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Alumnus Jose Sanchez creates educational, architecture-led video games at design studio Plethora Project. He tells the Dezeen Jobs careers guide how he applies an architectural mindset to the gaming industry.

After originally studying to be an architect in his native Chile, a move to the Architectural Association provided Sanchez with an opportunity to "completely reinvent" his architectural thinking.

"I was disenchanted with how programming tools were being used in architecture," he explained.

"I had a vision of a far more interactive relation with computation, where a designer, or player, could intuitively push and pull different elements, and allow the software to respond or provide feedback."

This led him to launch Plethora Project, a design initiative geared towards making people more architecturally literate.

Plethora Project produces building-simulation games, designed to educate and engage users on the challenges modern cities present, while also promoting the value of good design.

"I think that video games have an important role to play in many disciplines including architecture, and the medium is still young so I don't think we have seen all its potential yet," said Sanchez.

"I have found coding to be a skill that opens so many doors, especially if we don't want to just be consumers of technologies developed by others," he added. "Learning programming should be seen as learning a language, one that allows you to have a more critical relation with technology."

Read the full interview on Dezeen Jobs

Date Submitted: 24/4/2019

Mean Home explores statistical means in Italian and British housing. It presents new visions of the average home, in spatial, financial, social, cultural and material terms. The exhibition is a cultural exchange and exquisite corpse. London architects REAL (Director Jack Self) have designed a home for Italians, while Milanese collective Fosbury Architecture have designed a home for the British. Mean Home is curated and designed by REAL, with additional projects by Fosbury Architecture and Adam Nathaniel Furman.

Exhibition and round table discussion with Jack Self (REAL Foundation), Adam Nathaniel Furman (former BSR Rome Prize-winner in Architecture), and Giacomo Ardesio (Fosbury Architecture). Chaired by Maria Claudia Clemente (Labics; Cornell University in Rome; Ithaca, New York). Exhibition opening hours: Monday–Friday, 16.00–19.30 Thursday 9 May until Thursday 30 May.

Date Submitted: 24/4/2019
The British Council has revealed that curators Manijeh Verghese (AADipl(Hons) 2012) and Madeleine Kessler (AADipl 2013) will represent the UK at the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at la Biennale di Venezia, 23 May – 29 November 2020.

A panel of architecture and design specialists from across the UK selected the winning team from a shortlist of nine proposals. The successful concept is titled The Garden of Privatised Delights and explores the creeping epidemic of privatised public spaces across cities in the UK.

Inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s The Garden of Earthly Delights, the winning project looks at how spaces such as the British High Street and the Playground are under threat from increasing privatisation. The exhibition will engage in the current debate around ownership and access to what we perceive as public space.

The curators will transform the British Pavilion into a series of immersive spaces, commissioned from leading researchers and practitioners, presenting both a critique of how they are currently used while providing strategies to increase people’s agency over their public spaces.

Manijeh Verghese and Madeleine Kessler are directors of Unscene Architecture and together have run summer school units, workshops and masterclasses on architecture across the UK.

Manijeh Verghese is Head of Public Programmes and Exhibitions at the Architectural Association. She is an architecture writer and educator. Madeleine Kessler is an Associate Architect at Haptic Architects and sits on the National Infrastructure Commission’s Young Professionals Panel. She is shortlisted for BD’s 2019 Female Architectural Leader of the Year Award.

Other projects shortlisted:

BOT, Team: Mollie Claypool (AAMA(Dist) History & Theory 2009), Gilles Retsin (AADRL MArch 2012), Alistair Campbell, Irini Papadimitrou

Fallen Idols, Team: Beatrice Galilee, Adrián Villar Rojas

The Gran Bretagna or The Definite Article, Team:  Hadrian Garrard and Diana Ibanez Lopez (Create London), Apparata, Seb Emina

Home & Other Worlds, Team: Rachel Armstrong/EAG, Sarah Wigglesworth, Irene Gallou, Studio Swine, Ioannis Ieropoulos, Simon Park

A House for Britain, Team: Priya Khanchandani, Joseph Henry, Jayden Ali

Land of Exceptional Qualities, Team: Brendan Cormier, Ruth Lang, OMMX (Hikkaru Nissanke (AADipl 2009) and Jon Lopez (AADipl 2011))

Learning from Artists Housing, Team: vPPR Architects (Tatiana Von Preussen, Catherine Pease (AADipl 2007), Jessica Reynolds (AA Unit Master)), Kate Goodwin, Create, Artist

Radically rural - the overlooked potential of contemporary rural architecture, Team: Jonathan Tuckey Design, Kate Darby Architects (AADipl 1997), David Connor Design, Rural Office for Architecture

Date Submitted: 23/4/2019

In the interview published on 22 April in the Architecture section of the Financial Times, Franch speaks about her plans for the AA and says “The question is not how we can educate architects but how can we make world citizens. We need to produce more than architects.”

