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Diploma Honours 2017/18

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.

Zsuzsa Peter, Diploma Unit 5

C24 - A landscape of light and darkness for a commune of resistance

C24 is a primordial landscape for living together. A permanent home for a community of a 100, a house for many who all voluntarily choose to exclude themselves from society. Within this space they come together to share new, perfected ways of being in the world – performing mundane, quotidian acts defined by the sun – resting, eating, sleeping - as a form of collective resistance against and freedom from the pervasive technological exploitation and control in our everyday lives. A domestic space defined solely by the inhabitant’s migration across the landscape, movement within is not prescribed but only triggered by changing light conditions – from increased luminosity to dark shade – where spatial conditions always synchronise circadian rhythms through their use and occupation.

Zsuzsa Peter in AA Conversations


Etienne Gilly, Diploma Unit 9

Minigrids. Encoding participation in the European Union.

The absurd “coute-que-coute” maintenance of the status-quo is the European Union digging a grave for the Europeans. By considering a spatial approach to the European political crisis, the project challenges the status-quo, by reshaping Europe’s administrative and physical space – with electricity as the starting seed.
The proposal focuses on reconsidering the energy transition as a spatial and organisational paradigm, and proposes to create low-tech, enormous, heavy, territory shifting batteries – extracting surplus from renewables. These new batteries are concrete blocks on a shuttle moving up as wind production goes off-demand, massive walls lowering on a no-day wind to help maintain an adequate frequency in the grid, 1×1 km slabs on hydraulic lift absorbing, as they raise, pic production from photovoltaic panels on a sunny day. Basically, they say fuck to high-tech batteries: we can store longer, better, and greener with a real spatial impact on the way we organise territory. A spatial impact that deforms landscapes until it modifies Europe itself.

Etienne Gilly in AA Conversations


Shaan Bimal Patel, Diploma Unit 14

Remaining Common(s)

Remaining Common(s) addresses the urgent need to redefine the last remaining Commons that find themselves sitting within a landscape of increasingly codified property regimes today. The Institution of Private Property, that surrounds us today, attempts to abstract everything into either 'private' or 'public' relying on forms of absolute ownership. Commons, on the other hand, rely on a constant negotiation of rights by its participants, determined by 'use' rather than 'ownership'.

Shaan Bimal Patel in AA Conversations


Dalia Frontini Matsuura, Diploma Unit 16

Prajapati's Painted Bodhi

Prajapati’s Painted Bodhi will be the first Bodhi to be painted in three-dimensional space. Using ultra-lightweight polylactic acid and nanotech infused graphene, it will be able to support its own weight, thus defying gravity.

Dalia Frontini Matsuura 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.