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The September issue of British Vogue entitled “Forces of Change” and guest-edited by Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, features Stephanie Edwards who studied at the AA from 2004 -2010. The article titled ‘Leaders and Proteges’ showcases a number of women including Baroness Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, alongside Stephanie Edwards.

Stephanie Edwards, architect, masterplanner and co-founder of Urban Symbiotics, studied Foundation at Central St Martins before receiving a Stephen Lawrence Scholarship to study at the Architectural Association. She has since primarily focused on urban design and masterplanning at a number of offices including the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Elsie Owusu Architects and Barton Willmore before co-founding Urban Symbiotics in 2018.

In 1998, the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust was set up by Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE in memory of her son who was tragically murdered 5 years previously in an unprovoked racist attack. To inspire and help people just like him, his family set up the trust to help young people realise their ambitions to become architects by supporting them with bursaries and mentoring.

Vogue 

Image: British Vogue, September 2019, Peter Lindbergh

Date Submitted: 8/8/2019

Anuradha Suryavanshi (AAEmTech MSc 2018) and Elisabeth Riederer (AAEmTech MSc 2018) met at the Architectural Association while they were studying Emergent Technologies. The research they conducted during their master’s theses into producing low-cost concrete has been featured in The Times of India in an article entitled “Discarded plastic bottles can reduce construction costs!” They also presented their research at the annual conference ‘Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design’ held at GIT, Atlanta in April 2019.

Through their research, Anuradha and Elisabeth found a strategy to make concrete structures more economical and sustainable by partly replacing sand, the most expensive component in concrete, with recycled PET flakes, made from recycling PET bottles in a low-cost and low-energy method.

Through investigations in to design strategies and fabrication methods they developed a material system to improve the material performance. Computational simulations were then used to compare the new material system using PET flakes against conventional concrete while considering the geometric and structural constraints.

“According to researchers, commercialising plastic-in-concrete can provide an alternate source of income to thousands of slum dwellers at place like Dharavi can turn into recycling hubs” (The Times of India)

With the vision of developing an alternate source of income to thousands of slum dwellers Anuradha and Elisabeth are now seeking financial contributions to build a prototype with their students from GLSID, Ahmedabad and FabLab, Munich where they teach. Contribute to the project at Ketto.org

Read the full article on The Times of India website

Date Submitted: 5/8/2019

Six projects have been shortlisted for this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize including The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, by Feilden Fowles Architects. Fielden Fowles was founded by Edmund Fowles (AADipl(Hons) 2009) and Fergus Fielden in 2009.

The other five shortlisted projects are -

  • Cork House, Berkshire, by Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton
  • Goldsmith Street, Norwich, by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley
  • London Bridge Station, London by Grimshaw
  • Nevill Holt Opera, Leicestershire, by Witherford Watson Mann Architects
  • The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience, Moray, by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The winner of the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize will be announced on Tuesday 8 October 2019 at the Roundhouse in London.

Read more about the shortlisted projects on the RIBA website

Image: © Peter Cook

Date Submitted: 25/7/2019

Projects from each of the UK’s 51 RIBA-accredited architecture schools have been nominated for the AJ Student Prize 2019. In its second year, the AJ invited every RIBA-accredited school in the UK to select their top two student projects – one at undergraduate level and one at postgraduate level – to compete for the AJ Student Prize.

In early September, an expert jury consisting of Pippa Nissen of Nissen Richards Studio, Ed Fowles of Feilden Fowles Architects, Ken Okonkwo of Haworth Tompkins and Meredith Bowles of Mole Architects will have the task of choosing three winning projects with the winners will be announced later in the month.

Siong Yu-Hsiang Wang (AADipl 2019) has been nominated at postgraduate level for his project ‘The Cultural Odyssey: Towards an Atopian Museum’. The project seeks to negotiate post-colonial debates in museology about the centralisation of artefacts in the west, to break the loops within the current art world systems and to mobilise cultural artefacts as ‘relational objects’ (to use Lygia Clarke’s phrase) and to leak them into various social conditions. With today’s systems of digital preservation, museum artefacts can be transposed into new relationships, spaces and social scenarios through reproduction and the use.

