Welcome to Unit A blog | School of Architecture | Oxford Brookes University

Wednesday, 30 November 2011


Exploded axos can be useful to explain the multi-layered qualities of your proposal - especially for technology showing it's performance in terms of occupation,  interaction with environment, construction, structure, phasing, sustainability, components, etc.

drawing: Tamim Negm - outdoor venue

Mon 5 Dec - Urban Massing Charrette

Workshop / charrette (definition) on Monday 5 Dec is a full day event in the studio between 10.00 and 17.00. Please bring the following things with you:

- print out of your proposal in plan, scale 1:1000 (A3 sheet)
- A3 sized cardboard (can be a leftover) for base of model

Solid soft material (in sufficient quantity to make 5 different mass models for the project site), either:
A: polystyrene foam (that blue or yellow stuff)
B: a few large soaps (as cheap as you can get - £1.00 range, white or opaque is best + as rectangular as possible; you may even get one in a colour - for highlighting special areas, something like this?  LINK MUJI )

cutter, glue, tape, ruler / scale ruler, camera, coloured pens, etc...

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Postal Archive Information

Information gathered by the two teams doing research at the Postal Archive are now uploaded to the dropbox. >>>02_site information >>>postal archive

Note: This info should be used for your personal mapping / portfolio only - and should not leak into the public domain.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Debate #1: The Technological Architect - Digital Tools

ESSENTIAL FOR UNIT A - 00:/ in particular

Debate #1: The Technological Architect - Digital Tools
THURSDAY 24.11.2011

Matt Shaw (scanLAB 3D Scanning)

Alastair Parvin (Architecture 00:/) Wikihouse.cc

Dr Shrikesh Sharma (Buro Happold Smart Solutions)

Chaired by Toby Shew

The first of three panel discussion events to end the successful Future Architects lecture series for this semester. We will be given three engaging presentations on 3D scanning, Open Source Design and Live Analysis Tools followed by a discussion on the role of digital tools in future practice. Wondering what skills you need as a graduate or how can you push representation to be more useful? This is the place to see new technology and ideas for digital design and fabrication.


£3 Non-Members/£5 Membership on the door (+ free entry)

Free wine and beer afterwards.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Thu 17 Nov Tutorials + Tech

Technology focus for Thursday:

It is time to be more strategic & practical about how your technological / environmental / constructional considerations are finding their way onto your drawings, informing your proposals along the design process.

This needs to happen now in from of details / diagrams / precise material precedents / scientific testing (e.g.lighting) This also includes aspects from last weeks tech sessions - refer earlier posts. We need to see these things drawn / put to paper,  then Nicola can give feed-back.

Remember to bring in all your drawings from the crit.

Interim Crit Mon 14 Nov

Panel of guest critics:
Jane Anderson
Greg Andrews (Unit A alumnus 2008/09)
Robert Helmholz (architect / urbanist based in Paris)
Norbert Kling (architect / assistant professor BTU Brandenburg)
Nick Simcik-Arese (anthropologist / architect / DPhil researcher Oxford University)


Your feedback sheets of today are in the envelope in our studio space. (not e-mailed).

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Thu 10 Nov Tutorials + Tech

Technology focus for Thursday:
With your syndicated material now being applied to the urban context / project site / surrounding, a new set of questions arise in terms in terms of:
- environmental performance / aspects of sustainability
- maintenance / aspects of anticipated wear over time / contingency for change
- construction processes (size of elements, handling, on/off site manufacturing, etc.)
- sourcing, energy and carbon footprint

Site workshop documentation

The documentation of the workshop can be downloaded from the dropbox (200 dpi scans) / folder 05_site workshop mnt pleasant

Friday, 4 November 2011

Mon 7 Nov

For Monday we would like to see your first idea of the "public platform" on the project site in form of a model - the application of your "syndicated material" to a larger scale and showing a response to the context. The working model will need to show some context - surrounding buildings of project site - to judge how your proposal works spatially. Scales depending on your size of intervention and model accuracy - 1:000 / 1:500 or even larger?

Mappings - further evolve, visualise and crystallise your particular / personal point of observation / view / interest - based on your "brick" principles and particularities you noticed across the site. You may also need to collate more qualitative info on potential users / groups / actors / institutions - that you are aiming to engage into dialogue / relationships through your proposal.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Mapping & data

Some mappings from the guardian data blog...


Mail Rail

Some photos and observations of the decomissioned underground line here (please do not try this yourself)


OxArch lecture Thu 3 - ERECT

We recommend this one to attend - keywords here are: materiality, architecture, public space, community, participation.


Thu 3 - Tutorials + 14.00 Lecture on Public Space

see earlier post re visualisation of min. 5 mappings related to your personal interest.

Thu 3 Nov - Technology

Focus this week for technology:
Documentation of material qualities (incl horizontal surfaces) surrounding the project site at 1:1 scale: Surface, colour, texture, aesthetics, durability, impact, maintenance, cost, ownership, connotations, etc. (Visualise / map your initial observations)
Critically assess current environmental aspects incl. sustainability, performative efficiency, sourcing and opportunities for improvements?

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Thu 3 Nov

Your presentations / observations from yesterday's workshop are uploaded to the dropbox.
See folder 05_site workshop mnt pleasant.
(I tried to scan your sheets but had some technical problems... I will provide you with propper scans at later stage, but for now that will do)

What we would like to see for Thurdsday, is that you take this to the next level   - as individuals -  and draw yesterday's mapping up using Illustrator. Reflect on all your work and interests so far, and choose a minimum of 5 topics / themes from the site workshop that you think are relevant & related to your personal lines of ongoing investigation / enquiry.

You can find the base-maps (illustrator files) of the various scales on the dropbox under 02_site information (study area 1-5000.ai / digimap-1-2500 study area / digimap-1-1000). Be clear about what scale you are drawing at - you can easily check by doing test prints at A3 size.