AA Council

Our Council is the AA’s governing body. It is led by the AA President and is made up of members elected from the Membership and members appointed specifically for skills necessary to oversee the strategic delivery of the objects enshrined in the AA’s Articles of Association: ‘to promote and afford facilities for the study of architecture for the public benefit’. The Council includes the School Director and also an elected staff and student member, ensuring all constituencies of the school community are represented at the highest level of governance. The AA is a registered company and charity and accordingly Council members are both company directors and charity trustees. The Annual General Meeting and Ordinary General Meetings of Council are open for all AA members to attend. Minutes from these meetings can be accessed by AA members.

Statement of Council Primary Responsibilities
Conflict of Interests Policy

Council delegates specific responsibilities and activities to the Committees listed in accordance with their respective Terms of Reference.

 
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VICTORIA THORNTON (OBE), PRESIDENT

Victoria is the Founder and former Director of Open House and Open-City, an architecture education charity advocating the value of design in creating vibrant, liveable cities. A number of pioneering initiatives instigated by Victoria include Accelerate into University; My City Too!; and the Architecture in Schools programme. She is currently Chair of Open House Worldwide Network. Other positions and roles have included Jury Member RIBA Royal Gold Medal; Board Member Irish Architecture Foundation; Women in Architecture Judge; RIBA Research Committee, Farrell Review Advisory Board.

She is also co-author of London’s Guide to Contemporary Architecture. Victoria was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the RIBA in 2003, Honorary MA from London Metropolitan University, 2006, and an OBE in 2012 for services to architecture and education.

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CATHERINE DU TOIT, VICE PRESIDENT

Catherine is one of the Founder directors of 51 architecture. Recipient of RIBA awards 2008 & 2013 and an AIA award 2013; made a Fellow of the RSA in 2010. She has wide ranging involvement in the environment and arts, including urban social projects with international and local artists. Her work has been exhibited internationally (Fundacio Tapies, Trienale di Milano, the Venice Biennale and the Royal Academy). A curator for the Richelieu Sculpture Biennale in France, partnering with the University of Paris. Worldwide experience in teaching and lecturing, including being Unit Master at the AA for ten years.

Advising architect to City Year UK, a leading youth and education charity. Catherine joined the Council in 2016. Catherine joined the AA Council in 2016 and is a member of the Estates and Infrastructure Committee.

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PROF. MOHAMMAD DASTBAZ

Mohammad is presently Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Suffolk, responsible for the development of the university’s academic strategy for growth and sustainable development as well as research and enterprise strategy for 2020. Prior to that he was Pro Vice Chancellor at Leeds Beckett University, leading the faculty of arts, environment and technology including the schools of art, architecture and design, built environment and others.

He is a member of the board of directors of the University of Suffolk and was an elected member of the board of governors at Leeds. Mohammad is also a fully trained QAA auditor and took Suffolk through the TDAP process. Mohammad was also director of finance for the Omid Housing Association for a number of years. Mohammad joined the AA Council in 2017 and is acting Chair of the Finance & Resources Committee.

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EVA FRANCH I GILABERT

School Director of the AA and member of Council.

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DAVID GIBSON

David was until recently the General Counsel & Company Secretary of Rexam plc, the FTSE 100 company which was bought by an American competitor a year ago. Rexam was the principal manufacturer of drinks cans and other consumables and was previously known as Bowater plc. Over the years that David was there, the company changed its focus many times and he has had an active career as a senior lawyer and company secretary. Governance is exacting at a FTSE quoted company and he therefore brings a deep knowledge of legal, regulatory and governance issues. He is also a non-executive director of Flora and Fauna International, a conservation charity.

David joined the AA Council in 2017 and is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.

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SAM JACOB

Sam Jacob is principal of Sam Jacob Studio for architecture and design, a practice whose work spans scales and disciplines from urban design through architecture, design, art and curatorial projects. Current projects include a gallery in south London, a new mixed use building in Hoxton, the remodelling of the V&A’s Cromwell Road entrance, a new public toilet in London’s West End and work for the National Collections Centre in Wiltshire.

He has worked internationally on award winning projects and has exhibited at major museums such as the...

V&A, MAK, and The Art Institute of Chicago as well as cultural events including the Venice Architecture Biennale. He is Professor of Architecture at UIC, Chicago, and visiting professor at the University of Hong Kong and columnist for Art Review and Dezeen. Previously he was a founding director of FAT Architecture.

Sam joined the AA Council in 2019.

