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Student shows 2013: The AA

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Rakesh Ramchurn reviews the Architectural Association’s end of year show

The AA student show sprawls over three floors and comprises work from all years of study. Displays were light on explanatory notes and heavy on models, wall mounts and suspended objects, but most striking was the use of accompanying audiovisual material; TV screens showed a montage of clips, speakers emitted soundscapes and laser lighting effects highlighted the displays.

Standout unit Forget about trying to solve the socio-economic problems of an inner-city district; one group at the AA decided to create an ‘immersive experience of hedonistic excess’ in Ibiza of all places - not somewhere you would think needed help with hedonism. The group’s work, which required clubbing as part of its ‘research’, led to a series of gaudy space helmets, creating new environments around the human head.

Standout student Mond Qu created a stunning model of a sprawling vertical shantytown, a fictional mining city wrecked by conflict and corporate exploitation, with the materiality of the model referencing the ad hoc construction of other illegal mining communities. The model uses false perspective to appear bigger than it is, a special effects technique often used in film, and a mini camera relayed images of the shantytown onto the web.

In a word Sensory overload.

Rakesh Ramchurn, AJ editorial assistant

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