Alumna Julia Koerner, an award-winning designer working at the convergence of architecture, product and fashion design, has collaborated with costume designer Ruth Carter to bring to life the stunning costumes seen in Marvel’s latest blockbuster Black Panther, using 3D printing technologies.

Julia, who graduated from the AA’s Emergent Technologies and Design MSc in 2012, said working on the movie was a thrill that allowed her to deliver her aim of ‘continuously trying to push the boundaries of emergent technologies in real-world applications.’

Following studies at the AA and the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Julia founded JK Design GmbH, an atelier specialising in digital design for 3D-printing. In 2015, she launched an entirely 3D-printed ready-to-wear collection entitled ‘Sporophyte’.

Julia recalls her time on Bedford Square fondly: ‘When I think of the AA, I always remember the talented group of friends and colleagues who I met during my studies in London. We stay closely connected and try to meet at least once a year.

‘Learning from Professor George Jeronimidis about biomimetics was a crucial experience in my educational career and is deeply rooted in my design agenda. The in-depth research we did at the AA about cellular complex systems has been a recurring topic in many of my recent research work and installations.’

Since 2012 Julia has been on the faculty in the Architecture and Urban Design Department at the University of California in Los Angeles.  She has also held previous academic appointments at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, Lund University in Sweden and the Architectural Association Visiting School in France and Jordan.

‘Now in its fifth year and directed by Kais Al-Rawi – who I have collaborated with on many projects, including Black Panther, the AAVS Jordan agenda on both Mars and Natural Extremities, which we have been conducting in the Wadi Rum Desert continues to inspire me in so many ways. At UCLA, I currently research with students robotic clay printing and teach a diversity of design studios and seminars including an advanced building construction course.’

Find out more about Julia's work by visiting her website: www.juliakoerner.com

Images: Black Panther / Marvel / Costume Design Ruth Carter

Images: Black Panther / Marvel / Costume Design Ruth Carter

This news item was first featured in AA Sporadical, the digital newsletter for alumni of the Architectural Association. To opt in, email events@aaschool.ac.uk.

Date Submitted: 10/5/2018

We are proud to report that our first gender pay gap report shows an unusually small gap between the amounts the AA pays women and men, compared to the gaps reported by others in the Higher Education sector or beyond.

What is it?

UK employers with over 250 staff are now legally required to publish an annual snapshot of their gender pay gap, covering all roles within the organisation.

The report must show the average hourly rates (median and mean) paid to men and women, and the percentage differences. It also has to show average bonus payments (at the AA this means a small bonus paid to administrative support staff at Christmas), and the proportion of men and women in each quartile for overall pay.

The first report required was a snapshot as at 5 April 2017, and we have recently filed ours. We are also obliged to give access to the information through our own site.

Why is it important?

Gender pay gap presents a new way to understand possible inequality at work. 

The Equality Acts have already addressed the concept of equal pay, making it illegal to pay women less for equivalent work, although there has been some debate as to what constitutes equivalent work. Gender pay gap looks more at how men and women are over or under-represented in different roles.

The AA

Our salary structures and statistics are something we are very proud of and that are a particular success story for the AA. It is a project that has been worked on over the past 3-4 years to help bring salaries across all areas of the school into a more clearly defined and competitive structure.

Our full statistics and charts can be seen on the Government site; and remind you that data is compiled and combined for both academic and administrative staff. I would also note that the government site leads with the mean (where our women are 2.6% down) whilst the media generally have led with the median (where we are at 0%). Whilst we are pleased with our overall results, we are also aware that there is still some uncomfortable unevenness across some academic areas in more senior roles.  We will continue to monitor and review this.

An added boon this year is that for the first time since the 1940s we have a near equal gender balance amongst our student population (with slightly more women than men).

