AA alumnus and past president Keith Priest (AADip 1975) has been announced as the keynote speaker alongside interim school director Samantha Hardingham at the forthcoming alumni evening event which will take place at the AA on Wednesday 22 November.

Keith studied at the AA from first year to diploma school and later became a design director at Wolff Olins, a European design consultancy based in London and Hamburg, working on design projects across Europe. He founded Fletcher Priest Architects with Michael Fletcher whom he met at Wolff Olins and who had also studied at the AA. The practice’s work covers urban design, architecture, interiors and design research. Now based in London with studios in Köln and Riga, Fletcher Priest are working on significant projects across the UK and Europe.

Keith’s work has won awards in most major programmes and it is published and exhibited extensively. He has lectured widely and been an external examiner at UK schools of architecture and art schools. A past AA Councillor, he was Chairman of the AA Foundation 2010-2011, AA President 2011-13 and returned to the AA as an external examiner in 2017. 

AA alumni from across the generations are warmly invited to return to Bedford Square for this event to re-connect with each other and the school.

Places are free, but limited. Click here to book your place.

Date Submitted: 30/10/2017

AA alumnus Andrew Mcmullan (AADipl 2006) has been appointed Vice President, Senior Project Designer of the London office of HOK, the global design, architecture, engineering and planning firm.

Andrew, who studied for his AA Diploma from 2004-2006, was formerly senior project leader at Heatherwick Studio where he led teams working on a number of prestigious schemes including a major New York urban development and a residential tower in Singapore. Prior to that and after leaving the Architectural Association, Andrew was a project architect at Allies and Morrison, delivering the London 2012 Olympic masterplan and the Rothschild’s Bank Headquarters in London which received a RIBA Sterling Prize nomination.

Larry Malcic, Senior Vice President, Design Principal at HOK said: ‘Design talent is the touchstone of every architectural practice, and Andrew has honed his unique talent working with world-recognised designers and clients. His ideas and experience will contribute to our continued growth in quality, size and expertise’.

Image courtesy of HOK

Date Submitted: 29/10/2017

Nader Tehrani, an alumnus of the AA graduate school, has been featured on the cover of the latest issue of Canadian Architect magazine and in the New York Times for his latest project: the University of Toronto’s school of architecture.

Tehrani, who is Dean of the Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture at the Cooper Union in New York, is also Principal of NADAAA, a practice dedicated to the advancement of design innovation, interdisciplinary collaboration, and an intensive dialogue with the construction industry. He graduated from the AA in 1987.

His design for the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design features an origami-like floating roof creating floodlit studio and social spaces below; unusually it is his third building for a school of architecture.

Watch Nader Tehrani’s AA Public Programme lecture from 2012 here and read more about his latest work at www.canadianarchitect.com.

Image: John Horner

Date Submitted: 26/10/2017

A team led by former AA tutor and Councillor Sir David Adjaye OBE, working in collaboration with AA alumni Ron Arad (AADipl 1979) and Asa Bruno (AADipl 1998) of Ron Arad Architects, and Neil Porter (AADipl 1983) and Mary Bowman (AADipl 1988) of award-winning landscape architecture practice Gustafson Porter + Bowman has won the contest to design a £40 million national Holocaust memorial next to the Houses of Parliament.

The winning design, which was competing against nine other shortlisted schemes by practices including ZHA, Studio Libeskind, and Caruso St John, was described by the jury as ‘a living place, not just a monument to something of the past’.

The memorial, which will be built in Victoria Tower Gardens, features 23 tall bronze fins, the spaces between which represent the 22 countries in which Jewish communities were destroyed during the Holocaust, and will provide isolated pathways for visitors to descend into the subterranean learning centre.

Peter Bazalgette, chair of the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation and the competition jury, said: ‘[The team’s] ability to use architecture to create an emotionally powerful experience, their understanding of the complexity of the Holocaust and their desire to create a living place as well as a respectful memorial to the past and its surroundings, will combine to create a new national landmark for generations to come’.

Click here to read more.

Image: Adjaye Associates 

Date Submitted: 25/10/2017

Four recent AA graduates and year out student Alix Biehler have been featured in the latest issue of Blueprint magazine in their review of the 2017 UK end-of-year shows.

Alix, who completed third year under the tutelage of Ryan Dillon and David Greene in Intermediate 5, was featured for her project, Moonday, which explores how we would experience life and the passage of time on the moon. Blueprint noted Alix’s ‘glowing constellation of egg-like living modules [which] celebrate the self-contained architectural environment’.

Other projects featured in the magazine, all by 2017 AA Diploma Honours graduates, were ‘Shared Roof’ by Jisoo Hwang, a tensile roof structure bridging the gap between housing and a school as a response to the ‘social and physical detachment caused by fragmented urban spaces’, Rory Sherlock’s work on the architectural form of information and the appropriation and management of the internet, Jonathan Cheng’s immersive audio experience ‘Where is the centre?’, and Nathan Su’s ‘hypnotic’ film, Through Leviathan’s Eyes, imagining a future in which reality is constructed collaboratively.

