Today was the introduction to the AADRL. AADRL co-director Theo Spyropoulos gave a short presentation that was followed by an informal discussion about the programme's structure. The first words uttered by Spyropoulos were that this is not a "Digital Research Laboratory" but a "Design Research Laboratory". The digital is important, but the programme will not neglect the social, political, and architectural aspects of design (amongst other things). This was timely because it is very easy for a programme like the AADRL to be falsely accused of giving the digital thematic importance. Moreover, the presentation and the informal discussion focused heavily on the importance of the collaborative structure that the AADRL has adopted across the years (in the form of self-organizing teams of 3-4 individuals), a "participatory", "no-prescriptive" structure with "constant dialogue."
The studio work is going to start with 3 different workshops that student will choose from after the different tutors present a workshop brief. This means that self organizing teams will immediately form and the work will spring from there.
The presentation also situated the AADRL within the historical context of the Architecture Machine Group started by Nicholas Negroponte which later on became the famous MIT Media Lab.
The programme operates within a 3 year agenda, and this year will continue the agenda started last year, Proto-Design (More on that later).
P.S. The other studio tutors are Alisa Andrasek, Marta Male-Alemany, Patrick Schumacher, and Yusuke Obuchi. Along with these, other course tutors include: Jeroen van Ameijde, Shajay Bhooshan, Lawrence Friesnen, Hanif Kara, Riccardo Merello, Christos Passas, and Robert Stuart-Smith.