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Architecture (MA)

ADS4: Legal Fictions


How do we make sense of a time of profound social, medical, economic, and environmental upheaval? A year defined by months of extreme weirdness and grief, conditions that felt impossible just 18-months ago. The consequences of poor planning, lack of foresight and isolationist reflexes are significant factors in the devastation that Covid-19 has caused. Whilst scientists correctly speculated that a global pandemic was plausible, politicians refused to see the benefit in preparing for an event many found impossible to imagine.

With so many of the crises society faces—the climate crisis, global migration, wealth inequality, gender inequality, structural racism, the mental health crisis—real change is routinely framed as impossible. Consequently, defining a new ethics of the possible—to borrow a phrase coined by Arjun Appadurai—is necessary.

This year, ADS4 proposed that our world is best understood as a cartoon—an irrational landscape of plausible impossibility (as Walt Disney put it) where anything can happen, yet where certain things reliably reoccur. Through the prism of animation, we examined the formation of these cartoon “laws” in order to promote the role and rule of the lawless in the pursuit of a just society. We analysed the laws of “cartoon physics” in order to construct a theory of how we, as architects, can proceed within a landscape complicit in so much injustice.

So, how did we make sense of a time like this? We didn’t. The chaos of the last 18-months exposed a simple truth: leveraging impossibilities is where real agency lies.

With thanks to:

Bamidele Awoyemi, Natalie Barton, Mark Campbell, Joseph Dejardin, Nikita Diakur, Sanket Ghatalia, Andrew Gibbs, Rosy Head, Andy Holden, Alex Holloway, Beth Hughes, Carolyn Kirschner, Juliette Kristensen, Iain Jamieson, Divya Patel, Hannah Rozenberg, Luis Sacristan, Dubravka Sekulic, Benedict Spry, Alice Theodorou, and Jane Wong.

3D AnimationAccessibilityAdaptationAIAlgorithmsAnimationArtifactArtificial IntelligenceAuthenticityAutonomousBehaviourBehaviourismBiopoliticsBiopowercalligraphycartoonChinese calligraphychoreographyClinicalCoexistenceCognitionColourComplexityConsciousnessCopyCosmicCosmologyCostumeCourtroomCritical DesignCultural IdentityCultureDataData CentredeathDeep LearningDesign for AllDesign MethodologyDesign ResearchDeterminismDigital BehaviourDigital WorldsDisabilityDocumentaryEcologyEcosystemEmergenceEndlessExperienceFictionFidelityFilmForestForestryFragileFree willFuture InterfaceFuturesGenerativeGenerative SoundglitchHertzian SpaceHistoryHuman Computer InteractionHumourInclusiveInclusive DesignInductionInfiniteInfrastructureInterfaceInterface designLanguageLawLegal FictionsMachine learningMathematicalMathematicsMeaningMediaMedicalMedicalisationMemoryMental HealthMetafictionMeteorologyMonocultureMotion CaptureMultispeciesMultiverseMusicMutationNarration / StorytellingNarrativeNatureNeuralNew Faith ParadigmNon-humanNormalisationNormativityParadoxPerceptionPerformancePerspectivePoetryPop culturePost-ProductionPre-DeterminismPredictionProceduralProductivityPropsProxyPsychologicalPsychologyQualiaQuantum PhysicsRealityReinforcement LearningRelationship with phonesResearchResolutionRural developmentscriptSelf GeneratingSemioticsSet TheoryShort filmSignificationSimulacraSimulationSocialSpeculationSpeculative DesignSpeculative FuturesStage setStagingSubjectivitySymbolismTechnologyTreesUncertaintyVerisimilitudeWeatherWorld BuildingShow More