Find out more about all these projects at http://pr2017.aaschool.ac.uk.

Image: Alix Biehler

Date Submitted: 23/10/2017

Radical Projects: Transforming Economies with Architecture
Date: 30 October 2017 
Time: 6.30-8.30pm
Venue: Future Cities Catapult
Speakers: Kelly Doran, Senior Director, Mass Design Group
Harriet Harriss, Senior Tutor, Royal College of Art

Architecture can be a catalyst of economic, social and cultural change, with the micro-economy of a single architecture project often transforming areas of greatest need. Mass Design Group, founded in 2008, have embraced architecture’s powerful agency as their design ethos. This talk will showcase the work of Mass Design Group in the field of healthcare and education to showcase how architecture can contribute to economic development from the ground up. The talk will juxtapose Mass Design Group’s projects in Africa to perspectives on the relationship between design and conditions of scarcity. It will also question the broader purpose of architecture in the current globalised world, outlining its role in shaping communities that are sustainable in the long term.  

Book tickets here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/radical-projects-transforming-economies-with-architecture-tickets-37611582255

Date Submitted: 20/10/2017

Alumna Albane Duvillier (AADipl 2016) will have one of her student projects showcased in a forthcoming exhibition at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), part of Teesside University.

The exhibition, entitled Idea Home Show, takes a political look at how residents and practitioners working between art, architecture and activism are proposing solutions for alternative models for living.

Albane’s multimedia project, #Share Home @ London's Housing Struggles, was created during her fourth year at the AA under Samantha Hardingham and David Greene in Diploma Unit 7, and mapped the extent to which London’s social housing was undergoing demolition, and the number of people displaced as a result. An interactive map was distributed among residents campaigning to save their homes, and Albane produced a series of props to support the action such as banners, chairs, events, websites and videos.

Her work will feature in a section of the exhibition called The Housing Question, which aims to address social issues relating to housing across the twentieth century and in the present.  It will feature art, project case studies, writing, film, printed matter and archival materials dealing with living conditions, architecture and urban spaces under capitalism.

The exhibition will run from 21 October 2017 to 18 February 2018. Find out more by visiting the MIMA website at http://www.visitmima.com/whats-on/single/idea-home-show.

Date Submitted: 18/10/2017

Piccolomini, an exhibition of work by architect and AA unit master Pier Vittorio Aureli has opened at Betts Project, the London-based contemporary art gallery specialising in architecture, founded in 2013 by AA Member Marie Coulon.

Pier Vittorio Aureli’s pastels on paper are part of a large series developed during several years that play with the idea of the horizon line, the most fundamental datum of the landscape genre, as the most artificial and arbitrary mechanisms though which representations of space are produced.

Reflecting on the series, Aureli said: “My work deals with the genre of landscape. I’m interested in how our way of moving and circulating today has made the experience of landscape very abstract and distant. I’m interested in rendering this sense of abstraction and distance in the utmost simplest terms by referring back to the early tradition of landscape painting, especially the work of Hercules Seghers and Jacob Van Ruisdael”.

The exhibition runs until Saturday 18 November 2017. Find out more by visiting www.bettsproject.com.

Image: Piccolomini series – Untitled, 2009, pastel on paper, 50 x 50 cm. Copyright the artist. Courtesy Betts Project.

Date Submitted: 9/10/2017

The Architectural Association extends its warmest congratulations and best wishes to Neave Brown who has been awarded the 2018 RIBA Royal Gold Medal, the UK’s highest honour for architecture given in recognition of a lifetime’s work.

Neave studied at the AA from 1950-1955 and went on to teach at the school, as well as serve on the AA Council.

A true visionary, he is perhaps best known for the ground-breaking housing projects he designed whilst in the architecture department of Camden council, including the Alexandra Road estate, 22-32 Winscombe Street and the Dunboyne Road estate.

Reacting to the win, Neave said: “All my work! I got it just by flying blind, I seem to have been flying all my life.

"The Royal Gold Medal is entirely unexpected and overwhelming. It's recognition of the significance of my architecture, its quality and its current urgent social relevance. Marvellous!"

Neave is the only living architect in the UK to have his entire body of work heritage listed.

Read more at architecture.com/neave-brown

Image: © Gareth Gardner

Date Submitted: 6/10/2017

AA graduate Stefan Jovanović launches Velvet Fools, a new performance salon and evening, by invitation of Will Alsop OBE RA. He invites choreographer Eleanor Bauer to co-host the first evening on October 27th in the mystical back-vaults of the Doodle Bar in Bermondsey, London. The first edition, Tarot Oracle Dance, will bring together two oracular divination systems in collaboration with a group of live-musicians, dancers and visual artists. Velvet Fools is a cultural salon, a gathering space operating on the fringe of normative frameworks. Each evening encompasses a diverse curation of visual arts, dance, live music, queer-shamanic practices and fools.

