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A Home for All: Six Experiments in Social Housing has opened to the public at the Victoria and Albert Museum and features six pioneering experiments in social housing, including Denys Lasdun’s Keeling House and Neave Brown’s Alexandra Road Estate.  Denys Lasdun and Neave Brown were both alumni and past vice-presidents at the AA.

The exhibition has been collated from both the RIBA and V&A Archives and includes original architectural drawings, photographs and building models. The exhibition will be on display until Sunday 30 June 2019 in the Architecture Rooms (127 and 128a) at the V&A. For more information please visit the V&A Website.

Image Credit: Alexandra Road Development-London, Reyner Banham, 1978, AA Photo Library

Date Submitted: 26/11/2018

Thesis Now (Saturday 1 December, The Cooper Union, New York) will address the agency, relevance and history of the thesis studio in architecture curricula. The symposium will be moderated by Hayley Eber, Nader Tehrani and Eva Franch i Gilabert and divided into three sessions – Agency and Legacy, Research and Pedagogy.

To find out more and reserve a space please visit The Cooper Union website

Image: Laurie Hawkinson, "Cinetrain," Thesis 1982-83. Faculty John Hedjuk, Anthony Candido, Peter Eisenman, Donald Wall, and Regi Weile.

Date Submitted: 26/11/2018

Ceryth Wyn Evans, who taught at the AA between 1989 - 1995, has won the £30,000 Hepworth Prize for Sculpture for his giant instrument made of 37 crystal pipes. The pipes, arranged in two overlapping, hanging arcs, emit what the Guardian described as a “low and mournful hum”. The other shortlisted artists this year are Michael Dean, Mona Hatoum, Phillip Lai and Magali Reus.

The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture recognises a British or UK-based artist of any age, at any stage of their career, who has made a significant contribution to the development of contemporary sculpture. It is named after Barbara Hepworth, a sculptural pioneer in her own time, who benefited from prizes throughout her life.

An exhibition of work by the shortlisted artists is on at The Hepworth Wakefield gallery in West Yorkshire until 20 January. Find out more on the Hepworth Wakefield gallery website

Image Credit: Installation shot of Cerith Wyn Evans in The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture 2018. 26 October 2018 - 20 January 2019. Photo, Stuart Whipps

Date Submitted: 20/11/2018

This year, AAVS Moscow completed its first series of multi-scalar design explorations in the area surrounding Shabolovka, south of Moscow's city centre. AAVS Moscow selected this site as an example of the urban environment in a transitional state. Over the course of this initial three-year series, AAVS Moscow explored the urban challenges and potential of the area through investigating its various scales.

The first workshop focused on designing speculative urban design projects, with participants exploring the potential of the area and proposing scenarios for its development. The second workshop concentrated on a city object that could drive the area’s transformation from within. Exhibitions in local galleries and book publications followed both workshops, which initiated discussions between AAVS Moscow and the general public.

The final workshop of the series was dedicated to the design-and-build process that led to the realisation of the AAVS Moscow Шар (Ball) Pavilion, which now acts as a point-of-interest to draw greater numbers of people to the marketplace area. The Pavilion sits along the axis of the main entrance to the market, in front of Danilovsky Market building – a place of cultural heritage designed by architects Gavriil Akulov and Felix Novikov, built between 1979 and 1986. 

The brief for the AAVS Moscow Шар (Ball) Pavilion was that it had to be light, interactive and adapt to the requirements of different events.  The Pavilion can host up to 30 people, seated inside, but is also a focus for outdoor summer events, including lectures, master classes, dinners and parties. Its giant sphere can even serve as a media screen where movies and illustrations are projected.

The Pavilion has been recognised by Felix Novikov (architect of the Soviet Modernism) as having a positive influence on the marketplace area, both aesthetically and functionally, and there are plans for it to be made a permanent feature.

The series of workshops concluded with a lecture on Recipes for Food and Architecture, by Christopher Pierce (Head of AAVS). This brought together the themes of architecture and food – the two integral parts of Danilovsky Market and AAVS Moscow Шар (Ball) Pavilion.

To find out more on the project, visit AAVS Moscow

Image credit: Natalya Kupriyanova

Date Submitted: 14/11/2018

Anise Gallery in London will be transformed by (Ab)Normal, a collective of four architects that construct architecture through experimental imagery, on Thursday 29 November 2018. (Ab)Normal creates exhibition datasutra, setting and immersing visitors into the abnormal with their experiment in architectural representation – avoiding any traditional structure that builds the contemporary or familiar visual notions of space to produce an allegory of a culture that instead, revolves obsessively around the internet, gaming and religion. Datasutra (data as anything that contains a descriptive fragment of information, and Sutra as scripture in which most Hinduist and Buddhist dogma resides) is an attempt to manifest the liturgic digital routines embedded in our daily life – in the architecture supporting this body of rituals – as a consequent landscape. Federica Sofia Zambeletti (AADipl2017) takes part in datasutra with her project KooZA/rch, an online platform that translates between architecture, art, and drawing.

