Research at the AA Planetary Architecture II Exhibition Opening, 1983. Photo by Valerie Bennett

Research at the Architectural Association


Research at the AA arises from our abiding engagement with the cultural and scientific discourses of architecture across the world, and is guided by the belief that Architecture is the most complex human endeavour, a manifestation of collective values and individual expression. We are committed to seeking and creating new knowledge that contributes to the quality of life of people, to the construction and materialisation of the prototypes of the future, and to the enrichment of all.


Research Themes


Urban and Landscape Ecologies

Research proceeds from a fundamental understanding that the dynamics of climate and ecological changes perturbed and accelerated by human activities, and from a shared concern for the consequences of those changes to society and the natural world. In this area of research, the production of artefacts and sustainable systems are developed through iterative computational processes of serial experimentation and analysis, generative propositions and simulations.

Cultural and Critical Histories

Humanities research at the AA focuses on the interpretation and creation of texts, analysis of precedent, manifestoes, and the exploration of architectural theory as a basis for design analysis and speculation. Current projects staff are engaged with include the politics of space, formal evolution of cities, creation of new media and interdisciplinary performance, and futurology. Extensive use is made of the AA Archives, Photography Collection and Library.

Computation, Prototyping and Robotics

Exploring the widest possible range of design tools, the AA interrogates how manufacturing technologies, virtual reality and 1:1 modelling can be used against the grain, hybridised and reinvented. Research venues include the Digital Prototyping Lab, the Design Research Lab, facilities at our Hooke Park campus. Each Unit and Graduate Programme, as well as Technical and Media Studies, forms a part of this research culture linking to industry leaders and research bodies worldwide.

Radical Pedagogical Agendas

The education of architects has been an abiding research project at the AA since its founding. Globally recognised contributions to pedagogical structures and teaching methods -- including the Unit system, Visiting School, and full academic integration of Public Programmes -- form a legacy that the School builds upon, questions and reinvents. An experimental laboratory of learning, the AA continues to develop and test new educational models; documenting and disseminating its findings in wide-ranging conferences, symposia and events.

Territorial Investigations

Year to year, the AA examines a specific territory as a vehicle to create new ideas, designs, discourses, exhibitions and performances. In 2019-2020, Antarctica will become the focus of a dedicated research led by the AA Polar Lab. Read more about the programme



Research Fellowships


The inaugural AA Research Publications Fellows will be Sue Barr and Clara Olóriz Sanjuán. Read more.


Research Profiles






Alicia Nahmad Vazquez, Miss

Studio Master, DRL, AA Graduate School

Research Interest: Human-robot collaboration, novel design techniques, digital design and fabrication, concrete shell structure, digital craft, integrating craft processes to novel design and fabrica...

Kyriaki Nasioula, Miss

Course Consultant, AAIS, AA Graduate School

Research Interest: My research focuses on the interactivity between space, movement and the human being. It starts from the phenomenology in architecture and through the study of various choreographi...

Ryan Neiheiser, Mr

Unit Master, Experimental Unit 15, AA Undergraduate School

Research Interest: institutions the city public space form legibility typology open geometries participation

Joan Ockman, Professor

PhD External 2nd Supervisor, PhD, AA Graduate School

Research Interest: Modern and contemporary architectural history and theory

Clara Oloriz, Ms

Studio Master

Research Interest: Technology, Territory, Landscape, Prototypes

William Hutchins Orr, Mr

Diploma Course Tutor - Term 1, History and Theory, AA Undergraduate School Course Teaching Assistant - Third Year, His...

Research Interest: His research focuses on political and philosophical questions within the history and theory of architecture. These include the periodisation of modernity and the post-modern, "theo...

John Palmesino, Mr

Unit Master, Diploma 4, AA Undergraduate School Course Master, History and Critical Thinking, AA Graduate School

Research Interest: Contemporary territorial transformations, anthropocene, technosphere, oceans, remote sensing.

Thomas Parker, Mr

Specialist Lecturer, Design and Make, AA Graduate School Course Consultant - Intermediate, Communication & Media Studi...

Research Interest: - Experimental Design Practices - Translation Mediums, specifically between digital and analogue workflows - Tacit Learning Processes - Drawing Practices in digital analogue hyb...

Elena Pascolo, Ms

Studio Master, Housing and Urbanism, AA Graduate School

Research Interest: Urban Commons, Tactical Urbanism, Territorial deployment of architectural strategies Institutional arrangements, Circular Economies Regenerative Urbanism Radical Ecology

Anna Pla Catala, Ms

Course Tutor - Diploma TS4 & TS5, Environmental & Technical Studies, AA Undergraduate School Course Lecturer - Diploma...

Research Interest: Digital Technologies, Computation and Digital Fabrication in relation to Ecology, Cybernetics and System Theory

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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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