What is the difference between MArch and MSc degrees?
Both MSc and MArch degrees are developed jointly for the first three terms of the academic year. In this way all EmTech students develop the computational skills, conceptual principles and critical thinking necessary for the development of their projects. During the thesis development, MSc students focus on establishing a framework that provides the conceptual framework, design principles and a methodology for the fabrication and construction of their proposals. This framework can be applied on a variety of scenarios that share similar characteristics. The MArch degree builds upon this work to further develop and apply it within a specific context, concluding to a detailed design proposal at an architectural scale in line with a fabrication and assembly process. Detailed examples of recent MSc and MArch thesis projects can be found here
What computational skills will I acquire during the course?
EmTech students develop the advanced computational skills and expertise for the modelling, analysis and fabrication of complex systems and spatial configurations within dynamic contexts. Rhino 3D and its parametric modelling plug-in Grasshopper 3D are used as the basic modelling environment, on which several analysis tools and methods are afterwards explored, which allow for an in-depth analysis and exploration of every project. These include structural and physics analysis (Karamba 3D / Kangaroo), environmental analysis (Ladybug, Autodesk CFD), optimization through the application of evolutionary algorithms (Wallacei), machine learning (Lunchbox) and space syntax theory (Space Syntax) amongst others. Students are also introduced to app development (Unity) and C# programming language, which allows them to build custom components and scripts for their projects. For the Robots, coding knowledge allows students to gain a deep understanding and explore the potential of robotic fabrication processes. The acquisition of these computational skills enables them to develop an expertise in the field of computational design and develop complex spatial systems within dynamically changing environments.
I saw that a lot of the studio work done seems to require knowledge of computing software like GIS, Rhino, Grasshopper, etc. Are these taught as part of the programme or is prior knowledge necessary?
No prior knowledge of computing software is required in order to attend EmTech. A number of computational seminars and workshops are organized in the beginning of the academic year in order to ensure that everyone has the necessary skills for the programme. EmTech staff are active users of these programs and provide additional support when needed through personalized tutorials. Of course, any previous knowledge of the software is valuable.
What is the relationship between the Emergent Technologies and Design programme and the city of London?
The Architectural Association is based in the centre of London, benefitting from the facilities, services and attractions offered from the UK’s capital. With a very strong architectural, engineering and art scene, London offers a variety of events, talks and exhibitions related to the topics investigated in the Emergent Technologies and Design programme. Playing an active role in this scene, EmTech organizes a series of lectures by practitioners from the leading offices of London, with which we share a very strong relationship, while they are also invited as critics in the studio presentations. This enables our students to have a direct relationship and contact with the professional life of London, an advantage which is expressed by the large number of EmTech alumni that work in leading practices of the city of London.
What happens after Emergent Technologies and Design? Where do graduates typically find jobs?
EmTech graduates take on various opportunities after finishing the course. Some graduates go on to teach at the AA and other schools internationally. Others go on to work at many exciting offices in London and around the world. Recent employers include: Foster + Partners (London), KPF (London), Heatherwick Studio (London), Grimshaw Architects (London), Robofold (London), Zaha Hadid Architects (London), Buro Happold (London), AKT II (London), OMA (Rotterdam), UN Studio (Amsterdam), Wilkinson Eyre Architects (London), Ron Arad Associates (London), AHMM (London), Arup (London), PLP Architecture (London), Coop Himmelblau (Vienna), AECOM (London), Populous (London), Pattern Architects (London), SOM (London), SHoP Architects (New York) amongst others.