Design Studio IIB – Koha
KOHA: Reciprocal Interactions experience +encounter + exchange

Course co-ordinator: Jen Archer-Martin
Senior Tutor: Kate Linzey


Introduction and Aim

For the remainder of the semester we will examine the theme of koha through moments of creative practice, display and exchange. You will explore how spatial design can facilitate interactions in response to the resonance generated between creative practitioners and their audiences.


Koha is a gift freely given. How can you acknowledge your clients or your collaborators or communities you have worked with through your creative work? How can you cement and nurture ongoing relationships through giving something back or giving something away (whether that be a physical object, or your time or expertise)? How might you celebrate the outcomes for all parties involved? What is the relationship between gifter and gifted, and the possible indebtedness associated with this exchange? How can koha relate to hospitality, and social interaction and gatherings, to generate social action?


Link to Video tutorials 

Week 7: pre-design + proposal


Introduce Assignment 2 brief, creative practitioners and tasks for Week 7

Wednesday 1pm: tutorial with Georgina
Technical drawings of the existing building (Sketchup > Vectorworks)


Independent study for Thursday:

  1. Research your assigned creative practitioner. Prepare 3 boards (white A3 foam board with pin-up of research) of CP’s practice, process and exhibition conditions. Refer to questions/considerations covered in the class presentation on Stream to guide your research.
  2. Review and reflect on the design proposals from the first assignment. How might your CP inhabit your proposed space? What does it afford in terms of opportunities for experience/process, encounter/display and exchange? What limitations does it have? Would another design (or an aspect of one of the proposals) be a better starting point, and how? Write this up as your first blog post and create a 4th board outlining your initial ideas for your CP residency (what space/proposal/concept, why, ‘return brief’ outlining spatial needs for your particular CP residency, sketch plan considering experience/encounter/exchange zones or moments)
  3. Revisit your Sketchup model and Vectorworks technical drawings of the existing site. You will each need a good working model, plan, cross section and long section. Print your latest versions of your drawings for Thursday (A3)
  4. Add your blog link to the sheet in the Google Drive Folder


Present creative practitioner research, workshop with Meg and Kate

Library workshop to help with further in depth CP and precedent research

Technical support workshop (model, plan, sections) with Georgina & Jen (print A3 plan and section)

Independent study for Monday

  1. Continue to research, including finding precedents related to your CP’s particular modes of practice, display and exchange
  2. Write up a concept statement
  3. Prepare a second iteration of your sketch plan / planning diagram

[to bring and share for feedback on Monday]

  • Research: 3 boards (1 each for experience/process, encounter/display and exchange) with CP research and other design precedents associated with the particular modes of practice, display and engagement
  • Design: 1 board to include return brief, planning diagram / sketch plan, concept statement
  • Technical: Sketchup model of existing site, Vectorworks plan, cross section, long section


Week 8: concept design + lighting


  • Share Wk7 design deliverables (artist research, return brief / proposal) for 1:1 feedback
  • Work on your design concepts for your three key moments through drawing/sketching in section, at a scale that considers the body in space (these sketches don’t have to be to a particular scale but around 1:20 is good for thinking through how people engage/interact/use the space)
  • KOHA: collegial generosity and reciprocity through sharing design concepts:
    • Pin your proposal board to the display panel from Ass.1 that you are proposing to extract a starting point from, along with a note to that group expressing your intentions and what it is about their idea that you appreciate and would like to work with.
    • Look at any proposals pinned to your group’s panel and respond to the notes. You may want to acknowledge your willingness to ‘gift’ this design concept, and perhaps offer some thoughts in response to their proposal
  • Technical troubleshooting with Georgina
  • Intro focus for Wk8: CONCEPT DESIGN + LIGHTING

Wednesday 1pm: tutorial with Georgina
Lighting visualisation (Sketchup > Indigo > Photoshop)


Independent study for Thursday:

