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The Architectural Association extends its warmest congratulations and best wishes to Neave Brown who has been awarded the 2018 RIBA Royal Gold Medal, the UK’s highest honour for architecture given in recognition of a lifetime’s work.

Neave studied at the AA from 1950-1955 and went on to teach at the school, as well as serve on the AA Council.

A true visionary, he is perhaps best known for the ground-breaking housing projects he designed whilst in the architecture department of Camden council, including the Alexandra Road estate, 22-32 Winscombe Street and the Dunboyne Road estate.

Reacting to the win, Neave said: “All my work! I got it just by flying blind, I seem to have been flying all my life.

"The Royal Gold Medal is entirely unexpected and overwhelming. It's recognition of the significance of my architecture, its quality and its current urgent social relevance. Marvellous!"

Neave is the only living architect in the UK to have his entire body of work heritage listed.


Image: © Gareth Gardner

Date Submitted: 6/10/2017

AA graduate Stefan Jovanović launches Velvet Fools, a new performance salon and evening, by invitation of Will Alsop OBE RA. He invites choreographer Eleanor Bauer to co-host the first evening on October 27th in the mystical back-vaults of the Doodle Bar in Bermondsey, London. The first edition, Tarot Oracle Dance, will bring together two oracular divination systems in collaboration with a group of live-musicians, dancers and visual artists. Velvet Fools is a cultural salon, a gathering space operating on the fringe of normative frameworks. Each evening encompasses a diverse curation of visual arts, dance, live music, queer-shamanic practices and fools.

For more information visit:

Date Submitted: 4/10/2017

RARE Architecture, the practice founded by AA alumni and former intermediate tutors Michel Da Costa Gonçalves (AAMArch 2005) and Nathalie Rozencwajg (AADipl 2001), is participating in the Shoreditch Design Triangle, part of the 2017 London Design Festival, by exhibiting The Fractal Tree in the garden of the Geffrye Museum.

The installation is the manifestation of geometrical play stemming from the growth logic of tree branches. Operating as a city sculpture and a sustainable device, the timber structure transforms itself and its environment over the course of the day.

Both metaphor and abstraction of its natural source, RARE architects’ fractal tree is an active abstraction stemming from the growth logic and recycling mechanic of nature. Crafted by advanced manufacturing, it is simultaneously an urban shading and a water collection device as well as a powerful evocation of the need for innovation associated with responsibility.

Based in London and Paris, RARE architecture sensibly exercise transversal thinking between teaching, research and commissions to envisage sustainable and human centred designs. Their projects grow from research focusing on new materials, innovative typologies and advanced modes of design and production.

The event runs until Saturday 23 September, to find out more, visit

Partners: ParmarBrook / Szubert Carpentry / Green Factory

Image: Maria Katsika

Date Submitted: 22/9/2017

Recent graduate Jack Hardy (AADipl 2017) brings his family of Rocking Wotsits to Oxo Tower Wharf’s ground floor Bargehouse for the London Design Festival this weekend. Rocking Wotsits are something between furniture and toys; you are invited to climb on, nudge, peculiarise, and wigwag these Wotsits to your own ends.

The show runs from 18 – 24 September 2017, 11am – 6pm, free admission.

Find out more here.

Date Submitted: 22/9/2017

AA tutor Antoni Malinowski will join a panel of high-profile practitioners at a Design Museum event on Tuesday 3 October entitled Colour in Architecture and Interiors, exploring how and why architects and designers use colour and what colour means to them and its role in their work.

Antoni Malinowski is an artist who works with pigment, light, movement and time, investigating the dynamic relationship that exists between pictorial and architectural spaces. After studying painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw and furthering his studies at the Chelsea College of Art, Malinowski has established and based his practice in London.  He is a tutor on the AA’s Foundation and Media Studies programmes.

To find out more or book, visit

Image: Polychromatic staircase hand painted by Antoni Malinowski, Donmar Dryden Street, London, Haworth Tompkins Architects 2014, by Valerie Bennett

Date Submitted: 21/9/2017

Essential Economics: Architecture Within Global Economic Trends
Date: 18 September 2017
Time: 6.30-8.30pm
Venue: Future Cities Catapult
Speakers: Mark Wingham, Economist, GLA
Marc Vlessing, CEO, Pocket Living
Tamsie Thomson, Director, LFA

Architecture does not operate outside of national, regional or global economies – it is firmly embedded within economic processes, actively contributing to their growth and reacting in times of crisis. What is the economic impact of architecture and the built environment today? What is the value that good architecture can deliver, and how can it be measured? Equally, how do broader economic trends impact how architecture is delivered? This talk will break down the economic impact of architecture to help architects understand the value of their work within the broader context of globalised exchanges of labour, time, knowledge or capital.
To access the 10 free places use the code: AASCHOOL on eventbrite. 
Date Submitted: 11/9/2017

AA alumnus Calvin Chua (AADipl 2011) and colleague Dongwoo Yim have presented a full-scale mock-up of a North Korean apartment at the inaugural Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism. The installation, called Pyongyang Sallim, offers South Koreans a glimpse into what domestic life is like for people in their neighbouring territory for the first time.

Chua, who leads the AA Visiting School in Pyongyang, has spent years researching architecture and urbanism in North Korea. He told Dezeen: “We decided to create a model house because it's the easiest way to understand what life is like in North Korea. We felt that for a South Korean audience to be able to actually experience the interior of a North Korean apartment, that would be quite fruitful”.

The mock-up was created based on Chua’s personal experiences of dwellings in the North Korean capital, as well as friends’ descriptions, and photographs.

Read more about Pyongyang Sallim at or read the Daily Mail feature here:

The exhibition runs until 5 November 2017:

Image: Calvin Chua

Date Submitted: 5/9/2017

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

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

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

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


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

Date Submitted: 21/7/2017


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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.