AA Research Clusters are year-long special projects, activities and events that bring together diverse groups of AA staff, students and outside partners – audiences, specialists, researchers – in order to realise a body of focused research. Originally conceived in 2005, Research Clusters are mechanisms for triggering and integrating discussion and exchange across the school. Operating as ‘vertical units’, they are intended as platforms through which to explore and enhance existing and new territories and modes of research. The clusters are intended to promote the culture of applied research in the school.

Each year the AA Research Cluster Group, in consultation with existing cluster curators, takes applications from across the school for a new cycle of research areas; there are usually four clusters operating at any one time.

In addition to developing expertise and specific projects, Research Clusters are expected to challenge existing forms of research and presentation – exploring alternative ways in which work can be produced. These might include events, symposia, conferences, workshops, performances, publications, off- or on-site exhibitions, fabrications and interdisciplinary collaborative research and competitions.

 

Past Research Clusters

Urbanism and the Informal City

Launched by Jorge Fiori, Elena Pascolo and Alex Warnock-Smith

The aim of the cluster is to explore the concept of the ‘informal’ as a parallel modality that shapes the urban condition. The team is identifying unexplored themes and contradictions for designers, thinkers and practitioners to consider at a series of Unit ‘open-mike’ sessions, talk-shops and a symposium, leading to an international design workshop in 2011, followed by an exhibition and publication.
For more details, please contact academic@aaschool.ac.uk

Beyond Entropy: When Energy Becomes Form

Directed by Stefano Rabolli Pansera

The cluster attempts to fuse science, architecture and artistic collaboration in order to develop new ways of thinking about energy. The 12th International Exhibition in Venice marked the end of its first year and brought together work, research material and ideas for display and debate. http://beyondentropy.aaschool.ac.uk

Concrete Geometries

Directed by Marianne Mueller and Olaf Kneer

The research investigates the intimate relationship between spatial form and human processes, whether social, aesthetic or material. An international call for submissions in January 2010 attracted 415 entries from the fields of art, architecture, design and the humanities. A symposium was held in October 2010 with invited guests, and from this an exhibition and publication are forthcoming.
http://www.concrete-geometries.org

City Cultures

Initiated by Marina Lathouri

The research seeks to develop new conceptual frameworks that redefine what historically has been constructed and institutionalised as the ‘city’. The ideas generated in a seminar in 2009 fed into a 2010 conference seeking new manifestos on the city.
http://aacitycultures.blogspot.com

For more details, please contact director@aaschool.ac.uk

Paradise Lost


City Cultures


Concrete Geometries


Informal City


Saturated Space


Urban Prototypes

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