AA student Roberto Boettger has been awarded a RIBA Wren Insurance Association Scholarship.

The scholarships aim to support outstanding Part 2 students who have the potential to make a significant contribution in the field of architecture. Recipients receive £5,000 each and the opportunity to receive mentoring from one of the constituent architecture firms at the Wren.

The scholarships were established in March 2013 following a donation by The Wren Insurance Association Limited, an architects’ professional indemnity mutual that comprises 60 of the UK’s leading architectural practices.

Find out more about 2017 scholars here.

Image: Roberto Boettger

Date Submitted: 4/9/2017

A group of over 20 graduates of the AA gathered in Hong Kong over the weekend for a reunion and networking event at the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club in Causeway Bay.

Organised by Claude Wong (AADipl 1984), principal and founding partner of the Gravity Partnership, the event attracted a range of AA alumni from the classes of 1980 to 2013 to share their stories and reminiscences from their time in London, as well as catching up on recently completed projects and works in progress in Hong Kong and beyond.

The next event is scheduled to take place in the autumn in Macau. For more information, or to find out about setting up an alumni group in your city, please contact the Membership & Alumni Office on events@aaschool.ac.uk.

Image: Claude Wong

Date Submitted: 15/8/2017

AA alumnus Ahmad Sukkar (PhD, MRes, London Consortium; MArch AADRL 2006; Dip.Arch, BArch, Damascus University) has been shortlisted for the British Association for Islamic Studies – De Gruyter Prize in the study of Islam and the Muslim world for his doctoral thesis Structures of Light: The Body and Architecture in Premodern Islam.

This international prize is awarded annually to the best doctoral thesis or unpublished first monograph based on any aspect of the academic study of Islam and the Muslim world, past and present. The prize committee deemed Ahmad’s work to be 'of high scholarly quality and interest'.

The London Consortium, where Ahmad completed his PhD studies, was a unique collaboration between the AA, Birkbeck (University of London), the Institute of Contemporary Arts, the Science Museum, and TATE.

His thesis was supervised by Professors Samer Akkach (University of Adelaide), Nader El-Bizri (American University of Beirut), Neil Leach (USC, Harvard GSD) and Mark Cousins (AA). It was examined by Professors Seyyed Hossein Nasr (George Washington University) and Robert Tavernor (LSE).

Ahmad Sukkar is now the Andrew W. Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Arts and Humanities at the American University of Beirut.

Read more about the BRAIS prize here and the announcement here. Information about Ahmad’s PhD thesis can be found at oxford.academia.edu/AhmadSukkar/PhD-Thesis.

Date Submitted: 9/8/2017

AA year-out student Luca Gamberini has been announced as the third-prize winner in this year’s RIBAJ Eye Line competition.

The contest, now in its fifth year, celebrates the art of architectural drawing, rather than the project, and encourages architects to draw on their artistic talents, delving into their imaginations to create either realistic or more abstract architectural worlds. This year’s competition attracted nearly 300 entries from architects and designers across the globe.

Luca’s drawings, produced as part of his Intermediate Unit 3 project Generational Land, garnered praise from the judging panel for being “indulgent and gorgeous”, with judge Neil Spiller adding that it was the epic nature of Last Known City (above) that “sealed it for me”.

Professor Spiller, Hawksmoor Chair of Architecture and Landscape, University of Greenwich, was joined on the panel by previous winners Amelia Hunter of Studio Weave, and Sandra Youkhana and Luke Caspar Pearson of You+Pea; RIBAJ editor and former AA Honorary Vice President Hugh Pearman; and Joseph Robson, Managing Director of AVR, the competition’s main partner.

An exhibition showcasing the winning entries will be open at London's Anise Gallery from 12-16 September 2017.

Read more about Luca’s win here.

