Southbank Centre’s Hayward Touring programme has announced British artist and AA diploma tutor John Walter as the winner of the 2017 Curatorial Open – its yearly call for proposals for an exhibition of contemporary art aiming to nurture new and diverse curatorial talent and expand the parameters of the contemporary curatorial landscape. 

Walter was selected from an open submission of 125 proposals for Hayward Touring’s fourth Curatorial Open exhibition with his proposal Shonky: The Aesthetics of Awkwardness, a group exhibition that will bring together international artists and architects to explore the nature of visual awkwardness. Shonky is a slang term meaning corrupt or bent, shoddy or unreliable, that stands here for the hand-made, deliberately clumsy and amateurish – against the slick production values of much contemporary art.

Shonky will open at the MAC, Belfast on 20 October 2017 before touring to Dundee Contemporary Arts, the Bury Art Museum & Sculpture Centre and one further venue, to be confirmed. 

Artist John Walter said: 
'Shonky  will create a new discursive space for ideas around visual awkwardness, exploring the role that the hand plays in artworks made in a range of media, including video, painting and sculpture, and the importance of authorship in communicating with audiences about identity politics. The exhibition will draw together artists and architects whose work has not previously been exhibited together or discussed within the same  context, to allow for new ways  of thinking to emerge that privilege ‘shonkiness’ over other aesthetic forms  that have dominated recent visual culture.'

Date Submitted: 18/1/2017


Betts Project is pleased to present Diorama, an exhibition of British architects Caruso St John.

‘The models, and the photographs of the models are a way of getting closer and closer to an image that is already in our minds, it is about articulating all of the qualities in that image. I like the fact that in a competition one can try to communicate the concept and the atmosphere of a project in one or two such images. I would say that the preoccupation in the office is not the production of models, but of finding the image of a project.’ Adam Caruso, OASE 84 (2011).

The exhibition presents a selection of models for competitions as well as the model of their recent Stirling Prize winner project, the Newport Street Gallery. The 1:50 models in pastel colours belong to buildings the architects worked on during the last few years. Their focus lies on the exterior: The façades are flat, windows and doors are marked by coloured surfaces. Because of these details, the models have a strong pictorial quality, while at the same time their spatial dimension is underlined by thick layers of paint. Exhibited together on a large table, the models show a kind of imaginary Caruso St John-city. In Adam Caruso’s words: ‘The buildings that are represented in the models are very different, but we have used only five colours to represent all of their details. This serves to bring together their diverse forms and scales.’

The photographs on the wall offer insights into the interior of models Caruso St John have been making for the last 25 years. Thus they remind of the dioramas of the 19th century, three-dimensional models that show a situation in a way that looks real. Adam Caruso describes the nature of the model photographs as follows: 'They show a world where the atmosphere of our buildings are explicitly evoked at the same time as being uncanny as to the actual size and material of the models, models that have been only made to produce these images.'

Date Submitted: 18/1/2017

What is lighting or illumination to you? RIBA Hong Kong (the Royal Institute of British Architects), Megaman HK and Merci Magazine joined together to explore the potential of lighting design with the Tree of Light design competition.

For more details, please contact Merci Magazine

See more at: www.tommyhuihk.com

Date Submitted: 9/1/2017

Christine Hawley completed her AA Dipl in 1975 and later taught at the AA from 1979 to 1987. The biennial award recognises individuals who have made a significant contribution to the ‘advancement of architectural education’ in schools of architecture with courses validated by the RIBA.

For more information please click here

Date Submitted: 13/12/2016

Elena Longhin (AA MA LU ‘15) taught AA Inter 15 from 2015-16 as well as the AA Visting School in Pyongyang, DPRK. Silvia Ribot (AA MA LU ‘15) has been a tutor at the AA Visiting School in Mexico City and previously has taught within the Landscape Urbanism Programme. Their project has been awarded a Special Mention among six finalists in September 2016.

The SEE competition sought innovative multidisciplinary strategies able to develop a complex ecological urbanisation type for the city of Santiago. Elena and Silvia's entry, Dendritic Fringes defines a system, which tests new modes of urbanisations, envisioning a possible scenario for the expansion of the city towards a sustainable growth of interactions with the sorrounding landscape.

Finalists discussed their proposals during the vernissage of the exhibition (11-12 November) at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Santiago. The exhibition will remain open until January 2017. The projects and the selection committee's contributions - which includes pieces by Charles Waldheim, Solano Benítez, Rahul Mehrotra, Alfredo Ramirez, Mosè Ricci and Jörg Schröder – will also be available in the form a book to be launched in November. 

Dendritic Fringes will be presented in a keynote lecture at the University of Trento, Italy on December 7 2016.

