We understand that fees and financial assistance are important considerations when choosing where to study. This section aims to provide you with a summary of the fees and the financial assistance available to prospective and current students.

The Architectural Association is committed to providing as many talented students as possible the opportunity to study at its School in London. Around one in four AA students receive financial assistance from the School's Scholarship, Bursary and Assistantship programme.


1. FEES


Tuition Fees for 2018/19 Academic Year

AA Council has approved the Tuition fee levels for the 2018-19 academic year (Ordinary General Meeting [OGM] held on Monday 11th December 2017).

The Head of Finance has verified the amounts and the Tuition fee levels are confirmed as outlined below. In addition to the tuition fees, all Undergraduate and Graduate students are required to pay an additional £95 AA Membership and Student Forum fee per year. This amount will be added to the Term 1 tuition fees.

  • Foundation: (New students) £20,881
  • Undergraduate Years 1 to 5 : (New and Continuing students) £20,881
  • MA/MSc (New students, full Programme) £25,575
  • MArch - 16 months (New students, full Programme) £35,507
  • MFA (New students, full Programme) £34,100
  • Taught MPhil - 20 Months (New students, full programme) £42,625
  • PhD/MPhil (New candidates) £25,575*

* For PhD candidates: This fee level is fixed for three consecutive years of study (18–19, 19–20, 20–21). Candidates who do not undertake the first three years consecutively will revert to the tuition fee rate for that academic year. In the fourth consecutive year of study, candidates will pay a nominal fee equal to 1 term, at the tuition fee rate for the 21/22 academic year. Candidates who do not complete their PhD within four years will revert to the full tuition fee rate for that academic year.


Tuition Fees for 2019/20 Academic Year

AA Council has approved the Tuition fee levels for the 2019-20 academic year (Ordinary General Meeting [OGM] held on Monday 1st October 2018).

The Head of Finance has verified the amounts and the Tuition fee levels are confirmed as outlined below. In addition to the tuition fees, all Undergraduate and Graduate students are required to pay an additional £95 AA Membership and Student Forum fee per year. This amount will be added to the Term 1 tuition fees.

  • Foundation: (New students) £21,424
  • Undergraduate Years 1 to 5 : (New and Continuing students) £21,424
  • MA/MSc (New students, full Programme) £26,240
  • MArch - 16 months (New students, full Programme) £36,430
  • MFA (New students, full Programme) £35,649
  • Taught MPhil - 20 Months (New students, full programme) £43,733
  • PhD/MPhil (New candidates) £26,240*

* For PhD candidates: This fee level is fixed for three consecutive years of study (19–20, 20–21, 21–22). Candidates who do not undertake the first three years consecutively will revert to the tuition fee rate for that academic year. In the fourth consecutive year of study, candidates will pay a nominal fee equal to 1 term, at the tuition fee rate for the 22/23 academic year. Candidates who do not complete their PhD within four years will revert to the full tuition fee rate for that academic year.


2. FEES PAYMENT SCHEDULE


Once the deposit has been received the remainder of the fees are payable in advance or on an annual or termly basis. Applicants who have been offered a place before July will be given the opportunity to pay the full fees for the academic year and take advantage of a discount of 3%* over the total fee for one academic year. Applicants will receive more information, in writing, from the accounts department regarding this matter nearer the time.

The Term 1 fee payment is due before Introduction Week in September. Prior to registration you will receive a fee statement which will show the amount to be paid, and the payment deadlines. Please make sure you inform us of any change of address so the fee account can be sent to the correct address.

The Term 2 fee payment will be due in early January. You will be sent a reminder fee statement in December regarding the amount due and the payment deadline.

The Term 3 fee payment will be due in April. You will receive a reminder fee statement. Please note students studying on a 12 month course should have a £0 balance, as the deposit will count towards this final payment. If you made the payment of your fees by bank transfer, you should expect some bank charges and that these bank charges might be reflected in a Term 3 account. (These charges are made by the bank once the money gets to London. The AA does not take any commission from it).

*Fees and discounts are subject to review annually.


3. FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS


The AA offers Scholarships to new students entering First, Second and Fourth Year of the Undergraduate School, who demonstrate exceptional promise and financial need.