Image: Luca Gamberini

Date Submitted: 8/8/2017

We are delighted to announce that starting 01 August 2017 Samantha Hardingham (AA Dip 1993) is the Interim Director of the Architectural Association. Samantha Hardingham is an architectural writer, editor and curator. Her most recent and celebrated work is the award-winning, two-volume anthology Cedric Price Works 1952-2003: A Forward-minded Retrospective published by the AA/CCA in October 2016. Samantha has a wide-ranging knowledge and understanding of the AA having been a design studio tutor across all undergraduate years at the AA since 2008, as well as chair of the AA's Undergraduate Management Committee since 2015 and member of the Senior Management Team. As Interim School Director she looks forward to leading the AA in this very special year as the school celebrates a centenary of women at the AA, with the culmination of the AA XX 100 project.

Photo by Valerie Bennett

Date Submitted: 1/8/2017

AA alumnus Nuru Karim (AA MArch 2006), founder of Mumbai-based practice NUDES, has won in the housing concept category of the Rethinking the Future Awards 2017 with his design ‘Eco Machine’.

Rethinking The Future highlights international trends in architecture and design that provide solutions to pressing and evolving issues such as climate change.

Nuru’s ‘eco-machine’ design analyses the role of housing as an integral component of the ecosystem where nature and building components are locked together in a complex synergised relation of energy and information exchange. This super block conceptually explores the idea of ‘erosion’ as a value based proposition ‘injecting’ into the ‘voids’ spaces for living, growth, reflection, repair and regeneration thereby generating  potentially new archetypes for super dense social housing.

Find out more about the design at re-thinkingthefuture.com.

Date Submitted: 25/7/2017

Clara Oloriz, AA Landscape Urbanism Studio Master, has been announced as a mentor for the forthcoming multidisciplinary workshop ‘Enhancing regional water security in semi-arid regions through improved metropolitan design’, a collaboration organised by Mexico’s National Council of Science and Technology and the British Council.  

The workshop will take place from 14–17 November 2017 in Oaxaca, Mexico and Early Career Researchers from the UK or Mexico are invited to apply to take part.

Travel and accommodation expenses will be covered by the Newton Researcher Links programme. The workshop is an interdisciplinary event that includes researchers from other disciplines such as geography, geology and computing sciences from Mexico and the UK.

For more information and to apply, visit www.bgs.ac.uk/news/events/metropolitandesign.


Date Submitted: 25/7/2017

Are you interested to challenge the AA community with a visceral sharing of your work in progress? Are you willing to experience your current uncompleted work and thinking pushed and pulled in different directions? Are you ‘bored’ by the architecture crit ritual and seek the excitement of an embodied architecture exchange?  If yes, it’s time to answer the RICOCHET call.

AA Members and alumni are invited to submit proposals for the forthcoming RICOCHET series – organised by John Andrews and Maria Theodorou – which begins on Tuesday 14 November 2017.

The RICOCHET series is a platform for AA Members & alumni to bring works in progress to the school to be put under scrutiny by students and colleagues. Intended as an intensive discussion and exchange of ideas, RICOCHET will assemble the AA’s bodies, humours and brains to exercise in the immersive environment of architectural gymnastics.

To submit your interest to discuss your work in progress at the RICOCHET series, visit https://memberevents.aaschool.ac.uk/ricochet

Date Submitted: 21/7/2017

Two AA projects – the Nomadic Bookstore and the Saw-Mill Shelter – have made the final list of designs in Archdaily’s ‘The Best Student Design-Build Projects Worldwide 2017’, a competition now in its third year that receives hundreds of submissions from around the globe.

Designed by AA Museum Lab (Diploma Unit 15) students, the Nomadic Bookstore sought to highlight the relevance of books in the context of the expansion of the digital.

Stocking books by Lars Müller Publishers, whose titles were displayed on the hovering LED-lit roof of the pavilion, the store was located in the heart of the Brera Design District in Milan and open to the audience attending the prestigious Salone del Mobile which took place from 4-9 April 2017.

Also making the final list was the AA Design + Make Saw-Mill Shelter at Hooke Park, the school’s experimental woodland campus in Dorset.

Inspired by an existing Hooke Park structure, Frei Otto & ABK’s Prototype House, students investigated the limits of timber in tension by fabricating a lightweight anticlastic timber net, and explored the possibility of large-scale steam bending of whole trees.

