Download brief for the Greater London Authority-led competition here:
Please notice that the stage 1 submission of projects is on 23 February.

Date Submitted: 8/2/2012
The Tbilisi Prosecutor's Office, Georgia, opened on 25 January.
See http://www.justice.gov.ge/index.php?lang_id=GEO&sec_id=23&info_id=4074
The National Olympic Committee House, Georgia was opened on 19 September 2011 by Prince Albert of Monaco
See http://www.geonoc.org.ge/index.php?pg=nws&id=191
The House of Justice Lazika, Georgia, will be up in September 2012

Visit the practice website at www.architectsofinvention.com

Date Submitted: 6/2/2012
Almost three tons of concrete are produced every year for each man, woman and child on the planet.  It is now second only to water in terms of human consumption. Yet how has the astonishing take-up of this new medium within little over a century been accommodated into our mental universe? While it has transformed the lives of many people, in western countries it has been widely vilified, blamed for making everywhere look the same, and for erasing nature.

Architects and engineers, although they have primary responsibility for 'interpreting' concrete, are not the only people to employ the medium, and many other occupations – politicians, artists, writers, filmmakers, churchmen – have made use of concrete for purposes of their own. The results are often contentious, and draw attention to the contradictions present in how we think about our physical surroundings.

UCL’s free public Lunch Hour Lectures run on Tuesdays and Thursdays, 13:15–13:55. These lectures are free and open to all on a first-come, first-served basis and require no booking. Lectures can also be watched live online at www.ucl.ac.uk/lhl/streamed  or after the event at their YouTube channel.

Date Submitted: 2/2/2012
Alexandros Kallegias (DRL’11) and Kensuke Hotta will be exhibiting studio work from DLAB.

Read more at http://www.kinetica-artfair.com/
Date Submitted: 1/2/2012
'Sustainability is commonly perceived as the antithesis of indulgence. But is environmental responsibility really all about renouncing enjoyment, lightness and humour? A new breed of designers is finding ways to combine ideological commitments with life's pleasures, revealing an untapped realm of opportunity at the convergence between greenness and gratification.'

The article, part of the series 'States of Design', by MoMA curator Paola Antonelli in the January issue of Domus (issue 954), focuses on green design and featured the AA thesis project. Titled 'Expandable Surface System', it  was developed by Pablo Esteban Zamorano, Nacho Martí and Jacob Bek, for the EmTech Masters in 2011. It researched into complex geometries and cutting patterns in plywood sheets, pushing the boundaries of standard plywood sheet material and digital fabrication.

As part of the research the students  fabricated several prototypes and one of them, 'Expandable Surface Pavilion', a small meeting-room pavilion for the Spoga Exhibition in Cologne, Germany, is being featured in Domus (page 104). It has also been featured in several design blogs like FRAME, Design boom, among others. It will be also featured in Vogue-Australia in March.

Read Domus now
Date Submitted: 30/1/2012
The deadline for applications is Sunday 4 March.

Download pdf with full details here

For more information, please go to:
Date Submitted: 30/1/2012
The talk will be followed by a conversation with V&A curator Jana Scholze.
For more information and the full schedule, please go to:
Date Submitted: 26/1/2012
Eleftherios Ambatzis, who graduated from Diploma Unit 13 two years ago, recently designed the front cover of HOME magazine (december issue), a Greek design magazine (circulation: 30.000).

The base for the design was a Fourth Year project developed with Natasha Sandmeier and Monia de Marchi. 'I transformed the drawing, in order to look like a gothic rose window and matched it with a limited edition table which I have designed.'

An interview with him on his work was also presented in the same issue. In that section part of his Fifth year project was presented.

Read more at:


Date Submitted: 25/1/2012
They are now in talks with the local municipalities about implementation of their project.

An exhibition showing all the winning projects will be set up for the Results Forum in spring 2012 in one of the European cities partnering the project, which will give municipalities and young teams from different countries the opportunity to compare their points of view at a European scale.