Read more about Siong Yu-Hsiang Wang’s project on the AA Projects Review website

See the full list of nominated students on the AJ website

Date Submitted: 25/7/2019

Rotor is to be one of the speakers at the ‘The Architecture of Emergency’ event, which will be held at the Barbican Centre in September. Rotor (Diploma Unit Masters) have been invited to speak as part of the Architecture on Stage series, a collaboration between the Architecture Foundation and the Barbican. Other speakers include: Maria Smith Architect, engineer, London Mayoral Design Advocate; Monica von Schmalensee Swedish Government strategic advisor; Steve Tompkins Architects Declare member; Adrian Lahoud Dean of School of Architecture, Royal College of Art; Danielle Paffard Greenpeace campaigner and Heathrow 13 member; and Extinction Rebellion.

Lionel Devlieger and Maarten Gielen are among the founding members of Rotor (Brussels) and together with Aude-Line Duliere, who has been part of Rotor’s development team, are unit masters for the Diploma Unit Opalis, Developing the Market for Second Hand Building Components in the UK at the AA. Read more about the unit brief

‘The Architecture of Emergency’ will take place at 7pm on 19 September in the Theatre at the Barbican Centre. For more information and tickets, visit the Barbican website.

Date Submitted: 25/7/2019

Azure has revealed the 20 winners of the 2019 AZ Awards, chosen by a panel of judges as representations of exceptional work being created in global architecture and design today. The panel was made up of Thom Mayne, co-founder of both the architectural firm Morphosis and the leading architecture school SCI-Arc; Pat Hanson, architect and founding partner of Toronto firm gh3*; Matt Carr, vice president of design at Umbra; renowned interior designer Johnson Chou; and Stefano Pujatti, director of ElasticoSPA, an architecture studio with offices in Italy and Canada.

Federico Fauli (AADipl 2018) received a Merit with tutors Efrén Ga Grinda, Christina Diaz Moreno and Benjamin Reynolds for his project ‘Coscienza Intuitiva’ in the A+ Student Award category.

Gianni Botsford (AADipl 1996) won in the ‘Best in Single-Family Houses Winner’ category for his project ‘House in a Garden’.

Read more on the Azure website

Image: House in a Garden, Gianni Botsford Architects

Date Submitted: 24/7/2019

Forest of Theoretical Sex Toys, featured in this month’s Wallpaper* The Handmade Issue, is the product of a collaboration between the Architectural Association Digital Prototyping Lab and Douglas Coupland, a Canadian artist and novelist. Handmade X: With Love is the tenth edition of Wallpaper* Handmade, a project that pairs creatives with makers and manufacturers.

The ‘sex toys’ were designed by Douglas Coupland in response to Wallpaper*’s theme of ‘love’ and 3D printed at the Digital Prototyping Lab at the AA. In the interview featured in this month’s Wallpaper* issue Douglas says “The theme of love made me think about things that are about the body but not necessarily about your body. In the same way that Lawren Harris painted the phylum of trees on the island, I wanted the same ‘Qu’est-ce que c’est?’ to come out of the trees we made. That same sense of familiarity wrapped up in weirdness.” 

Read the full article on the Wallpaper* website

The 3D printed collection of ‘sex toys’ will be auctioned in autumn to raise funds towards Scholarships and Bursaries for future generations of deserving students to have the opportunity to study at the AA School of Architecture. Be the first to find out about the auction by registering your interest

Date Submitted: 18/7/2019

Something Curated have highlighted nine AA student projects, from the recent AA Projects Review 2019 end of year show, that they believe “are exercises in the redefinition of the discipline of architecture, but more importantly our world and its future.”