AA Scholarships cover up to two terms (66%) of the fees and are awarded for three academic years for First Year students, and two academic years for Second and Fourth Year students. Applicants are eligible regardless of age, nationality or background.

To apply for a scholarship, applicants must complete the online application form and submit a portfolio by the early application deadline. Applications received after this date, but before the late application deadline, will be considered for financial assistance at the discretion of the school.

Applicants whose work is considered to be of scholarship standard will be asked, after an entry interview, to complete a scholarship application form, provide financial information and submit a portfolio for the scholarship committee. Full details regarding this process will be sent with the official offer letter.

Continuation of all scholarships is subject to continued progress in the school during the defined scholarship period. Please be aware that the scholarship is not awarded in cash, the amount will be credited directly to your fee account. Students in receipt of a scholarship are not eligible to apply for a bursary.

Set up in memory of Mark Fisher, an AA graduate and inspiring teacher, who designed huge music performance events for some of the world’s best-known rock bands. This scholarship supports a student interested in the intersection of architecture and performance. Please note: The Mark Fisher Scholarship is not awarded each academic year. It will not be awarded for the 2019/20 Fourth Year entry’

For information on criteria and how to apply, visit the Mark Fisher website.

The AA offers bursaries to new Foundation students who demonstrate exceptional promise and financial need. A bursary for foundation will cover up to one term (33%) of the fees. Applicants are eligible regardless of age, nationality or background.

To apply for a bursary, applicants must complete the online application form and submit a portfolio by the early application deadline. Applications received after this date, but before the late application deadline, will be considered for financial assistance at the discretion of the school.

Applicants whose work is considered to be of bursary standard will be asked, after an entry interview, to complete a bursary application form, provide financial information and submit a portfolio for the bursary committee. Full details regarding this process will be sent with the official offer letter.

Please be aware that the bursary will be awarded for one academic year only. The bursary is not awarded in cash, the amount will be credited directly to your fee account.

The AA offers bursaries for new graduate applicants, who demonstrate exceptional promise and financial need. Awards range from half a term to one-and-a-half terms, covering a proportion of student fees for the year.

Applicants are eligible to apply for a bursary regardless of age, nationality or background. The AA Graduate Bursary Committee, bases its decision on a combination of outstanding merit, financial need and recommendation from the AA Graduate School Programme Director/s.

To apply for a bursary, applicants must complete the online application form and submit a portfolio (if applicable) by the early application deadline. Please be aware that in order to be eligible to apply for a bursary, applicants who require an English language examination must have booked and passed one of the approved examinations listed by the late application deadline.

Applicants who receive an offer will be asked to complete a bursary application form and provide financial information for the bursary committee. Full details regarding the application process will be sent after you receive your official offer letter.

Bursaries are awarded for one academic year only and are not awarded in cash; the amount will be credited directly to your fee account. In addition, the bursary award cannot be used towards payment of the deposit.

Please note: The following information applies to undergraduate students joining the five-year ARB/RIBA recognised course in Architecture only and is subject to current government legislation. Unfortunately, students joining the Foundation Course or the One Year Abroad (VSP) are not eligible to apply for funding.

Tuition Fee Loans

At present, new and continuing AA students from the UK and EU are eligible for a tuition fee loan (non-income assessed). For further information please visit the Student Loans Company (SLC) website, bearing in mind that the AA is a private institution so not all this information applies.

New students who have been offered a place should apply directly to the Student Loan Company (SLC). When completing the online form for Student Finance please ensure you use the following course title: 5 year ARB/RIBA recognised course in Architecture. Those transferring from other British schools must inform the SLC.

Student Loans for Living Expenses

At present, student loans to cover living expenses are available to home students, or to those who have lived in the UK for three years prior to embarking on higher education. EU students are not eligible for student loans for living expenses unless they have been resident in the UK for three years prior to embarking on higher education. For full details please visit the SLC website.

Important: The loan information above is subject to current government legislation. For further up-to-date information students should go to the student finance section of the Gov.UK website bearing in mind that the AA is a private institution and so not all this information applies.

