AA Alumnus William Hailiang Chen (AADipl 2006) has led a team to win two awards at the recent A-Design Awards Competition.

Chen took home gold for his ResoNet Pavilion design (pictured) in the Lighting Products and Lighting Projects Design Category.  Chen’s Creative Prototyping Unit, which he co-founded with Zhao Liqun (AADRL 2013), together with Mark Tynan (AADipl 2005), have developed a series of ResoNet projects which create physical and ephemeral conditions.

This particular pavilion was inspired by the shape of a bell and the fairy tale of the mythical phoenix, inviting visitors to ring in the Chinese New Year and make wishes.  

The pavilion – whose project team also included script consultant and fellow AA graduate Arthur Mamou-Mani (AADipl 2008) – was also a finalist in the Architizer's A+Design Awards’ Architecture + Color category.

ResoNet Baitasi, another project initially conceived by Chen, Zhao and Tynan, won bronze in the same category.

William Hailiang Chen is now Principal Architect at Wanda Commercial Planning & Research Institute.  He teaches part time at Southeast University in Nanjing, China, along with Associate Professor Li Hua (AA PhD 2008). 

Find out more about both installations at www.reso-net.org, and the individual awards at ResoNet Pavilion and ResoNet Baitasi

Image: Steven Chang

Date Submitted: 23/5/2017

AA graduate Gustav Düsing (AADipl 2011) has taken part in the first ever Antarctic Biennale, a ground-breaking expedition to the Antarctic Circle that aims to fuse artistic, scientific, and philosophical methodologies to address "shared spaces", such as Antarctica, the Ocean, and Outer Space.

Conceived by the multidisciplinary visual artist Alexander Ponomarev, the Antarctic Biennnale seeks to turn the research ship Akademik Ioffe into a vehicle for “art and idea generation; a travelling platform for dialogue between artists, researchers, and thinkers.”

Gustav’s installation, ‘Tent on Cuverville Island’, made use of the phase transition of water and a thin layer of cotton fabric to create a minimal, structurally performing surface opening up a tent-like architectural volume.

Inspired by studies on the structural performance of ice by pioneers such as Swiss engineer Heinz Isler who developed prototypes at his home in the Swiss Alps, Gustav said: “these beautiful ice shells have remained studies and are still waiting to be applied in a purposeful manner: a nomadic journey through Antarctica.”

“The translucent skin and the cold white of the ice will blend into the surroundings, creating a space strange and yet familiar to the materiality of Antarctica. When the vessel moved on, the structure was broken down and wrapped up, so no traces were left behind.”

Find out more about the Antarctic Biennale here, and explore Gustav’s work here.

Image: Gustav Düsing

Date Submitted: 22/5/2017

Betts Project, the contemporary art gallery specialising in architecture directed by AA Member Marie Coulon, is presenting its latest show Penumbra, an exhibition of renowned Indian architect Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in the UK.

Bijoy Jain was born in Mumbai, India in 1965 and received his MArch from Washington University in St Louis, USA in 1990. He worked with Richard Meier in Los Angeles and London between 1989 and 1995 before returning to India to found Studio Mumbai. In 2012, Bijoy Jain gave a lecture as part of the AA’s Public Programme.

The exhibition will present a landscape through an exploration of material studies varying in scales, forms & techniques, all interspersed through intuition and intention, to allow the audience to immerse themselves in these distant landscapes where existence is not reactionary but elemental. These landscapes are both notional and real at the same time.

The exhibition runs from 6 May — 10 June 2017 at Betts Project, 100 Central Street, London EC1V 8AJ. www.bettsproject.com.

To re-watch Bijoy Jain’s AA lecture, click here.

Image: Studio Mumbai, Window Grids, 2016, paint on wood, varied sizes. ©Studio Mumbai. Courtesy Betts Project.

Date Submitted: 22/5/2017

Former AA Tutor and Councillor Sir David Adjaye OBE has been knighted for services to architecture by the Duke of Cambridge at a Buckingham Palace investiture ceremony.