Students featured in the list are: Jeanne Clerc, Lucas Wilson, Chanel Kuo, Chris Kokarev, Ryan Cook, Hangyul Jeong, Lukas Pauer, Voisin Isdahl. Read the full article with short descriptions of each student’s work on the Something Curated website

Image: Jeanne Clerc, A Home Truth on Childhood and Continuity, 2019

Date Submitted: 17/7/2019

Von X Chua (AADipl 2015) is co-founder of Pitch Your Concepts, an online platform to connect design professionals with property owners, which has now soft launched in the United Kingdom. The platform allows property owners, business owners and landowners to post their building project briefs online and at the same time, design professionals can showcase their portfolio and pitch to new clients via the online platform.

Pitch Your Concepts was a semi-finalist at the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Award 2019, organised by the Mayor of London and currently part of the NatWest Entrepreneurship’s Pre-Accelerator programme.

Find out more on Pitch Your Concepts website 

Image: Pitch Your Concepts at the National Homebuilding and Renovating Show 2019

Date Submitted: 17/7/2019

With the express intention of challenging traditional delineations of discipline and media in the artsm Fearghus Raftery (AADipl 2016) has co-curated 74 Years, an exhibition as part of the Other-Art Network’s summer exhibitions programme. Featuring new and existing work from 11 artists based in the UK, the theme of the exhibition references the time passed since the start of what some geologists refer to as ‘the Anthropocene’. The collective work incorporates performance, sculpture, film, poetry and installation and will come together on the Wednesday 17 August in an event featuring live performances from artists displaying as part of the show, set against the backdrop of the formal landscape gardens of Goodnestone Park near Canterbury in Kent. Exhibitors include Fearghus Raftery (AADipl 2016), Colin Priest (AADipl 2003), Kristina Kotov (AADipl 2006), Grace Adam, Greig Burgoyne, Jessica Ostrowicz, Tom Plumtre, Katherine Scott, Matthew Turner, Owen Vince, Other-Space.

The exhibition is open from 5 July to 30 August at Goodnestone Park Gardens, Kent, CT3 1PL. Find out more by visiting the Other-Art Network website

Date Submitted: 16/7/2019

Dugnad has underpinned the culture of care and responsibility Norwegians have had as neighbours, national and global citizens for 800 years, which continues on the periphery in co-housing, civic and municipal collaborations and more. However, as the country becomes more individualistic, citizens are losing Dugnad’s value. Dugnad is also reflected across cultures globally in various placemaking strategies, including architecture dedicated to a more equitable society.

Dugnad Days, a participatory design project selected for the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019, creates a story of commitment, shared learning and collective responsibility. Dugnad Days explores collective, bespoke processes of building resilience and the social sustainability of communities through participatory placemaking. By recalibrating the Dugnad tradition of collective work and mutual support with the local community of Sletteløkka, Oslo, with support from Bydel Bjerke, a process of co-production and co-creation with citizens is given agency to foster human and environmental wellbeing.

The project is led by architect Alexander Eriksson Furunes (former AA student), place strategist and founder of Urbanista.org Lucy Bullivant (AA Member), architect/photographer Mattias Josefsson and architects Maria Årthun and Sudarshan Khadka, with artist and graphic designer Gabriela Forjaz and Maria Cau Levy, architect and graphic designer Goma Oficina, sound artist Caroline Jinde and performance artist Tuoman Laitinen,

The Architecture of Degrowth, the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019 is a call to arms to build alternatives to the unsustainable and unfair paradigm of growth, because human and ecological flourishing matter the most. Dugnad Days is exhibited in the Triennale’s exhibition, The Library, at the National Museum, Oslo, 26 Sept-24 Nov 2019. 

Find out more about the project on the Urbanista website or more about the Oslo Architecture Triennalie 2019

Date Submitted: 10/7/2019

The 21st International Congress of Aesthetics conference will take place between 22 – 26 July 2019 at The University of Belgrade, Serbia. The theme of the Congress is “Possible Worlds of Contemporary Aesthetics: Aesthetics Between History, Geography and Media”.

