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AA Director, Eva Franch i Gilabert, has been featured in Harper’s Bazaar as part of their ‘Brave Hearts’ series, which celebrates the visionary women inspiring change in a variety of creative fields, from fashion to Artificial Intelligence.

In the piece, Franch i Gilabert emphasised the role that the school plays in shaping architectural practice across the world, commenting that architecture ‘solidifies structures of power, and is one of the greatest influences on the way humans interact’, whilst stressing the need to reframe and redefine the architectural canon. 

Date Submitted: 28/2/2020

Afterparti, a collective formed from a cohort of New Architecture Writers including AA students Thomas Aquilina and Aoi Phillips, have organised a debate at the Barbican entitled For the Love of Power. The debate will discuss, define and challenge notions of power within the built environment, including contributions from Julia King of the LSE, Adam-Elliott-Cooper of the University of Greenwich and André Anderson of Freedom & Balance.

The event takes place 7pm, Tuesday 3 March. Tickets are available now.

Date Submitted: 27/2/2020

Rem Koolhaas, AA Alumnus and co-founder of architectural practice OMA, has curated a new exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, which addresses the ‘urgent environmental, political and socioeconomic issues’ facing the ‘rural, remote and wild territories’ that cover 98% of the globe.

The exhibition opened at the Guggenheim 40 years after Koolhaas launched his book on urbanism, Delirious New York, at the same venue. Koolhaas commented that over the past decades, while ‘our energies and intelligence have been focused on the urban areas of the world, the countryside has changed dramatically under the influence of global warming, the market economy, American tech companies, African and European initiatives, Chinese politics, and other forces.’

The exhibition runs until Friday 14 August.

Date Submitted: 27/2/2020

AA tutor Winston Hampel, who teaches Plot (Experimental 10), has been awarded a Graham Foundation grant towards a forthcoming translation of Liselotte and Oswald Mathias Ungers’ Kommunen in der Neuen Welt 1740-1972. The Ungers’ study of communal living in the United States is a cult favourite, but has never been published in English. The REAL foundation, led by AA tutor Jack Self, will publish Hampel’s new translation of this classic text, emphasising the contributions made by Liselotte, which have been historically minimised by biographers of O. M. Ungers.

Date Submitted: 27/2/2020

AA Diploma graduate Neri Oxman’s work is the subject of an exhibition at the MoMA in New York. Oxman is a professor of media arts and sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab, where she founded and directs the Mediated Matter Group. She coined the term ‘material ecology’ to describe techniques and objects that are informed by and directly engage with the structures, systems and aesthetics of nature.

The exhibition is comprised of seven projects, curated by MoMA’s senior curator for Architecture and Design, Paola Antonelli. The projects use natural materials in innovative ways, including pectin, melanin, bacteria and silk from silkworms. Antonelli said in an interview that Oxman’s work is ‘a testament to the fact that buildings and products are not enough to describe how vast and exciting the world of architecture and design is today.’

Date Submitted: 27/2/2020

Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, tutor for In Other Worlds (Diploma 12), has been interviewed by BBC Future discussing her artistic practice and asking ‘can humans really make the world better?’ In the interview, Ginsberg questions the emphasis on progress in society when ‘progress’ so often brings with it the destruction of habitats and the extinction of species. Ginsberg reflected that ‘when we talk about making a better world, or progressing ourselves, we have to progress our environment, and for me that means maintaining it and looking after it.’

She discussed her 2019 work ‘The Substitute’, an artificially intelligent video installation that virtually resurrected the last male northern white rhinoceros that scientists are trying to save from extinction using IVF technology.

‘In my work as an artist in the studio, we work with a lot of emerging technologies, but to think about our relationship to nature, which seems a bit odd, but researching synthetic biology or genetic engineering or artificial intelligence is a way to think about what it means for humans to design living things and what it means to be a living thing.’