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TREVOR MORRISS

Trevor Morriss founded London-based architectural practice SPPARC in 2007. Known for its signature buildings, the firm delivers high quality architecture and masterplans of varying scales.

Trevor has always taken an unconventional approach to his architectural career which began at the age of 17 when he had the opportunity to design his first building in Shad Thames, London. Initially commissioned as a ‘print boy’ by the firm JPB, the director was impressed by Trevor’s drawings and...

ideas that he was asked to start working on the project. The firm then decided to fund his studies at London South Bank University while he worked full time.

In 1995, he was appointed senior architect at global real estate advisors Jones Lang LaSalle, whilst specialising in urbanism at the University of Greenwich. This experience provided him with an unparalleled insight into the commercial drivers of a project.

Since establishing award-winning SPPARC, Trevor has developed an impressive portfolio of projects in the UK and Europe across multiple sectors. His projects are informed by the way people interact and reflect the importance of the architectural fabric that surrounds them.

Trevor is a renowned figure in the industry and has lectured at the RIBA.

Trevor joined the AA Council in 2019.

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JOEL NEWMAN

Joel is the staff member on Council, Head of Audiovisual at the AA and teaches undergraduate courses on video within AA Media Studies. He is also presently a consultant in Film and Sound to the AA’s Spatial Performance & Design (AAIS) MA/MFA course. Joel studied Fine Art at Reading University and joined the AA in 1994. He has been involved with a large number of school committees and working groups and was an elected member of the 2005 Search Committee for the AA Director and

from 2006 to 2008 was co-curator for the New Media Research Initiative at the AA. Joel has shown work and held various workshops both here and abroad and was elected to join the AA Council in March 2018.

Read more
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GEORGE SAWTELL

George is a Corporate Treasurer having held senior positions for international companies Cable & Wireless plc, Inmarsat plc, UBM plc, Capita plc and currently is Treasury Director for Survitec with extensive experience in debt management, external relationship management, policies and controls and budgeting and forecasting. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Treasurer and has a law degree.

George was a board member of Better Bankside (a Business Investment District) and was appointed as a trustee to the Board of The Independent Cinema Office in August 2018. He joined the AA Council in 2018 and is a member of the Finance & Resources Committee.

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NICK VINER

Nick has substantial executive and non-executive experience. He has spent the majority of his career at The Boston Consulting Group, where he provided strategic advice and coaching to executives in major companies across a range of industries around the world. He was founding CEO of a non-profit organization, JW3, a community and cultural centre in North London, where he remains a trustee. He is also a trustee of other charities with strong commitments to education including the Alexander Haus and the Institute of Imagination. He is the co-founder of The Circle, a new member-based organisation for people over 60.

He has significant involvement in building projects including JW3, a centre for education and reconciliation, and a campus dedicated to imagination with children at its heart. Nick joined the AA Council in 2017 and is a member of the Finance & Resources Committee and Chair of the Nominations Committee.

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Adult & Risk Committee Terms of Reference - View PDF

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DAVID GIBSON, ACTING CHAIR

David was until recently the General Counsel & Company Secretary of Rexam plc, the FTSE 100 company which was bought by an American competitor a year ago. Rexam was the principal manufacturer of drinks cans and other consumables and was previously known as Bowater plc. Over the years that David was there, the company changed its focus many times and he has had an active career as a senior lawyer and company secretary. Governance is exacting at a FTSE quoted company and he therefore brings a deep knowledge of legal, regulatory and governance issues. He is also a non-executive director of Flora and Fauna International, a conservation charity.

David joined the AA Council in 2017 and is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee.

Read more
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VICTORIA THORNTON (OBE)

Victoria is the Founder and former Director of Open House and Open-City, an architecture education charity advocating the value of design in creating vibrant, liveable cities. A number of pioneering initiatives instigated by Victoria include Accelerate into University; My City Too!; and the Architecture in Schools programme. She is currently Chair of Open House Worldwide Network. Other positions and roles have included Jury Member RIBA Royal Gold Medal; Board Member Irish Architecture Foundation; Women in Architecture Judge; RIBA Research Committee, Farrell Review Advisory Board.

She is also co-author of London’s Guide to Contemporary Architecture. Victoria was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the RIBA in 2003, Honorary MA from London Metropolitan University, 2006, and an OBE in 2012 for services to architecture and education.