Architectural Association: Specific Course Designation granted for Postgraduate Courses (from July 2017)

Who is eligible to apply for funding:

  • Home (UK), EU or EEA applicants to the AA Graduate School intending to commencing full-time postgraduate studies from the 2017-18 academic year onwards
  • The full eligibility criteria can be found at https://www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan/eligibility

The following courses are now designated for funding:

  1. MA Spatial Performance and Design (AAIS)
  2. MFA Spatial Performance and Design (AAIS)
  3. MSc Design and Make
  4. MArch Design and Make
  5. MArch Architecture and Urbanism (DRL)
  6. MSc Emergent Technologies and Design
  7. MArch Emergent Technologies and Design
  8. MA History and Critical Thinking
  9. MA Housing and Urbanism
  10. MArch Housing and Urbanism
  11. MSc Landscape Urbanism
  12. MArch Landscape Urbanism
  13. (Taught) MPhil Media Practices
  14. (Taught) MPhil Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities)
  15. MSc Sustainable Environmental Design
  16. MArch Sustainable Environmental Design

Conditions and amount of loan:

  • This loan is paid directly to the recipient and can be used for course fees and/or living costs
  • The total loan amount for the whole course is £10,280
  • The first payment is made after the course start date (in September, once registration has been undertaken and confirmed by the AA School) and delivered in three instalments of 33%, 33% and 34%
  • The earliest repayment date is April 2019 subject to an annual income in excess of £21,000
  • Please note, the conditions above relate to students joining the 2017/18 academic year. Details for students joining the 2018/19 academic year will be announced in mid-2018.

How to apply for funding:

  • Application is made direct to Student Finance England, on-line or by post. Please visit https://www.gov.uk/postgraduate-loan and follow the links.
  • If you have already received loan support (Undergraduate provision for example), your Student Finance England account is still valid for use.
  • If this is a first application, you will need to set up a new account.

For more information or specific questions regarding your circumstance, please contact the Student Finance England Postgraduate Loan team directly on:
Telephone: 0300 100 0031
Textphone: 0300 100 0622
Service is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Many students also find financial assistance from non-AA sources of funding. Please see this PDF for further information and opportunities.


4. FUNDING AVAILABLE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS


Application procedure

  • The bursary application details for the following academic year are announced in March across the School via AA Weekly, website and posters on the notice boards.
  • Please contact the Registrar's Office undergraduatebursaries@aaschool.ac.uk in mid March for an AA Undergraduate Bursary application form for the following academic year. It is the students' responsibility to contact the Registrar's Office.
  • Please note that AA Bursaries must be applied for on a yearly basis.
  • The deadline for completing and returning the AA Bursary application form is mid May (exact date stated on form)
  • The AA Undergraduate Bursary Committee, which meets in July to distribute the awards, bases its decision on a combination of outstanding merit, financial need and recommendation from the student's AA Unit Master/s.
  • Please note that any student in receipt of an AA Scholarship is not eligible to apply for an AA Bursary.

Amount of financial assistance

An AA Bursary award covers a proportion of student fees from between half a term to one-and-a-half terms of tuition fees for the academic year. Please note: any Bursary is awarded on the understanding that the student is not in receipt of an additional award that is more than the value of one term's fees.

List of bursaries:

AA Foundation Bursaries

The AA Foundation awards a number of bursaries to support AA students who have the ability, but not the full means, to achieve their goals in architectural study.

Eileen Gray Bursary

The Eileen Gray Fund for AA students was established in 1980 by Eileen Gray’s niece, Prunella Clough-Taylor, to recognise the distinguished architect and furniture designer’s concern for architectural training. A bequest from Ms Clough-Taylor, received in 2000, has expanded the scope of this fund, which now awards bursaries annually to talented students in need of financial assistance.

Elizabeth Chesterton Bursary

AA alumna and former Councillor, Dame Elizabeth Chesterton OBE, who died in 2002, left a generous bequest in support of bursaries for British students at the AA.

Andrew Szmidla Bursary

This bequest funds bursaries for undergraduate or postgraduate students from Eastern Europe.

Charlotte Coudrille Bursary

Charlotte Coudrille, who died in 2001, ran the AA Accounts Office for a number of years. The bursary was established by her former colleague Marian Keyes and is awarded annually to a student in need of financial assistance.