Online Publication: http://www.plataformaarquitectura.cl/cl/797699/equipo-colombo-brasileno-ganador-del-concurso-santiago-ecologias-emergentes-en-chile

Competition website link: http://www.see-competition.net

Date Submitted: 4/12/2016

The TWIST, designed and built by students and staff in the Emergent Technologies and Design Programme for Timber Expo 2015 in Birmingham, UK has been awarded the Small Project Winner at this year’s Wood Awards. The TWIST, EmTech’s Design/Build project during the 2014-2015 cohort, seeks to leverage the bending and twisting behaviour of thin plywood strips, exploiting the anisotropic properties of plywood to achieve a material system capable of producing freeform anticlastic surfaces. The judges said: ‘It shows an interesting new direction for timber, demonstrating the possibilities of using wood in a very beautiful and efficient way.’

Project Team:

Academic Supervisors: Evan Greenberg, George Jeronimidis, Michael Weinstock, Manja van de Worp

Students: Sulaiman Alothman, Ashwini Ashokkumar, Natalya Aygunyan, Nicolo Bencini, Parantap Bhatt, Chaitanya Chavan, Thanisorn Devapalin, Spyros Efthymiou, Lorenzo Franceschini, Giulio Gianni, Hazar Karahan, Panit Limpiti, Arpi Maheshwari, Francis McCloskey, Antonia Moscoso, Gabriele Motta, Achraf Mzily, Akshay Narwekar, Carlos Ochando, Kuber Patel, Arpita Parmar, Lorenzo Santelli, Natalie Sham, Yutao Song, Antoniya Stoitsova, Yifei Sun, Alican Sungur, Patrick Tanhuanco, Arnold Tejasurya, Felix Tseng, Di Zhou

Partners and Sponsors: Hanson Plywood; TRADA

Date Submitted: 1/12/2016

Betts Project (an East London Gallery founded by AA Member Marie Coulon) is pleased to present ‘In Search of the Lost Artwork’, an exhibition of montages by British architectural theorist and former AA lecturer Fred Scott. 

"Early in 2013 Fred Scott realised he had lost a triptych he made in 1997. ‘Dream of Flight’ was a montage using images from Le Corbusier’s pre-war publications, in which Scott blended Le Corbusier’s fascination for aircrafts and his associate Charlotte Perriand. For Fred Scott, Le Corbusier had a genius that has not been sufficiently recognized for gathering images to support his arguments, which is also almost an art in itself. The Radiant City in particular is an incredible collection of eclectic and surprising pictures, from similarly unexpected sources. Since then, Scott has been on a journey of memory to recreate his lost artwork. This exhibition shows Fred Scott’s pursuit and the “Dream of Flight” triptych becoming a silent “Ode” to Charlotte Perriand, alongside other paper montages Fred Scott has made this past decade."

Preview: Thursday 1 December, 6-8pm
Exhibition: 2-22 December 2016

Betts Project
100 Central Street
London EC1V 8AJ

Date Submitted: 1/12/2016

Calvin Chua, AA alumnus (AADipl RIBA) is shaping the next generation of North Korean Architects. Founder of Spatial Anatomy design firm, Chua also runs the AA Visiting School program, which with the non-profit Choson Exchange program provides training to North Koreans.  Singapore-based Chua, along with international architecture students visit North Korea for 10 days to work with architects and local students on different design approaches in urban development.

For more information please click Here

Date Submitted: 16/11/2016

Exhibition Models examines new curatorial practices, scholarship, and institutional experiments that are redefining the agency of architecture exhibitions. Presentations and panels offer casestudies and consider the format, role, and impact of exhibitions in different settings ranging from academic venues, alternative spaces, and well-established institutions to project-based architecture biennials and triennials.

For more information visit arch.columbia.edu.

Date Submitted: 7/11/2016

Lianou Chalvatzis Architects, led by AA alumna Natassa Lianou and AA alumnus Ermis Chalvatzis, has been awarded the prestigious 2016 Outstanding Achievement Award in IFAI International Achievement Awards for their project  London Iconic Pavilion.

Natassa Lianou and Ermis Chalvatzis graduated from the AA in 2011 receiving their MArch in Architecture and Urbanism from Design Research Laboratory (DRL) with distinction.

The International Achievement Awards (IAA) are an annual competition recognising Design Excellence in special structures. For nearly 70 years, the awards have recognised innovation, technical skill and design excellence. Entries are judged by industry experts, editors, architects, educators and design professionals who were selected for their knowledge in particular field of study or product area.

Read more here.

Image: London Iconic Pavilion. Courtesy of Lianou Chalvatzis Architects.

