“Civil world is the free play of forms-of-life; it is the principle of their coexistence” Tiqqun, Introduction to civil world

Intense migration flows witnessed recently in big cities has been challenging the traditional understanding of the political organization of human living in the urban realm. The unprecedented clash of different forms-of-life due to these changing conditions has established not only a new relationship between inhabitation and the city, but also a redefinition of the key agents in political terms. Latest social unrest in Islamic countries has shown us that contemporary society concerns are not discussed in the traditional parliaments or councils anymore, but in the public spaces of the city itself.

Following this principle, Inter Unit 8Politics of fabrication II understands that the coexistence of diverse and conflicting forms-of-life in the contemporary city needs to be readdressed and reframed in the urban ground itself. This implies a new spatial and physical layout of enabling the presence and frictional interaction/negotiation of these forms-of-life of those who share the city. The location chosen is the city of Miami, the major entry point for Latin American immigrants in the United States. In particular, the focus of students work has been the Little Havana neighborhood, for years the epicentre of the political expression of the dominant Cuban immigrants and the most multicultural neighborhoods in the city at the present. In this area a pervading logic of city space privatization has lead to an increasing tension between individuals and groups with different cultural, social, ethnic and economical backgrounds inhabiting the neighborhood. Exploring this particular matter, students have thought about the importance of public space as the necessary space of encounter, interaction and negotiation between these different ways of living now present in the city, and recovering its political value in a contemporary Latin-American metropolis.


Tutorials Urban Cultures_2

Next Monday 1st of November we will have tutorials in our Unit space as follows,
10.00 Eliska
10.30 Vidhya
11.00 Adora
11.30 Lara
12.00 Joshua
12.30 Dimitri

3.00 Anthony
3.30 Fatemeh
4.00 Elora
5.00 Yiming
5.30 Yonatan
6.00 Francesca

Please be on time with your sketches, models and drawings printed.

Little Havana


Article about the Symposium Alternative Initiatives: Cuba


Reyner Banham LA

Please watch this video of Reyner Banham showing Los Angeles.


Urban Cultures Pin-Down

On Friday 29th of October we will have a Final Pin-down of your Urban Cultures studies in 33 Bedford Square Building First Floor Rear. Before , at 10.30 , we will have a lecture on Transculturation by Felipe Hernandez.

Wilfredo Lam


Urban Culture Presentations and Lecture

Next Monday 25th October we have a long day of Presentations and two lecture in 36 Bedford Square Building Ground Floor Open Room 2 NJR.
10.30am Lecture "On Miami" by Edgar Gonzalez (BrisacGonzalez Architects)
12.00am Your presentations on Miami


W5_Finding Out About Urban Cultures: Ways of Living

In this initial approach to our site, students will start exploring Miami urban culture. This first research will be divided in two. First, a detailed investigation about the different cultural customs and the spatial characteristics where they take place. Second, a reflection on how citizens´ everyday life activities construct politics in this multicultural city.

Suggested Readings
Mary McLeod, “Everyday and “other” spaces” in Architecture and Feminism, Princeton Architectural Press, 1996, pp.1-37.
Michael De Certeau: The practice of Everyday Life, University of California Press, Berkeley, California, 1984.
Henri Lefebvre: Critique of Everyday Life, London: Verso, 1991.
Mike Davis: Magical Urbanism, London: Verso, 2000.


Mid-Term Jury

Next Friday 22nd of October we will have the final Pin-up for the US embassy envelope design. We will start at 10 am in 32 Bedford Square 2nd Floor Rear Room. Please bring your door designs as well to be presented together.

Thanks to all guest critics: Daniel Ayat, Douglas Spencer and Ryan Dillon.


Tutorials 2nd Workshop_3

Next Monday we will start at 11am the tutorials for your envelope designs. Please be there on time as follows,
11 am Yiming/Vidhya
12 am Eliska/Adora
2 pm Yonatan/Eliska
3 pm Anthony/Fatima
4 pm Francesca/Dimitri
5 pm Elora/Lara


Lecture and Tutorials 2nd Workshop_2

Next Thursday at 5.30 you will have the lecture "Reassessing the Immediate: Windows” by Francisco Gonzalez de Canales in 36 Bedford Square Open Room 2 NJR. Later, on Friday , we will have tutorials starting at 10 am in Intermediate Unit 8 Space.