Sir David, who was a member of the AA Council from 2006-2008 and former joint Unit Master of Diploma 7, joins an exclusive group of living architects who have been knighted including AA Alumni Sir Michael Hopkins (AADipl 1963), Sir Nicholas Grimshaw (AADipl(Hons) 1965), Sir Peter Cook (AADipl 1960) and Sir David Chipperfield (AADipl 1980). Baron Rogers of Riverside (AADipl 1960) also received a knighthood in 1991.

Sir David founded Adjaye Associates in 2000 and received an OBE in 2007.  Recent projects that have attracted global attention include the Latvian Museum of Contemporary Art, and the recently unveiled Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. He is currently shortlisted for the UK’s National Holocaust Memorial.

Read more here.

Photo: Valerie Bennett, 2002.

Date Submitted: 18/5/2017

Posidònia is the immersive installation that culminates Patricia Mato-Mora’s artist residency at the Joan Miró Museum and Foundation, in partnership with Sotheby’s Spain. 

Posidònia is entirely realized of ceramic components, and is currently on show at the Joan Miró Museum in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. It is open to the public until June 11th. Posidònia is Mato-Mora’s largest exhibition in her home town. 

The piece evokes the city of Palma’s maritime identity, taking the port atmosphere to the interior of the gallery. The exhibition space is explored through a chain made from small ceramic components that inhabit the ceiling, floor and walls. The ceramic elements have been made out of red stoneware clay (stained with oxides); fired in a gas kiln, with a “reduction” firing (without oxygen), to 1280ºC (cone 9). Thanks to this material treatment, the ceramic material recalls the rust that the sea causes on any adjoining materials, particularly metals. The sea, at the same time, is an extremely important element in Majorca’s history.

The residency and exhibition have been possible thanks to the Pilar Juncosa and Sotheby’s Biennial Prize, of which Patricia is the latest awardee.

Patricia Mato-Mora is an artist, designer and educator currently exploring the spatial, architectural and narrative capabilities of clay. Patricia is interested in the ability of spaces to act as vessels for storytelling and collective imagination. She studied architecture at the Architectural Association; and obtained her Masters at the Royal College of Art. She is an affiliate member of the Royal Institute of British Architects and a Member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors.

March 16th - June 11th, 2017

Pilar and Joan Miró Museum, Espai Cúbic [Cubic Space]

Open Tue-Sat 10:00 to 19:00; Sun 10:00 to 17:00; Mon closed

For information call +34 971 70 14 20; miro.palma.cat

Follow @MiroMallorca; use #posidonia

Date Submitted: 8/5/2017

AA Alumnus Nuru Karim (MArch 2006) has won the International Design Academy’s Golden A'Design Award in the Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category for his Mumbai-based, mixed-use scheme The Bad Café, designed to facilitate yoga, hospitality, and cultural event spaces.

Inspired by human anatomy, nerve-endings and taste buds, the building’s façade is made up of waves of almost 26,000 recycled pvc electrical conduits that reflect the physical activity and intense culinary experiences the space will house.

After graduating from the AA with a Masters in Architecture and Urbanism, Nuru founded NUDES in 2010 aiming to operate within the realm of cross-disciplinary cultures of art, architecture and computational design powered by digital “making”.  He was recently featured as one of Architectural Digest India’s top 50 most influential designers.

Read more at adesignaward.com.

Image: Nuru Karim, NUDES

Date Submitted: 3/5/2017

Studio Symbiosis, the practice founded by AA Alumni Amit Gupta (MArch 2006) and Britta Knobel Gupta (MArch 2006), has been awarded the 2016-17 Golden A’Design Award in the Architecture, Building and Structure Design Category by the International Design Academy for their design of the Punjab Kesari Headquarters in New Delhi.

Designed as a fusion of traditional Indian architecture – the intricate, jali screen inspired façade – and contemporary office space, the newspaper headquarters’ design places sustainability at its core, with a focus on optimized natural lighting, cross ventilation and the reduction of heat gain.

Read more about the project at adesignaward.com

Image: Studio Symbiosis

Date Submitted: 2/5/2017

AA Alumni Jon Lopez (AADipl 2011) and Hikaru Nissanke (AADipl 2009), directors of OMMX Architects, have been awarded a £500,000 grant from Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, to help build 22 homes as part of an experimental, affordable housing project backed by not-for-profit developer Naked House.