Image credit: Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, The Substitute, 2019

Date Submitted: 27/2/2020

The installation has been developed through a collaboration between the Architectural Association (AA) Emergent Technologies & Design Post-Graduate Programme (EmTech) and BuroHappold Engineering. The brief examined the structural and geometrical properties of folded thin zinc metal sheets to create a structural form that uses minimal material to cover the terrace skylight. By utilising robotic folding techniques triangular connector components were made in a form to ease fabrication and the complexity at the joints. The geometric properties of the folds were also adjusted to control the curvature and strength of the joint whilst the robotic arm was used to progressively dent patterns into the components to stiffen up areas of high stress. The global geometry was designed for assembly without formwork and for repeatable joints to reduce the amount of material used as far as possible.

Design & Build is an extracurricular collaborative student project, and is an essential part of the pedagogy and culture of EmTech. It runs right through the year, alongside both Studio and the Dissertation, and provides opportunities to design and deliver a built project with real material, structural, fabrication and assembly constraints. The experience gained enhances the design, computational and analytical skills students have acquired in Studio, and it develops crucial transferrable skills that are applicable to professional practice.

Credits: Architectural Association (AA) Emergent Technologies & Design Post-Graduate Programme (EmTech) in collaboration with BuroHappold Engineering

EmTech: Director: Dr. Elif Erdine; Founding Director: Dr. Michael Weinstock; Faculty: Dr. George Jeronimidis, Alican Sungur, Antiopi Koronaki, Eleana Polychronaki, Abhinav Chaudhary, Lorenzo Santelli

Students (2018-2020): Aysu Aysoy, Medha Bansal, Jia Wen Hu, Adelina Koleva, Archit Mathur, Saumil Nagar, Sri Krishna Subramanya Bhat, Yukie Takasu, Nikolai Vladimirov, Kai Yeh, Fun Yuen

Students (2019-2021): Alyina Ahmed, Mohamed Owaze Ansari, Dhwani Ramnarayan Bisani, Jong In Choi, Yousra Elshafeei, Leili Ghaemi, Maria Luiza Gomes Torres, Berin Nur Kocabas, Weiting Kong, Felipe Oeyen, John Elliot Ouchterlony, Paravee Pokawatthananurak, Devaiah Ponnimada Ashok, Debolina Ray, Maximo Tettamanzi, Yi Zhang

BuroHappold Engineering: London Office Director: Justin Phillips, Director: Tim Kelly, Senior Engineer: Nicolo Bencini

Find out more about the postgraduate Emergent Technologies and Design course at the AA

Date Submitted: 21/2/2020

AA tutor Jessica Reynolds (Experimental 13) and AA Alumni Catherine Pease and former AA tutor Tatiana von Preussen, who lead the firm vPPR Architects, have designed the exhibition for an upcoming show at the Barbican Art Gallery. Masculinities: Liberation through Photography is a group exhibition that explores how the experience, performance and social construction of masculinity has been expressed and documented through photography and film from the 1960s to the present day. The show opens on Thursday 20 February and runs until 17 May 2020.

The exhibition design constructs a series of architectural frames that bring into dialogue the varied definitions of masculinity captured in the artworks, as well as the brutalist architecture of the Barbican Art Gallery and as enacted by the visitors themselves. Assumptions of structure, power, fragility and strength are questioned in the design by breaking down boundaries and opening up connections between different sections examining queer identity, the black body, power and patriarchy, female perceptions of men, heteronormative hypermasculine stereotypes, fatherhood and family.

Photograph: Thomas Dworzak, Taliban portrait. Kandahar, Afghanistan. 2002. Collection T. Dworzak/Magnum Photos

Date Submitted: 20/2/2020

The Dezeen Awards 2020 have now opened for entries, and amongst the announced judges are included AA Alumni Ben van Berkel, Maria Cheung, Sally Mackereth, Arthur Mamou-Mani and Adam Nathaniel Furman. The competition categories include prizes for architecture, interiors and design, as well as prizes for individual projects and prizes for both established and emerging studios.

