Architecture Design Studio

Architecture Design Studio
Inhabiting London artifacts

Davide Sacconi, Michael Hadjistyllis, Jad Semaan with Fabrizio Ballabio

The research field of the Architecture Design Studio emerges at the intersection of two themes that are crucial for London, the contemporary discourse, and the practice of architecture: the “housing question” and the “artifact”.

On the one hand the Studio will research and speculate on the very idea of inhabiting a space, as opposed to the current notion of housing, which has increasingly become an abstract object: a matter of managing growing quantities, inhabiting financial investments, harvesting precious information. On the other hand, the students will be called to study, represent and operate on existing artifacts of different periods, functions and significance, in order to transform them into new forms of dwelling.

Setting the problem of the home against the materiality of the artifact, physically and conceptually has the ambition to formulate a method to rethink both the conventional notion of housing and the practices of preservation, building conversion, urban renewal and city regeneration. Rather than a constraint to creativity or a technical problem to be solved, the artifact stands in front of the architect in all its materiality and potential to become an example of an alternative form of life.


Davide Sacconi is an architect and PhD candidate at the Architectural Association of London. He graduated with honors in Architecture at the Università degli Studi di Roma Tre and earned his postgraduate research diploma from the Berlage Institute of Rotterdam. He worked for internationally renowned offices, such as IaN+ and MVRDV, as well as with his own firms TSPOON and UGO, on a variety of architecture, landscape, urban design and editorial projects. He is teaching in the UK since 2012 in various schools including The Bartlett School of Architecture UCL, the Liverpool University and the Architectural Association. He is currently the Director of the Syracuse Architecture London Program.






Michael Hadjistyllis is an architect and urban designer. He graduated from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece) with a postgraduate degree in urbanism obtained at the Technical University of Delft and at IUAV di Venezia. Since 2009 he joined OMA where he worked in a variety of projects, contexts and scales from concept design to detail. In 2014 he curated the Cyprus Pavillion at the 14th architecture Biennale of Venice, that was distinct by its artistic merit.






Jad Semaan is an architect and an urbanist. He graduated from the Lebanese American University, and obtained his postgraduate research diploma from the Berlage Institute of Rotterdam. In 2011 he joined OMA where he worked at various design stages, on diverse projects, such as the New Court Bank in London, Bryghusprojektet in Copenhagen, Axel Springer in Berlin and the Qatar National Library in Doha. He writes in architectural magazines and was featured in publications like, Hong Kong Fantasies and Backstage Architecture at the Venice Biennale in 2012.




fabrizio_ballabioFabrizio Ballabio is an architect and writer based in London. He graduated in Switzerland at the Academy of Architecture in Mendrisio (AAM) and received his Masters with Distinctions at the Architectural Association in London (AA). Ballabio currently teaches History and Theories at the AA and at the Royal College of Arts (RCA). He is the co-founder of åyr, a London based art collective exploring the complex evolution of domesticity in the post-internet city, and part of the online research platform on industrial architecture, Factory Futures. He has recently lectured at AA, the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A), The Barber Institute (University of Birmingham) and the Università degli Studi di Napoli Federico II, and at the Bauhaus Kolloquim in Weimar (2016). He is a regular contributor of the academic journal AA Files.