Read more

Estates & Infrastructure Committee Terms of Reference - View PDF

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CATHERINE DU TOIT, CHAIR

Catherine is one of the Founder directors of 51 architecture. Recipient of RIBA awards 2008 & 2013 and an AIA award 2013; made a Fellow of the RSA in 2010. She has wide ranging involvement in the environment and arts, including urban social projects with international and local artists. Her work has been exhibited internationally (Fundacio Tapies, Trienale di Milano, the Venice Biennale and the Royal Academy). A curator for the Richelieu Sculpture Biennale in France, partnering with the University of Paris. Worldwide experience in teaching and lecturing, including being Unit Master at the AA for ten years.

Advising architect to City Year UK, a leading youth and education charity. Catherine joined the Council in 2016. Catherine joined the AA Council in 2016 and is a member of the Estates and Infrastructure Committee.

Read more
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TREVOR MORRISS

Trevor Morriss founded London-based architectural practice SPPARC in 2007. Known for its signature buildings, the firm delivers high quality architecture and masterplans of varying scales.

Trevor has always taken an unconventional approach to his architectural career which began at the age of 17 when he had the opportunity to design his first building in Shad Thames, London. Initially commissioned as a ‘print boy’ by the firm JPB, the director was impressed by Trevor’s drawings and...

ideas that he was asked to start working on the project. The firm then decided to fund his studies at London South Bank University while he worked full time.

In 1995, he was appointed senior architect at global real estate advisors Jones Lang LaSalle, whilst specialising in urbanism at the University of Greenwich. This experience provided him with an unparalleled insight into the commercial drivers of a project.

Since establishing award-winning SPPARC, Trevor has developed an impressive portfolio of projects in the UK and Europe across multiple sectors. His projects are informed by the way people interact and reflect the importance of the architectural fabric that surrounds them.

Trevor is a renowned figure in the industry and has lectured at the RIBA.

Trevor joined the AA Council in 2019.

Read more
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JOEL NEWMAN

Joel is the staff member on Council, Head of Audiovisual at the AA and teaches undergraduate courses on video within AA Media Studies. He is also presently a consultant in Film and Sound to the AA’s Spatial Performance & Design (AAIS) MA/MFA course. Joel studied Fine Art at Reading University and joined the AA in 1994. He has been involved with a large number of school committees and working groups and was an elected member of the 2005 Search Committee for the AA Director and

from 2006 to 2008 was co-curator for the New Media Research Initiative at the AA. Joel has shown work and held various workshops both here and abroad and was elected to join the AA Council in March 2018.

Read more

Finance & Resources Committee Terms of Reference - View PDF

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GEORGE SAWTELL, CHAIR

George is a Corporate Treasurer having held senior positions for international companies Cable & Wireless plc, Inmarsat plc, UBM plc, Capita plc and currently is Treasury Director for Survitec with extensive experience in debt management, external relationship management, policies and controls and budgeting and forecasting. He is a qualified Chartered Accountant and Treasurer and has a law degree.

George was a board member of Better Bankside (a Business Investment District) and was appointed as a trustee to the Board of The Independent Cinema Office in August 2018. He joined the AA Council in 2018 and is a member of the Finance & Resources Committee.

Read more
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MOHAMMAD DASTBAZ

Mohammad is presently Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Suffolk, responsible for the development of the university’s academic strategy for growth and sustainable development as well as research and enterprise strategy for 2020. Prior to that he was Pro Vice Chancellor at Leeds Beckett University, leading the faculty of arts, environment and technology including the schools of art, architecture and design, built environment and others.

He is a member of the board of directors of the University of Suffolk and was an elected member of the board of governors at Leeds. Mohammad is also a fully trained QAA auditor and took Suffolk through the TDAP process. Mohammad was also director of finance for the Omid Housing Association for a number of years. Mohammad joined the AA Council in 2017 and is member of the Finance & Resources Committee.

Read more
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VICTORIA THORNTON (OBE)

Victoria is the Founder and former Director of Open House and Open-City, an architecture education charity advocating the value of design in creating vibrant, liveable cities. A number of pioneering initiatives instigated by Victoria include Accelerate into University; My City Too!; and the Architecture in Schools programme. She is currently Chair of Open House Worldwide Network. Other positions and roles have included Jury Member RIBA Royal Gold Medal; Board Member Irish Architecture Foundation; Women in Architecture Judge; RIBA Research Committee, Farrell Review Advisory Board.

She is also co-author of London’s Guide to Contemporary Architecture. Victoria was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the RIBA in 2003, Honorary MA from London Metropolitan University, 2006, and an OBE in 2012 for services to architecture and education.

