Director Sam Jacoby Staff Maria Shéhérazade Giudici, Mark Campbell, Adrian Lahoud (external thesis supervisor)
20 months (five terms, including thesis work)
The MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design cultivates research and design across architecture, urban design and planning. The programme prepares students for a long-term research trajectory through a rigorous methodological framework and supervision. Although conceived as a stand-alone degree, the training in research and thesis work leads many graduates into advanced PhD studies, teaching and research-based practices.
The first year of the programme is mainly taught, introducing students to research methods, academic writing, advanced analytical techniques and computational skills in preparation for an independent dissertation project. At the end of the first year, students propose their research topics and aims, which, once approved, are developed through design research, speculative proposals and critical writing throughout the second year.
The programme pursues original enquiries into architecture and architectural urbanism and their relations to urban design and territorial planning. It advances design research as an intellectual problem, exploring the relationship between theory and design for disciplinary knowledge production, and a practical problem, how design research can affect practice. Within these investigations, equal importance is given to written and designed work.
The ambitions of Projective Cities are framed by the propositions: that the urban and its cultural, socio-political, environmental and economic contexts are defined by design operatives at different scales; that architectural and urban plans are the collective outcome of these contexts; and that knowledge production (theory) and formal production (practice) are methodologically linked. Architecture and urbanism are symbiotic modes of enquiry driven by relevance and agency within a field. This field is defined in terms of a series of distinct diagrams that are always social and spatial.
Projective Cities seeks exceptional thinkers, gifted designers and critical writers with an interest in the future of our cities. Fully dedicated to individual research - with the dissertation accounting for two-thirds of the programme - a high level of self-motivation and critical thinking is expected.
Sam Jacoby is a chartered architect with an AA Diploma and a doctorate from the Technische Universität Berlin. He has worked in the UK, US and Malaysia and has taught at the University of Nottingham, the Bartlett and since 2002 at the AA. He co-founded Projective Cities in 2009.
Maria Shéhérazade Giudici is the founder of the publishing and educational platform Black Square. She earned her PhD from TU Delft. She has taught at the Berlage Institute and BIArch Barcelona and worked with offices BAU Bucharest, Donis Rotterdam and Dogma Brussels.
Mark Campbell has taught history and design at the AA since 2005. He completed his PhD and MA as a Fulbright Scholar at Princeton University and undergraduate BArch (Hons) and BA at Auckland University. He is a Visiting Professor of Architecture at Southeast University, Nanjing, and has also taught at the Cooper Union, Princeton University and Auckland University. He is the founding director of Unreal Estates and has worked in practice in Auckland, New York and London. In addition to publishing extensively, he has served as the managing editor of Grey Room and the Cooper Union Archive. He is the Director of the MPhil in Media Practices and ‘Paradise Lost’ AA Research Cluster.
Adrian Lahoud holds a PhD from the University of Technology, Sydney. Currently he is Head of Architecture at the RCA. He was Programme Leader of MArch Urban Design at the Bartlett, acting Director of the Centre for Research Architecture Goldsmiths and Director of the MArch in Urban Design at the University of Technology, Sydney.