In case of queries please contact humanresources@aaschool.ac.uk


May 2018
Samantha Hardingham
AA Interim Director

Date Submitted: 9/5/2018

The exhibition will be held at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, from 14 July to 18 November. Miraj will exhibit his painting 'Smile' as one of 60 selected artists. The exhibition marks 60 years of the UK’s longest-established painting prize. 

Paintings were selected from more than 2,700 entries by an esteemed panel of jurors. This year’s jurors include artists Marvin Gaye Chetwynd, Lubaina Himid MBE, Bruce McLean and Liu Xiaodong, and curator Jenni Lomax. The names of the artists remain anonymous throughout the judging process.

First held in 1957, the John Moores Painting Prize is the UK's best-known painting competition and is named after Sir John Moores (1896-1993), the sponsor of the prize. The competition culminates in an exhibition held at the Walker Art Gallery every two years, which forms a key strand of the Liverpool Biennial.

The John Moores exhibition is held in partnership with the John Moores Liverpool Exhibition Trust, and although the appearance of each exhibition changes, the principles remain constant: to support artists and to bring to Liverpool the best contemporary painting from across the UK.

The names of the five prizewinning artists will be announced on Thursday 12 July.


Date Submitted: 4/5/2018

The AA congratulates Forensic Architecture on their nomination for the 2018 Turner Prize.

Co-founded by AA alumnus Eyal Weizman, the collective of architects, filmmakers, developers, journalists, lawyers and scientists is based at Goldsmiths, University of London, and has been recognised by the Turner Prize jury for ‘tackling the most pressing and political humanitarian issues of today’. Earlier this year, following last summer’s tragic events at Grenfell Tower, the practice called on the general public for evidence to help it build a 3D model of how fire spread through the building.

Other AA alumni who are current members of Forensic Architecture include Tané Kinch, Stefan Laxness, Nicholas Masterton, Samaneh Moafi, Elena Palacios Carral, Nathan Su and Christina Varvia.

Reflecting on the news, researcher Nicholas Masterton said ‘we hope it will help to raise the profile of human rights across the board… I think if you look at the other nominees you can see that there is a shift towards politically motivated works and we are happy that this discussion is coming to the fore.

‘It also makes me feel hopeful in terms of Grenfell that we will be able to apply the collective resources – the footage of the night of the fire – and use it to provide a new public resource which will be taken seriously and be used to investigate the fire.’

The practice will exhibit work at Tate Britain from September 2018 to January 2019 alongside the other three shortlisted entrants – Naeem Mohaiemen, Charlotte Prodger and Luke Willis Thompso – before the winner of the £25,000 prize is announced at an awards ceremony in December.

Forensic Architecture is currently exhibiting work in a show entitled Counter Investigations: Forensic Architecture at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. The exhibition runs until 13 May 2018.

Find out more about the collective by visiting www.forensic-architecture.org.

Date Submitted: 2/5/2018

AA Museum Lab (Diploma Unit 15) students have launched a crowd-funding campaign to support the installation of their exhibition, PRESERVING DELAY, at Manifesta 12 in Palermo, a major international art event attracting visitors from all over the world.

Committed to relentlessly questioning the ever-changing role of cultural institutions, AA Museum Lab students have embraced the opportunity to collaborate with Manifesta to investigate the complexities of Palermo’s formal and informal cultural scene. For the past seven months the unit has been working closely with local collaborators on developing 10 exciting curatorial strategies and research projects based within the Mediterranean epicentre.

They are now raising funds in order to realise the project and construct the installation in time for the biennial’s launch on 16 June.

Find out more and support the campaign here: indiegogo.com/projects/preserving-delay-aa-museum-lab-books-design.

Date Submitted: 1/5/2018

Mohammed Makki and Milad Showkatbakhsh, authors of the grasshopper add-on Wallacei, will be giving a workshop in this year's eCAADe conference titled "Morphological Variation through Evolutionary Applications: Applications and Analyses of Multi-Objective Evolutionary Algorithms", taking place on the 17th and 18th of September. The workshop is an extension of their research being conducted at the AA under the supervision of Dr. Michael Weinstock. 

