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Extracts from the exhibition catalogue:

Norah Aiton (1903−88) and Betty Scott (1904−83) met at the Architectural Association in 1929 and became one of the first practices of women architects in Britain. Influenced by the Dutch design school de Stijl, their approach considered modernism as a more stylistic concern. They completed a number of commissions, including a print works and private houses.

Mary Crowley (Medd) (1907−2005) trained at the Architectural Association and was influenced by Scandinavian architecture in her formative years. Working alongside her husband David Medd, her impact on school design and planning in Britain was significant, maintaining always the central idea of child-centred education. She was awarded the OBE in 1963.

Margaret Justin Blanco White (1911−2001) completed a small number of private housing projects during the 1930s following her graduation from the Architectural Association. She worked in Middlesbrough during the war as consultant on plans for the city’s redevelopment before moving to the Scottish Department of Health to research new housing types and building methods.

Beyond Bauhaus, Modernism in Britain 1933–66, Architecture Gallery, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD, 1 October 2019 – 1 February 2020, FREE ENTRY

Find out more on the RIBA website

Beyond Bauhaus Exhibition images © Edmund Sumner

Date Submitted: 8/11/2019

The Opinion piece, entitled Fungal houses, anyone? addresses presentations by AA students and graduates which focussed on themes of population growth and impact of the built environment on the natural world. Finch writes about Bálint Bakos’ (Sustainable Environmental Design) project about the issue of population growth in Lagos, Abhinav Chaudhary, Miguel Escallon and Neil Deep Singh Grewal’s (EmTech) project about post-earthquake Kathmandu, and Ryan Cook’s (Diploma Unit 9) proposal for an Environmental Defence Agency.

Read the full piece on the Architects’ Journal website

Image: Abhinav Chaudhary, Miguel Escallon and Neil Deep Singh Grewal

Date Submitted: 7/11/2019

British curator Beatrice Galilee has launched a new architecture forum that will kick-off as a conference in New York next year, with speakers including Elizabeth Diller and Shohei Shigematsu.

The all-day series of talks, set to take place on Saturday 25 January 2020 at the Renzo Piano-designed The Times Center in New York.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro co-founder Elizabeth Diller and OMA New York's Shohei Shigematsu are among 20 speakers that Galilee has selected for the day-long event. Also on the roster are Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, MoMA's senior curator of architecture and design Paola Antonelli and Architectural Association director Eva Franch i Gilabert.

Read the full article on Dezeen

Date Submitted: 7/11/2019

The project for the Venice Biennale investigates Polish rurality, forms of dwelling, and forms of production from the past, present and future. The research aims to look at the countryside through the lens of the radical attempt of the socialist state to collectivise living and labour in the rural context during the second half of the 20th century. Moreover, problems like the regress of the post-socialist city, internal migration towards the countryside, growing spatial chaos and ongoing climate crisis make the investigation towards the countryside relevant.

Read the official announcement

Date Submitted: 7/11/2019

Eduardo Rico-Carranza (Co-Head of Landscape Urbanism) gave a lecture at IAAC as part of MaCT Theory of Cities Master Class on the 6th November. The lecture entitled “Territorial Praxis” showcased the work carried out as part of the Landscape Urbanism course as well as personal research in digital interfaces for public participation.

Find out more about Landscape Urbanism

Image: Wanxin Li and Yuxi Tong, Urban Edible Landscape, AA Landscape Urbanism

Date Submitted: 7/11/2019

Roberta Marcaccio (AA History and Theory tutor and AA alumna) with chair Judi Loach and Italian architect Angelo Lunati will reflect on Ernesto Rogers’ work and re-evaluate his role in Italian architecture and the wider context.

Ernesto Nathan Rogers is among the key figures of the modern movement in Italy. Born in Trieste and educated in Milan, Rogers was also one of the figures behind BBPR, best known for work on the Torre Velasca in the historic centre of Milan.

A controversial and seminal project of its time, Torre Velasca is a prime example of Rogers’ ability to reconcile environmental factors with historic references. While remaining true to a focus on function and modernist construction methods, the tower also refers to its historic context.