Nerma Cridge (AA Academic Staff and AAPhD 2012) will be presenting a paper on architecture of ex-Yugoslavia and North Korea entitled ‘Post-Communist Architectural Images’. Find out more on the University of Belgrade website

Date Submitted: 10/7/2019

Cloud Field rethinks what a solar farm can be by considering two parameters: energy production and people’s enjoyment. By raising the photovoltaic panels, the ground is freed and shading is created for people to enjoy. The clouds are formed by a pattern of irregular hexagons formed by computational design means and manufactured with inflatable ETFE cushions. The geometry of the clouds maximises surface area within a limited footprint while their curvature follows the sun path keeping sun rays normal to the surface. The areas that are more exposed to solar radiation are clad with organic flexible PV cells that can produce up to 90.000Kwh per year while creating different qualities in the shading.

The project will be exhibited in the 24th World Energy Congress at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre from September 9 and featured in a hardcover Prestel art book publication.

Find out more on the LAGI 2019 website

Date Submitted: 10/7/2019

Alan Dempsey (Founding Director of Nex—) has announced that the practice has won the competition organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants for the renewal of Exeter College Oxford’s Grade II listed library.

Nex— was Inspired by the legacy of the college (one of the oldest within Oxford University), its esteemed alumni and the library’s stunning array of features and details, all painstakingly considered by the renowned architect George Gilbert Scott.

The proposal convinced the College’s Selection Committee with a top-scoring combination of innovative ideas, user understanding, outstanding team dynamics and construction strategy.

You can read more on the Nex— website Exeter College Library

Date Submitted: 4/7/2019

Opening on Friday 5 July in London, The Tide and The Prism are two projects that Neiheiser Argyros have been working on for several years. The Tide is a 5 kilometre long linear public park, partially elevated and partially at-grade, and the first 1 kilometre phase of the project is being opened to the public on Friday. The Tide was designed by Neiheiser Argyros in collaboration with lead designer Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

The Prism is a 14-meter tall sculptural enclosure around a London Underground vent shaft, containing a 10 meter wide media screen, a cafe, and public restrooms and was designed by Neiheiser Argyros. Both projects are located in North Greenwich adjacent to the O2 Arena, and open from Friday 5 July with a public opening party from 6-9pm.

More info can be found on the Neiheiser Argyros website and the Greenwich Peninsula website.

Date Submitted: 2/7/2019
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The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

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Welcome to 2019-20

Dear School Community,

The Architectural Association is a place where we forget our labels as architects, as artists, as economists, as writers, as poets, and we become citizens of the world – a world that we believe we can change, transform into something other, more interesting, more radical, more free, more equal, more us. The new academic year brings a series of important conversations to the forefront of architectural education and contemporary culture through new and familiar voices and projects. There are urgent tasks at hand. Our programmes throughout the school have accepted the challenge to address issues of climate and ethics. As architects we always speak on behalf of the other, but we also need to constantly ask ourselves, who has the right to speak, and on behalf of whom? How am I affecting the environment with my actions? How can I care more about others? 

This year I invite us all to practice radical empathy, to care about the planet, the other and the future. To listen, to ask, to share, to discuss, to debate, but ultimately to care. 

Like every year, new appointments and initiatives will expand both our academic and institutional horizons. Academic voices joining us are: filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine, whose work focuses on experimental narratives and cinematographic forms in relation to contemporary architecture and the urban environment; Berlin-based architect Sam Chermayeff (AA Alumni), founder of the practice June 14; Didier Fiúza Faustino (AA Tutor 2010-16), an architect and artist working on the relationship between the body and space; Gabu Heindl, an architect and urban planner who is the head of GABU Heindl Architektur in Vienna, an interdisciplinary studio specialising in public interventions, cultural and social buildings; David Kohn, London-based architect and founder of David Kohn Architects working internationally on arts, education and residential projects; Viviana Muscettola, an associate director at Zaha Hadid Architects and an executive member of the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat; OMMX, a London-based practice led by Hikaru Nissanke and Jon Lopez; OFIS, an international architecture office based in Ljubljana and led by Špela Videčnik and Rok Oman (both AA Alumni); Superpool, an international research-based architecture practice located in Istanbul and led by Selva Gürdoğan and Gregers Tang Thomsen; and Bostjan Vuga (AA Alumni), architect and founder of SADAR+VUGA. Other people joining us include Eleanor Dodman, Liza Fior, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Lizy Huyghe, Guan Lee,  Melodie Leung, Gili Merin, Ivan Morrison, Anna Muzychak, Bushra Mohamed, Jonathan Robinson, Alvaro Velasco Perez and James Westcott. This diversity of new voices, will add to the units and programmes and will continue the multiplicity of agendas that the AA is known for. 

