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Diploma Honours 2016/17

AA Diploma Honours is the AA's highest award. Each Summer Term exceptional Diploma School students are chosen to present for Honours awards, which are given to the student or students who achieve an exceptionally high standard in the academic year. Those awarded Diploma Honours then exhibit their work early in the next academic year.

Ji Soo Hwang, Diploma Unit 10

Shared Roof

Shared Roof attempts to respond and re-evaluate the current city planning which has failed to adapt to Bermondsey’s prevailing conditions where fragmented urban spaces have evoked social and physical detachment between the diverse user groups that co-exist in isolation. Therefore the proposal is by no means a solution but a reaction, where a long spanning tensile roof structure is strategically inserted, bridging the existing residential and primary school.

Ji Soo in AA Conversations


Jonathan Cheng, Diploma Unit 17

“Where Is The Center?”

Performative links between stage and public cultivate unique and poetic experiences for the individual, but a dialectic intersection with culture depends on reciprocal connections to a context – a translation of content. The cultural center is not simply about another form of exhibition, but a dialogue between two contents – like body and mind.

Jonathan in AA Conversations


Joshua Penk, Diploma Unit 11


This is a project about the meeting of eras; the slowly exposed remnants of past dockyard structures, revealed by years of archaeology. And the fast paced comparatively short-lived new developments of large scale housing. They meet in this project at ground level; this level defines the territory of the investigation into this unique site. A place existing +10 meters above sea level and -10 meters below. A place generated from 1513 until 2000 and then degenerated before re-generation.

Joshua in AA Conversations


Nathan Su, Diploma Unit 9

Through Leviathan’s Eyesl

We live in a time where cultural ideologies, aspirations and fears are as diverse and dynamic as ever. And yet, our world views are becoming increasingly singular, extreme, and sadly – polarised. Our media echo-chambers feed us personalised, self-affirming realities that keep us well within the boundaries of our own predispositions and assumptions. But what if the technologies that currently blind us, could somehow bind us together?

Nathan in AA Conversations


Rory Sherlock, Diploma Unit 14

Breaking the Bottleneck

A bottleneck constitutes a pinch point – the consolidation of a given flow and nexus at which many points converge. It therefore manifests a locus of control. Conceived of as a tool of free exchange and distributed connection, it has long been asserted that the Internet, by its very formation, circumvented such mechanisms of strangulation. However, quite apart from much of the alienating sales patois that declares the Internet as an open, dispersed ‘cloud’, it can contrarily be materially manipulated as a form of control (and thus appropriated) through the mediation of its physical components – the bottleneck.

Rory in AA Conversations



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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 Diploma), 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.