Read more
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NICK VINER

Nick has substantial executive and non-executive experience. He has spent the majority of his career at The Boston Consulting Group, where he provided strategic advice and coaching to executives in major companies across a range of industries around the world. He was founding CEO of a non-profit organization, JW3, a community and cultural centre in North London, where he remains a trustee. He is also a trustee of other charities with strong commitments to education including the Alexander Haus and the Institute of Imagination. He is the co-founder of The Circle, a new member-based organisation for people over 60.

He has significant involvement in building projects including JW3, a centre for education and reconciliation, and a campus dedicated to imagination with children at its heart. Nick joined the AA Council in 2017 and is a member of the Finance & Resources Committee and Chair of Nominations Committee.

Read more

Nominations & Remuneratio Committee Terms of Reference - View PDF

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NICK VINER, CHAIR

Nick has substantial executive and non-executive experience. He has spent the majority of his career at The Boston Consulting Group, where he provided strategic advice and coaching to executives in major companies across a range of industries around the world. He was founding CEO of a non-profit organization, JW3, a community and cultural centre in North London, where he remains a trustee. He is also a trustee of other charities with strong commitments to education including the Alexander Haus and the Institute of Imagination. He is the co-founder of The Circle, a new member-based organisation for people over 60.

He has significant involvement in building projects including JW3, a centre for education and reconciliation, and a campus dedicated to imagination with children at its heart. Nick joined the AA Council in 2017 and is a member of the Finance & Resources Committee and Nominations Committee.

Read more
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CATHERINE DU TOIT, VICE PRESIDENT

Catherine is one of the Founder directors of 51 architecture. Recipient of RIBA awards 2008 & 2013 and an AIA award 2013; made a Fellow of the RSA in 2010. She has wide ranging involvement in the environment and arts, including urban social projects with international and local artists. Her work has been exhibited internationally (Fundacio Tapies, Trienale di Milano, the Venice Biennale and the Royal Academy). A curator for the Richelieu Sculpture Biennale in France, partnering with the University of Paris. Worldwide experience in teaching and lecturing, including being Unit Master at the AA for ten years.

Advising architect to City Year UK, a leading youth and education charity. Catherine joined the Council in 2016. Catherine joined the AA Council in 2016 and is a member of the Estates and Infrastructure Committee.

Read more
image

VICTORIA THORNTON (OBE)

Victoria is the Founder and former Director of Open House and Open-City, an architecture education charity advocating the value of design in creating vibrant, liveable cities. A number of pioneering initiatives instigated by Victoria include Accelerate into University; My City Too!; and the Architecture in Schools programme. She is currently Chair of Open House Worldwide Network. Other positions and roles have included Jury Member RIBA Royal Gold Medal; Board Member Irish Architecture Foundation; Women in Architecture Judge; RIBA Research Committee, Farrell Review Advisory Board.

She is also co-author of London’s Guide to Contemporary Architecture. Victoria was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the RIBA in 2003, Honorary MA from London Metropolitan University, 2006, and an OBE in 2012 for services to architecture and education.

Read more
 

For information concerning the AA Council, the AA's structure and constitution, please contact Holly Bowden - Company Secretary on 020 7887 4018 or email to secretary@aaschool.ac.uk

Contact

Holly Bowden
Company Secretary

Architectural Association
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES
+44(0)20 7887 4018
secretary@aaschool.ac.uk

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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

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THE AA RECEIVES THE POWER TO AWARD ITS OWN DEGREES

The Architectural Association receives Taught Degree Awarding Powers by the Lords of Her Majesty’s Most Honourable Privy Council.

The Architectural Association (AA), the oldest independent school of architecture in the United Kingdom, is pleased to announce that it has been granted the power to award its own degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards and is working to create some of the world’s most pioneering courses in architecture to shape and build the future.

Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Prospective students worldwide can apply to the AA Foundation Course (Foundation Certificate), Experimental Programme BA(Hons), Diploma Programme (MArch), and nine taught postgraduate programmes encompassing History and Critical Thinking in Architecture (MA), Projective Cities (Taught MPhil) and Sustainable Environmental Design (MSc/MArch), amongst others.

AA Director, Eva Franch said, ‘since our founding in 1847 we have never ceased to create new horizons, institutionally and academically. This is a significant milestone for the AA and demonstrates how we have grown and progressed as an institution that has always valued independence. Receiving TDAP marks a new era for our institution; these are exciting times for the AA. The process has required considerable work from all members of staff and students. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement’.

President of the AA Council, Victoria Thornton added, ‘the TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught higher education programmes’.

The School’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers was supported by the Architects Registration Board, the Royal Institute of British Architects and The Open University.

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