Important COVID-19 / Coronavirus information and FAQs


AA tutors John Palmesino and Ann-So Rönnskog, who are unit masters of Climate Peace (Diploma 4) have been invited to take part in the Taipei Biennial with their practice Territorial Agency. The Biennial is titled You and I Don't Live on the Same Planet and is being curated by Bruno Latour and Martin Guinard. The theme seeks for ways to tackle the profound divisions in global experience, perception and understanding of climate crisis. The show is going to take place from November 2020 to March 2021.


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Date Submitted: 30/4/2020

Based on a 2018 lecture series at the Amsterdam Academy of Architecture, The Amsterdam Agenda is a new book published by MORE Architecture that brings together 12 urban thinkers to share their knowledge, insights, and vision for the future of cities in light of today’s ongoing transformations. Selva Gürdoğan and Gregers Tang Thomsen contributed an essay titled Flexible Systems to the book, which advocates for flexible urban planning strategies that adapt to and learn from ad-hoc, informal community infrastructures.


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Date Submitted: 24/4/2020

In a recently published essay in Drawing Matter, Diploma 7 tutor Hamed Khosravi, revisits Gabriel Guevrekian’s designs for a ‘Garden of Water and Light’ at the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes in Paris. Guervrekian, an Armenian-born native of Iran, who studied architecture in Vienna, produced intensely colourful geometrical designs for the Persian section of the Exposition’s gardens, with strong triangular plans decorated with coloured glass and water. The garden became an iconic and celebrated example of modernist design, included in Man Ray’s surrealist 1929 film Les Mystères du Château de Dé.


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Image: Gabriel Guevrekian (1900–1970), conceptual painting for Jardin d’Eau et de Lumière, 1925.. From 1925 Jardins de marrast (Paris: Editions d'art Charles Moreau, 1926), 

Date Submitted: 24/4/2020

Alexandra Vougia (First Year Studio Master and DRL Programme Coordinator) and Platon Issaias (Head of Projective Cities and Diploma Unit 7:  Master), with their practice Fatura Collaborative have won the third prize in the Lycabettus Pan.Orama competition. The competition called for design proposals to reshape the landscape surrounding the iconic 3,000 seat open air theatre in Athens, which was designed by Greek architect Takis Zenetos and built in 1964 on the site of an old quarry.


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Date Submitted: 17/4/2020

Teresa Stoppani (HTS and LU tutor) has written ‘Postcard from Nowhere (Counterswinming)’ for Drawing Matter. Re-examining Madelon Vriesendorp and Rem Koolhaas’s Raft of the Medusa and Story of the Pool (1975-78), the text works through the ambiguity of images, to muse on metaphors of isolation and destructive encounters, on moments of stillness and architectural restarts.


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Date Submitted: 16/4/2020

AA PhD Candidate Lukas Pauer has been interviewed discussing his work for the Korean Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The project, which draws heavily on Pauer’s in-progress doctoral dissertation, seeks to question the spatial manifestation of authority over people and land in colonial and neocolonial contexts.

In the interview, Pauer commented that 'in recent years the concept of sovereignty has come to the fore. Disputed borders and displaced people are on the rise and the question of how sovereignty is spatially constituted has really been contested. [...] scholars have already started to reexamine our international system's most critical assumptions, which seek to preserve the fixity of boundaries.’

Pauer’s work forms the basis of a programme that will now be taking place virtually later this year, given the ongoing pandemic.

Watch the interview

Date Submitted: 10/4/2020

AA alumna Sarah Khan has won the Institute of Historic Building Conservation Gus Astley prize for her essay titled ‘The Ghost in the Machine: Occupants’ influence on the Environmental Performance in a Grade I Listed Building’. The prize was awarded by Director General of Historic Houses Ben Cowell, who described the project as ‘completely absorbing and fascinating, and genuinely useful’.

Khan commented: ‘As a conservation architect, it has been a constant struggle to find ways to rise up to meet the climate emergency challenge. I found it increasingly frustrating to hear old buildings being compared to energy-hungry vintage cars – there to be looked at, but not used. It was a great joy to discover the plethora of archival information about the different ways in which buildings were managed in the past, and how re-introducing them could be simple, but an extremely effective way forward.’

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Date Submitted: 10/4/2020

ArchDaily has interviewed tutors of The Civic Programme (Diploma 2) Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg: discussing their design practice Space Popular, their teaching at the AA and the future of digital architecture. Commenting on the influence that teaching has had on their practice, Lesmes commented:

'Nothing would have been the same if we hadn't started teaching... you quickly adjust from being able to focus on a project for a year, to being with 12 to 24 projects simultaneously... you take that into practice, being able to switch between projects without too much effort, being able to not get locked into a single project.'

The wide-ranging interview goes on to cover their work on virtual reality and the immersive internet, concepts that form the core of their Diploma Unit, in which students design alternate civic spaces that interact with the immersive internet.

Watch the interview

Date Submitted: 10/4/2020

Theodore Spyropoulos, Director of the MArch Architecture and Urbanism (Design Research Laboratory), has been interviewed by Best Architecture Masters. The interview includes a discussion of the future of architectural education, and highlights the mix of collaboration and creativity that has defined his teaching at the AA.

