Atmospheric Architecture Agency (AAA) is a research-based design practice that explores relational, sensorial, performative, affective and ecological aspects of Architecture. It both looks into the historiography of spatial atmospheres and critically engages with the development of new tools, methods, and creative processes that define atmospheric design, examining their implications for architectural practice and pedagogy.
AAA is led by Izabela Wieczorek, yet, like atmosphere itself, it does not have strictly delimited boundaries. Its fields of operation are informed by external agents and collaborators involved in each project. The working method promotes both individual lines of enquiry as well as collective and trans-disciplinary dialogues, combining spatial design, philosophy and the arts and sciences. The scale of the projects range from intimate objects to installations, buildings, landscapes and cities.
With a focus on applied aspects of spatial atmospheres and urban ambiances, AAA’s speculative and built works, actions, writings, and pedagogies constitute a constantly evolving atmospheric taxonomy of projects.
An Atmospheric Becoming…
‘For me atmosphere is a materiality that exists between objects, distorting plastic values. Instead of making it float overhead like a puff of air (because culture has taught me that atmosphere is intangible or made of gas, etc.), I feel it, seek it, seize hold of it and emphasize it by using all the various effects which light, shadows, and streams of energy have on it. Hence, I create the atmosphere!’
Umberto Boccioni, ‘The Plastic Foundations of Futurist Sculpture and Painting.’ In Futurism. An Anthology, edited by Lawrence Rainey, Christine Poggi and Laura Wittman (Yale University Press, 2009), 140. First published in 1913.
Take a look at some of the AAA's on-going research projects that establish a network of productive connections between diverse ideas, meanings, places, temporalities and materialities, searching for alternative forms of environmental imagination.
Whether it takes built, speculative or written form, AAA approaches architecture as a territory with elastic boundaries – a tangle of diverse practices, in which experience, design, construction, communication and dissemination of architecture are all important and intrinsically connected.
Revisit a series of earlier projects which have cultivated AAA's curiosity about new ways of understanding design and knowing through atmospheres, exploring affective, performative, and participatory aspects of spaces and places.
is an EU-registered architect (COAM Nº 16.452), researcher and educator. She holds a MSc in Architecture and Urban Design from Politechnika Krakowska, and a PhD in Architecture from ETSAM UPM within the Programme Theory and Practice of Architecture. Situated at the nexus of academia and practice, Izabela’s research focuses on the reception and production of spatial atmospheres. By defining a line of experimentation and inquiry inherent to the agency of materiality and perception, her work engages in a discussion of the inextricable relation between atmosphere and place-making, revealing its affective, environmental, societal and political significance.
Over the last 20 years, Izabela’s design practice, scholarly work and teaching—developed both individually and collectively—have covered fields and topics such as questions of perception and representation, somatic practices, mapping phenomena, technical mediation and the process of reflecting on and developing architecture by means of experimentation in the intersection of diverse disciplines and art forms.
Her work has been presented, published and exhibited internationally, including, among others, the exhibition 'Cartographies of the Imagination' at OmVed Gardens in London (2021) ‘Works+Words Biennale of Artistic Research in Architecture’ at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation in Copenhagen (2019-2020), the Spanish Pavilion Exhibition ‘#Becoming’ at the XVI Venice Architecture Biennale (2018), and ‘Engaging through Architecture’ at the Milan Design Week (2015).
Izabela has lectured widely and has been invited as a guest critic, lecturer and examiner to a number of institutions. Prior to joining the University of Reading, where she is currently an Associate Professor in Architecture and a Master of Architecture Programme Director, she taught at Arkitektskolen Aarhus (AAA), Departamento de Arquitectura Universidad de Alcalá de Henares (UAH), Escuela de Arquitectura Universidad Francisco de Vitoria (UFV), Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca Campus de Madrid (UPSAM), and Instituto Europeo di Design Madrid (IEDM). She has also been a visiting lecturer in Energy and Sustainability at a Postgraduate Professional Programme of Advanced Studies in Collective Housing run by ETSAM UPM and ETH Zürich.
From 2003 to 2017 Izabela was a co-director of the Madrid-based architecture firm Gálvez+Wieczorek, whose work focused on civic ecologies, alternative modes of inhabitation, and sensory design and experiences in architecture and landscape. G+W’s projects have been awarded prizes as well as published and exhibited internationally, including a monographic exhibition and publication Excepto 21, Active Cartographies, at Fundación Cultural COAM (2008).
Since 2017, building on previous research and following G+W’s ethos, Izabela has been developing a project of ‘Atmospheric Architecture Agency’ (AAA). Conceived as a research-based design practice, with a particular interest in trans-disciplinary correspondences and experimental design methodologies, the AAA engages with both historiography and applied aspects of spatial atmospheres and urban ambiances, exploring their implications for architectural practice and pedagogy.
Izabela is an associate member of the international research platform Atmospheric Spaces: Aura, Stimmung, Ambiance, the International Ambiances Network, and the Urban Living Research Group at UoR. She is also a member of the reviewing committee of Ambiances. International Journal of Sensory Environment, Architecture and Urban Space.