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PRESS RELEASE 12.09.2005

A collaboration between Architectural Association School of Architecture Foundation year students (London), Victoria & Albert Museum, Royal Institute of British Architects and Estonian Academy of Arts Department of Architecture.

The work of the AA foundation Unit this year has been focused on the processes and spaces involved in the creation and curation of museums – spaces for the lost and the found, changing the condition of the object from a passive artefact to an object with an interactive relation with its environment and the spectator. The different projects of the year were accompanied by various workshops and excursions informing the development of the creative process. The workshops included drawing, various computer programs, video, graphics layout and presentation. These techniques were applied to the students’ creative investigations. The process of collaboration and dialogue with the V&A, RIBA and the University of Tallinn was a vital part of the development of the work.

The beginning of the academic year coincided with the transfer of the RIBA Drawings Collection from Portman Square to new spaces in the V&A Museum. This provided the opportunity to study and document the spaces around the collection, from the way objects and artefacts are found, preserved, understood and communicated through display. The mechanisms of the museum from collection to storage to display and the spatial interplay between object and space – and consequently object/subject relationships became a theme of investigation. Later, students extended their research and looked at their own notions of translation of the lost and found through short videos.

For the final project the students were asked to create their own museums based on personally selected objects or collections. Through study and translation of artefacts, students were able to build up a set of criteria with which to develop designs for an exhibition that could create a dialogue between the objects, the structural display, the spaces around the structure and the viewers/participants.

The resulting installations are mobile, rapidly deployable and adaptive to context. The ideas and development of the projects have been carried around and tested through various stages and locations. Projects initially evolved from spaces in lodgings, and the AA.

The projects were then taken to Estonia where the students discussed their approaches with the first year architecture students of Tallinn University. Based on these negotiations local environments were found within Tallinn to test their performances in a new context. Crucial new discoveries and potentials emerged as a result of this re-translation and dialogue.

The museum projects were adapted again in order to inhabit, and rapidly transform the new Architecture Study Rooms in the V&A - the original starting point of the investigations. With each new location the exhibits have created interplay between the spaces and themselves. An outcome of this process is the negotiation that has taken place between the individual projects in relation to the exhibition spaces – the curatorial process.

With the return to Estonia for the Tallinn Architectural Triennial, the installations carry with them the memory of both development and location. The happy memory of Tallinn is firmly embedded within each student and their projects.

AA students.
The fabric banner shows work from all foundation students throughout the year.

On site installation by:
Sanem Alper; Felt – clothing to city
Flavie Colliac; Scaling slides
George Gingell; History catcher
Kitty O’Grady; Exploded voids
Fredrik Hellberg; String space
Helena Westerlind; A temporary trace collection

Organised by:
Miraj Ahmed
Theo Lorenz
Dr. Tanja Siems
Inga Raukas
Toomas Tammis

Thanks to:
Students and staff of the first year at the Department of Architecture from the Estonian Academy of Arts.
Estonian Museum of Applied Art and Design > Foundation

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