No account of Rogers’ contribution would be complete without a mention of his work as an architectural theorist and critic. His ideas, expressed in writing as much as in buildings, were central to discussions taking place in Italy and beyond during the post-war period. They were broadcast prominently through his editorship of the Casabella magazine and work as an educator.

Rogers’ work remained relevant for generations of architects to follow and is often seen as laying the groundwork for Postmodernism.

The conversation will take place on Monday 4 November at the Royal Academy. Book on the Royal Academy website

Date Submitted: 30/10/2019

Field research by Diploma Unit 18: Salvage: Exploring, Designing and Building with Reused Materials and Rotor’s research into the online directory, Opalis, which aims to facilitate the recirculation of building components, has been presented at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences during the UN SDSN Vatican Youth Symposium.

UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) mobilises global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and global scales. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences ensures that science works to advance of the human and moral dimension of man; furthering participation in the benefits of science and technology by the greatest number of peoples while promoting education and the public’s understanding of science.

Opalis has been featured as part of the Sustainable Cities and Communities session which addressed sustainable development from an urban perspective.

AA members contributing to the Opalis project are Samuel John Little, Arvind Roy, Lydia Liu, Selin Arisal, Marion Delaporte, Sarah deVries, Chi Tou Lam, Caterina Miralles Tagliabue, Ananya Nevatia, Xuecheng Wang, Cuicheng Zhang, Sihyun Kim, Seunghun Lee, Shidi Fu, Shreya Kochatta, Sorana Mazilu, Nicole Ng, Joyce Ng, Ele Mun, Clara Schwarz, Ke Yang, Connie Lynn, Alice Nobel, Andrew Robertson and Maarten Gielen, Lionel Devlieger, Aude-Line Dulière and James Westcott. 

Find out more about Opalis and Diploma Unit 18

Image caption: Diploma Unit 18 and Opalis field research presented at the Aula Magna of the Casina Pio IV

Date Submitted: 30/10/2019

Rotor is a cooperative design practice that investigates the organisation of the material environment. Lionel Devlieger and Maarten Gielen are founding members of Rotor, Aude-Line Duliere is been part of Rotor’s development team. Together with James Westcott, they also run Diploma Unit 18: Salvage: Exploring, Designing and Building with Reused Materials.

Life under a cherry tree is Rotor’s first public exhibition in Brussels and opens on November 6th. Find out more on the La Loge website

Date Submitted: 30/10/2019

Ioana Man will run an event at the Wellcome Collection on 31 October. Microbial Space is a design drama that will take us on a microbial journey through the Reading Room at the Wellcome Collection.

The design drama uses the Reading Room as a portal into the microscopic world, where we will embark on a collaborative, performative tour across biospheres hidden in plain sight. Through the many different stories read by voices in the audience, we will uncover links between how we design, furnish and inhabit spaces - directly engaging the health of the microbiome within. We will encounter the incessant buzz of the biosphere and hear from microbes, cleaners and regulators. Together, we will make jumps across scale and species to hear the many perspectives within this more-than-human world.

Reading Room at the Wellcome Collection, 31st October, 7pm. RSVP HERE

Ioana has also been appointed as a Young Trustee at the Architecture Foundation. The Architecture Foundation has appointed six new young trustees. The new board will lead the AF Young Network organising independent events and supporting the foundation to expand its reach and develop its network of volunteers.

Read more on the Architecture Foundation website

Date Submitted: 30/10/2019

Gustav Düsing (AADipl 2011) has recently been granted a prestigious fellowship at the German Academy in Rome, Villa Massimo, which includes a 10 month stay in Rome starting next September.

Gustav’s research focus ranges from the global distribution of building materials and associated spatial, cultural and social changes, to cycles of destruction and reconstruction and the associated landscape changes using the example of rubble mountains.

Through the unique architectural and archaeological environment of Rome, Gustav will investigate the role of architecture in the transformation of the earth's surface from ancient times to the present. The main focus will be on testing and presenting spatial-structural material systems on a 1: 1 scale.