  1. CONCEPT DESIGN: Continue to generate and iterate your design concepts for your three moments 
    • use mainly hand sketching (especially in section) and a bit of sketchup to explore your ideas
    • have a go at visualising one of your lighting concepts using Indigo and Photoshop (see Wednesday tutorial)
    • make a list of spatial requirements for each space/moment/activity e.g. furniture, equipment, lighting, sound
  2. PRECEDENTS: Research lighting precedents related to your artist and design concepts for your three moments – check out Jen and Kate’s mural boards for initial inspiration (links to these on Stream under wk7 Ass.2)
  3. LIGHT BOX: Have a play with generating atmosphere through the relationship between light/shadow/material:
    • make a box using your 4x white foamboard A3s
    • make a ‘lid’ for your box that generates a lighting effect inside the box when you shine light through it
    • play around with light in a dark space and document the effects using photograph/video (you may need to make a hole in one of your panels or take one side off)
    • have a look at the examples on Jen’s mural board
  4. READING: Have a look at the Week 8 – lighting resources on Stream and READ the reading in preparation for Thursday’s lighting workshop


Share work in progress and workshop Wk8 deliverables
Lighting workshop with Sven


Independent study for Monday

  1. Continue working on your design concepts, with a focus on lighting
  2. LIGHTING ANALYSIS: in groups, visit a space in the city and analyse the lighting. Prepare an A3 document/booklet with photos and notes identifying lighting layers, sources, qualities etc
    • Overview
    • Breakdown of various areas and lighting design
    • Plan and section with a key showing light sources
    • Plan showing lux levels
    • Plan showing lighting layers
  3. Complete your lighting explorations:
    • light box tests (documented through photos/video)
    • lighting render of one of your concepts
    • photoshop lighting into one of your concept design section sketches

[to bring and share for feedback on Monday]

  • Research: lighting precedents -1 board (individual), lighting analysis (group)
  • Design: 3 boards, one for each key moment, with concept design sketches, sections, programme, spatial requirements etc
  • Technical: lighting explorations as above (light box, render, section)


Week 9: developed design + sections


  • Share lighting analyses
  • 1:1 feedback on concept design, choose a moment to work on detailed section
  • Intro focus for Wk9: DEVELOPED DESIGN + LIGHTING

Wednesday 1pm: tutorial with Georgina
Detailed sections (Vectorworks)


Independent study for Thursday:

  1. DEVELOPED DESIGN: Iterate your design based on feedback.
    • Finalise your overall design concept and three key moments. Represent your overall design via an overall plan and section (1:100).
    • Develop the design of your three key moments through detailed sections (1:20). You should have drafts of these for Thursday.
  2. RESEARCH TO INFORM DEVELOPED DESIGN: Continue to research precedents and find information to inform the dimensions, structure and materials of your design, and how you can communicate it via a detailed section.
  3. Fill out the google sheet in the shared folder saying how you will get to ECC lighting for our visit on Thursday. We will meet in the studio at 9am and leave around 10.30 for an 11.00-12.00 visit.


Share work in progress and workshop Wk9 deliverables, with lighting, dimensions, annotations 
> 9am PIN UP plan, section and 3x detailed sections

11am (leave 10.30) ECC visit

Independent study for Monday

Complete developed design deliverables, prepare for INTERIM Monday

Developed design deliverables for INTERIM Monday:

  • Design concept statement (50-100 words) giving an overview of how your design proposes to facilitate a residency for your Creative Practitioner, building on your selected starting point from the Ass.1 proposals
  • Overall plan and section (1:100) 
  • 3x key moments: perspective view + detailed section (1:20) with dimensions, annotations, lighting for each moment
  • Key research images with captions/annotations


Week 10: detail design


  • workshop possible details for each key moment

Wednesday 1pm: tutorial with Georgina
Details (Vectorworks)


Independent study for Thursday:

    • Refine your design in response to feedback.
    • Select a detail to focus on for each key moment. These should be details that help us to understand your concept and overall design intent – how people will experience the space, as well as how it is built.
    • Have a go at figuring out the details: how they would be made, materials & connections. Use whatever design processes (e.g. sketching, physical modelling, digital modelling) you find work best for you to think these through.
    • Go to the tutorial on Wednesday or watch the recording.
    • For Thursday, you should aim to have initial sketch designs for 3x details, and have had a go at doing one of them as a technical drawing (Vectorworks).
    • Find precedents of similar details, and examples of detail drawings.
    • Analyse them to understand how they are made and how the details are communicated through drawings. 
    • Research materials for your design. Consider in particular how they interact with lighting.


