Diploma unit Play for Today: The Performance of Architecture will host an afternoon of performances, ideas and discussion exploring new architectural futures of Birmingham and Eastside Projects. The event will take place on Friday 31 January from 12pm – 4pm and is free to attend.

The event is hosted by Diploma Unit 19

Find out more about the event

David Kohn is a London-based architect and educator. He taught at the Cass School of Architecture between 2003 and 2013, was a visiting professor at KU Leuven from 2014 to 2016 and an External Examiner at the University of Cambridge from 2016 to 2019. His practice is currently working on major projects for the ICA, New College Oxford and Hasselt University.

Bushra Mohamed has worked at David Kohn architects since 2018, where she leads a number of arts, cultural and residential projects. She has previously worked for DRDH, Adam Khan Architects and Assemble, as well as Monadnock Architects in The Netherlands. Bushra has previously taught at Kingston University and the Architectural Drawing Summer School.

Date Submitted: 27/1/2020

The international competition, led by Arquine, called for architects and designers to submit their best proposals for a temporary pavilion to be located within Mexico City during the MEXTRÓPOLI 2020 Architecture and City Festival. With over 290 proposals the jury, which consisted of Tatiana Bilbao, Ruth Estévez, Carlos Facio, Alberto Odériz, Saidee Springall, and Alejandro Tapia, selected Gastronomic Palapa as the winners.

Proposed by Lemonot (Sabrina Morreale AADipl 2016 and Lorenzo Perri AADipl(Hons) 2016) and Federico Fauli AADipl 2017, Gastronomic Palapa addresses how what we eat and how we relate to the food and resources we have today defines a cultural and historical debate. Completely made by Chiles Secos, the triangular-shaped dryer is constructed with a series of wooden arches forming an inverted thatched roof that acts as a communal palapa. 3500 bunches of chillies become the main elements to inform the materiality of the pavilion. They’re attached progressively to each wooden arch, creating a colourful sequence to walk through. The sheltered space communicates to the exuberant Alameda through a series of tables. La Mesa as a medium to connect interior and exterior, providing a fertile ground for spontaneous gatherings. This gastronomic palapa is an architecture to be physically consumed throughout the festival. Mextrópoli is a ludic and reflexive event that heightens the voices of architects, city planners and authorities to generate knowledge about the city that occupants inhabit. 20th-23rd March, Alameda Central, Mexico City

Find out more on the Arquine website and on Bustler  

Date Submitted: 27/1/2020

AA alumnus Sushant Verma and co-founder of rat[LAB] was invited to lecture on Parametric Design at the Arch Evolution 2019 festival in Belarus, and taught generative, algorithmic and evolutionary design at the Global Visiting School in Russell Square.

Arch Evolution 2019 was an architectural education festival in Brest, Belarus, which included workshops on Computational Design and data-driven design strategies. The festival sought to propose architectural and urban solutions for a live site in Brest through a variety of interactive design workshops. The Global Visiting School programme is run by rat[LAB]EDUCATION, and organises programmes, talks and workshops around the world to support independent architectural education.

Read about the Global Visiting School programme.

Date Submitted: 27/1/2020

British curator Beatrice Galilee has launched a new architecture forum that will kick-off as a conference in New York on 25 January, with speakers including AA Director Eva Franch and AA alumnus Shumon Basar (AADipl 2000).

The all-day series of talks, set to take place at the Renzo Piano-designed The Times Center in New York, also includes speakers Elizabeth Diller and Shohei Shigematsu. Also on the roster are Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, MoMA's senior curator of architecture and design Paola Antonelli.

Find out more about The World Around and watch the conference live

Date Submitted: 24/1/2020

The article entitled ‘Why tomorrow’s architecture will use yesterday’s materials’ was featured in the Financial Times on Monday 13 January. The article by Edwin Heathcote visits Rotor’s headquarters in Brussels and interviews Lionel Devlieger and Maarten Gielen, reporting on how Rotor are “fighting waste by helping designers reuse salvaged building components”.

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.

