Walter’s Way
The Self-Build Revolution

AA Gallery 16/1/2016 - 24/3/2016

Exhibitions are open Monday to Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday 10:00-17:00.
Exhibition extended until 24 March 2016.


Presenting the work of the revolutionary architect Walter Segal, Walter’s Way – The Self-Build Revolution focuses on Segal’s work with the Lewisham self-builders of the 1980s and displays the application of Segal’s method today. Housed in and around a newly constructed section of a Segal house, from which visitors can experience the fundamental elements of the style, are original drawings, documents and furniture designed by Segal alongside archival films and photographs, plus contemporary photographs by Taran Wilkhu and a new interpretation of Segal’s technique by 2015 Turner Prize winner Assemble.

Walter Segal was born in Berlin in 1907, he came to England in the 1930s to study Egyptology and teach here at the AA. The development of his iconic self-build method during the 1960s enabled ordinary people, young and old, to design and build their own houses quickly and cheaply using readily available materials in standard sizes, without the need for specialist wet-trades such as bricklaying and plastering. In the late 1970s the ‘Segal method’ was adopted by Lewisham Council for an experimental self-building housing project across four sites. This exhibition concentrates on two of the resulting streets, Walter's Way and Segal Close, which were built under Segal’s personal guidance.

There are currently about 200 Segal houses in the UK and there is growing interest today in self-building as a response to the UK’s shortage of affordable homes. Segal’s legacy can be found in various low-cost, quick-build housing innovations such as WikiHouse, Y-Cube, and IKEA flat pack houses, as well as in contemporary housing projects such as RUSS, a community land trust developing a Segal-inspired housing project in Lewisham. Segal’s ideology continues to influence housing thirty years after its creation.

Curated by Alice Grahame with AA Exhibitions. We would like to thank Jon Broome and John Segal for their support, generosity, guidance and for the loan of archival material.

Event Walter Segal and the Future of Self-Build. Panel discussion with Jon Broome (architect and collaborator with Segal on the 1980s Lewisham housing projects), Charlie Luxton (architectural designer and broadcaster), Alice Grahame (freelance journalist and resident of Walter’s Way) and others, AA Lecture Hall, 26 January 2016, beginning at 6.00pm

Meada: Furnishing the Landscape

37 Ground Floor Corridor 21/1/2016 - 31/3/2016

Exhibition open Mon-Fri 10:00-18:00

A photographic exhibition following the building of the Maeda Summer School: Furnishing the Landscape at Hooke Park in Dorset.

A series of workshops studying the context and landscape of the forest, the Maeda workshop will make further explorations into design, and build the main gates that will replace the existing piece, which is reaching the end of its life. We will re-contextualize the gate by setting out potential footpaths, whilst collaborating with local artists, makers, historians and other interested parties on speculating and planning future events in the woods. This will involve the making site-specific furniture by taking sectional measurements directly from the landscape of Hooke Park.

Some Reasons for Travelling to Italy
Peter Wilson

Front Members' Room 16/1/2016 - 13/2/2016

Exhibitions are open Monday to Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday 10:00-17:00.

Some Reasons for Travelling to Italy
refers not only to the pilgrimages of architects from Inigo Jones to Le Corbusier, but also those of the grand tourists of the 18th century, romantics of the 19th century and icons of the 20th century like Ezra Pound, Sigmund Freud or Brigitte Bardot. This long tradition included Peter Wilson, whose travels to Italy to develop two architectural competition entries resulted in the new Monteluce Quartier in Perugia, which is currently nearing completion.

A few of these journeys were documented in AA Files #68, most are illustrated by drawings which include 'Counter-factual Histories' (Jorge Luis Borges) in the form of handcrafted miniatures. Such works may be anachronistic in the age of digital spectacle but they are also reminders of cultural continuity. Some of the reasons for travelling to Italy include: to live cheaply, to travel with a consumptive relative, to look up, to abandon a bikini, to disappear, to make the Pope smile, to invent neo-classicism, to research Tarantism, to discover a telefonino on Etna and in an English garden in Naples.

Peter Wilson is a partner of the German based BOLLES+WILSON and received the Gold Medal from the RAIA in his native Australia. Wilson first exhibited drawings in the Front Members’ Room thirty years ago whist a Unit Master at the AA.

A publication accompanies the exhibition and is available in the AA Bookshop.

South Wharf Road East
Stephen Carter

AA Bar 16/1/2016 - 24/3/2016

Exhibitions are open Monday to Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday 10:00-17:00.

Stephen Carter’s images are formed through competing actions of addition and subtraction. The works depict actual sites and structures, but there is an indirect purchase on the external world - viewing reality through an interpretive lens in the manner of a plan, a model or a map. Following Carter’s paintings from the turn of the millennium, which trace the organisation of newspaper pages or the use of particular words in the media on a single day, the new paintings also bear witness to the ebb and flow of city life and document its evolving manifestations.

The visual subject matter here - construction, demolition, reconfiguration and reinvention of urban sites - has a longer life than the fleeting imagery of our media channels but it presents the same daily process: overwriting one version of modernity with another.  Whilst the titles describe specific vantage points in London and indicate the direction of view, this approach to representation sits at the opposite end of the spectrum to street photography. The experience of urban living in the era of globalization, as it is described in these paintings, utilizes remnants of its own immediate past to locate intimations of the near future.

Stephen Carter (b.1949) lives and works in London. He is represented by Beardsmore Gallery.

Contact details

Head of Exhibitions:
Vanessa Norwood
T: +44 (0)20 7887 4031

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The monitoring visit resulted in the following outcome:

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