Monia De Marchi

First Year students at the AA are exposed to architecture by translating visual references, thoughts, intuition and briefs into a series of projects that are achieved through forms of design, writing and argument. Work from this year’s explorations was collected based on three themes: get in more stuff, work with architecture, and get it out into the world.

‘Get in More Stuff’ reacted to and translated visual references, stuff and projects into more projects. We accumulated and processed, redrew exemplary projects with known methods and re-enacted spaces, events and objects through drawings. We re-imagined architectures by using analogies with visual references, and we sketched buildings by removing possible irrelevancies. We recomposed idiosyncratic architectures, types and characters.

‘Work with Architecture’ asked students to isolate themselves from all the ‘stuff’. We embraced architecture in its scale, form and spatial relations by designing 10x10m spaces placed in a 1x1km context. Architectural elements were developed through relentless iterations of raw models and drawings. We questioned the building timeline, while montages and drawings shifted its uses. We questioned the limits of particular archetypes by pushing their limits and testing their placement in real contexts using texts, plans and models. 

‘Get it Out into the World’ addressed the consequences of a project by testing its relationship to a city. Students constructed a series of arguments and speculated possible relations between the architect, the work and his or her audience.

This year, all intervals of engagement in and outside the studio mattered, and the students’ portfolios disclose their own ways of looking, thinking, telling and putting forward positions and projects of architecture in a spirit that is open and daringly vulnerable.


Head of First Year

Monia De Marchi


Studio Staff

Fabrizio Ballabio

Shany Barath

James A Craig

Maria Shéhérazade Giudici

Max Kahlen

Alex Kaiser

John Ng


Special thanks to our contributors and speakers

Pier Vittorio Aureli

Sue Barr

Valentin Bontjes van Beek

Barbara-Ann Campbell-Lange

Javier Castañón

Mollie Claypool

Mark Cousins

Antoine Espinasseau

Tommaso Franzolini

Gernot Fuhrmann

Eugene Han

Oliviu Lugojan-Ghenciu

Joel Newman

Christopher Pierce

Ben Reynolds 

Davide Sacconi

Brett Steele

Jorgen Tandberg 

Alexandra Vougia

Anna Viana

Thomas Weaver 

Sabrina Blakstad

Robert Busher 

Marilyn Dyer

William Fausset

Belinda Flaherty

Kirstie Little

Cristian Sanchez Gonzalez

Trystrem Smith

Sanaa Vohra


Many thanks to the MS, HTS and TS First Year tutors, our guests and critics, the Admissions office and maintenance staff. 

Berkin Islam

The body of work looks into the composition of two drastically different scales, of individual apartments and cities. The architecture of the individual apartments is a direct result of everyday activities that in turn define different lifestyles. These lifestyles have impacted on the architecture of the space by translating such notions into spatial and atmospheric qualities by introducing certain features as light and openings. In turn, visual and direct connections have created a threshold between what is public and private, directly resulting in an intricate relationship between the interior and exterior. The result is emulating a livable space by giving a second life to an already existing self- storage facility. Transforming the building involved understanding its character and tectonic sense. Hence the proposal allows for a fundamentally arranged building of communal and spatial diversity. The modular arrangement of the apartments does not isolate with a fixed style. It simply acts as an enabler for the complete opposite of modularity.

The conception of the cities defines a Fictional and a Future scenario, and looks beyond the organization of traditional cities. The grids, symmetrical arrangements, expansions, are replaced with the effect of sudden occurrences. A key aspect of such a composition is the principal of time. In time a same spot may house different communities. The results are three fictional compositions of different present day cities, exploring ideas of expansion, repetition, and places. On the other hand, the future depicts a super-future mobile/nomad community that is changing constantly. It is composed of separate territories that switch locations along the canyon landscape. The transient city introduces tectonic changes, and terraforming as an organizational device.