SMO Contemporary Art curates CONVERGENCE, an exhibition of recent works by Obi Okigbo, which explores the artist’s fascination with how belief systems, behavioural patterns, and aesthetic values have been shaped by ancient art and mythology from different cultures and eras.

Obiageli Annabel Zeinab Okigbo (b. 1964 Ibadan) grew up in Nigeria and studied architecture at Oxford Brooks University before pursuing diploma studies at the Architectural Association. She practiced architecture in London, Rome and Paris until 1995 when she moved to Brussels and became a full time studio artist. She has exhibited in Nigeria, United Kingdom, Dubai and Belgium including two major solo exhibitions in Lagos (2003) and London (2007).

The exhibition is on at the Wheatbaker, Lagos, from November 24, 2019 to February 16, 2020. Find out more on the SMO Contemporary Art website

Date Submitted: 5/12/2019

John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, Diploma unit tutors, will hold the panel discussion "Oceans in Crisis" as part of Territorial Agency at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, held in collaboration with the exhibition Eco-Visionaries, curated by Gonzalo Herrero Delicado. The panel opens up a conversation across multiple fields of research, engaging with spatial, poetic, imaginative and scientific explorations, addressing the world’s oceans. The renowned paleobiologist and conservationist Jeremy B. C. Jackson, artists Anjalika Sagar (The Otolith Group) and Ayesha Hameed are invited to imagine alternative ecological futures for the oceans, in a discussion moderated by TBA21–Academy director Markus Reymann.

The panel discussion will take place on Friday 6 December, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, at The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts.

Find out more and book tickets on the Royal Academy of Arts website

Date Submitted: 5/12/2019

Thomas Faulkner, currently on his year out, has received the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing for his project Common Fields: An Architecture in Response to the Digital Interface.

Common Fields

Consumed by the digital platform we live within an echo chamber, the world at our finger tips is different to the world in our neighbourhood. Surrounding the epicentre of disconnect, the project manipulates the existing six month migrant farming work patterns and constructs a family of inhabitable farming creatures that act as a spectacle to the surrounding communities. Through a high-jacking of existing machinery a social platform is created, a collective skin of creatures scaring the land of Lincolnshire forming a coterie on the prime meridian. Through a playful feed, the design explores how can architecture respond in a physical reality to form interaction in a community consumed by the digital interface?

Find out more Thomas Faulkner’s project on the Projects Review website

Date Submitted: 4/12/2019

The World Architecture Festival will take place between 4 – 6 December in Amsterdam. Eva Franch will deliver the INSIDE Keynote on 5 December. Other speakers and chairs include AA alumna Manon Mollard (AADipl 2014) and former vice-president of the AA Simon Allford.

Across two stages, the World Architecture Festival hosts an inspiring range of keynote talks, discussions and debates, led by world-renowned architects, looking at the most critical challenges facing the architecture and design industry.

Find out more about the World Architecture Festival

Date Submitted: 29/11/2019

His name was Sudan. And poignantly, he was the last of his kind, the last male northern white rhino. His final years were spent on a nature reserve in Kenya. Old and infirm, he was put to sleep in March, 2018. His death, at 45, made news headlines around the world.

But now, almost miraculously, Sudan is back and roaming again digitally. He's currently a star life-size exhibit at London's Royal Academy. The show is called "Eco-Visionaries" and is about how artists, designers, architects are responding to the climate emergency.

Ginsberg's six minute video installation is called "The Substitute" (2019). Sudan was re-created from zoo archive footage and computer models supplied by a London visual effects company, The Mill, while the way he moves is based on research by artificial intelligence company DeepMind.

Read the full article on CNN

"Eco-Visionaries" is at London's Royal Academy until Feb. 23, 2020.

Date Submitted: 29/11/2019

The duo, known for films including Koolhaas Houselife and Moriyama-San, have released a two-minute trailer for their latest movie. It contains recent footage showing the streets of Venice under water, including the whole of Piazza San Marco.

The Italian city was hit by its worst flood since 1966 on Tuesday 12 November. Water levels rose to 1.87 metres, leaving most of the city submerged. High waters have continued throughout the week, resulting in over €1 billion worth of damage.

"Being in Venice this week, we were in the foreground to observe the impact of this historical event," said Bêka & Lemoine.

Read the full article and watch the trailer on Dezeen

Date Submitted: 29/11/2019

Ibstock Brick has joined forces with the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) to look at the important role that brick plays in helping to create buildings and spaces that can transform communities and inspire people to work and live better.