Image credit: Anise Gallery

Datasutra by (Ab)Normal opens 29 November 2018

Read an interview on AA Conversations with Federica Sofia Zambeletti, co-founder of online platform KooZA/rch

KooZA/rch Website

Date Submitted: 14/11/2018

Theo Sarantoglou Lalis (AA Diploma 17 Tutor/LASSA Director) will be discussing how the democratisation of digital design and manufacturing techniques is redefining the role of the architect while enabling new tectonic possibilities.

TEDx Brussels will be taking place on 10 November starting at 12:00 at CAD – Brussels 25, rue Roberts-Jones, 1180 Brussels. 

For more info:

Date Submitted: 8/11/2018

Petting Zoo, a project by Theodore Spyropoulos (DRL Programme Director) of Minimaforms, has opened to the public at the Guangdong Science Centre in Guangzhou, China, as part of the Barbican’s Digital Revolution.

The project, comprising of a speculative life-like robotic environment, raises questions of how future environments could actively enable new forms of communication with the everyday. Artificial intelligent creatures have been designed with the capacity to learn and explore behaviors through interaction with participants. Within this immersive installation interaction with the pets fosters human curiosity and play, forging intimate exchanges that are emotive and evolving over time.

Conceived as an immersive installation environment, social and synthetic forms of systemic interactions allow the pets to engage and evolve their behaviors over time. Pets interact and stimulate participation with users through the use of animate behaviors communicated through kinesis, sound and illumination. These behaviors evolve over time through interaction enabling each pet to develop personalities. Pet interactions are stimulated through interaction with human users or between other pets within the population. Intimacy and curiosity are explored as enabling agents that externalize personal experience through forms of direct visual, haptic and aural communication.

The exhibition will run until March 2019. Watch a video of the Petting Zoo here.

Image credit: © Minimaforms

Date Submitted: 6/11/2018

The Sympathy of Things is a new two part BBC Radio 4 programme, researched, written and presented by Amica Dall and Giles Smith (Inter 7 Unit Masters and members of Assemble) and produced by Sean Glynn and David Waters from SGP Productions. The first episode aired yesterday and can be listened to here.

In the series Dall and Smith use the contemporary craft movement to look at our changing relationship with labour, value and the material world. It is made of a series of interconnected conversations with people involved in designing and producing the objects that make up our everyday material environment - things like toilets, toasters, door handles and pavements, and people who write, teach and think about design and manufacture.

The documentary is split into two parts. The first explores how mass production upended our relationship to the material world, and how its underlying commercial logic continues to have a very powerful influence on everything from policy agendas and taste to our intimate, unconscious relationships with the things we live in, on and among. In the second part, Dall and Smith talk to people who argue that the advent of digital technologies will up end our relationship to the material world again, but not in the way you might imagine, as it questions the easy distinctions we make between machines and people, the digital and the material, the local and the global.

Image credit: © Assemble, Armitage Shanks factory Staffordshire.

Date Submitted: 5/11/2018

Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu (former AA tutors) have been awarded the Stephen Lawrence Prize 2018 for their project: Old Shed New House. Working with storytelling, typologies, and light to sculpt spaces, tonkin liu as a practice, are inspired by nature and the use of traditional construction techniques to craft their designs.

Old Shed New House is an old agricultural shed conversion that was completed this year. Once a container for tools and tractors, it is now an energy-efficient, low-cost building serving as a home, library and gallery in rural North Yorkshire. The house is a journey between grand and intimate interconnected spaces: the spacious library centres itself around modestly sized living room and bedrooms, while the surrounding landscape is pulled into the building’s long, east-west orientated gallery, which draws visitors in from afar and frames the rising and setting sun from within.

The project won several awards this year, including the RIBA National Award 2018; RIBA Yorkshire Award 2018; RIBA Yorkshire Small Project of the Year Award 2018, as well as, the GAGA Architecture Award 2018.

Read more on this project on Tonkin Liu's website

Date Submitted: 26/10/2018

AA Inter 1 Unit Masters, Lara Lesmes (AA Dipl 2011) and Fredrik Hellberg (AADipl(Hons)2011), will open their solo exhibition ‘Value in the Virtual’ at ArkDes, Stockholm, on 19 September.  Lesmes and Hellberg founded Space Popular, a multidisciplinary design and research practice, in 2013 and have since completed built projects both in Asia and Europe and have participated in a wide range of international competitions.

In ‘Value in the Virtual’ Space Popular unfold an immersive installation exploring the role of architecture, and architects, in the design of virtual worlds. Layering physical and virtual environments into a single immersive experience, ‘Value in the Virtual’ takes the form of two simultaneously active environments, one physical and one virtual. In the exhibition full-scale fragments of Stockholm dissolve, mutate, distort and replicate and a constellation of possible futures in which material values are radically recast can be envisioned.