Stephen Lawrence Bursary

Awarded to students entering the AA, this scholarship enables an eligible student who cannot afford the cost to study at the Architectural Association.

Mike Davies Bursary

The bursary supports Undergraduate students of demonstrable limited means from the UK or international students who have lived in the UK for three or more years. Recipients must show innovative thinking and application in design work.

Enid Caldicott Bursary

A bursary was established in 1978 in memory of Enid Caldicott, who was first a student at the AA before serving as AA Librarian for 35 years. It is awarded annually to British students.

Eyre Family Foundation Bursary

Awarded to a British student entering 4th year.

Set up in memory of Mark Fisher, an AA graduate and inspiring teacher, who designed huge music performance events for some of the world’s best-known rock bands. This scholarship supports a student interested in the intersection of architecture and performance. Please note: The Mark Fisher Scholarship is not awarded each academic year. It will not be awarded for the 2019/20 Fourth Year entry.

For information on criteria and how to apply, visit the Mark Fisher website.

MPhil Projective Cities Year 2 students

  • AA MPhil Projective Cities Year 2 students are eligible to apply for an AA Bursary. The Bursary details for the following academic year will be announced via AA Weekly, website and posters on the notice boards, in March
  • Please contact the Registrar's Office at bursaries@aaschool.ac.uk in mid March for an AA Bursary application form for the following academic year. It is the students' responsibility to contact the Registrar's Office
  • AA MPhil Projective Cities Year 2 bursaries are awarded annually
  • The deadline for completing and returning the AA Bursary application form is mid May (exact date stated on form)
  • The AA Graduate Bursary Committee, which meets in July to distribute the awards, bases its decision on a combination of outstanding merit, financial need, academic performance and recommendation from the student's Projective Cities Programme Director

Amount of financial assistance

  • An AA Bursary award covers a proportion of a student’s tuition fees of normally a half term or one term of the course annually.
  • The AA Bursary would be awarded on the understanding that the student is not in receipt of any other substantial additional award, which is equivalent to more than the value of one term’s fees. An AA Bursary is not deferrable.
  • Current AA PhD students who will be registered in the Second or Third Year of their fulltime studies at full fee rate are eligible to apply on an annual basis for an AA Bursary
  • The bursary details for the following academic year will be announced via AA Weekly, website and posters on the notice boards, in March.
  • Please contact the Registrar's Office at CurrentPhDbursaries@aaschool.ac.uk in mid March for an AA Bursary application form for the following academic year. It is the students' responsibility to contact the Registrar's Office
  • AA PhD Bursaries are awarded annually
  • The deadline for completing and returning the AA Bursary application form is mid May (exact date stated on form)
  • The AA Graduate Bursary Committee, which meets in July to distribute the awards, bases its decision on a combination of outstanding merit, financial need, academic performance and recommendation from the student's PhD Programme Supervisor/s

Amount of financial assistance

  • An AA PhD Bursary award covers a proportion of student tuition fees of normally a half term or one term of the course annually.
  • The AA Bursary would be awarded on the understanding that the student is not in receipt of any other substantial additional award, which is equivalent to more than the value of one term’s fees. An AA Bursary is not deferrable.

Please note: The following information applies to undergraduate students joining the five-year ARB/RIBA recognised course in Architecture only and is subject to current government legislation. Unfortunately, students joining the Foundation Course or the One Year Abroad (VSP) are not eligible to apply for funding.

Tuition Fee Loans

At present, new and continuing AA students from the UK and EU are eligible for a tuition fee loan (non-income assessed). For further information please visit the Student Loans Company (SLC) website, bearing in mind that the AA is a private institution so not all this information applies. New students who have been offered a place should apply directly to the Student Loan Company (SLC). When completing the online form for Student Finance please ensure you use the following course title: 5 year ARB/RIBA recognised course in Architecture. Those transferring from other British schools must inform the SLC.

Student Loans for Living Expenses

At present, student loans to cover living expenses are available to home students, or to those who have lived in the UK for three years prior to embarking on higher education. EU students are not eligible for student loans for living expenses unless they have been resident in the UK for three years prior to embarking on higher education. For full details please visit the SLC website.