When asked why architectural education is so important, Spyropoulos responded that:

‘Architecture affords us a framework to understand our world through the medium of space. If a problem could be understood spatially it is in my opinion architectural, this aspect I believe gives agency for architects to contribute to many challenges of contemporary society. Our shared and collective approach to knowledge offers a diverse and speculative model of education that is fundamental.’

Read the interview in full.


Photograph by Max Creasy

Date Submitted: 3/4/2020

AA alumnus David Chipperfield (AADipl 1980) has been interviewed by Marcus Fairs, founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen, for the new ‘Face to Face’ podcast. In the interview Chipperfield discusses his career as an architect and his upbringing, and discusses what being a student at the AA in the 1970s was like.

Describing the variety of teaching that has always defined the AA, Chippefield said: ‘Each unit was doing exceptionally different things, and very fascinating things. And so therefore you did the work in your unit, but your friends were in another unit, so you know, one of my best friends was in Leon Krier’s unit, and someone else was in Rem’s unit. It was a very good time at the AA, although it was stressful as well because it was dangerous because it was a sort of cacophony, a sort of Babel Tower, although incredibly stimulating.’

Chipperfield also recounted a moment during his Diploma when fellow student Zaha Hadid stepped in to defend him during a review, and her constant reminders of her role in saving his Diploma many years later.

Listen to the interview

Date Submitted: 3/4/2020

The response of the AA to COVID-19 has been featured in Building Design Magazine, along with the different strategies of various architecture schools to the changing situation. AA Director Eva Franch i Gilabert outlined the ethos of adaptation that is defining the school’s response to new modes of teaching and connecting across the AA.

Discussing the strength of the AA community, Franch commented:

‘We’ve got 7,000 alumni around the world, some of whom are architects. Students will be able to still be connected, to engage with other people and to share advice and solutions.’

One of the tools that the AA is using to connect alumni, students and staff is through AA Global Forums, which serve as spaces for discussion and collaboration between alumni, students and staff.

As the school adapts to these new times, Franch stressed that ‘it is imperative at this time that we understand the human dimension of what we’re going through. This is about doing the AA in a different way.’

The piece also highlighted the responses at Sheffield, CSM and the Bartlett.

Date Submitted: 3/4/2020

In response to the increased demand for personal protective equipment amongst hospital staff, the AA Digital Prototyping Laboratory has started to produce medical face shields in consultation with the Royal Free Hospital. The shields are based on designs from Czech printing company PRUSA, which have been approved by the Health Ministry of the Czech Republic. DPL staff members Angel Lara Moreira and Henry Cleaver have adapted the design based on guidance from the staff of the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead and have begun printing the components at the AA. Several of the masks are already being used by NHS staff, with plans to manufacture more over the coming days, whilst continuing to perfect the design through collaboration between doctors at the Royal Free Hospital and the AA.

The mask design from PRUSA is available here.

Date Submitted: 3/4/2020

Chris Zhongtian Yuan (AA alumnus) has been named the Emerging Art Prize winner of the 2020 Aesthetica Art Prize for his work Counterfictions. The prize was chosen from more than 4000 submissions, and a shortlist of 18 international artists. Counterfictions presents alternative narratives of ecological collapse after the construction of Donald Trump’s border wall proposal. Sound and shadowy landscapes are layered – exploring the messy web of human connections, nature and mythology. The moving image weaves together scientific facts, folklore tales, journal articles, and quotes from the President of the United States – creating a dystopian vision of the future. The work will be displayed at the York Art Gallery.

Date Submitted: 20/3/2020

Dr Mark Campbell (AA tutor for Histories and Theories and MPhil Projective Cities) has been appointed to the Academic and International Peer Review Colleges of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). This four-year appointment is in recognition of Dr Campbell’s excellence in research and he joins AHRC Colleges, whose membership is drawn from higher education institutions and independent research organisations in the United Kingdom and overseas. The AHRC is part of UK Research and Innovation – a funding body that works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. This body operates across the whole of the UK and has a combined research budget of more than £6 billion.

Date Submitted: 16/3/2020

The Design Research Laboratory (DRL) Taught Postgraduate Programme is exhibiting work at the Zaha Hadid Gallery. The exhibition is titled ‘Radical Constructs: The Work of the DRL’ and will showcase student work from Schumacher Design Studio, Nahmad / Bhooshan Design Studio, Spyropoulos Design Studio and other work from DRL students.

The exhibition aims to reflect on the theme question of experimentation, proposing that:

‘Experimentation is not only necessary, it is fundamental to move beyond assertions of what things should be in order to see them for what they can be. Architecture is a conceptual and disruptive pursuit to re-examine and intervene in this world. Anything less would reinforce existing models rather than looking forward and evolving a history of experimentation that embodies the desire to offer more.’

The exhibition will run Friday 13 March–Friday 24 April at the Zaha Hadid Gallery, 101 Goswell Road, EC1V 7EZ.

Date Submitted: 13/3/2020


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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.