Find out more about the AA Museum Lab’s Nomadic Bookstore here, and the Design + Make Saw-Mill Shelter here.

Image: © Iwan Baan

Date Submitted: 19/7/2017

AA graduate Nicholas L.C. Ho (AADipl 2010) has been recognised as one of 50 ‘Generation T’ listers who have changed or shaped their industries in the last 18 months by Hong Kong Tatler. The list recognises young, up-and-coming figures who are shaping the city’s future.

Since graduating from the AA, Nicholas has gone on to become deputy managing director of Ho & Partners Architects (hpa), an award-winning, multidisciplinary architectural practice headquartered in Hong Kong.

He was recently elected to the council of the Hong Kong Institute of Architects and of Lingnan University in Hong Kong. He was also appointed to the Economic Development Commission’s Working Group on Professional Services by the Hong Kong government.

Nicholas’s recent projects include the design of New Manila Bay City of Pearl, a mixed-use scheme covering 407 hectares in the Philippine capital.

Find out more here.

Date Submitted: 18/7/2017

Laurens Paulmann has been highly commended for his SPA - SANA PER AQUAM design in the Open Award category of the Architects for Health Student Design Awards 2017. Laurens, a student in Diploma Unit 13 – Sick City Rehab: London City of Care – graduated from the AA last month. His project intends to establish a new kind of holistic healthcare, integrating body and mind, the human and the city machine.

Now in its tenth year, the Architects for Health Student Design Award is an annual design competition for students. As well as promoting good design, AfH is also committed to encouraging the next generation to remain passionate about the quality of design for health and social care settings. AfH work closely with hospital trusts – such as Guy’s and St Thomas’s – who act as proxy clients, to support the London project that encompasses both their hospital and community sites.

Architects for Health was co-founded by AA Alumna Susan Francis (AADipl 1976) who very sadly passed away earlier this year.

Find out more about Laurens’ project at pr2017.aaschool.ac.uk/Laurens-Paulmann

Image: Laurens Paulmann

Date Submitted: 13/7/2017

IVI, the architectural interactive prototype from the AA Greece Visiting School in Chania (http://greece.aaschool.ac.uk/) is travelling to Berlin as part of the Adaptation expo.

Adaptation (http://agile-iot.eu/adaptation) will be hosted as a satellite event with Tech Open Air, a yearly festival held in Berlin of around ideas of tech, music, art and science. The exhibition will be held in Agora Rollberg, an experimental center for sustainable and artistic practices in the heart of Neukölln. 

Opening: 11th July 6pm-10pm
Exhibition: 12th-14th July, 10am-6pm

Get your free ticket at: https://www.eventbrite.de/e/using-iot-to-create-art-using-art-to-envision-iot-tickets-33497054592

Date Submitted: 5/7/2017

What is the role of architecture in the political economy of infrastructure?

Date: 3 July 2017
Time: 6.30-8.30pm
Tickets: £15, concessions £12
Venue: The Building Centre
Speakers: Hilary Satchwell (chair), Director, Tibbalds
Eime Tobari, Associate Director, Space Syntax
Mark Middleton, Managing Partner, Grimshaw
Clare Donnelly, Director, Fereday Pollard

MoA’s thematic programming on Architecture and Citizenship explores the relationship between politics and the built environment with the aim of helping architects become active agents of social change.

In recent months, architecture and the built environment have been put at the centre of political debates on both sides of the Atlantic in discussions that extended from better investment in infrastructure to the physicality of national borders. Beyond polarising political arguments, infrastructure projects are closely tied to broader shifts in national and international policies that range from energy agreements, compliance with legislation on public health and the environment, or coping with the pressure of rising population. In the UK, infrastructure development relies heavily on the private sector for investment and delivery. However, according to the Institute for Government, decisions about infrastructure involve long-term commitments and require the government’s involvement to develop policy and regulatory framework, as large infrastructure projects tend to have important land use implications.

