Since the demise of modernism, architecture in Britain has been perceived, first and foremost, as a cultural product. Such a perception echoes the lack of agency of architecture in contemporary UK – architecture as a niche interest, a luxury interest. But culture is ordinary, as the literature critic Raymond Williams argued; it is not the preserve of the well-off. Culture is ingrained in everyday life, just as ‘play’ in its broadest sense. A more recent development is the rise of a mediatised (and mediated) reality – our dependence on media to access reality and consequently the loss of ‘the real’. The fake news and conspiracy theories online have vindicated the prophets of such dystopias, such as the late sociologist Jean Baudrillard, who claimed we live in a simulation (simulacrum) that has transcended and jettisoned reality. The Dissertations in this section study architecture as a cultural or mediated product, questions of experience of the real and the effects of ‘play’.

Dissertation Examples:

Can Architectural Data be Extracted from Song Lyrics?

Architecture and design of [un]necessary things.

Delight in the design – Can we design for play in our increasingly confined, controlled and consumeristic cities, or does play in such a space defy its true existence.

The design and experience of public library space – a case study of the British Library.

Zichan ZHANG
Public perception and engagement of the museum in Contemporary China – A case study of Hubei Province Museum in Wuhan, Hubei, China.

Matthew HAWES
Architecture and the Poetic Image – The search for the poetic in the architecture of the everyday.

Is our image culture suppressing the human experience of architecture?

Jacques DOODY
The designed image: An exploration of architectural design for social media through Heatherwick Studio’s Vessel.

Media (Mis)Representation.

From Corwen to Llangollen – A psychogeographic atlas documenting a walk through the Dee Valley.