Important: The loan information above is subject to current government legislation. For further up-to-date information students should go to the student finance section of the Gov.UK website bearing in mind that the AA is a private institution and so not all this information applies.

Many students also find financial assistance from non-AA sources of funding. Please see this PDF for further information and opportunities.


5. AA ASSISTANTSHIPS


A number of assistantships are offered to eligible full-time registered students who are experiencing financial hardship. Students are able to work up to ten hours per week, providing assistance with certain administrative, exhibitions, or maintenance functions.

Eligible students wishing to apply will be told the procedure when they register at the beginning of the academic year. For further information please see the Jobs section of the website.


6. THE COST OF LIVING IN LONDON


An estimate of £325 living expenses per week includes: accommodation at £150 (low estimate), food £55, travel £30, utilities (gas, electricity, telephone) £20, books and materials £20, entertainment £25, and other expenses (such as snacks, haircuts, postage, subscriptions etc) £25 per week. This equates to a yearly expenditure (52 academic weeks) of £16,900 for a 12-month course.

Please note: the list above does not include clothes and incidental expenditure such as contents insurance to cover lap-tops, TV license, laundry, etc. Spending can vary greatly depending on the type of accommodation you choose, the location and how much you socialise. We recommend you visit the NUS website (national union of students) or the Study London website for further information regarding costs of study and living in London.

  • Minimum of £800 - £1,500 to cover study trip/s.
  • As you may know the AA has the following facilities:
    1. Digital Prototyping Lab /AALIFE/BEDFORDSQUARE/dpl.php
    2. Wood & Metal Workshop /AALIFE/BEDFORDSQUARE/materials.php
    3. Model Workshop /AALIFE/BEDFORDSQUARE/model.php
    4. Print Center (located in 16 Morwell Street)
  • While the use of these facilities is included in your fees all material expenditure is at your own expense. The cost of materials for each student will vary greatly dependent on their budget.
  • At times of the year (usually once or twice a term) students will have juries and table presentations which may require additional printing expenses.

Contact

Architectural Association
(AA) School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES
Registrar's Office
T: +44 (0)20 7887 4051
F: +44 (0)20 7414 0779

Links & Downloads

Graduate


Undergraduate

Academic Programmes
AA Prospectus


Experimental Programme Prospectus
Experimental Programme Prospectu


Diploma Programme Prospectus
Diploma Programme Prospectus


Share


The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.

close

Welcome to 2019-20

Dear School Community,

The Architectural Association is a place where we forget our labels as architects, as artists, as economists, as writers, as poets, and we become citizens of the world – a world that we believe we can change, transform into something other, more interesting, more radical, more free, more equal, more us. The new academic year brings a series of important conversations to the forefront of architectural education and contemporary culture through new and familiar voices and projects. There are urgent tasks at hand. Our programmes throughout the school have accepted the challenge to address issues of climate and ethics. As architects we always speak on behalf of the other, but we also need to constantly ask ourselves, who has the right to speak, and on behalf of whom? How am I affecting the environment with my actions? How can I care more about others? 

This year I invite us all to practice radical empathy, to care about the planet, the other and the future. To listen, to ask, to share, to discuss, to debate, but ultimately to care. 

Like every year, new appointments and initiatives will expand both our academic and institutional horizons. Academic voices joining us are: filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine, whose work focuses on experimental narratives and cinematographic forms in relation to contemporary architecture and the urban environment; Berlin-based architect Sam Chermayeff (AA Alumni), founder of the practice June 14; Didier Fiúza Faustino (AA Tutor 2010-16), an architect and artist working on the relationship between the body and space; Gabu Heindl, an architect and urban planner who is the head of GABU Heindl Architektur in Vienna, an interdisciplinary studio specialising in public interventions, cultural and social buildings; David Kohn, London-based architect and founder of David Kohn Architects working internationally on arts, education and residential projects; Viviana Muscettola, an associate director at Zaha Hadid Architects and an executive member of the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat; OMMX, a London-based practice led by Hikaru Nissanke and Jon Lopez; OFIS, an international architecture office based in Ljubljana and led by Špela Videčnik and Rok Oman (both AA Alumni); Superpool, an international research-based architecture practice located in Istanbul and led by Selva Gürdoğan and Gregers Tang Thomsen; and Bostjan Vuga (AA Alumni), architect and founder of SADAR+VUGA. Other people joining us include Eleanor Dodman, Liza Fior, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Lizy Huyghe, Guan Lee,  Melodie Leung, Gili Merin, Ivan Morrison, Anna Muzychak, Bushra Mohamed, Jonathan Robinson, Alvaro Velasco Perez and James Westcott. This diversity of new voices, will add to the units and programmes and will continue the multiplicity of agendas that the AA is known for. 