Read the full article on the Financial Times

Date Submitted: 23/4/2019

An old toy factory in Ibi, in the Alicante province of Spain, was transformed into ‘jjdluxe’, a garage and exhibition space for vintage luxury cars. The project was completed by Vilaplana&Vilaplana, a Spanish architecture firm founded by Amelia Vilaplana de Miguel (AA First Year Tutor). The renovated building revisits the industrial typology and offers a new, flexible and ‘instagrammable’ environment for car fanatics.

Read the full article on designboom

Image: ©Asier Rua

Date Submitted: 3/4/2019

This Spring, the AA Gallery will host an exhibition by Amnesty International to showcase their investigation into the impact of conflict on civilians in Raqqa, Syria – one of the most destroyed cities in the world by armed conflict in the 21st century. Related to this exhibition, the Architectural Association, in collaboration with Amnesty, is developing a summer pavilion to be installed in Bedford Square at the end of June to coincide with the opening of Projects Review 2019.

We are issuing an Open Call inviting students, recent alumni and academic staff to participate in the design, fabrication and installation of this pavilion with the guidance and knowledge of several of our postgraduate programmes including EmTech, DRL, and Design + Make.

The final pavilion will host a series of conversations and will be made of an innovative material system: a timber + mycelium composite. Mycelium, a biodegradable and self-healing material can bind with timber given specific conditions. The pavilion design, understood as a material and spatial experiment, carries as a premise and as its design brief to test the material capabilities and its possible applications in rebuilding post-conflict zones.

To participate in this project, please email with your contact details as well as 2 sides of an A4 with your design proposal for the pavilion using this material composite. Please include a visualisation, a plan, section and joinery detail, as well as 200 words of text about your concept. See details below for a full list of key design considerations. The deadline to submit your proposal is Monday, 29 April at 5pm. Teams are allowed and encouraged.

The schedule for the project will be as follows:
Concept and Form Finding led by AA Tutors
9 May: Design Charette of 15 selected proposals
13 - 17 May: Design Development
Physical Experimentation led by Emergent Technologies
13 - 17 May: Joinery between timber elements
13 - 24 May: Mycelium experiments
27 - 31 May: Load testing / Physical FEA on Mycelium
27 - 31 May: Timber - mycelium bonding experiments
Computational Experimentation led by Design Research Lab
13 - 17 May: Form-finding for global geometry (informed by material / fabrication processes)
17 - 21 May: FEA on global geometry
Fabrication led by Design and Make
27 May - 7 June: Fabrication
Assembly led by School Wide Team
10 - 14 June: Assembly sequence planning
17 - 20 June: Assembly

Key Design Considerations:
• Covers an area of 10-25 m2.
• Material: timber + mycelium composite
• Global configuration: self-supporting structure
• Fabrication techniques: kerfing, scoring, bending, twisting, weaving, layering, stitching, or any combination of these techniques.
• At the end of the Design Charette, design proposals will be assessed on the basis of structural stability / performance, proposed fabrication time (in hours), and assembly logic.
• Design proposals should be emailed to by 26 April 2019, 17:00 GMT.
• Submissions will be in digital format (PDF), and should not exceed 5 MB.
• Engineering and liability consultancy will be provided by BuroHappold Engineering.

Image: Emergent Technologies & Design (EmTech) 2017-19 Dissertation
Infrasonic - A Material Resonant System
Abhinav Chaudhary (M.Arch. Distinction, India), Miguel Escallon (M.Arch. Distinction, Columbia), Neil Deep Singh Grewal (M.Arch., USA)

Date Submitted: 2/4/2019

AA Alumnus Adam Nathaniel Furman, has created an abstract sculpture that features in a short animation created for UK broadcaster ITV. Furman's ident features a colourful 3D-printed sculpture made up of sliced, spliced and stacked sections of the channel's logo. Positioned on a circular patterned base featuring disjointed concentric circles, a tall central totem sits in the centre surrounded by three shorter columns.

Read the full article on Dezeen

Date Submitted: 2/4/2019

Constructing (engaged) Practice traces the narratives of young firms from around the globe who are critically engaged in political, technological, intellectual and environmental conflicts. The daylong symposium features case studies and dialogues on designing, establishing, and maintaining a practice in today’s contradictory climate.

Find out more on the Columbia GSAPP website

Image: "Melgroube" from Highest Good, MAGAZIN Gallery, Vienna, 2019

Date Submitted: 29/3/2019

Nuria Álvarez Lombardero and Francisco González de Canales reflect on the political implications of the relationship between Aldo Rossi and Sevillian architects during Spanish democratic transition in the 1970s at the Journal of Architecture.