Read the full article on the Financial Times

Find out more about Diploma Unit 18

Date Submitted: 23/1/2020

Le Parlement Climatique is organised by the Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture de Versailles and will takes place between Friday 24 and Saturday 25 January 2020 at the Pavillon de l'Arsenal, 21, boulevard Morland, 75004 Paris, France.

The event aims to go beyond the ecological consensus, trying to understand the realities behind the passions, and their implications in architecture, in order to better tackle the environmental issues - on different levels - our future is facing. Building on the July 2018 Attica wildfires and the Mati massacre, Platon will present an ongoing research project on the relation between coastal development in Greece, climate injustice and the necropolitics of the social, economic and environmental crisis in the European and the Global South.

Participants: Alessandro Bava and Rebecca Sharp (Ecocore), Holly Jean Buck (UCLA), Nathalie De Noblet-Ducoudré (CEA, GIEC), Platon Issaias (AA), Samaneh Moafi (Forensic Architecture), Jason W. Moore (Binghamton University, World-Ecology Research Network), Léa Mosconi (ENSA-Paris Val de Seine), Grégory Quenet (Université Versailles-Saint Quentin en Yvelines), Philippe Rahm (ENSA-Versailles, Cornell University), Ivonne Santoyo-Orozco (Bard College), Roger Tudó (H arquitectes, ETSAV).

Find out more on the Pavillon de L’Arsenal website

Date Submitted: 23/1/2020

The post-graduate programme at the AA, Landscape Urbanism, exhibited three design theses on the topics of ‘Design and Just Transition to a Decarbonised Economy’, ‘Design, Visualization and the management of Antarctica oceans’ and ‘Design and Rewilding London’. The exhibition includes videos and panels produced by Landscape Urbamism graduate students: Daniel Kiss, Swadheet Chaturvedi, Elena Luciano, Yasmina Yehia, Rafael Martinez, Xian Chen and Deng Lee.

Landscape Urbanism also presented Clara Oloriz (studio master)’s latest book ‘Landscape as Territory’.

Find out more about the Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture

Date Submitted: 22/1/2020

Congratulations to David Kohn Architects for winning the competition to design a new market development in Birmingham. The market is at the centre of Lendlease’s £1.5bn Smithfield regeneration project, which plays a key part of Birmingham’s Big City Plan launched in 2010.

David Kohn is a tutor at the AA, where he teaches Diploma 19, a unit concerned with theatricality and performance in architecture and the city. The unit considers the theatre and the playhouse, but also the marketplace and the public square. Diploma 19 works closely with Eastside Projects, an artist run multiverse based near to the Smithfield regeneration zone.

Date Submitted: 20/1/2020

The AA will be hosting a conference about archiving and collecting architectural material on 22—23 May 2020, in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. The conference will discuss connections between architecture and archives, interrogating the current priorities of the archive, and examining how shifts in architectural technology will change our future archiving practices.

The project has just opened its call for papers which asks for contributions of 20 minute presentations, 2000 word papers or posters and exhibition stands for the conference in May. Contributions are encouraged from all perspectives: including historians, architects and practitioners to discuss questions such as: Who is represented in architectural collections and who is not?  What is the archive’s relevance to architectural practice? How does the agency of the collection shape architectural histories? 

Image courtesy of RIBA Collections, Proposals for the RIBA collections at the V&A, Wright & Wright / Peter Alan Hull

Date Submitted: 14/1/2020

Congratulations to friends of the school Emma Letizia Jones (MA History and Critical Thinking) and Timothy Ivison (London Consortium PhD) who have been Richard Rogers Fellowships for 2020. The fellowships are run by the Harvard GSD and include a three-month residency at Richard Rogers’ Wimbledon House in south west London which is grade II* listed and originally built as a home for Rogers’ parents. Six fellows are awarded residencies each year, using the house as a platform to research, accessing London archival collections and other resources.

Both Emma and Tim have taught History and Theory at the AA, and will use the fellowships to pursue their research work on 19th century Building Manuals and 1960s planning disputes respectively. In 2013 Tim took part in a panel on architectural education and office culture at the AA, which is still available in the AA video archive.