Every course, programme and unit throughout the school operates under a highly specific and idiosyncratic methodology, which offers every student a myriad of options and possibilities. More about the overall academic offerings can be found here. More about Experimental Programme units and staff can be found here; Diploma Programme units and staff can be found here and information about the unit selection process can be found here.

After more than a decade at the helm of the PhD Programme, Simos Yannas has stepped away to focus on the Sustainability and Environmental Design (SED) Programme that he leads at the school. The new Head of the PhD Programme, Pier Vittorio Aureli will shape the programme in the years to come. Elif Erdine will be the new Head of Emergent Technologies and Design (EmTech) after Mike Weinstock stepped down; however, he will continue to teach within the programme as Founding Director. 

Print Studio is transforming with a new Head of Publications, Maria S. Giudici who will – in addition to being the editor of AA Files – oversee new publications that continue to position the AA at the forefront of critical discussions through printed matter. Ryan Dillon is our new Head of Academic Communications, and will edit the annual AA Book, lead the relaunch of the AA Radio/Podcast, and oversee the content of the new website amongst other platforms to enable and facilitate all imaginable forms of communication and engagement within the AA School Community. In addition, Rory Sherlock, is joining us as Assistant Editor. 

These new voices join our renowned academic and administrative staff, who together, will surely provide for relevant discussions and debates throughout the entire school as we continue our journey into the future. As part of this, and our continued commitment to achieving Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) (a final decision on our application is expected this autumn), we have gone through a process of internal validation, adjusting nomenclature to reflect who we are and what we do, and to make sure our programmes maintain their identity. Former Complementary Studies is now Core Studies; Technical Studies is now Environmental and Technical Studies (ETS), Media Studies is now Communication and Media Studies (CMS), First Year and Intermediate School (years 2-3) is now the Experimental Programme, and Diploma School (years 4-5) is now the Diploma Programme.

The AA is committed to experimental methods in teaching and learning and this can be seen in the many initiatives being launched. In Term 3 Speculative Studies, a series of interdisciplinary seminars over five weeks, will present courses on politics, law, philosophy, ethics, art history, poetry, dance, gastronomy, social technology and microbiology. Other topics and courses will be added from proposals put forward by students in an Open Forum to be held in Term 1. These courses will introduce new areas of expertise and methodologies to our collective culture.

A four-day symposium titled Experimental Methods will bring our community together for a discussion and debate on what experimentation is and can be at the AA, which will take place during Open Week in both Terms 1 and 2. Tutors from across the school will lecture on their particular academic approach as well as their own professional practice and research. Each day will end with a keynote speaker and a round table discussion, and the week will culminate with an Open Jury in which students can present their work to a panel of invited critics. 

For the first time in the history of the school, Diploma students and Postgraduate students will be able to take joint classes as part of an expanded pool of Electives. These advanced seminars will be provided by our ten Postgraduate Programmes in areas of technology, criticism, sustainability, material culture, computation and more, allowing us to push the boundaries of architectural education and to have more dialogue across all parts of the school.  

This year we will continue with the Open Seminars; on Mondays, Plan the Planet, brings together experts across different disciplines to discuss the current ecological crisis in order to articulate new strategies, policies, relationships and spaces; on Tuesdays, Evidentiary Aesthetics investigates the technologies and politics of the body; and on Wednesdays, we will be able to study the Origins of Capitalist Urban Space.