Jury Assessment
The jury appreciated the simplicity and coherency of this proposal. The presentation communicates an optimal choice for a light rail route and its infrastructural nodes between the cities, resulting from a traffic analysis that compares a set of alternative rail lines.

The scheme concentrates on the development of each node as a potential attractor, or place of encounter, for the larger region through a series of bridges across the river. Firstly, the bridges are intended to connect neighborhoods that are currently cut off by the river. This approach focuses on supporting pedestrian and bicycle mobility and expands upon the cities’ ambitions toward broader strategies for sustainable transportation. Secondly, the proposed bridges host programs supporting public and collective use in order to raise their value beyond pure traffic functions. In this sense, the bridges are conceptualized as programmed “destinations”. Thirdly, new qualities are added independent of the planned light rail project that increase the feasibility of such a large and ambitious vision.

The Jury agreed that the manner in which the proposal positions the bridges as events along the proposed line of public transport is fitting to the challenge of providing current automobile drivers with attractive public alternatives. Although abstract in their current presentation, the architectural landmarks of the bridges potentially provide the cities of Porsgrunn and Skien with their first visible link. Additionally, the Jury agreed that this proposal was successful in addressing the larger stated challenge of Europan 11 – ‘doing more with less’.

About EUROPAN 11
The EUROPAN 11 competition, a competition of ideas on urbanism and architecture leading to implementation, conducted in partnership with European municipalities, local authorities and clients, was organised as a joint initiative by 17 European structures. 

Reflecting the mobilisation of European cities behind environmental goals, the competition identified three main thematic focuses to be explored on the different sites proposed: 'Identity', 'Uses' and 'Connectivity'.

The shortlist of proposals was drawn up by the national juries between July and October 2011. This was followed by a European comparative analysis of the shortlisted ideas, which took place at the Cities and Juries Forum held on 4–5 November 2011 in Oslo in Norway . The final selection of the winning projects by the national juries took place in November with the final announcement on Thursday 15 December.

In addition to the competition of ideas, municipalities that have entered sites have undertaken to follow up with commissions for urban studies and/or implementations.

More information:


Date Submitted: 24/1/2012

‘Keep it authentic’; ‘Stop the exclusion of local businesses’’ ‘We don’t need another Carnaby Street’. Scrawled on a chalkboard standing in Soho’s Berwick Street, these are just a few of the responses gathered by two architecture students who have been asking locals what they want for the future of this historic market.

Since mid-November, Sophie Ramsbotham and Alex Furunes, both AA students (Inter 1) have been running a regular stall on the market, collecting drawings and comments from local traders and passers-by on the chalkboard and through video interviews (see Time Out blog http://now-here-this.timeout.com). The project, called Positive Dialogues, comes as plans are underway to revitalise the formerly busy street, which has seen a drop in trade over the past year.

Ramsbotham and Furunes hope their own consultation will give a voice to locals’ concerns. “We are worried that yet another generic approach to design, which doesn’t reflect the diversity of Berwick Street, might be seen as the answer, ‘ says Ramsbotham. How can we capture the energy that exist in Soho and put it into the redevelopment of the street?’ 

The Positive Dialogues stall is on Berwick Street, on Tuesdays midday to 17:00.

See www.positivedialogues.com

See Time Out 19–25 January for full report.

Date Submitted: 23/1/2012
Sadly Phil Gusack (AADipl 1974) passed away peacefully in November after a courageous battle with a brain tumour. Phil was a real maverick and quite elusive but architecture (as well as attractive women and Martinis) remained his passion and on his return to the UK in the last few years he reconnected with AA friends such as Doug Patterson, Peter Cook, Michael Sorkin and Sally Mackereth.

