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‘Masters of Design’ is a new video series in which Modern House meets architecture and design luminaries at their homes. Following on from their first instalment in which Modern House filmed Richard and Ruth Rogers in their home in Chelsea, the second video features Eva Franch i Gilabert, Director of AA School, at the AA.

“In this video, made after her first year as director, Eva explains why she felt a visceral sense of being at home when she first stepped into the AA, why the domesticity of a period London townhouse is a relevant architectural typology for redefining education, and what she thinks the school has to offer in a societal age she considers to be about redefinition.” (Modern House)

Read the full article on the Modern House website

Watch the video on YouTube

Date Submitted: 16/8/2019

AAction is an inquisitive, continuous and collective project formed by a group of AA students to promote education as the primary place to reflect on the urgency of climate and ecological breakdown. Being aware of the importance of the architectural profession in the context of climate change, the group works both within and outside the AA to challenge and address the necessary theoretical and practical challenges. 

AAction is interested in bringing about the necessary pedagogical and cultural shift in our institution in order to effectively deal with ecological disaster, aiming to consolidate as an all-inclusive set of voices. AAction sits within a larger pedagogical project across and beyond architectural education.

The Open Letter to the Architectural Community, a Call for Curriculum Change was the first important public action of the project. So far, the open letter has had more than 1650 signatures, as well as several written responses from university directors and professors, and interest from around the globe. Find out more about the open letter at https://www.architectureeducationdeclares.com/

A first summit is scheduled for the 4th of October. More seminars and meetings will take place from the start of the new academic year. If you are interested to learn more about AAction and become part of the project, please contact: aaction@aaschool.ac.uk

Date Submitted: 16/8/2019

The rolling bridge, designed by Tom Randall-Page (AA Media Studies Tutor) has been designed to reactivate Cody Dock and to provide a gateway to community gardens and the Lea River Park, enabling [public access to 26 miles of river walks.

The contemporary bridge design is an architectural first that provides an exciting new twist on a moving bridge whilst celebrating the area's rich historical links with Edwardian industrial design and local iron production.

An ambitious crowdfunding campaign to fund and build a rolling bridge is the last link in realising the work of over 7,000 local and corporate volunteers whose persistence over the years have already transformed this once inaccessible part of East London into a small haven with gardens, ecology walk, cafe and community events. With planning permission in place, the pledge from the Mayor’s crowdfunding team and having raised almost 50% of the money already, this project needs wider support in this all or nothing crowdfunding campaign. Cody Dock are now looking to the public at large and businesses to rise to the challenge and pledge their support to ensure they reach their target of £200k by the 27th of August 2019, so time and maximum publicity is of the essence! 

To support the campaign visit Space Hive

Date Submitted: 16/8/2019

The New York Times has featured this year’s AA Visiting School in São Paulo in an article entitled “In Brazil, Mending an Urban Fabric With Geometry and Bamboo”. The AA Visiting School, High Line Paulista – Structural Parametricism, took place over 10 days in July and students from all over the world created responses to the elevated highway, the ‘Minhocão’ (the ‘large worm’ in Portuguese), that winds its way through the São Paulo city centre. 

"Kilometers away from the roaring cars and pollution of the ‘minhocão’ elevated highway, students gathered in the tropical lushness of a Brazilian sub-rural forest, harvesting and hand-splicing bamboo stalks into sinuous bendy strips. Inspired by intricate paper woven models produced the day before with Tutor Alison Grace Martin, and informed by the form-found engineering tactics of Tutor James Solly, workshop participants negotiated the forces of the natural curvatures of the bamboo to weave three-dimensional spatial interiorities.

Days later,  from within the studios and patios of the host school Escola da Cidade (School of the City) Architecture school, after much soul-searching cultural exploration, digital and structural optimization, and many splinters,  groups of students hoisted out of the front doors partially woven strips of bamboo, parading through the couple busy city blocks to the elevated highway. Rising up the ramps up on to the highway, where just hours before cars whisked by, a surreal sort of silence pervaded, in the omnipresent absence of the motorized-vehicles. In a short time, the pop-up bamboo structures were deployed, floating down the heavy monolithic highway in the hands of the students to strategic locations. Children laughed and played, running in and out of the structures, a club of skater-girls took turns shooting through the tunnel shape of one of the installations, and people sat in the shade of the bamboo weaves, in this temporary-pop-up public park that may or may not one day become the High Line Paulista." - AAVS Programme Heads

