Vital Networks: Extending the Agency of Return Migrant Health Workers

"Migrant health workers will keep channeling valuable knowledge into OECD countries and capital into their home communities. But is there an alternative - a way for migrant health workers to also service their own communities without stopping flows of money? We aimed to design a scheme that worked within the realities of international health worker migration, while taking advantage of emerging opportunities presented by new technologies.

Vital is a global network of telemedicine that transforms return migrant health workers into conduits of health knowledge and money. It is a social enterprise, a software package, and a management system. The software package is composed of two applications - one for patients and one for providers. It includes a secure communications interface, a live appointment calendar, and encrypted email, for transferring referrals, prescriptions and test-results.

Vital allows migrant health workers to return home, yet still work within the health system of their host country. In effect, return health workers can be in two places at once - serving their own communities and still supporting their families. In this way, Vital works within the realities of migration. It is an innovation - for entrepreneurship, development, and global health. The Vital scheme is designed to be customizable. Our proposal includes a case-study of how Vital would work in the specific context of international health worker migration between Nigeria and the United States (US)."

Nathan Su was part of a team of 4 (with 3 other Anthropology students from the London School of Economics and Political Science) that were runners up in the ‘Geneva Challenge’ an international development competition run by the ‘Graduate Institute’ in Geneva.

The competition is supported by Kofi Annan (ex-secretary general of the United Nations).

Competition Website: http://graduateinstitute.ch/TheGenevaChallenge2015

Details about the finalists: http://graduateinstitute.ch/home/relations-publiques/the-geneva-challenge-2015/2015-finalists.html

Date Submitted: 15/10/2015

Launch event for 'Punk In The Suburbs'


Sam Dargan/Geraint Evans/Tom Helyar-Cardwell/Esther Planas/Joey Ryken/Emma Talbot

Delta House Studios, Riverside Road, SW17 0BA Private View Thursday 15th October, 5.30pm - 8pm Exhibition runs 16th October - 30th November

The exhibition is made up of allegories regarding suburban sub-cultural tropes - from band-patch denim vests (Tom Helyar-Cardwell); to the quasi-temporary-autonomous- zone of the backyard shed (Geraint Evans); to the globally aggregated video cultures of suburban YouTubers (Joey Ryken); with collections of feminist punk zines.

Co-curated by Joey Ryken and Zoe Mendelson

Nearest tube: Wimbledon Park

Date Submitted: 14/10/2015

The great German photographer Hilla Becher died on 10 October 2015. Working alongside her husband Bernd, the couple – long referred to by the collective moniker 'The Bechers' – transformed not only the way buildings could be photographed, but also the ascribed values attached to those buildings.

To read an engaging biographical conversation between Hilla and AA Files editor Thomas Weaver, recorded and published in 2013, please follow the link below.  



Date Submitted: 14/10/2015
John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog / Territorial Agency, AA Unit Masters at Dip 4, present their work at the Transformation Marathon, Serpentine Galleries, the tenth in the Serpentine’s annual festival of ideas.

On stage: 10am-10pm, Saturday 17 October, Serpentine Sackler Gallery and live-streamed via YouTube.

On air: Midnight-noon, Sunday 18 October, Serpentine Radio at radio.serpentinegalleries.org

Celebrating its tenth anniversary since the inaugural 2006 Interview Marathon, this year’s Transformation Marathon addresses cultural, political and physical shifts, asking how significant change can be achieved today. Returning to its 24-hour format of 2006, the second half of the Transformation Marathon takes place on the first-ever broadcast of Serpentine Radio, accessible online from 12am (midnight) on Sunday 18 October.
Date Submitted: 13/10/2015

AA student Roberto Boettger has won the Valentiny Award with his 4th Year Diploma project. Over 50 applications from 13 different countries have been submitted. The winner selection took place by an international jury in Luxembourg on Monday, September 21, 2015: "After rigorous contemplation and discussion, we believe the work of Mr. Boettger embodies the vision, drive and sensibility to successfully define a new urban common place." The project deals with the connection of an existing meat market from 1868 with a railway station at 27 meters in the ground that is planned to be built in 2017.

The award is endowed with 3,000 EUR for the winner prize as well as a bronze sculpture, designed by Francois Valentiny, and a one-year subscription to the architectural magazine ADATO.



Date Submitted: 13/10/2015

Edgar Payan Pacheco ( AA DRL gradaute) is launching (Mexican Talent Netowork-UK) for the Creative Industries, backed by the Mexican Embassy/Consulate in the uK, this 15th October. The MTN-UK is a Mexican network focus on the creative industries in the UK and it will be showcasing the work of outstanding Mexicans artists, architects, photographers, etc. More info here:


Date Submitted: 13/10/2015

Christopher Pierce and Chris Matthews are collaborating with MAD and the R&D department at Noma on merging innovations in architecture and food.