Share work in progress, workshop details
Clarify deliverables for detail design checkpoint submission and final presentation/submission.

Independent study for Monday

Complete detail design deliverables, prepare for checkpoint submission

Detail design deliverables. Please submit to Stream dropbox and have printed for feedback by 9am Monday.

  • RESEARCH: details, materials, connections
  • DESIGN: finalised design with revised draft of overall plan and section, 3x detailed sections & views
  • TECHNICAL: draft of technical detail drawings (Vectorworks, exported as PDFs)


Week 11 & 12: design communication + video + poster

Monday/Thursday Week 11:

  • 1 on 1 tutorials

Wednesday 1pm: tutorial with Georgina
Indesign layout for posters; Video/gif techniques


Independent study for Week 11:

    • Finalise your design including overall, three key moments and details.
    • Do a draft of your poster layout and decide what each image/drawing is going to be, so you can be working directly on those images/drawings. Start generating your final images/drawings.
    • Have a go at your lighting plan.
    • Find precedents of drawing/visualisation styles to help you develop your presentation images.
    • Analyse them to understand the techniques, qualities and how/what they communicate. 
    • Explore these ideas in your own images.

For Monday, tile print a draft of your poster, with work-in-progress images and/or placeholders. Posters should include the following content (or a version thereof, as discussed with your lecturers):

  • Hero image (optional but recommended as it draws us in and sets up the ‘vibe’ of your proposal)
  • Title and concept statement
  • Overallplan and section (1:100 recommended, some of you may need a plan for each level of your design, sections can be long or cross sections)
  • For each of your three key moments: view, detailed section (1:20/1:50 recommended), detail (1:2/1:5/1:10 recommended) – you may choose your three most important details overall rather than one for each moment
  • Lighting plan with key (may be on your poster or on a separate printed sheet/document)

Here are a couple of example layouts:

poster layout options

A few general tips for your posters:

  • Do your layout and text in Indesign, not Photoshop, for better quality
  • Keep it simple – no fancy backgrounds that distract from the content, no borders around images unless this is a carefully considered layout decision
  • Do test prints at full scale (tiled) to check image quality/resolution, legibility/readability, colour (this last one you should try and get a test print at wherever your final poster will be printed, if the colour is particularly important)
  • If you want images/colour to go all the way to the edges with no white border, you will need to trim your poster after it is printed. Allow for this in your layout (ideally add an additional ‘bleed’, usually 3-5mm, that will then be trimmed to size).
  • Spell check your text!
  • Don’t forget to put your name, course number and date (year)
  • Manage and check your file size. Often this is about ensuring individual images are saved at the size and resolution that they will be printed, and ensure any layers in Photoshop are flattened before exporting as a JPG then importing into your Indesign layout. If laying out and exporting your poster from Photoshop (not recommended), when exporting as a PDF do not export layers (uncheck ‘layers’ in the ‘save as’ dialogue box). Keeping file sizes under control will also reduce stress as things won’t take so long to load, save, print, etc! 🙂
  • PLAN AHEAD so that you get your posters to the printer in time (early Tuesday recommended but check with the printers) and then you can work on your video/gif while it’s at the printers.


Notes re videos:

  • These can be gifs or videos, made using the software of your choice
  • The minimum requirement is a 2-frame gif that shows a simple change over time
  • The point of the video is that it is an opportunity to showcase a time-based element of your work. This may be something that changes, something that moves, or the way the inhabitant’s experience shifts as you move through the space – whatever is most relevant to your project.
  • Videos should be no longer than 1 minute (ideally 15-30 seconds). Gifs can loop indefinitely, but a single loop should be no longer than the above (keep it short, with appropriate transition timing).


Monday Week 11:

  • Pin up draft posters (tile printed full scale) by 9am
  • group poster feedback tutorials

Monday 1pm: tutorial with Georgina


  • All posters to be installed and videos/gifs loaded ready to play by 9am

Last modified: October 9, 2020