Abstract: In the second half of the 1970s, during the Spanish transition to democracy, a new generation of young architects in Seville reassessed the city in relation to Italian debates and their strong political drive. Concerned about the destruction of Seville’s historical centre by the Franco regime’s urban planning, these architects found in Aldo Rossi not only their main figure of reference, but also a powerful object of fascination. Moreover, Rossi’s presence in Seville between 1975 and 1978 had a fundamental influence on the early work of young Sevillian architects and the subsequent planning of the city under the first democratic administrations. However, a particular analysis of Rossi’s ideas in comparison to the works of that time in Seville showed how these young local architects did not always fully bring on board Rossi’s political position through their architectural projects. Rather, these architects’ reading of Rossi favoured figure over structure, visual aspects over relational ones, and ultimately had an important impact in the way the city’s historical centre developed in the 1980s and 1990s.

Access the full article

Image: Aldo Rossi, Proposal for El Corral del Conde, Sevilla, 1975

Date Submitted: 29/3/2019

The AA is working with Wallpaper* Handmade this spring on a unique collaboration between the AA’s Digital Prototyping Laboratory (DPL) and artist Douglas Coupland. The exhibition will open on Tuesday 9 April to Saturday the 13 April as part of the Milan Salone.

Read Wallpaper*'s article online

Date Submitted: 28/3/2019

"Manufacturing has been one of the biggest and earliest adopters of robotics innovations in the last several years, but with that early movement has also come entrenchment: the industry is rife with expensive, oversized machines that often run on proprietary operating systems, making them hard to upgrade and use in consort with other robots.

Now a startup out of London called Automata is hoping to tap into an appetite for change, with the launch of a “desktop” robotic arm called Eva that it says is smaller, cheaper and easier to use than the rest — under $5,000 compared to a pricetag of $25,000 for the piece of equipment it’s aiming to replace — and it’s raised $7.4 million to help do that."

Read the full article on the TechCrunch website

Date Submitted: 28/3/2019

As part of his current project on steel reuse within the UK construction Industry, AA Diploma 18 student Samuel Little has written a short collaborative piece for the Farmers Guardian, one the oldest national newspapers for UK agriculture.

Through reusing portal frame buildings, the UK agricultural industry remain the guardians of a dwindling but fundamentally 'sustainable' construction practice to reuse structural steel. The abridged 'opinion' piece is about forging links between the agricultural and architectural communities and learning from, encouraging and celebrating the culture of reuse present within UK farming.

Read the full article on the Farmers Guardian website

Date Submitted: 28/3/2019

Monsoon [+ other] Grounds is the third in a series of symposia convened by the Monsoon Assemblages project. It will comprise a key-note address, inter-disciplinary panels, and an exhibition. The event will bring together scholars and practitioners from a range of disciplines to engage in conversations about geologies, soils, histories, spatialities, and modifications of monsoon [+ other] grounds.

Jose Alfredo Ramirez (Co-Director of Landscape Urbanism & Groundlab) will chair [in] ground matters session on Friday 22 March, 15:00 - 16:00, at the University of Westminster, 35 Marylebone Road, London, NW1 5LS. Other speakers include: Eric GuibertUniversity of Westminster: Architectural Soils, Harshavardhan Bhat, MONASS: About a Monsoon Forest

More information and details to attend event can be found here:

Date Submitted: 21/3/2019

Art in Ruins was founded in 1984 by alumna Hannah Vowles (AADipl 1977) and artist Glyn Banks and has been in limbo since 2001.

This "silence" is the subject of a publicly-funded artist's project, I was wondering what the silence was about, a video/publication which features reflection and speculation by critics, curators and gallerists from London, Berlin and elsewhere about Art in Ruins' involuntary collaboration with the art world.

The recently completed website documents exhibiting strategies, ironic history and frozen gossip around their activities. A collection of broken reflections and ruined intentions designated "archive as intervention."

Date Submitted: 19/3/2019

Debora Laub (AADRL MArch 2002) is organising an 18 day trip around the major cities of Brazil, exploring art and architecture, visiting residencies and ateliers, and experiencing Brazilian flavours, sounds and body movement. Email if you are interested.

Duration: 18 days
Dates: 09/09 - 26/09
Places to visit: São Paulo, Salvador, Brasília and Rio de Janeiro - three internal flights
Email Deborah if you are interested:

Background: I was born in Porto Alegre, south of Brazil. I went to London to study at the AA to critically challenge my architectural background. The AA celebrates architecture, encourages learning and disseminates the culture of design. It has definitely influenced everything I’ve done after this period of my life. The first group trip I organised was in 2005 when I was living and teaching Architecture and Urbanism in Auckland, New Zealand. I had a wish to bring the students to Brazil for them to get to know my country, my culture and the place I come from. Our group was made up of 27 people, travelling for 30 days, through 9 cities. It was a great success and we celebrated by showcasing it in an exhibition, a book and lectures ( I am now launching the third trip which will take place in September and invite anyone interested to find out more by emailing me.

Date Submitted: 19/3/2019


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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.