Aikaterini Zacharopoulou, MA

Course Teaching Assistant - First Year, History and Theory, AA Undergraduate School

Professional qualifications

Member of the International Society for Humor Studies

Research Interest

Described in one sentence, my research circulates around if, and how architecture (written, designed, or built) can be funny, and how this is received by distinct groups, for example the discipline and the public. The notions of irony and humour have been used in architectural discourse and practice, when seen as a means of communication. I am investigating the general prevalence of the use of irony for such a purpose, which is reflected in the analysis of the terms both in philosophy and literary studies, as well as a possible rejection of humour as "inappropriate" for an "elevated" discourse. With my research, I propose a reconsideration of the approach of the discipline of architecture towards humour. In this context, I am interested in the ancient Greek theatrical genres of "comedy" and "tragedy", the art of rhetoric, and the philosophy of humour and irony, as a theoretical framework. Regarding architecture specifically, I focus on Mannerism, "Architecture Parlante", and Post-Modernism, as moments in architectural history which could be associated with humorous approaches. Memes and new forms of architectural critique in the form of humorous cartoons also interest me.


Katerina Zacharopoulou is an architect and researcher from Thessaloniki, Greece. She received an Architect Engineer Diploma from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in 2016 and an MA with Distinction in "History & Critical Thinking in Architecture" in 2017 from the AA. Her research interests, currently explored in PhD research,concern the connection between architecture and humour. Katerina has talked about this topic at events and conferences at the AA, the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,and RMIT, and she is the first architect to have presented a paper at the International Society for Humor Studies Conference, on its 30th anniversary.


2019, Katerina Zacharopoulou, 25th Australasian Humour Studies Network (AHSN) Conference: “Humour in all its forms: on screen, on the page, on stage, on air, online …”, Breaking the Fourth Wall’: self-referential humour between art and architecture (or, ‘Untitled’)
Presentation of paper based on Research Diploma Thesis. The paper entertains the potential of architecture to engage in self-referential humour, through a parallel analysis of specific case study buildings and paintings of the trompe l'oeil genre.

2019, Katerina Zacharopoulou, Across Borders VIII: Cultural and Linguistic Shifts in the 21st Century, From ‘Learning from Las Vegas’ to ‘Transparency’ and back: Two ironic readings of architectural form
Paper presentation based on essay written for the MA in History and Critical Thinking. The paper analyses the use of irony and its potential to be funny, as a quality of built form, in two architectural writings. Presentation kindly supported by the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain (SAHGB).

2018, Katerina Zacharopoulou, International Society for Humor Studies 2018, Humour and/or Irony:How an Architecture of Communication can Fail to Communicate
Presentation of paper based on MA thesis of the same title. The paper analyses in parallel the use of the terms irony and humour to describe formal tools for communication, through an amusing contradiction to expectations. The prevalence of the former term is attributed to its different status in philosophy and literary studies.


2017, Katerina Zacharopoulou, Client Style: Pierre D’ Avoine & Colette Sheddick lecture at the AA , AA Conversations
Review of the lecture by Pierre D' Avoine and Colette Sheddick at the AA, for the online platform "AA Conversations".

2017, Katerina Zacharopoulou, Wim Nijenhuis, AA Public Programme, Book Launch, The Riddle of the Real City, or, The Dark Knowledge of Urbanism: An interview with Wim Nijenhuis by MA History & Critical Thinking student Katerina Zacharopoulou, AA Conversations
An interview with Wim Nijenhuis, author of the book "The Riddle of the Real City, or, The Dark Knowledge of Urbanism", which was presented at the AA Bookstore on the 8th of February 2017.

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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.