The partnership between Ibstock and the AA will see Year 2 undergraduates that are working towards their ARB/RIBA Part 1 complete a module around ceramics in architecture titled ‘Digital Craft: Beyond Certainty and Risk’. Taught jointly by Dylan Wozniak O’Connor, and Patricia Mato-Mora the module gives students the opportunity to understand and appreciate the material qualities of brick.

As part of the programme, students will have the opportunity to design and manufacture ceramic dual-purpose building components through a hybrid approach of numeric and manual fabrication, with Ibstock clay materials being used in conjunction with innovative 3D printing tools, prototyping and robotics to create building elements such as arches, columns, domes and walls.

The combination of industrial robotics with the manual making processes will enable students to produce digitally manufactured building modules informed by the physical and haptic intimacy of clay to push the limits of the capabilities of the material.

Ben Gerry, commercial director at Ibstock Solutions said: “As a business at the heart of the building, we are extremely passionate about the role that brick plays in the development of UK’s built environment.

As part of the partnership, Ibstock’s South Holmwood factory in Dorking is donating over 300kg of clay materials to the AA for its students to carry out the practical elements of the module including the 3D printing.  Students will also have the chance to visit Ibstock’s brick manufacturing plant to see first-hand how bricks are manufactured from clay, including the preparation of clay, moulding, drying and firing.

For information on Ibstock Brick and Ibstock Kevington, visit www.ibstockbrick.co.uk

Read the full article on Builders Merchants Journal

Date Submitted: 29/11/2019

Madeleine Kessler (AADipl 2013), has been named as one of The Riba Journal’s rising stars in an article published in October. Extracts from the article -

“Kessler can certainly deliver projects – the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is next on her list – but just as impressive is her ambition to improve the human structures around them

‘Madeleine’s creativity is joined with an ability to plan,’ writes referee Scott Grady of Haptic Architects. These are essential skills when you are charged with delivering the next British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, as Madeleine Kessler is.

Kessler is currently working at Haptic and has previously been at Studio Weave and Haworth Tompkins. But her most impressive work has been in parallel with practice. Judge Sarah Prichard pronounced Kessler a ‘force for good’ in the industry.”

Read the full article on the RIBAJ website

Date Submitted: 21/11/2019

Revolution Begins at Home, by Hamed Khosravi and Roozbeh Elias-Azar, with Nazgol Ansarinia, opens at the Sharjah Architecture Triennial, UAE. The project is a three-part installation that reflects on spatial imaginaries of domestic spaces in the city of Tehran. They reinterpret the codes and protocols of a typical apartment block through the fragmentation of its constituent parts and its reassembly – a process that looks to enable a continuous revolution that begins at home.

Prototype Units (2019) (image). Hamed Khosravi and Roozbeh Elias-Azar, (Mixed Materials: Timber, Acrylic, 3D Printed Polyamide, and Resin; 466 x 197 x 55 cm + base). A 1:18 scale dollhouse of a typical apartment block in Tehran. An urban cross section of two 5-story buildings with its spatial organization rearranged based on the everyday practices of the dwellers. The piece provides a setting for alternative imaginary domestic practices.

Domestic Resonance (2019) Hamed Khosravi and Roozbeh Elias-Azar, (Mixed Materials: Plated Steel, Fabric Panel; Sound Installation with 6 built-in speakers; Dimensions: 300 x 240 x 280 cm). A PeepBox transformed into an audio piece. Six 90-seconds audio clips of particular spatial practices selected from epic Iranian movies arranged around an everted small room. The installation aims to inform the relationship between the built environment and place imaginaries through removal of visuals.

Living Room (2005), Nazgol Ansarinia, (Video projection; colour; Duration: 6 min) ) is 1:1 projection of a seemingly blank wall within a domestic environment. The video reveals marks, cracks, and traces left on the wall by furniture and pictures that have been removed from the room. The work was born out of an experience that the artist had when she returned to Tehran in 2004 after few years of studying abroad. She noticed the walls of her childhood home after her family had moved out. In the Living Room the marks on the wall are no longer just marks but have become inseparable parts of the walls and carry the memory of a space once occupied and lived in.

Date Submitted: 21/11/2019

AA History and Theory Studies tutors Eleni Axioti, Nerma Cridge, William Orr, Stefan Cristian Popa, Ricardo Ruivo and Teresa Stoppani will present at the AHRA International Conference in Dundee, 21-23 November 2019.

Nerma Cridge is part of the panel on Feminist Approaches to Cities, Stefan Cristian Popa is part of the panel on Protest Transgression and Deviant Practices in Cities and Teresa Stoppani will chair Beyond History before Criticism: Architecture in (as) Conversation.