Every course, programme and unit throughout the school operates under a highly specific and idiosyncratic methodology, which offers every student a myriad of options and possibilities. More about the overall academic offerings can be found here. More about Experimental Programme units and staff can be found here; Diploma Programme units and staff can be found here and information about the unit selection process can be found here.

After more than a decade at the helm of the PhD Programme, Simos Yannas has stepped away to focus on the Sustainability and Environmental Design (SED) Programme that he leads at the school. The new Head of the PhD Programme, Pier Vittorio Aureli will shape the programme in the years to come. Elif Erdine will be the new Head of Emergent Technologies and Design (EmTech) after Mike Weinstock stepped down; however, he will continue to teach within the programme as Founding Director. 

Print Studio is transforming with a new Head of Publications, Maria S. Giudici who will – in addition to being the editor of AA Files – oversee new publications that continue to position the AA at the forefront of critical discussions through printed matter. Ryan Dillon is our new Head of Academic Communications, and will edit the annual AA Book, lead the relaunch of the AA Radio/Podcast, and oversee the content of the new website amongst other platforms to enable and facilitate all imaginable forms of communication and engagement within the AA School Community. In addition, Rory Sherlock, is joining us as Assistant Editor. 

These new voices join our renowned academic and administrative staff, who together, will surely provide for relevant discussions and debates throughout the entire school as we continue our journey into the future. As part of this, and our continued commitment to achieving Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) (a final decision on our application is expected this autumn), we have gone through a process of internal validation, adjusting nomenclature to reflect who we are and what we do, and to make sure our programmes maintain their identity. Former Complementary Studies is now Core Studies; Technical Studies is now Environmental and Technical Studies (ETS), Media Studies is now Communication and Media Studies (CMS), First Year and Intermediate School (years 2-3) is now the Experimental Programme, and Diploma School (years 4-5) is now the Diploma Programme.

The AA is committed to experimental methods in teaching and learning and this can be seen in the many initiatives being launched. In Term 3 Speculative Studies, a series of interdisciplinary seminars over five weeks, will present courses on politics, law, philosophy, ethics, art history, poetry, dance, gastronomy, social technology and microbiology. Other topics and courses will be added from proposals put forward by students in an Open Forum to be held in Term 1. These courses will introduce new areas of expertise and methodologies to our collective culture.

A four-day symposium titled Experimental Methods will bring our community together for a discussion and debate on what experimentation is and can be at the AA, which will take place during Open Week in both Terms 1 and 2. Tutors from across the school will lecture on their particular academic approach as well as their own professional practice and research. Each day will end with a keynote speaker and a round table discussion, and the week will culminate with an Open Jury in which students can present their work to a panel of invited critics. 

For the first time in the history of the school, Diploma students and Postgraduate students will be able to take joint classes as part of an expanded pool of Electives. These advanced seminars will be provided by our ten Postgraduate Programmes in areas of technology, criticism, sustainability, material culture, computation and more, allowing us to push the boundaries of architectural education and to have more dialogue across all parts of the school.  

This year we will continue with the Open Seminars; on Mondays, Plan the Planet, brings together experts across different disciplines to discuss the current ecological crisis in order to articulate new strategies, policies, relationships and spaces; on Tuesdays, Evidentiary Aesthetics investigates the technologies and politics of the body; and on Wednesdays, we will be able to study the Origins of Capitalist Urban Space.

Throughout the year, the Directions Series offers an open forum for conversations between AA Students, Academic and Administrative Staff and the AA Director. These events offer a platform to communicate and discuss the direction of the school. The first event of the Directions Series will take place on Monday 30 September at 7pm in the Lecture Hall when we can start raising questions and propose new agendas as we all work towards our future and jointly develop the AA 2020-25 Strategic Plan.

