolved through investigations into how the architectural scheme could be constructed. Design

Tectonics supports students to advance their level of design skill, awareness and ability to deploy appropriate sustainable, environmental, structural, and material strategies, as well as demonstrate an ethical and safe approach to their design decisions.

Design Tectonic is taught through lectures, workshops and tutorials with a range of consultants and specialists from complimentary disciplines who can contribute expert advice on the project themes and advise from a professional standpoint on the design development. Running concurrently throughout the year alongside the design studio work, the module asks you to carry out advanced investigation, analysis, speculation and testing of appropriate strategies for the use of materials, structures and processes in the development of resolved form, enclosure, safe inhabitation and sustainability.

The module aims to provide students with experience of an iterative design process that incorporates a range of specialist inputs to develop an architectural proposal tested against technical, aesthetic and other considerations and regulatory and professional frameworks.

DESIGN HISTORY

Design-history_Kurtis Gentry

Kurtis Gentry, Design History 2021

This module applies a critical lens to architectural history. A series of talks and workshops create a setting for asking ‘How have architects approached the task of design?’ it considers the confluence of forces that have shaped form and the resulting design paradigms at different moments in time.

You develop a personal study of a building or a series of buildings appropriate to the your critical interests and that can offer either case studies or counterpoints for design questions and conditions. This study is intended to be in support of the design thesis and its technical resolution. As such the deliverable is not the conventional essay or dissertation form but rather an edited portfolio that privileges visual exploration accompanied by textual captioning and reflection. The aim is to deploy the tools of an architect in the act of historical research as well as focus on refining specific methods of writing that are directly applicable to practice.

DESIGN SYNTHESIS

Design Synthesis is the last stage of development of the comprehensive design project, represented in a final portfolio and viva voce or verbal presentation . At this point in the year, you will be producing a resolved architectural thesis and design proposal that demonstrates a mature handling of spatial complexity; high resolution of their design ambitions; clear articulation of a critical position; evidence of appropriate ethical and professional judgement; sophistication in visual and verbal communication.

You will be able to demonstrate a high level of rigour and precision of method that parallels real-world conditions and constraints. The aim of the module is to support you in developing the tools and methodologies to hold on to the integrity of you architectural intent, balancing speculation with plausibility.