Studio as Book is a series of yearly publications that tender the extraordinary creative work undertaken in the Department of Architecture to the School of Architecture and Cities’ design studios – in detail. The series includes undergraduate and graduate level work, and is intended to sit alongside the Open Exhibition and catalogue. Each book in the series covers the work of a single design studio over the course of at least two years. Its objectives are:
- To record, archive, and present the pedagogical programme and creative student outputs of a design studio
- To position the work of a design studio within a broader intellectual, scientific or aesthetic field
- To advance the design driven research being undertaken in the Department’s design studios
- To provide a reference for future iterations and variations of a design studio
Reducing the creative output of a multi-year design studio to a single volume, using a pre-designed book template is no easy undertaking, and it is necessarily selective. At the same time, it provides a consistent, sure platform for the wide range of approaches to the discipline of teaching architectural design which characterise the department.
Each Studio as Book has been peer-reviewed on the basis of a proposal submitted by the studio’s tutors to an editorial committee. In addition to studio briefs and student work, each book includes content that draws out the studio’s research and pedagogical agenda. The format that this takes varies from book to book – reflective essays by tutors or past students, interviews, theoretical essays from parallel fields, and so forth. The Studio as Book Series will later be accompanied by a Studio Pamphlet Series for design studios of a shorter duration.
I wish to acknowledge the contribution of the following in bringing this project to fruition: Lindsay Bremner, Director of Research, who was the driving force behind the series, Mark Boyce, author of Sizes May Vary, A workbook for graphic design (Lawrence King, 2008) – and the designer of Studio as Book, and Filip Visnjic, designer of the series’ web site, http://www.studioasbook.org.
Head of Department of Architecture and Cities, University of Westminster