The no-frills flats and houses – which will be sold to first-time buyers earning less than £90,000 per year – will be built in Enfield, north-east London.  Adopting an open plan design, without partitions and containing a minimal number of appliances and fittings, OMMX Architects hope to provide genuinely affordable homes that occupants can adapt and change to suit their needs.

Jon and Hikaru, who are also past contributors to the AA’s Public Programme, said of their design: 'It provides a very affordable entry level shell, which is generously proportioned and loaded with potential. The hard work is done by the contractor, and provides the resident with a blank canvas to tailor into their ideal home.'

Read more online: AJ/The Guardian

Image: OMMX Architects

Date Submitted: 26/4/2017

PREVIEW 27 APRIL 6.30PM - 9.00PM

Right Through You explores relationships in architecture, phenomenology and minimal art. Taking into consideration the gallery and building’s constraints and specificities, Miraj Ahmed, Nicolas K Feldmeyer and Richard Wentworth create minimalistic site-specific installations, to challenge the viewer’s experience of this gallery environment, and draw attention to characteristics usually left unnoticed.

View PDF 

Date Submitted: 24/4/2017

AA Alumni Amit Gupta (MArch 2006) and Britta Knobel Gupta (MArch 2006) have been featured in an article on CNN Style which charts the success of their practice Studio Symbiosis and the rise of India as a booming architectural hub.

The pair met at the Architectural Association in 2004 whilst studying on the Architecture and Urbanism graduate programme. Studio Symbiosis, which was established in 2010, has already completed 40 projects, 38 of which were realised in India. 

Read the article in full here.

Image: Studio Symbiosis

Date Submitted: 19/4/2017

Photo by: Tim Crocker

AA graduate Richa Mukhia (AADipl(Hons)2006) and partner John O'Shea (www.mos-a.com) have been awarded the AJ Small Projects People's Choice Award 2017 for their Asylum House Project. 
The project topped a poll voted on by 400 AJ readers. It was also one of only two projects to be highly commended by the jury.

Asylum House is an inventive response to a constrained site in Peckham, South London. The narrow frontage and lack of outlook was a real challenge requiring the house to be built up to the boundary walls. The insertion of strategically positioned courtyards, rooflights and lightwells has resulted in an intensely private house, which exploits every opportunity to maximise space and daylight.

The project is exhibited at the AJ Small Projects Exhibition currently on at the Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, 20 Tottenham St, London W1T 4RG.


Date Submitted: 31/3/2017

AA graduate and visiting tutor Kate Darby (AADipl 1997) and partner David Connor have been announced as winners of the 2017 AJ Small Projects Award for their preservation and conversion of a listed 300-year-old ruined cottage in Herefordshire into Croft Lodge Studio.

The design, which is also shortlisted for a RIBA West Midlands regional award, was described by the jury as ‘beautifully executed’ and ‘unpretentious’, and was given praise for not ‘romanticising the ruin’.

Kate Darby, founder of Kate Darby Architects and visiting tutor on the AA’s Design and Make MArch at Hooke Park said: ‘What is special about the project is the extreme length we went to preserve everything. Initially there was the prejudice to clear it up, but we realised the value of the project was in that extreme approach.’

The judging panel also commended The Layered Gallery by Gianni Botsford Architects, led by AA Alumnus and former tutor Gianni Botsford (AADipl 1996).

Croft Lodge Studio was chosen from a 20-strong shortlist which also included Intermediate Unit 8 tutors Francisco Gonzalez de Canales and Nuria Alvarez Lombardero, and AA Alumni Edmund Fowles (AADipl(Hons) 2009) of Feilden Fowles, TYPE’s Sam Nelson (AADipl(Hons) 2012), and Catherine Finkernagel (AADipl 2000) of Finkernagel Ross.

An exhibition of the shortlisted AJ Small Projects will remain open until 26 April in Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, 20 Tottenham St, London W1T 4RG.

Read more here.

Image: James Morris

Date Submitted: 30/3/2017

Betts Project (an East London Gallery founded by AA Member Marie Coulon) is delighted to present an exhibition of renowned Swiss architect Peter Märkli, alongside relief-sketches by the sculptor Hans Josephsohn. This will be the artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery, showing works –from his famous ‘Language drawings’ to 3D drawings and models– that are related to selected projects.