Civil Governement in Tarragona, Spain, by Alejandro de la Sota


W3- W4 Mediated Governance: Representation, transgression, and re-appropriation

This second workshop focuses on the skin of US embassy in London. This envelope can be considered as the most insurmountable barrier of the city, especially after the 9/11 terrorist attack. As the unit will proceed to this embassy to obtain visas for the trip it will be an opportunity to reconsider the borders between nations imbedded in international cities, such as London.

Seminars “Reassessing the Immediate

"Windows” by Francisco Gonzalez de Canales
“Embassies: A New Paradigm for Urban Paranoia” by Marco Ferrari (Salottobuono)

Suggested Readings

Bruno Reichlin, “The Pros and Cons of the Horizontal Window: The Perret-Le Corbusier Controversy”, Daidalos 13, 1984, pp. 65-78.
Hannah Arendt, “The Public and the Private Realm”, in The Human Condition, Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1998, pp.22-78
Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War, Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2010

US Embassy in London


Pin-up 1st Workshop

Next Saturday we will see you at 10.30am in Inter Unit 8 space for the First Workshop Pin-up.Please be on time with your drawings and argument prepared.

Symposium Alternative Initiatives Cuba

14:00 Welcome & Introduction Melissa Woolford
14:05 Havana, In Process Dr Francisco Gómez Díaz
14:20 The Economic Context Emily Morris
14:35 Tradition in Architecture Key Note Address Ricardo Porro
15:00 Round Table Discussion Dr Francisco Gómez Díaz, Emily Morris, Ricardo Porro, Moderator: Felipe Hernandez
15:15 Tea Break
15:35 Moderating the Public - Inscribing Matter Nuria Lombardero & Francisco Gonzalez de Canales
15:50 Development of Heritage in Old Havana Key Note Address Dr Eusebio Leal Spengler
16:20 Round Table Discussion Nuria Lombardero, Francisco Gonzalez de Canales, Dr Eusebio Leal Spengler, Moderator: Felipe Hernandez
16:35 Joint Round Table Discussion All Speakers Moderator: Brett Steele
17:00 Closing Remarks Melissa Woolford


Tutorials 1st Workshop_2

Next Thursday 7th October we will have the last tutorials before the Pin-up in Intermediate Unit 8 space as follows,

5.00 pm Joshua
5.30 pm Dimitri
6.00 pm Yonatan
6.30 pm Anthony
7.00 pm Yiming/Elora/Adora
8.00 pm Fatemeh + Francesca / Vidhya+Lara / Eliska


1st Workshop tutorial

Next Monday 4th October we will have our first tutorial in Inter Unit 8 space, Morwell street building second floor.


W2 - Immediate Governance: Windows, doors, and transits

This first workshop questions the Architectural Association main entrance, an architectural element that separates the Association from the rest of the city. This everyday used door and its contiguous space has been assumed as a banal situation for all its users. However this strategically location, as transition between London context to the architectural environment, has been designed for multiple strategies to approach AA to visitors: posters, screens, seats, flyers, stages, etc.

Symposium “In Context: Alternative Initiatives” RIBA (8th October)

Seminar “Reassessing the immediate: Doors” by Francisco Gonzalez de Canales.

Suggested Readings

Robin Evans, “Figures, Doors and Passages” in Translations from drawings to building and other essays, London: AA Publications, 1997, pp. 55-91.
Hannah Arendt, “Introduction into politics”, in The Promise of Politics, Schoken Books: New York 2005, pp. 93-200.
Paolo Virno, A Grammar of the Multitude: For an Analysis of Contemporary Forms of Life, Nueva York: Semiotext[e], 2005

Unit Brief

For the whole academic year structure please check our brief,