The aim of the workshop is to introduce participants to the application of evolutionary principles in design through the implementation of multi objective evolutionary algorithms, with a predominant focus on the efficient and comprehensive analysis of the empirical data outputted by the algorithm’s application. The workshop will primarily utilise the grasshopper add-ons ‘Octopus’ and ‘Wallacei’ to run and analyse the evolutionary simulations.

Participants to the workshop will gain knowledge on the theoretical background of the biological principles of evolution as well as its implementation in computation and design. Participants will gain expertise in developing design problems that are geared towards the application of multi objective evolutionary algorithms as well as the efficient translation of these problems within grasshopper 3D; equipping the user with a comprehensive understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of different algorithmic setups when running multi objective evolutionary algorithms.

To register and for more information, visit the eCAADe 2018 conference website at http://ecaade2018.p.lodz.pl.

Workshop Presenters:

Mohammed Makki
Architect, Researcher
Co-Founder - MSSM Associates
PhD Candidate – Architectural Association, UK
Architectural Association Emtech / Emergence Tutor
Authorised Rhino3D Trainer
M.Arch (dist) - AA Emtech, UK
Milad Showkatbakhsh
Computational Designer, Researcher
Ph.D. Candidate - Architectural Association, UK
Co-Developer of Wallacei
BSc. Architectural Engineering - Shahid Beheshti University, Iran
MArch - Pratt Institute, US
Sidney Katz Award for Design Excellence

Date Submitted: 27/4/2018

Alumna Madeleine Kessler has been chosen from over 500 entries for a seat on the UK’s National Infrastructure Commission’s Young Professionals Panel (YPP), along with Petra Marko, co-founder of Marko & Placemakers.

The panel, launched today by the National Infrastructure Commission chair John Armitt, is made up of young architects, engineers and designers, and will advise the body as it develops the UK’s first ever National Infrastructure Assessment.

Madeleine, a project architect at Haptic, received her AA Diploma in 2013 and taught on the AA Summer School for a number of years. Reflecting on her appointment, she said: ’I hope that by being a part of the YPP I will be able to ensure that an emphasis is placed on good design, so that it becomes a core component of the UK’s infrastructure strategy going forward.’

Sadie Morgan, AA past President and co-founder of dRMM Architects, who will chair the panel, said the judges had been ‘blown away’ by the quality of the applicants: ‘It was tough choosing from over 500 fantastic entries… but in these young professionals we have a passionate and diverse group which I hope will inspire the commission with their creative ideas about the UK’s future infrastructure needs.’

Find out more about the panel’s work at https://www.nic.org.uk/publications/young-professionals-panel/

Date Submitted: 25/4/2018

AA first year studio tutor Thomas Randall-Page and former AA foundation student Benedetta Rogers have won the commission to design and build the Architecture Foundation’s 2018 Antepavilion after their proposal for a floating inflatable performance venue was selected from over 130 entries.

The contest, now in its second year, invites artists, architects, designers and makers to submit radical proposals that will turn a large disused barge – named Ouse – moored at Columbia and Brunswick Wharf on London’s Regent’s Canal into an experimental piece of architecture. The £25,000 project is supported by the AF and heritage property developer Shiva Ltd.

Jury chair and AF deputy director Phineas Harper said: ‘The jury were deeply impressed with the calibre and creativity of the finalists. Thomas Randall-Page and Benedetta Rogers’ winning design is exhilarating and joyful, drawing upon the work of Jeffrey Shaw and Ant Farm.

‘The bold and experimental nature of the team’s proposed structure and the festive programme of events they envision along the length of the Regent’s Canal make it an exciting and worthy winner of the 2018 Antepavilion Commission.’

The winning scheme allows the barge’s superstructure to deflate in order to fit through the many low bridges and tunnels that line London’s canal network then re-inflate, creating a pop-up performance space.