14:40-15:40, Friday 16th October 2015

René Redzepi – Chef at Noma, Copenhagen
Chad Robertson – Traditional baker
Arielle Johnson – Flavour scientist
Lars Williams – R&D chef
Christopher Pierce – Architect, critic and author
Christopher Matthews – Multi-discipline architect


Image: Fermenting Papirøen, Dalia Matsuura Frontini

Date Submitted: 13/10/2015

A team of AA Staff and graduates, Jose Alfredo Ramirez ( AA Landscape Urbanism Co-Director), Clara Oloriz ( AA Landscape Urbanism Studio Master), Arturo Lyon ( AA DRL graduate) and Alejandra Bosch ( AA Landscape Urbanism graduate) win an International Competition to redevelop the Alameda/Providencia main urban corridor of Santiago de Chile.


The project comprises the design of a 12 km transport/urban corridor that enhances the public space and integrates public transport to the civic life of the city by prioritising pedestrian and bicycle movement. It creates a linear plaza framed by water and tree landscape that brings back the character of the corridor as an 'Alameda'.

Date Submitted: 12/10/2015

‘Edward James in Mexico’ Symposium


Edward James in Mexico: History, Context, Legacy One-day Symposium – The Old Library, Saturday 24 October 2015, 9.30am-5pm. This event will consider the impact of Mexico upon the life and work of West Dean College founder, Edward James, from his earliest visits to the country in 1944, until his death forty years later. Papers from a variety of guest speakers will address a range of subjects, including the creation and impact of ‘Las Pozas’, Xilitla, to James’s enduring friendships with other artists associated with Mexico, such as Leonora Carrington. The event will also consider activities preceding James’s presence in Mexico, proposing precursors and associations for his later work. A unique publication relating to the theme of the event will be launched after the symposium.

Date Submitted: 6/10/2015

The Real Estate Architecture Laboratory (REAL) is a charitable foundation for alternative forms of development, property and ownership. It was founded and is directed by Jack Self (AADipl 2014) and Shumi Bose (AAHTS). REAL's most recent project is to launch a bi-monthly, independent magazine about architecture called the Real Review.


Date Submitted: 1/10/2015

Zaha Hadid becomes the the 9th AA graduate and first woman to win the Gold Medal on her own, (AA Graduate Patty Hopkins was joint recipient with her husband in 1963). 

BBC News article

AA Gold Medal Recipients

Photo: Zaha at AA by Liam Denhamer 

Date Submitted: 24/9/2015

The 2015 COAM First Prize has been awarded to the headquarters of the FUNDACIÓN FRANCISCO GINER DE LOS RIOS, by Cristina Diaz Moreno and Efren Garcia Grinda (AMID.cero9) The jury has valued the exemplary character of the proposal in its ability to contribute to the dissemination of the values of architecture in society, the multidisciplinary nature of it, its ability to qualify the urban context, its innovative approach and its development within the framework of one of the architectural best practices. The jury has appreciated its excellent implantation in the urban context, managing a successful and adequate scale and integration of the building in the existing urban fabric through a new fragmentation and also the formal aesthetics of its façade and the innovative abstract character that gives to the building. All of the above made this project deserve the first prize COAM 2015 unanimously by the jury.




Date Submitted: 24/9/2015

This summer My Hotels Group, in partnership with designjunction, challenged students and recent graduates at the AA School to design a bespoke tea box for the 34 newly refurbished double rooms at My Bloomsbury.

The brief asked participants to draw inspiration from the hotel’s serene and contemporary design, along with the popular Bloomsbury location, well known in art and literature. More than 50 entries were submitted, from which the judges shortlisted the three on show by:

Sandy Lee (AA Dipl 2015)
Frederique Pararskevas (AA 5th Year)
Camilla Tufte Sand (AA 5th Year) 

The winner will be announced during designjunction 2015. The competition panel was made up of: Vicky Richardson, Director of Architecture Design Fashion at the British Council, Johnny Tucker, editor of Blueprint magazine, and Andreas Thrasyvoulou, owner of My Hotels Group and graduate of the Architectural Association.

AA Students receive 50% off entrance to the designjunctionfestival - please show your AA card on entry.

Image: MyHotel exhibition space at designjunction, courtesy of Sundip Mace 


Date Submitted: 24/9/2015

Glen Stellmacher (AA MArch Design and Make 2014) along with Coby Vardy and ARUP Seattle have won a joint first prize for the Treehousing International Wood Design Competition sponsored by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 

Their winning entry, Nkosi Market, capitalized on the use of local wood products to form an expansive covered public market at ground level, along with a 21 storey residential tower made of acetylated pine and CLT. The project realizes a design approach that holistically addresses the potentials of forestry, materiality, and architectural space.

Date Submitted: 21/9/2015

Beton Machine, AAVS Las Pozas exhibiting at the V&A for Mexican National Day celebrating Design made in Mexico. Directors Umberto Bellardi Ricci and Carlos Matos  

Date Submitted: 16/9/2015


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.