In this context, what is the role of architects and designers? How can they impact investment decisions to improve infrastructure systems and define how services are delivered? With vast infrastructure systems set to affect the way we live for years to come, it is crucial for architects and designers to mediate the relationship between aspirations of the country’s citizens and long term policies of the state. 

This event is organised in partnership between the Musuem of Architecture and the Built Environment Trust.

To book tickets visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/what-is-the-role-of-architecture-in-the-political-economy-of-infrastructure-tickets-34627520847

Designing a Code of Ethics for Architecture

Date: 10 July 2017
Time: 6.30-8.30pm
Venue: Future Cities Catapult 
Panellists:  Alastair Parvin, Director, WikiHouse Foundation
Kyle Buchanan, Director, Archio
Gemma Ginty, Urban Futures Lead, Future Cities Catapult

MoA’s thematic programming on Architecture and Citizenship explores the relationship between politics and the built environment with the aim of helping architects become active agents of social change.

In the context of today’s political, cultural and social challenges, should architecture have a code of ethics? As a conclusion of our year-long programming on Architecture and Citizenship, MoA is inviting architects, designers and built environment professionals to join a participatory session on designing a code of ethics for architecture.

While RIBA’s Code of Professional Conduct defines the roles and responsibilities of architects in professional practice, this session will seek to broaden the discussion to examine architects' role in the wider world. What responsibility do architects have in relation to broader social challenges? Should architects be more closely involved in politics? What is architects' social responsibility? How can we define morality in relation to architecture? What constitutes ethical practice? Join us to set out the values that you think should underpin and guide the industry today.

In light of recent events that make this discussion even more pressing, MoA will donate proceeds from the talk to the London Fire Relief Fund.

To book tickets visit: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/designing-a-code-of-ethics-for-architecture-tickets-35345259623

Date Submitted: 29/6/2017

Call for Submissions: If you attended the AA in the 21st century and would like to be part of the AA XX 100 exhibition at the AA this autumn, titled AA XX 100: AA Women in Architecture 1917-2017 (6 Oct - 9 Dec), please submit an image of your project with a caption (details on the poster) to 21CAAwomen@aaschool.ac.uk by 30 June. 

The exhibition is one of the strands of the AA XX 100 project to commemorate the centenary of women’s admission to the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London in 1917. To date it has comprised a host of complementary enterprises including an annual lecture series and an ongoing programme to conduct filmed interviews with AA alumnae. The project culminates in autumn 2017 with an exhibition, a book and an international conference convened in collaboration with the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art.

For more information, please visit: http://xx.aaschool.ac.uk/

Date Submitted: 26/6/2017

The AA congratulates two graduates of the school who have been recognised for their services to architecture in the Queen’s birthday honours list for 2017.

Amanda Levete (AADipl 1982) becomes a CBE, whilst rising star Asif Khan (AADipl 2007) earns himself an MBE.

Both architects have recently unveiled high-profile schemes around the world, with Amanda Levete’s practice AL_A completing its striking Central Embassy tower in Bangkok, and Asif Khan’s design for the UK Pavilion – We Are Energy – unveiled at Expo 2017 in Astana, Kazakhstan.

After graduating from the Architectural Association, Levete worked for Richard Rogers before joining Future Systems as a partner in 1989. Whilst there she designed the Media Centre at Lord's Cricket Ground with her then husband, the late Jan Kaplicky, winning the 1998 Stirling Prize.

Asif Khan, a former Baylight scholar at the AA, founded his architecture practice in 2007. The studio works internationally on projects ranging from cultural buildings to landscapes, exhibitions and installations.

Current projects include the forthcoming new Museum of London at West Smithfield, and various works at Expo 2020 Dubai. Notable past projects include MegaFaces Pavilion at Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics and Coca-Cola Beatbox at London 2012 Olympics. In 2015 Khan’s design for the Guggenheim Museum Helsinki was shortlisted.

Image of Amanda Levete by Matt Holyoaks

Image of Asif Khan courtesy of Asif Khan Ltd

Date Submitted: 19/6/2017


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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.