BA Unit 8: Recreation. Mark Hatter & Jen Wan

Barry Lewis, Butlin’s Skegness, 1982

This year, Unit 8 will be clocking off and jumping in at the deep end. We will explore the architectures of leisure and pleasure, of adrenaline highs, and tranquil reflection. We will indulge our whims and fancies and engage in trivial pursuits. We prefer Live/Play to Live/Work, the Fun Run to the Rat Race. We do not wish to produce rational, functional spaces, but moments of experiential engagement and visceral pleasure. Recreation could be described as the enthusiastic pursuit of an ultimately pointless goal, simply for the joy of doing so. This may also be a valid approach to the practice of architecture.

Within this framework, the unit also will continue some of its conversations from previous years: Methods of drawing, Artistic process as a design strategy, The constructed view, The miniature, The presenting of fictions as fact, and the Architecture of event.

We will start the year with a series of intense, scripted weekly exercises to generate ‘stuff’, and possibly nonsense. Second years will work towards realising proposals for a ‘Parlour’ – a small building providing a specific leisure or recreational activity. Third years will explore notions of recreation, leisure, landscape, and interior in a looser and more experimental manner, constructing their own narrative for deployment in the main proposal.

We encourage bold and fervent endeavour, and schemes which excite and delight. The site will be close to home, but a million miles away.