To broaden and strengthen our academic resources additional initiatives have been set up. The new Writing Centre aims to assist students with their essays and written work; the Student Care Centre is to provide mental health support; and the Student Affairs Office will provide students with logistical support during their time here at the AA, and advice in career placement and work opportunities in London and around the world for their year out and after graduation. 

To conclude the academic year we aim to introduce a new way of transmitting and disseminating the work of our fifth year students at the AA Forum/Final Presentation. Over two days after tables, all graduating students will present their project in an open format to a wide group of tutors, guest jurors, curators, press, friends and colleagues, making their last presentation at the AA a real moment for celebration and dialogue. The AA Forum/Final Presentation will be open to all students to attend, and will take place in any imaginable space throughout the school. 

This autumn we launch the AA Residence, a cultural platform exploring and studying new ideas and forms of practice at the intersection of architecture, art, technology, policy and design. It is composed of a series of independent labs that consist of an interdisciplinary cohort of resident fellows including architects, artists, policy makers, engineers, scientists and creative entrepreneurs that are all researching and producing experimental work. The AA Residence will work as an incubator in a shared workspace and professional development programme, providing architects and entrepreneurs the tools required to build new practices and initiate projects that impact, promote and amplify culture, and contribute to the re-imagination of the future. The 2019-20 labs will be announced in October. 

Last year’s Projects Review 2019 was produced with the goal to achieve zero waste, and has left us with some new pieces of furniture that we hope to enjoy throughout the year. As part of this exhibition, the first edition of the Press and Practices Preview took place the day before the opening, and proved to be a success. Fifth year students and those with scholarships and bursaries had the opportunity to explain their unit agendas and project aims to invited guests. They did this alongside volunteers who provided an introduction to the sometimes complex issues that the school and its programmes address. Thank you to all tutors, students and volunteers that committed time to this effort. The Projects Review exhibition received great press coverage and many positive responses. To continue this momentum the AA Book, together with a series of podcasts with staff and students, will be launched in the autumn.

Over the last year we have recognised and celebrated the amazing diversity of the Architectural Association, that consists of students and staff from 81 different nationalities. In an attempt to build on this great cultural resource we will launch Architecture in Translation, a project that celebrates the wealth embedded in the use of different languages as part of the production and dissemination of ideas, discourse and debate about architecture. This project will work across many areas within the school. Within HTS, Mark Cousins has produced a series of seminars that will explore the theoretical questions and opportunities of translation in architecture. In addition to this, juries in different languages will take place throughout the year and will be used to identify terms, concepts and values inherent to different linguistic and cultural contexts in order to produce a ‘multilingual dictionary of architectural terms’ for the twenty-first century. 

Last but not least, to start the year, a different kind of tradition is being introduced entitled, Plant a Tree, which will take place during Introduction Week and invites all new students and staff to Hooke Park, the AA rural campus in Dorset. While on-site, we will learn about the facilities and then ceremonially, each and every one of the 300 new voices joining the school, will plant a tree to contribute to the forest, offset carbon emissions, and take part in a dialogue of ideas about the future as responsible members of the AA and of this planet. Plant a Tree is more than a symbolic act, it is the commitment to a future that is ours to build.

As new and returning students and staff wander throughout the school, its spaces and places and within the corridors that build our intellectual home, you will find on the walls images of projects that each of the 779 students of the last academic year produced. With these drawings up on the walls, now is the time for identifying new debates and engagements. For those knocking on my door, and I encourage all of you to do so, you will see next to the Expanding Horizons poster – in a circular frame – what I suspect will be the most important image for many of you this year: this is of course an invitation to visit and share some of your ideas. 

I am looking forward to seeing all of you during Introduction Week and throughout the year ahead to discuss in detail the initiatives outlined above, and the ones that we will create together.

 

Yours,

Eva Franch i Gilabert
Director
AA School of Architecture

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