Date Submitted: 25/10/2016

AA alumna Maria Jose Orihuela (AA MA HCT 2014) has been awarded a shared First Prize, in collaboration with Chiara Montgomerie, in the International Ideas Competition launched by the TWRB Foundation based in Finland. The competition brief questioned how to share the art & design collection of Tapio Wirkkala & Rut Bryk, with more than 5000 objects ranging from drawings to sculptures, textiles, photographs, everyday design objects and ceramics. Maria Jose and Chiara were invited to present their work at a Seminar held last Tuesday 18 October at EMMA (Espoo Museum of Modern Art). 

Their proposal explores the mechanisms of curation that permeate daily life, creating a parallel between everyday decision making and curation. A physical open archive/museumis unveiled thanks to a digital platform which allows the visitor to curate a selection of works. Based on this choice, a map through the physical space is suggested, including a wider selection of objects connected by a narrative. The prospective archive exhaustion is solved by digitally curated wayfinding through the physical space, which is conceived as an interplay of solid and void, archive and museum, preserving and sharing. 

The jury, composed by Eva Franch i Gilabert (Chief Curator and Executive Director of Storefront for Art and Architecture), Mikko Heikkinen (Architect, Professor), Pilvi Kalhama (Director, EMMA), Emmi Keskisarja (Architect, SAFA Representative), Juhani Pallasmaa (Architect, Professor Emeritus) and Laura Sarvilinna (Programme Director, The Finnish Fair Corporation) selected five entries for a shared First Prize. All the entries, the brief, and the jury report are available at http://wirkkalabryk.fi/juhlavuosi/ideas-competition/

Read more:
Tapio Wirkkala Rut Bryk Foundation
Helsinki Design Week
Architects Sweden

Date Submitted: 24/10/2016

Image: The MAAT museum in Lisbon by AL_A. Credit: HUFTON + CROW

AA alumna, former co-director of Future Systems, and founder of architectural practice AL_A, Amanda Levete (AADipl RIBA), has made waves internationally with her latest project involving high-tech ceramics. AL_A recently unveiled its Museum of Art, Architecture and Technology building in Lisbon, the first in a number of major projects to be realized by and her studio in coming years. Among the more notable are a new wing for the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and a fundamental redesign of the Galeries Lafayette department store in Paris.

Read more here:  

New York Times – Art and Design



Date Submitted: 13/10/2016

Image: courtesy of Caruso St John Architects  

Former AA Councillor, Lecturer, and AA Alumnus, Peter St John (AADipl), and his partner Adam Caruso received recognition last Thursday as Caruso St John Architects were awarded the prestigious RIBA Stirling Prize 2016 for the UK’s best new building. The transformation of almost an entire street of listed industrial buildings in south London into a free public gallery for artist Damien Hirst was described by the judges as ‘a bold and confident contribution to UK architecture’.

This is the first time that Caruso St John Architects have taken home the prize despite being shortlisted twice before for Brick House in west London in 2006 and the New Art Gallery in Walsall in 2000. They were honoured at a special ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects last Thursday evening. Turner Prize winner Damien Hirst paid tribute to Caruso St John Architects, thanking them for realising his ambition to “create an unobtrusive and beautiful series of buildings that work perfectly as a space to exhibit great art”.

Read more here:


The Guardian


Architects Journal

Building Design

Date Submitted: 11/10/2016

AA alumnus and founder of Tsuruta Architects, Taro Tsuruta (AADipl), has been recognised in this year’s RIBA Awards as Tsuruta Architects’ was awarded the 2016 Stephen Lawrence Prize for an unconventional extension to an end-of-terrace family home in South London.

The £247,000 London house extension saw off competition from Ash Sakula’s’ Exhibition Mews, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects’ Mellor Primary School, Coffey Architects’ Modern Side Extension, The Observatory by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios and Henning Stummel’s Tin House to win the prize, which recognises a project built for under £1 million.

Demolishing the house’s original extension, the practice incorporated its memory into the rear elevation of the new extension to create the ‘surprising and delightful’ winning scheme.

Read about it here:

Architects Journal

Stephen Lawrence Prize 2016

Tsuruta Architects 

Image: Trace House - Tsuruta Architects

Date Submitted: 11/10/2016

To coincide with the launch of his first residential building in Britain, AA alumnus and former lecturer Peter Salter AADipl(Hons) will be giving a talk about his Walmer Yard drawings in the Piano Nobile gallery, followed by a tour of Walmer Yard this Wednesday evening. 

*Invitation open to AA members, students and alumni. RSVP to Piano Nobile Gallery. Details below.

Date Submitted: 10/10/2016


The AA School in realtime



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.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.



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.