The sketch is the germ of an idea, with no detail in it. The sketch has to be kept small, otherwise you’d have to flesh out certain details. It’s like a writer coming up with an idea for a novel. He might be clear that there will be three main characters, but he doesn’t yet know how the plot will unfold. Every time you have a motif, an idea, and you need a lot of drawings to work through it to the end. You might do ten and look and suddenly realise that you know enough at that moment, and the thing is finished.But then you might come back to that series much later. It’s perfectly possible. Twenty years after I did this series of facades made up of squares – different squares, not regular ones – I built a house using the same motif. The building and the situation and the landscape all needed this facade. If I make these drawings they are more or less two-dimensional, and the question is how to do a facade and the elements on the facade. Out of all these hundreds of drawings, I think only a small number are directly connected with a project.

When I was studying at the ETH I used to go and visit Hans Josephsohn in his atelier. I was also assisting him for a while, constructing rough frameworks and things like that. For me, it became quite normal to work with sculpture, so suddenly I was able to see the possibility of making the join between the column and the horizontal in a different way from Olgiati. I saw I could extend the column up to the horizontalelement and place a relief at the point where they met. That was very important for me. And so a lot of my sketches have pieces by Josephsohn in them. We’ve talked about how a sketch might start but I should add that I never know whether or not a piece has come to an end. It might produce some result. It might be the most I can possibly do at a particular time or for a particular project, but perhaps it’s not completely done. And I can’t say exactly why.

—Peter Märkli

preview: Saturday 11 March, 6—8pm
exhibition: 15 March —22 April 2017

Betts Project
100 Central Street
London EC1V 8AJ

Date Submitted: 26/3/2017

AA Alumnus Lawrence Lek (AADipl 2008), recipient of the 2017 Jerwood/FVU Award, is premiering a newly commissioned film, Geomancer, as part of the awards’ exhibition at the Jerwood Space in London.

Responding to the curatorial theme, Neither One Thing or Another, Lek employs pioneering, conceptually fitting, technologies to examine the steadily blurring line between the real and the artificial. Lek harnesses his trademark - the building blocks of computer gaming technology - to set the stage for an awakening of artificial intelligence above Singapore on the eve of the city-state’s centennial celebrations in 2065. Part philosophical reflection on where ‘genius’ resides, part playful inventory of how science fiction has dealt with eternal human/automaton themes, Geomancer is provocative stimulation for both the eye and the mind.

Since his selection in May 2016, Lek has received £20,000 to develop the work, with full production support from FVU. Following its debut at Jerwood Space, the film will tour as a series of screening events nationwide.

The exhibition runs from 22 March to 14 May 2017. Find out more here www.fvu.co.uk/projects/geomancer

Image: Lawrence Lek

Date Submitted: 24/3/2017

The A+Awards celebrates and honors the best in architecture and design.

The AA Summer DLAB is an architectural programme directed by Dr.Elif Erdine and Alexandros Kallegias. The programme experiments with the integration of algorithmic / generative design methodologies and large scale digital fabrication tools.

Weave.X is the final working prototype designed, developed, and fabricated in AA’s London home and Hooke Park facilities during 25 July – 12 August 2016. 21 participants from 11 countries participated in the programme in order to investigate themes of generative design, material computation, and robotic fabrication technologies within the agency of concrete and robotic rod-bending protocols. 

The ongoing research intends to incorporate simple mechanical tools and cost-effective fabrication methods with the complexity embedded in generative form-finding processes, geometrical rationalization, and robotic tool-path creation that integrates material constraints. The key objective is to illustrate the architectural possibilities of using concrete in a non-conventional way by creating strong associations between computational design methodologies and robotic fabrication processes.  Summer DLAB is running again in summer2017.

To vote please visit https://vote.architizer.com/PublicVoting#/winners/2017/plus/concepts/architecture-technology Voting closes Friday, March 31st

For more information please visit: http://summerdlab.aaschool.ac.uk/ and http://architizer.com/projects/weavex/

Date Submitted: 23/3/2017


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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 Certificate), 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.