ARCSOC is the
University of Cambridge
Architecture Society

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Costandis Kizis (Studio Master)

Francis Fawcett

Antiopi Koronaki

Raphael Lee

Jim Ross

Sofia Singler

A year online

Under the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic, we chose not to make any compromises whatsoever in the nature of our studio teaching and learning. This would not have been possible without the students’ hard-work, patience and resilience, in a period of anxiety, stress and sickness. Resisting the hard times and the practical problems that have kept us apart and out of the studio for most of the year, we found digital alternatives for working, communicating and debating. Digital platforms and pinup walls, albeit at times frustrating, became our daily routine and a valuable collective tool. The new conditions to which we had to adapt, also brought some new habits that will probably stick with us. Exploring digital space in new ways, not strongly bound with the physical dimensions of paper. Being more innovative with materials, converting anything that can be found in and around a quarantine environment into a model. Most importantly, breaking the physical boundaries and being able to discuss in real time with critics from across the world; in times when breathing in the same room became impossible, bringing together people residing in locations miles and oceans away from each other, was a much needed breath of fresh air.

The studio

Students in first year responded to five separate design briefs, which aimed in training them to describe, analyse, alter, make and propose architecture. The ultimate goal was to arrive to a point where students would raise arguments through design, while being trained and prepared to undertake the challenges of second year.

Michaelmas Term: A Hundred Years of Houses

1. Draw and Make

The students studied a collection of fifty-four houses, chosen from various locations across all inhabited continents. In parallel to the analysis of the case study houses, students developed important and useful skills by working with drawings and models: using scale, drawing in plan, section and elevation using architectural conventions, exploring 2D and 3D space in combination, representing spatial relations with diagrams.

2. Split and Combine

Brief 2 built up on the previous brief through a collaborative exercise. Students were asked to split the house they had been working with and combine it with one of their colleagues’. The result was 27 hybrid houses, which merged spatial and tectonic characteristics of both case studies, in an architecture reminiscent, yet not mimetic, of its origins. By putting together proposals of functional and formally interesting houses, students were trained in dealing with programme and circulation, and in exploring forms through model iterations.

Lent Term:
Unbearable lightness — an exploration of extreme weight and extreme

3. Make and Weigh

Material exploration was the theme of Brief 3. Students were asked to transform an object and produce light and heavy versions of it, in the dimensions of a cube, out of a low-cost or found materials. These included bread, nuts, soap, and even eggs; nothing like conventional building materials. The results were registered through photography and drawing, in a direct scale-less spatial translation of a material experiment.

4. Gap Filling

The object produced in Brief 4 became the tool for a “gap filling” exercise. The students were asked to identify and survey a narrow passage near their residence, and then introduce programme into it; a temporary space that would host an activity of their choice. Lightweight and heavyweight iterations, stemming from the previous brief, became instrumental in the design, while the tactile experience of space was combined with the programmatic choices of the students.

Easter Term: Facts and Fiction

5. No Man’s Land

Teaching online was an opportunity to work within remote locations that students and tutors would only visit virtually. Students embarked on an imaginary expedition of ghost towns around the globe; abandoned towns, evacuated for various reasons ranging from natural disasters to war and conflict. Students were asked to propose a living environment for a research group in which they would participate, in a future projection of fifteen years. Cinematography on the theme of emptiness and remoteness acted as a visual source of reference for the students’ projects.


Sajda Al Haj HamadElla Andrews

Damon Bennett

Devlin Bennett

Federica Bonato

Reuben J. Brown

Nicole Cacchione

Valeriia Chemirosova

Theo Davies-Jones

Freya Dougan

Leila Drew

Rami Elegbede

Ciara Fleming

Alex Freeman

Kam Galloway

Shivani Handa

Callum Henderson

Maddy Hobern

May Hussain

Joseph Jenner

Lixinyi Jing

Jada Johnson

Hanniya Kamran

Alicia Knight

Cody Knight

Zoe Kwatra

Shailaja Maheetharan

Ottoline Martin

Amelia Mills

Amber Nip

Amber Parr

Saaya Perera

Romy Pfeifer

Olly Player

Elisa Rahman

Liv Raitio

Haima Raman

Euan Russell

Leti Ryder

Isaac Simmonds-Douglas

Anu SofuyiIsabella Synek-Herd

Blanka Valcsicsák

Camille De Waele

Grace Wardle-Solano

Coco Emmanuelle Wheeler

Lola Wright

Tereza Radilova

Fabrizio Ballabio

Mart Barrass

Ann Bassett

Doreen Bernarth

Delfina Bocca

Shumi Bose

Julia Cabanas

Barbara Campbell-Lange

Margherita Cesca

Asli Çiçek

Spencer de Grey

Monia De Marchi

Francesca Dell’ Aglio

Alvaro Fidalgo Martin

Marcos Garcia Rojo

Ana Gatóo

Yelda Gin

Julika Gittner

Jane Hall

Francesca Hughes

David Isern

Ying Jin

Harikleia Karamali

Demetra Katsota

Sofia Krimizi

Kyriakos Kyriakou

Christiano Lamarque

Nuria Lombardero

Laurence Lumley

Ophelia Mantz

Victoria McReynolds

Johanna Muszbek

John Ng

Arantza Ozaeta

Jim Pockson

Sabrina Puddu

James Rixon

Stefanos Roimpas

Filomena Russo

Ingrid Schroder

Rory Sherlock

Nicholas Simcik Arese

Eva Sopeoglou

Teresa Stoppani

Nico Stutzin

Silvana Taher

Alasdair Travers

Sevgi Turkan

Manijeh Verghese

Amelia Villaplana

Alexandra Vougia

Max Cooper-Clark

Christian Swallow

Stefan Wolf

Special Thanks

Ingrid Schröder and James Campbell, for their standing
support throughout the year.


Year 1