Commenting on their proposal, Air Draft, Thomas and Benedetta said: ‘As much as canals changed London, London’s canals have changed, from conduits of industry and cargo to arteries of art, culture and leisure. Having spent her life hauling heavy loads, Ouse is in for a treat! We plan to give her a huge cargo but of something somewhat lighter, Air.

‘This summer Ouse will once more traverse the Regent's Canal but this journey has a new purpose to champion experimentation and the arts. Air Draft will tour the grassroots venues, arts institutions and cultural hubs which dot the banks of the canal, highlighting their precious but fragile existence.’

Read more about the project at http://www.architecturefoundation.org.uk/antepavilion-2018-winner-announced

Date Submitted: 24/4/2018

On the occasion of its five-year anniversary, Federica Sofia Zambeletti was invited to Lecture at Hepia (Haute École du paysage, d’ingénierie et d’architecture de Genève) to discuss the KooZA/rch’s experience and the role of the image in contemporary architectural practice.

Founded within the stimulating environment of the AA, as a humble student-led initiative, KooZA/rch has quickly become an important digital space whose aim is to challenge and explore the role of the architectural drawing in contemporary practice. Here the drawing is not considered solely as finished product but as the means through which one shapes and develops an architectural idea and concept. At a time when images play a dominant role in contemporary society and where we don’t necessarily know how to see, the format of the interview organically emerged as a means to questions the very essence of the architectural project and the role of drawing in both the development and as final outcome.

Taking the academic institution as the epicenter of this discourse, a free space where students are able to think of architecture without the anxiety and the practicality of the built form, the platform aims to share the collective knowledge of universities and the relative units and singular projects. From how we craft architecture to how this is then perceived KooZA/rch has never been limited to the drawing in relation to the making of architecture but rather seeks to reverse the glance back at architecture through the eyes and discussions with artists, film makers, designers, photographers amongst others.

Date Submitted: 23/4/2018

Scavengers: Imagining the Near Future

The lecture will discuss their new book 'Scavengers and Other Creatures in promised Lands’ together with the latest work from their practice NaJa & deOstos. Illustrating their approach, the lecture will present in-depth research on how storytelling, collapsing environments and experimental design shape an innovative understanding of the built environment.

The lecture will take place on 20 April 2018, 18:30 at the Auditorium 3, Batiment B, Alba Dekouaneh (alba.edu.lb)

Date Submitted: 18/4/2018

Takako will be extending her research on architecture as choreography in the intimate and intricate spaces of Walmer Yard with a dancer Chisato Ohno with the idea of architecture as movement. This is her second appointment with RA, after her performative presentation at Sensing Architecture Symposium in 2014. 

The event will take place on the evening of Saturday 21st April 2018 at Walmer Yard designed by Peter Salter.

Photo: Light in Walmer Yard, photo by Takako Hasegawa

Excerpts from RA website

The RA event title Experiencing Architecture: Inviting Dialogue is both a reflection of the event’s intention and the belief that a meaningful experience of architecture is one that results in a reciprocal and evolving relationship with the spaces we inhabit.

This event comprises two parts: one an experiential encounter, the other a symposium. In the first, which takes place on a Saturday evening, a dialogue will be invited through an experience of architecture – an exchange between building, visitor, and performer. Participants will be invited to inhabit and occupy the four houses of Walmer Yard, designed by Peter Salter, while experiencing performances that experiment with the possibilities the houses offer for sound, narrative, and movement. This experience will be followed by a symposium, lasting all of the following day, at the Royal Academy. The symposium will put the night’s events into context as part of a programme of presentations and discussions.

For more details visit RA website


Date Submitted: 18/4/2018

The inaugural Bedford Square Festival took place last year and saw over 300 people attend 30 free events which took place across five institutions based on the Square – the AA, the Paul Mellon Centre, Sotheby's Institute of Art, the New College of Humanities, and Yale University Press.