Throughout the year, the Directions Series offers an open forum for conversations between AA Students, Academic and Administrative Staff and the AA Director. These events offer a platform to communicate and discuss the direction of the school. The first event of the Directions Series will take place on Monday 30 September at 7pm in the Lecture Hall when we can start raising questions and propose new agendas as we all work towards our future and jointly develop the AA 2020-25 Strategic Plan.

To broaden and strengthen our academic resources additional initiatives have been set up. The new Writing Centre aims to assist students with their essays and written work; the Student Care Centre is to provide mental health support; and the Student Affairs Office will provide students with logistical support during their time here at the AA, and advice in career placement and work opportunities in London and around the world for their year out and after graduation. 

To conclude the academic year we aim to introduce a new way of transmitting and disseminating the work of our fifth year students at the AA Forum/Final Presentation. Over two days after tables, all graduating students will present their project in an open format to a wide group of tutors, guest jurors, curators, press, friends and colleagues, making their last presentation at the AA a real moment for celebration and dialogue. The AA Forum/Final Presentation will be open to all students to attend, and will take place in any imaginable space throughout the school. 

This autumn we launch the AA Residence, a cultural platform exploring and studying new ideas and forms of practice at the intersection of architecture, art, technology, policy and design. It is composed of a series of independent labs that consist of an interdisciplinary cohort of resident fellows including architects, artists, policy makers, engineers, scientists and creative entrepreneurs that are all researching and producing experimental work. The AA Residence will work as an incubator in a shared workspace and professional development programme, providing architects and entrepreneurs the tools required to build new practices and initiate projects that impact, promote and amplify culture, and contribute to the re-imagination of the future. The 2019-20 labs will be announced in October. 

Last year’s Projects Review 2019 was produced with the goal to achieve zero waste, and has left us with some new pieces of furniture that we hope to enjoy throughout the year. As part of this exhibition, the first edition of the Press and Practices Preview took place the day before the opening, and proved to be a success. Fifth year students and those with scholarships and bursaries had the opportunity to explain their unit agendas and project aims to invited guests. They did this alongside volunteers who provided an introduction to the sometimes complex issues that the school and its programmes address. Thank you to all tutors, students and volunteers that committed time to this effort. The Projects Review exhibition received great press coverage and many positive responses. To continue this momentum the AA Book, together with a series of podcasts with staff and students, will be launched in the autumn.

Over the last year we have recognised and celebrated the amazing diversity of the Architectural Association, that consists of students and staff from 81 different nationalities. In an attempt to build on this great cultural resource we will launch Architecture in Translation, a project that celebrates the wealth embedded in the use of different languages as part of the production and dissemination of ideas, discourse and debate about architecture. This project will work across many areas within the school. Within HTS, Mark Cousins has produced a series of seminars that will explore the theoretical questions and opportunities of translation in architecture. In addition to this, juries in different languages will take place throughout the year and will be used to identify terms, concepts and values inherent to different linguistic and cultural contexts in order to produce a ‘multilingual dictionary of architectural terms’ for the twenty-first century. 

Last but not least, to start the year, a different kind of tradition is being introduced entitled, Plant a Tree, which will take place during Introduction Week and invites all new students and staff to Hooke Park, the AA rural campus in Dorset. While on-site, we will learn about the facilities and then ceremonially, each and every one of the 300 new voices joining the school, will plant a tree to contribute to the forest, offset carbon emissions, and take part in a dialogue of ideas about the future as responsible members of the AA and of this planet. Plant a Tree is more than a symbolic act, it is the commitment to a future that is ours to build.

As new and returning students and staff wander throughout the school, its spaces and places and within the corridors that build our intellectual home, you will find on the walls images of projects that each of the 779 students of the last academic year produced. With these drawings up on the walls, now is the time for identifying new debates and engagements. For those knocking on my door, and I encourage all of you to do so, you will see next to the Expanding Horizons poster – in a circular frame – what I suspect will be the most important image for many of you this year: this is of course an invitation to visit and share some of your ideas. 

I am looking forward to seeing all of you during Introduction Week and throughout the year ahead to discuss in detail the initiatives outlined above, and the ones that we will create together.

 

Yours,

Eva Franch i Gilabert
Director
AA School of Architecture

close