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






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, Landscape and Urbanism, AA Graduate School

Research Interest: Technology, Territory, Landscape, Prototypes

Arantza Ozaeta Cortazar, Mrs

Course Master, Intermediate 4, AA Undergraduate School

Research Interest: INTERMEDIATE 4 ambition is the detection of areas of opportunity within a constantly changing European environment, and the development of a set of operative tools for a generation...

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