A suitably uplifting wake is being planned to celebrate his life on Friday 17 February at The London Sketch Club, 7 Dilke Street, Chelsea. If you would like to attend or to send anecdotes or messages, please email sally@wellsmackereth.com
For more information see www.gusack.com
Date Submitted: 18/1/2012
Date Submitted: 18/1/2012
Superfusionlab is exhibiting at the Aram Gallery in Covent Garden, London in the 'Send to Print/ Print to Send' exhibition celebrates 3d Printing in the design industry, Friday 13 January to Saturday 25 February.
For more information about the exhibition, go to www.thearamgallery.org
Superfusionlab exhibits the physical model of their International Competition entry for the Science Centre for the Promotion of Science in Belgrade.  
The Centre for the Promotion of Science will be used for the display and education of historic and contemporary advances in science and scientific research. The vast range of investigations and experimentation directed the creation of a two level display building, floor and roof, that are seamlessly connected to one another via a terraced set of saddle-formed arches connecting the two layers of Science Centre visually, outlining a playful format for the interior and exterior display of scientific discoveries. The façade is constructed from a series of large-scale concrete louvers which are organized to minimize direct sunlight but allow constant indirect light into the gallery.
See www.superfusionlab.com
Date Submitted: 16/1/2012

Reforming Registrar at the Architectural Association School,  co-Founder of Circle 33 Housing Trust, and 'Queen of the Islands' development planner 

Beverly Bernstein, who died on 22 December 2011, came to London from New York with her husband, David, in 1964 intending to spend a year or so here. Instead they stayed and made significant contributions to architectural education, social housing and development planning in both the UK and overseas.

Her appointment in her early 20s to the role of Senior Registrar at the Architectural Association School coincided with the end of a turbulent period in the AA’s history which stabilised during the interim Principalship of Professor Otto Koenigsberger of the AA’s Tropical School. She became part of the selection process for the new principal, John Lloyd, and a lifelong friend of Otto.

John Lloyd joined the AA from Ghana and the radical and massive rehousing project recreating communities displaced by the Volta dam which he oversaw as the Dean of the Architecture and Engineering Faculty of the University of Kumasi. He was determined to develop at the AA the effective multi-disciplinary educational processes they had pioneered. These were eagerly accepted by the AA students and faculty but less so by the architectural educational establishment elsewhere. But the AA is a private college founded by students in 1847 to help students teach each other so these concepts had been accepted for over a century;  that self-regulating students work on live projects and employ their own tutors on limited term contracts. This revolutionised UK architectural education. Beverly was the right person for the new registrar’s role combining creative management with sound financial sense and the ability to form a young, responsive and fun-loving  administrative team who worked with the projects groups, whilst also ensuring that they were able to gain their professional qualifications simultaneously. This process was studied with great interest as the London and Manchester Business Schools were formed.  Her reform of the AA’s organisation was tested both when negotiations went on for two years on the merger of the AA School with Imperial College and when they failed, as the AA continued its independent path.

In 1970 she left the AA to follow her development planning interests working with both Colin Buchanan and Partners and Land Use Consultants.  By chance rather than design she specialised in the development planning of islands and had success in the Seychelles, Malta and the Channel Islands and, curiously, Saudi Arabia. She edited Habitat International, Housing Review and The Works of Charles Abrams. A little known fact was that she, together with David Bernstein and David Levitt, had a significant effect on social housing, helping to create the modern housing association movement and in 1968 Circle 33 Housing Trust which has become the very successful Circle Anglia Housing Association.

Beverly Bernstein was born Beverly Joan Liden in New York in 1939, the daughter of an executive of A&P Stores. She read Labour Economics at Cornell and as an indication of her diverse interests studied a subsidiary in European literature under Vladimir Nabakov. She became an economic researcher for the US Conference Board and then the British Institute of Management in London. She was awarded an MPhil in Town Planning from University College, London in 1974 and became a British subject in 1988. In retirement she needed her tennis playing prowess to counter the efforts of being a restaurant critic of the Hampstead and Highgate Express. 

Contact:  David Bernstein       020 7794 2668

Date Submitted: 16/1/2012
The architect Isi Metzstein, born in 1928, has died following a long illness.
Read the Building Design obituary: http://www.bdonline.co.uk/news/isi-metzstein-%281928-2012%29/5030214.article
Date Submitted: 16/1/2012


The AA School in realtime



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