Leviathan focused on mobility and its implications for occupation and spatial design in conjunction with politics, personal agency, and contingency or precarity. By applying concepts of globalisation and modernism’s relationship with movement to studies of the unit’s site of the city of Portsmouth, the UK’s historic and still strategic naval location was analysed.
The unit worked with 6 values: the utopian, virtue (sustainability, ethics), mobility, beauty, a generous nature, and scale, designing on the basis of necessity and what is possible in current conditions, experimenting with remaindered, available, and ad-hoc materials.
Beginning with the primer of a short project for a beachside public toilet designed as a grotto (a rustic retreat partially made with debris & found materials, an artificial cave), students were asked to marry functional & convenience aspects with considerations of ecology, material use, and comfort. Themes of pleasure, neglect, exercise, escapism, good life, and ballast were explored through documentary research, precedent studies, use of ‘found’ seaside materials, physical and digital modelling, and studies of historical and contemporary seaside utopias.
Progressing to individual theses, students were asked to identify re-usable portions of older infrastructures and develop new ones to serve new workspaces added leisure, and short-stay projects.