BA Unit 4 :: Weight + Measure :: Susanne Isa + Mark Hatter

March 23, 1970: Sculptor Claude K. Bell with his 45-foot-tall, 150-foot-long brontosaurus in Cabazon. (John Malmin / Los Angeles Times)

Last year unit 4 looked at plan B for the Commons with attitudes of the Seaside in mind.

This year we will be investigating Weight + Measure, uncovering the unexpected subject for the consideration of new possibilities for architecture. The current preoccupation with measurement focuses on the perceived need to seek increased levels of efficiency through greater standardisation, minimising difference, to reduce unknowns, to mitigate risk in everyday life. This need to quantify, record, and validate, increases the pressure to conform. Unit members will be encouraged to resist this nauseating unconscious drift toward conformity. Students must explore the underlying mechanisms at work and propose counter programmes of the unplanned, the unexpected, the unimagined and uncertainty to make a more imaginative place to live in and interact with, a place for diggers and dreamers.

The Manual + the Model
In the first 4 weeks, you will be looking at The Whole Earth Catalog, making your selections from or update to create your own access to tools for thought and deployment of your architecture. As in the original catalogue you will have nine sections to make selections for. The model designed will demonstrate/reveal some of these principles.

Raum 606
At the heart is a room that defines either The Institute or the Homestead the project for the remainder of the year.

Site: WonderAcres/ The Lea Valley

An area of land the size of Manhattan an Arcadia, 9880 acres of open space, 23 miles long, 00, 2 miles wide, nowhere in the middle of somewhere, Abercrombie’s green corridor extending from the Thames to Hertfordshire.


Planet –B Ideas for a new World, editors Alain Bieber and Lukas Feireiss The Whole Earth Catalog, published by Stewart Brand
World Changing, a user’s guide for the 21st century, published by Abrams Vision der Morderne, Das Princip Konstuktion, published by Prestel Adventures of the Black Square, edited by Iwona Blazwick

Without and Within, by Mark Pimlott

A living model illustrating the principle of the Forth Bridge demonstrated by Mr Benjamin Baker
Gunter’s twenty two yard chain – a synthesis of two incompatible systems, in whose length can be found the English cricket pitch and the dimension of the city block in the USA.