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






Paula Cadima, Dr

Programme Co-Director, Sustainable Environmental Design, AA Graduate School

Research Interest: Her PhD was obtained at the AA and focused on Transitional Spaces, but her current research interests extend to themes related to refurbishing the city, urban microclimates, afford...

Herman Calleja, Mr

Course Consultant

Research Interest: Herman is interested in the application of parametric design research within the field of Environmental Design. Pursuing this research Herman has participated in various Smart Geom...

Claudio Campanile, Mr

Course Tutor

Research Interest: Numerical optimisation, data analysis, data science, artificial intelligence

Matilde Cassani, Miss

Unit Master, Experimental Unit 11, AA Undergraduate School

Research Interest: The spatial implications of cultural pluralism in the contemporary Western city. Architecture, exhibition design

Chittawadi Chitrabongs, Dr M.L.

PhD External 2nd Supervisor

Research Interest: Everyday life in Bangkok; founding a conservation center entitled Ban Plainern Living Archive at the private residence of Prince Naris in Bangkok.

Fenella Collingridge, Ms

Consultant, Foundation, AA Undergraduate School

Research Interest: Publication: AA Files No. 30: Honours project 1996, Studies of social housing in early Renaissance Venice and vernacular use of material and details lead to a new mixed housing pr...

Nerma Cridge, Dr

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

Research Interest: My research interests occupy two main areas: the notion of architectural drawing and post-socialist city. I am fascinated by abstraction and public space, and have recently returne...

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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