Find out more about Villa Massimo

Date Submitted: 30/10/2019

The Moving to Mars exhibition at London's Design Museum, explores putting humans on the red planet as the final frontier for design. The show is structured into five parts: Imagining Mars, The Voyage, Survival, Mars Futures and Down to Earth. It explores themes including the role that design plays in keeping astronauts safe during the voyage to Mars, and what working with its limited resources could teach us about designing more sustainably on Earth.

How survival on Mars might become possible is explored through more than 200 exhibits. These consist of a combination of original artefacts from the likes of NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX, alongside new commissions and immersive installations by Konstantin Grcic and Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, AA Diploma 12 unit tutor.

Find out more on the Design Museum website

Date Submitted: 25/10/2019

Mario Cucinella architects and WASP, have begun the construction of TECLA — a prototype for a 3D-printed habitat. Currently under construction near bologna, Italy, the project responds to pressing societal issues such as exponential population increase and a lack of affordable accommodation. Created using entirely reusable, recyclable materials taken from the local terrain, TECLA is a new circular housing model described as ‘a step-change in the move towards eco-housing’.

The design was developed using research undertaken by the SOS — school of sustainability — an institution founded by Mario Cucinella. The research, conducted with the support of students from the MSc+MArch Sustainable Environmental Design Programme at the Architectural Association in London, explored the cause and effects of homelessness, based on case studies in locations with different climates. the result is a highly flexible envelope, designed to be resilient to any climate and energy-efficient in ways that traditional housing models are not. TECLA commenced printing in September 2019, and is expected to complete at the beginning of 2020.

Find out more on designboom

Date Submitted: 25/10/2019

Eleni Meladaki is an associate architect at London studio ACME. She explains her career progression and the difference between practising architecture in Greece and the UK for the Dezeen Jobs careers guide.

Meladaki's role as an associate involves running projects, preparing bids and overseeing practice-wide matters such as development opportunities.

Despite her senior role, she still has the opportunity to work on day-to-day design work and tasks: "we have a relatively flat hierarchy [at ACME], which means that I am still hands-on."

Meladaki moved to London to study at the Architectural Association, after initially completing her bachelor and masters at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), and practising as a registered architect in Greece.

Read the interview on Dezeen

Date Submitted: 25/10/2019

Films by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine are currently being shown at biennale’s worldwide. Bêka and Lemoine are Unit Masters with Gili Merin of the Diploma Unit 16: Homo Urbanus: Laboratory for Sensitive Observers.

The latest film by Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine, BUTOHOUSE, is currently on show at Orléans Biennale of Architecture "Nos années de solitude" at FRAC Centre until 19/01/2020.

BUTOHOUSE is a brutalist portrait of Japanese architect-artist Keisuke Oka who has been building alone for the past 15 years his house in the center of Tokyo, just in front of a masterpiece by Kenzo Tange. Inspired by butoh dance, this concrete building follows the dynamic of an everyday total improvisation.

 

The long term project Homo Urbanus by Bêka & Lemoine, shot in 9 different cities (Bogotà, Saint-Petersburg, Tokyo, Kyoto, Shanghai, Doha, Rabat, Naples, Seoul), is now on show at: "Todo dia", 12th International Architecture Biennale in Sao Paolo (Brazil); "Un instant avant le monde", Biennale internationale d'art contemporain de Rabat (Morocco); "Amman Design Week" (Jordan)

Homo Urbanus is also the subject this year of Bêka & Lemoine's Diploma Unit program at the AA, within their "Laboratory for sensitive observers". More information on the unit.

Date Submitted: 17/10/2019

Nahmad-Bhooshan studio (AADRL) were invited to show their studio work into urban gamification and robotic fabrication during UK Construction Week. Their studio work was displayed as part of the construction innovation hub stand. The hot-wire cut furniture fabricated for the house display will be touring the UK for the next 3 months as part of the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE) initiative to involve young people in the design, manufacture and building of houses of the future.

Date Submitted: 16/10/2019
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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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