AA Director Eva Franch i Gilabert is also on the panel of judges, as well as AA tutor Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg and the founder of the DRL Graduate Programme Patrik Schumacher. The first deadline for entrants is Tuesday 31 March and the final deadline is Tuesday 2 June. Projects completed between 1 June 2018 and 2 June 2020 are eligible.

Date Submitted: 20/2/2020

Hamed Khosravi, AA Tutor of Fluid Territories: The North Sea (Diploma 7) and the Projective Cities Taught Postgraduate programme has been published in Faktur with an article discussing the history of logisitics. His article ‘The Port & The Fall of Icarus’ outlines the history of logistics, and its growing influence as a mode of thinking. He highlights how logistical spaces have changed the way in which we conceive of space at architectural, urban, and even regional scales.

Date Submitted: 20/2/2020

AA alumnus, Diploma Programme contributor and founder of Forensic Architecture, Eyal Weizman, has been featured on the homepage of the Guardian website due to recently being denied a visa to enter the United States of America. Eyal Weizman was planning on travelling to Miami for the opening of a retrospective of Forensic Architecture’s work.

In a statement presented by his wife, Ines Weizman, at the exhibition preview, and published on the collective’s website, Weizman says:

“This much we know: we are being electronically monitored for a set of connections – the network of associations, people, places, calls and transactions – that make up our lives. Working in human rights means being in contact with vulnerable communities, activists and experts, and being entrusted with sensitive information. These networks are the lifeline of any investigative work. I am alarmed that relations among our colleagues, stakeholders and staff are being targeted by the US government as security threats.”

Eyal Weizman co-produces Evidentiary Aesthetics, an Open Seminar series that accompanies Diploma Unit 3: Body Politic run by Christina Varvia, Merve Anil.

Read the Guardian article

Find out more about Forensic Architecture

Find out more about Evidentiary Aesthetics

Find out more about Diploma Unit 3: Body Politic

Date Submitted: 20/2/2020

Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Helberg, tutors of The Civic Programme (Diploma 2) and co-founders of design studio Space Popular, feature in The Guardian’s Art and Design section for Brick Vault house, Santa Barbara, Valencia.

Brick Vault house is the first completed building by Space Popular. Comprising of a bright-green steel frame on a large 3D grid, the house projects out of steeply sloping site with some of the spaces in the grid filled with white cubic volumes and the others left empty.  

Read the article on The Guardian website

Find out more about Space Popular

Find out about The Civic Programme (AA Diploma Unit 2)

Date Submitted: 20/2/2020

Architecture constantly pushes us to reimagine how we want to live together. From outer space capsules to submarine systems, utopias have taken us into faraway places and futures. Today’s climate emergency, social unrest and political instability demand us to think of a closer utopia, one that is able to help us rethink immediate futures, and immediate contexts. French artist Cyril de Commarque invites Catalan architect and curator Eva Franch i Gilabert, director of the Architectural Association School in London, to discuss and present a series of projects, visions and positions that can help us expand our horizons

The talk will take place at the Institut français du Royaume-Uni, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT, on Wednesday 26 February, at 7pm.

Book your place on the Institut français website

Date Submitted: 20/2/2020

AA Visiting School Bolivia tutors Sabrina Morreale and Lorenzo Perri have been shortlisted for the Future Architecture Fair 2020 by the Future Architecture Platform. They will be presenting research work developed by their creative practice Lemonot during several years running the El Alto visiting school.

This year’s El Alto Visiting School is titled ‘Portable Cholets’, and will intertwine film-making with architecture, inspired by Freddy Mamani’s vivid cholets to create performative pieces of wearable architecture.

Date Submitted: 14/2/2020

Current AA student and curator of the AA Exhibition ‘In Pursuit of Images’, Moad Musbahi was interviewed in TANK magazine discussing the exhibition and its accompanying symposium on Friday 14 February. The exhibition will be on show in the AA Gallery until Friday 21 February and the programme is curated by Ana Maria Nicolaescu and Moad Musbahi.

The exhibition is centred on the work of German filmmaker Harun Farocki, with a variety of artists and performers responding to his work around the production of images.

Date Submitted: 13/2/2020
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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 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.

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