Image: Wimbledon House, photographed by Iwan Baan, courtesy of Harvard GSD.

Date Submitted: 14/1/2020

Former student and initiator of the AA XX 100 programme Yasmin Shariff, and co-curators of the programme Elizabeth Darling and Lynne Walker are taking part in an event at the RIBA to discuss the architectural legacies of key female architects within the modernist movement. The AA XX 100 programme included a conference, exhibition and a book commemorating 100 years of women studying at the AA. The women being discussed include Mary Crowley (Medd) and Margaret Justin Blanco White, both of whom studied at the Architectural Association during the interwar years.

The event is happening at RIBA on the 21 January, and is organised in partnership with Part W, an organisation campaigning for gender parity in construction, infrastructure, architecture and design. The event is part of the Beyond the Bauhaus exhibition, and tickets can be found on the RIBA website.

Image: Design for a New Crystal Palace, AA student Phyllis Brooke, 1937

Date Submitted: 9/1/2020

The AA would like to warmly congratulate several figures connected to the school who received recognition for their work in the New Years Honours list:

Jamie Fobert received a CBE for services to Architecture, his practice, James Fobert Architects are currently undertaking a redevelopment of the National Portrait Gallery and were shortlisted for the Stirling Prize for their extension to Tate St Ives. James was a unit tutor in the early 2000s, and also redesigned the AA canteen.

Sadie Morgan received an OBE for services to design advocacy as a founding director of Stirling Prize winning studio dRMM Architects. Professor Morgan taught a unit at the school in the 1990s, and served as the youngest ever president of the AA from 2013-2015.

Harry Paticas was awarded an MBE for services to the community in Bethnal Green, having designed the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ memorial which commemorated the deaths of 173 people during an air raid in 1943. Harry was awarded a bursary to study for his diploma at the AA, and now runs the design practice Arboreal.

Eyal Weizman received an MBE for services to Architecture, particularly in his role as the founding director of the research agency Forensic Architecture. Professor Weizman graduated from the AA in 1998, and was interviewed last year as part of the AA Conversations series.

Image: Arboreal Architecture's 'Stairway to Heaven' Memorial, Bethnal Green, London

Date Submitted: 8/1/2020

AA Alumnus Adam Nathaniel Furman has created new chairs inspired by the body, exploring colour and queer aesthetics. The chairs play with ideas of intimacy and minimalism with a tongue-in-cheek tone. Furman describes them as "jubilant and adorable celebrations of the human body".

Furman co-directed the AA’s Saturated Space research group, which explored colour in architectural design, leading to a symposium at the AA, which is available to watch.

Read the full article on Dezeen.

Date Submitted: 8/1/2020

London- and Athens-based architects Neiheiser Argyros have transformed a tired, modest semi-detached house by extending it, adding lots of glazing and playing with the floor levels.

The house in Barnes, south-west London was a mere 80 sq m when architect Xristina Argyros started on it. By the time she had finished, it was 180 sq m. ‘As it was on a corner, we were able to extend at the side and rear and get a square footprint, rather than typical rectangular shape,’ she says. ‘Wherever we could, we extended to the full envelope of the house.’ The attic floor was also extended.

Read the full article on Wallpaper*

Xristina Agyros and Ryan Neiheiser are unit tutors for the Experimental 15 unit; City / Hall. Read more about the unit.

Date Submitted: 13/12/2019

Serie Architects, made up of Chris Lee (AADipl(Hons) 1998 and former Academic Staff),  Bolam Lee (AADipl 2008) and Martin Jameson (AADipl(Hons) 2008 and Diploma 1 Unit Master), have won the best Mixed-use Building at the World Architecture Festival Awards for Oasis Terraces, Singapore. Other finalists for the award included Zaha Hadid Architects, Ole Scheeren and AHMM.

Find out more about the winning project on the Serie Architects website or on the World Architecture Festival website.

Date Submitted: 12/12/2019


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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.