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 long 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. Our cross-disciplinary approach integrates knowledge from the natural sciences, computational and material experimentation, cultural and professional practices across the world. We seek to develop experimental designs and new models, propositions with principles of implementation capable of adapting to diverse circumstances or environments. Our research is conducted with rigour and precision. We encourage methodological innovation, particularly in research agendas with collective engagements such as live construction and participatory design.

Research Themes

There are four broad themes under which Research at the AA is conducted:

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.

Research Fellowships

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

Research Profiles

Christina Varvia, Ms

Unit Master, Diploma 3, AA Undergraduate School

Research Interest: Forensic Architecture, Investigative Architecture, Evidentiary Aesthetics, Media, Memory, Imaging Technologies, Human Rights, Political Studies, Forensic Research, Activism, Civil ...

Naiara Vegara, Mrs

Director, AA Visiting School Semester Programme

Research Interest: PhD candidate at the University of Navarra, Spain: "STREETWARE. Retrofitting Southeast Asian Historic cores as Competitive Cultural Districts." Streetware design thesis believes ...

Emmanuel Frederik Arthur Vercruysse, Mr

Member, , AA Academic Committees School Programme Co-Director, Design and Make, AA Graduate School Course Lecturer, ...

Research Interest: Teaching is a critical part of my practice, placing an emphasis on the interrogation of the processes involved in design thinking, investigating the particular interrelationships b...

Manijeh Verghese, Ms

Course Lecturer, AA Undergraduate School Unit Master, Diploma 12, AA Undergraduate School

Research Interest: Research interests include the role of the architect in the present, forensic methodology applied to architecture, different forms of architectural practice, the communication of a...

Amelia Vilaplana de Miguel, Miss

Studio Tutor, First Year, AA Undergraduate School

Research Interest: Amelia's work is situated in the intersection between architecture, art, gender studies and critical theory, and specifically focuses on Architecture and Urban research from a ...

Carlos Villanueva Brandt, Mr

Unit Master, Diploma 10, AA Undergraduate School

Research Interest: Architecture, Urbanism and Education

Alexandra Vougia, Dr

Course Tutor, DRL, AA Graduate School PhD Second Supervisor, PhD, AA Graduate School Studio Tutor, First Year, AA Un...

Research Interest: My research investigates the relation between architecture - both as a practice and as a production of discourse - and ideology. The particular interest began with the PhD (complet...

Michael Weinstock, Dr

Head of Research Director of Studies, AA PhD Programme, AA Graduate School Director, Emergent Technologies and Design...

Research Interest: My published research has been focused on the dynamics, forms and energy transactions of natural systems, and the abstraction and systematisation of knowledge of biological morphog...

Simon Withers, Mr

Unit Master, Intermediate 14, AA Undergraduate School

Research Interest: 'Captivating the Attention of Strangers' is a research project using photography, film, scanning, sound and text to develop new forms and techniques of representing archite...

Simos Yannas, Dr

2005- Director,MSc/MArch Sustainable Environmental Design, AA Graduate School 2004- Director, AA PhD Programme Member...

Research Interest: Environmental performance assessment of architectural forms and building types in different climatic regions and urban settings, indoors and outdoors. Effects of occupancy and clim...

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