Eleni Axioti, William Orr and Ricardo Ruivo together with Charlotte Grace (CSM & Oxford Brookes) and Tilo Ahmoff (University of Brighton), will be presenting as part of panel on entitled Constructing the Collective: State Planning and the Public Sector.

The panel deals with notion of collective life, which appears today as part of a debate that, in the contemporary context of neoliberalism, prolonged austerity, and displaced populations, aims to recover a social and political engagement for architecture. The “collective” names an institutional ambiguity in architecture’s relation to the political sphere. Contributions to the panel will take up this problematic from various angles. Not only a set of critical challenges to contemporary discourse, the panel will also present historical research into tensions internal to social democratic building in the post-war era. In addition, it will suggest the difficult relationship between popular mobilisations and institutions. Overall, the panel aims to direct the discussion toward the challenges and the opportunities which can only be found within the material transformation of the collective world.

For more information visit the AHRA conference website.

Date Submitted: 21/11/2019

The anonymous competition, organised by Strelka KB on behalf of the Government of St Petersburg and endorsed by the International Union of Architects (UIA), invites both established and early career architects and landscape architects to compete for a major new park on Vatny Island overlooking the Neva River.

Judges will include city architect Vladimir Grigoriev; Russian architectural historian Boris Kirikov; Oleg Romanov, president of the St. Petersburg Union of Architects; and Martin Rein-Cano, landscape architect at Germany’s Topotek 1. Alternate jurors include Lawrence Barth, Co-Head of Housing & Urbanism at the Architectural Association, and Irene Djao-Rakitine of Paris and London-based Djao-Rakitine.

Find out more on the AJ website

Date Submitted: 21/11/2019

Serie Architects, made up of Chris Lee (AADipl(Hons) 1998 and former Academic Staff),  Bolam Lee (AADipl 2008) and Martin Jameson (AADipl(Hons) 2008 and Dip 1 Unit Master), have won the Best Public Building at the Blueprint Awards for their NUS School of Design. Other finalists for the award included David Chipperfield Architects, RSHP, Zaha Hadid Architects and Stephen Holl. Find out more on the Blue Print Awards website or on the Serie Architects website


Date Submitted: 14/11/2019

Extracts from the exhibition catalogue:

Norah Aiton (1903−88) and Betty Scott (1904−83) met at the Architectural Association in 1929 and became one of the first practices of women architects in Britain. Influenced by the Dutch design school de Stijl, their approach considered modernism as a more stylistic concern. They completed a number of commissions, including a print works and private houses.

Mary Crowley (Medd) (1907−2005) trained at the Architectural Association and was influenced by Scandinavian architecture in her formative years. Working alongside her husband David Medd, her impact on school design and planning in Britain was significant, maintaining always the central idea of child-centred education. She was awarded the OBE in 1963.

Margaret Justin Blanco White (1911−2001) completed a small number of private housing projects during the 1930s following her graduation from the Architectural Association. She worked in Middlesbrough during the war as consultant on plans for the city’s redevelopment before moving to the Scottish Department of Health to research new housing types and building methods.

Beyond Bauhaus, Modernism in Britain 1933–66, Architecture Gallery, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD, 1 October 2019 – 1 February 2020, FREE ENTRY

Find out more on the RIBA website

Beyond Bauhaus Exhibition images © Edmund Sumner

Date Submitted: 8/11/2019

The Opinion piece, entitled Fungal houses, anyone? addresses presentations by AA students and graduates which focussed on themes of population growth and impact of the built environment on the natural world. Finch writes about Bálint Bakos’ (Sustainable Environmental Design) project about the issue of population growth in Lagos, Abhinav Chaudhary, Miguel Escallon and Neil Deep Singh Grewal’s (EmTech) project about post-earthquake Kathmandu, and Ryan Cook’s (Diploma Unit 9) proposal for an Environmental Defence Agency.

Read the full piece on the Architects’ Journal website

Image: Abhinav Chaudhary, Miguel Escallon and Neil Deep Singh Grewal

Date Submitted: 7/11/2019

British curator Beatrice Galilee has launched a new architecture forum that will kick-off as a conference in New York next year, with speakers including Elizabeth Diller and Shohei Shigematsu.

The all-day series of talks, set to take place on Saturday 25 January 2020 at the Renzo Piano-designed The Times Center in New York.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro co-founder Elizabeth Diller and OMA New York's Shohei Shigematsu are among 20 speakers that Galilee has selected for the day-long event. Also on the roster are Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, MoMA's senior curator of architecture and design Paola Antonelli and Architectural Association director Eva Franch i Gilabert.

Read the full article on Dezeen

Date Submitted: 7/11/2019


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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.