As part of the AA's Open Week 29 October – 2 November, Fredrik and Lara and Intermediate 1 students will visit ArkDes next week. The unit will take part in a curated discussion: You Are a Citizen of Virtual Worlds, which will convene a collection of voices from Sweden and abroad around questions raised by their exhibition Space Popular: Value in the Virtual. In the context of the exhibition, Boxen acts as a shared space and testing ground for conversations about the role of architecture in the burgeoning virtual sphere. Intermediate 1 students will also curate a temporary virtual exhibition, showcasing their projects through social VR platform Sansar. Visitors will be able to explore the students' exhibition using VR devices, in the museum or join the virtual space from anywhere in the world.  

Attached is a full programme of the event: You are a Citizens of Virtual World

The exhibition will run from 19 September – 18 November at ArkDes, Stockholm.

To find out more please visit

Curator: James Taylor-Foster

First published on AA News: 11.09.18

Date Submitted: 24/10/2018

Ricardo de Ostos and Nannette Jackowski (AA Intermediate 3 Tutors/studio NaJa & deOstos) will be presenting their latest book entitled: Scavengers and other Creatures in Promised Lands at the Embassy of Brazil, in London, on Tuesday 23rd of October. They will be joined by Nathan Su and Nicholas Zembashi, two recent graduates from the Architectural Association and contributors to the book. The presentation will be followed by a short discussion and a reception. The event is free, but RSVP is essential. 

For more information and bookings:

Date Submitted: 20/10/2018

The shortlist for this year’s Film London Jarman Award has been announced. The prestigious £10,000 prize celebrates the boundary-pushing work of the UK’s foremost artist filmmakers. It recognises and supports artists working with moving image and celebrates the spirit of experimentation, imagination and innovation in the work of UK-based artist filmmakers.

The artists selected this year are: Larry Achiampong & David Blandy, Jasmina Cibic, Lawrence Lek (AA Dipl 2008), Daria Martin, Hardeep Pandhal and Margaret Salmon.

Engaging with the fields of virtual reality and simulation, Lawrence Lek creates moving image works using gaming software, 3D animation, installation and performance. His digital environments reflect the impact of the virtual world on our perception of reality, by rendering real places and architectures within fictional and often fantastical scenarios.

The winner of the £10,000 Jarman Award will be announced in November. In the run-up to the event, the work of the shortlisted artists can be seen as part of a specially-curated tour that will travel the length and breadth of the UK, culminating in a special weekend of screenings, discussions and performances at Whitechapel Gallery on 17 and 18 November. Find out more at the Jarman Award website

Image credit: Lawrence Lek, Geomancer, 2018

Date Submitted: 4/10/2018

Indy Johar (Diploma 13 Unit Master), with Dark Matter Laboratories, opens ‘We Are They', an immersive installation as part of the Invisible Landscapes project in the new Architecture Studio at the Royal Academy. Research platform Dark Matter Laboratories explore the role of technology in shifting the focus of design from objects to outcomes, products to performance – in turn creating a more human city.

The opening will be celebrated this Friday with a conversation between acclaimed economist Kate Raworth and architect, AA Diploma 13 Unit Master and Dark Matter Laboratories founder Indy Johar, as they explore how technology can enable the visualisation and transformation of the values and parameters defining contemporary cities, and proposing new models for a more equitable urban environment.

Find out more and book your place on the Royal Academy website 

Date Submitted: 4/10/2018

Manon Mollard (AA Dipl 2014) has been named as the Editor of the Architectural Review, following in the footsteps of Catherine Slessor and Christine Murray. Mollard is the AR’s 16th editor in its 122-year history.

Date Submitted: 4/10/2018

Sir Nicholas Grimshaw (AA Dipl 1965), renowned for his Modernist public buildings and large-scale infrastructure projects, is the recipient of the 2019 RIBA Royal Gold Medal. Given in recognition of a lifetime’s work, the Royal Gold Medal is approved personally by Her Majesty The Queen and is given to a person or group of people who have had a significant influence 'either directly or indirectly on the advancement of architecture'.

After graduating from the AA, Grimshaw worked with Terry Farrell for fifteen years before setting up his own practice in 1980, which now employs over 600 staff with offices in Los Angeles, New York, London, Doha, Dubai, Kuala Lumpur, Melbourne and Sydney. Grimshaw was a member of the AA Council for 11 years during which he was also President of the AA from 1999-2001.

On making the announcement, RIBA President, Ben Derbyshire said: “For more than half a century, Sir Nicholas’s influence has been exceptional. He is responsible for an extraordinary number of buildings and infrastructure projects of international significance, and for the continuous development of an architecture which places technology at the heart of the aesthetic.”

Grimshaw joins the pantheon of AA Alumni receiving Royal Gold Medals, including Zaha Hadid (2016), David Chipperfield (2011), Edward Cullinnan (2008) and Rem Koolhaas (2004). See more AA Alumni Royal Gold Medallists by visiting our AA Alumni page.

© Architectural Association Photo Library

Date Submitted: 27/9/2018


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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.