In light of the success of last year’s event, the Bedford Square Festival will be returning from 4–7 July 2018. Incorporating the theme Share the Square, Bedford Square Festival 2018 will have on offer even more free events centred on art, publishing, architecture, culture, education and creativity, based around the Square and associated Institutions.

The full programme and tickets will be released on 8 May. Follow the Festival’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook feeds for updates or sign up to mailing list to be alerted when tickets are released.

Find out more at bedfordsquarefestival.co.uk.

Date Submitted: 16/4/2018

A dog house designed by year out student Hasan Al-Rashid has been selected as part of an unusual competition promoting ‘21st century barkitecture’ and raising money for charity.

The competition run by BowWow Haus London, a collaboration between pet charity Blue Cross, American not-for-profit organisation Outdoor Arts Foundation and photographer Drew Gardner,  invited architects, designers and artists to design and build ‘one-off, unique’ kennels.

Over 75 kennels will go on show at several London venues, including St Pancras International, and will be available to buy at a charity auction or via online bids.

Alongside Hasan, big names from the world of architecture and design have taken part, including Zaha Hadid Architects, renowned mosaic artist Ivan Djidev and multi-award winning designers Denizen Works.

Reflecting on his participation in the contest, Hasan said: ‘I am thrilled to be part of this brilliant initiative and to have my design show-cased alongside celebrated artists and architects. My dog house is entirely hand crafted and I almost lost a finger in the process!’

Blue Cross director of fundraising Matt Cull said: ‘We are delighted that so many talented architects and designers have taken part and the range going on display will be very varied, from the chic and minimalist to kennels ablaze with colour.

‘Blue Cross helps thousands of pets, from hamsters up to horses, every year and we are delighted that this exciting project will also help the many pets needing our help.’

The designs are on display at St Pancras International until 26 April.

Find out more at http://www.bowwowhauslondon.co.uk/about/

Date Submitted: 21/3/2018

Architecture of Storage, a new exhibition co-curated by alumnus Lennart Wolff, a 2017 graduate of the AA’s History and Critical Thinking MA, will open on 23 March 2018 in Berlin.

The exhibition brings together artists, architects, researchers and businesses to explore freeports, data centres, self-storage facilities, and museum archives – all part of an ever growing landscape that tends to remain at the edge of users’ daily attention.

Lennart said: 'Usually unspectacular, this landscape’s functionalist architecture is inseparable from its content and requirements: security, accessibility, and flexibility.  The motives for storage are manifold: from downsizing in response to a worsening housing crisis to stowing away private high-value assets secure and tax-free.'

'The storage of information in the form of bytes – be it the warehousing of our knowledge or the marketing of our digital identities – and with it, the notion of dematerialisation increasingly shapes the general understanding of what storage is.'

The exhibition opening will feature a keynote address from Thomas Welter, Association of German Architects General Secretary, along with talks from Lennart and his co-curator Elisa R. Linn, and Deutsches Architektur Zentrum (DAZ) Artistic Director Matthias Böttger.

The exhibition runs from 24 March to 20 May 2018 at DAZ, and is open Wed–Sun, 3–8 pm.

Date Submitted: 20/3/2018

Projects Review 2018 launches with a private view on Friday 22 June, before opening to the public on Saturday 23 June. The exhibition will stay open to the public for three weeks.

Projects Review 2018 offers an overview of the AA's 2017/18 academic year. On display will be hundreds of drawings, models, installations and photographs from all the AA's units, courses and departments, documenting the diversity and experimental nature of the AA School.

At the AA architecture is pursued as a form of cultural knowledge across year-long design projects and portfolios. We believe that truly great schools don't just nurture and support architectural talent, they also build audiences for experimentation, out of which new architectural ideas, visions and projects emerge.


Exhibition opening times

Monday to Friday, 10am–7pm

Saturdays, 10am–5pm (On Saturday 23 June the exhibition will be open to the public from 1pm)


Projects Review 2018 is part of the London Festival of Architecture 2018.

Date Submitted: 15/3/2018


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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.