For more information visit:

Date Submitted: 4/10/2017

RARE Architecture, the practice founded by AA alumni and former intermediate tutors Michel Da Costa Gonçalves (AAMArch 2005) and Nathalie Rozencwajg (AADipl 2001), is participating in the Shoreditch Design Triangle, part of the 2017 London Design Festival, by exhibiting The Fractal Tree in the garden of the Geffrye Museum.

The installation is the manifestation of geometrical play stemming from the growth logic of tree branches. Operating as a city sculpture and a sustainable device, the timber structure transforms itself and its environment over the course of the day.

Both metaphor and abstraction of its natural source, RARE architects’ fractal tree is an active abstraction stemming from the growth logic and recycling mechanic of nature. Crafted by advanced manufacturing, it is simultaneously an urban shading and a water collection device as well as a powerful evocation of the need for innovation associated with responsibility.

Based in London and Paris, RARE architecture sensibly exercise transversal thinking between teaching, research and commissions to envisage sustainable and human centred designs. Their projects grow from research focusing on new materials, innovative typologies and advanced modes of design and production.

The event runs until Saturday 23 September, to find out more, visit http://www.londondesignfestival.com/events/fractal-tree

Partners: ParmarBrook / Szubert Carpentry / Green Factory

Image: Maria Katsika

Date Submitted: 22/9/2017

Recent graduate Jack Hardy (AADipl 2017) brings his family of Rocking Wotsits to Oxo Tower Wharf’s ground floor Bargehouse for the London Design Festival this weekend. Rocking Wotsits are something between furniture and toys; you are invited to climb on, nudge, peculiarise, and wigwag these Wotsits to your own ends.

The show runs from 18 – 24 September 2017, 11am – 6pm, free admission.

Find out more here.

Date Submitted: 22/9/2017

AA tutor Antoni Malinowski will join a panel of high-profile practitioners at a Design Museum event on Tuesday 3 October entitled Colour in Architecture and Interiors, exploring how and why architects and designers use colour and what colour means to them and its role in their work.

Antoni Malinowski is an artist who works with pigment, light, movement and time, investigating the dynamic relationship that exists between pictorial and architectural spaces. After studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and furthering his studies at the Chelsea College of Art, Malinowski has established and based his practice in London.  He is a tutor on the AA’s Foundation and Media Studies programmes.

To find out more or book, visit https://designmuseum.org/whats-on/talks-courses-and-workshops/colour-in-architecture-and-interiors.

Image: Polychromatic staircase hand painted by Antoni Malinowski, Donmar Dryden Street, London, Haworth Tompkins Architects 2014, by Valerie Bennett

Date Submitted: 21/9/2017

Essential Economics: Architecture Within Global Economic Trends
Date: 18 September 2017
Time: 6.30-8.30pm
Venue: Future Cities Catapult
Speakers: Mark Wingham, Economist, GLA
Marc Vlessing, CEO, Pocket Living
Tamsie Thomson, Director, LFA

Architecture does not operate outside of national, regional or global economies – it is firmly embedded within economic processes, actively contributing to their growth and reacting in times of crisis. What is the economic impact of architecture and the built environment today? What is the value that good architecture can deliver, and how can it be measured? Equally, how do broader economic trends impact how architecture is delivered? This talk will break down the economic impact of architecture to help architects understand the value of their work within the broader context of globalised exchanges of labour, time, knowledge or capital.
To access the 10 free places use the code: AASCHOOL on eventbrite. 
Date Submitted: 11/9/2017

AA alumnus Calvin Chua (AADipl 2011) and colleague Dongwoo Yim have presented a full-scale mock-up of a North Korean apartment at the inaugural Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. The installation, called Pyongyang Sallim, offers South Koreans a glimpse into what domestic life is like for people in their neighbouring territory for the first time.

Chua, who leads the AA Visiting School in Pyongyang, has spent years researching architecture and urbanism in North Korea. He told Dezeen: “We decided to create a model house because it's the easiest way to understand what life is like in North Korea. We felt that for a South Korean audience to be able to actually experience the interior of a North Korean apartment, that would be quite fruitful”.

The mock-up was created based on Chua’s personal experiences of dwellings in the North Korean capital, as well as friends’ descriptions, and photographs.

Read more about Pyongyang Sallim at Dezeen.com or read the Daily Mail feature here: www.dailymail.co.uk/news/North-Korean-flat-display-South-Korean-capital

The exhibition runs until 5 November 2017: seoulbiennale.org/en.

Image: Calvin Chua

Date Submitted: 5/9/2017


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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.