"The goal of the workshop was to envisage structures — woven from bamboo, a sustainable and local resource — to provide shade for the park, or structures that would filter sunlight through roadway apertures and onto the dark streetscape below. Ms. Martin typically weaves small-scale paper objects — a torus, a basket, a bikini — or medium-size bamboo structures, like a tunneling garden trellis built with bamboo from her backyard. Lately, her work is attracting the attention of architects and engineers, and she has begun to pursue various collaborations.” - The New York Times

Read the full article on the New York Times website

Read more about the AA São Paulo Visiting School

Image: Gabriela Portilho for The New York Times

Date Submitted: 9/8/2019

The September issue of British Vogue entitled “Forces of Change” and guest-edited by Meghan Markle, The Duchess of Sussex, features Stephanie Edwards who studied at the AA from 2004 -2010. The article titled ‘Leaders and Proteges’ showcases a number of women including Baroness Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered teenager Stephen Lawrence, alongside Stephanie Edwards.

Stephanie Edwards, architect, masterplanner and co-founder of Urban Symbiotics, studied Foundation at Central St Martins before receiving a Stephen Lawrence Scholarship to study at the Architectural Association. She has since primarily focused on urban design and masterplanning at a number of offices including the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Elsie Owusu Architects and Barton Willmore before co-founding Urban Symbiotics in 2018.

In 1998, the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust was set up by Doreen Lawrence, Baroness Lawrence of Clarendon OBE in memory of her son who was tragically murdered 5 years previously in an unprovoked racist attack. To inspire and help people just like him, his family set up the trust to help young people realise their ambitions to become architects by supporting them with bursaries and mentoring.

Vogue 

Image: British Vogue, September 2019, Peter Lindbergh

Date Submitted: 8/8/2019

Anuradha Suryavanshi (AAEmTech MSc 2018) and Elisabeth Riederer (AAEmTech MSc 2018) met at the Architectural Association while they were studying Emergent Technologies. The research they conducted during their master’s theses into producing low-cost concrete has been featured in The Times of India in an article entitled “Discarded plastic bottles can reduce construction costs!” They also presented their research at the annual conference ‘Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design’ held at GIT, Atlanta in April 2019.

Through their research, Anuradha and Elisabeth found a strategy to make concrete structures more economical and sustainable by partly replacing sand, the most expensive component in concrete, with recycled PET flakes, made from recycling PET bottles in a low-cost and low-energy method.

Through investigations in to design strategies and fabrication methods they developed a material system to improve the material performance. Computational simulations were then used to compare the new material system using PET flakes against conventional concrete while considering the geometric and structural constraints.

“According to researchers, commercialising plastic-in-concrete can provide an alternate source of income to thousands of slum dwellers at place like Dharavi can turn into recycling hubs” (The Times of India)

With the vision of developing an alternate source of income to thousands of slum dwellers Anuradha and Elisabeth are now seeking financial contributions to build a prototype with their students from GLSID, Ahmedabad and FabLab, Munich where they teach. Contribute to the project at Ketto.org

Read the full article on The Times of India website

Date Submitted: 5/8/2019

Six projects have been shortlisted for this year’s RIBA Stirling Prize including The Weston, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, by Feilden Fowles Architects. Fielden Fowles was founded by Edmund Fowles (AADipl(Hons) 2009) and Fergus Fielden in 2009.

The other five shortlisted projects are -

  • Cork House, Berkshire, by Matthew Barnett Howland with Dido Milne and Oliver Wilton
  • Goldsmith Street, Norwich, by Mikhail Riches with Cathy Hawley
  • London Bridge Station, London by Grimshaw
  • Nevill Holt Opera, Leicestershire, by Witherford Watson Mann Architects
  • The Macallan Distillery and Visitor Experience, Moray, by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

The winner of the 2019 RIBA Stirling Prize will be announced on Tuesday 8 October 2019 at the Roundhouse in London.

Read more about the shortlisted projects on the RIBA website

Image: © Peter Cook

Date Submitted: 25/7/2019

Projects from each of the UK’s 51 RIBA-accredited architecture schools have been nominated for the AJ Student Prize 2019. In its second year, the AJ invited every RIBA-accredited school in the UK to select their top two student projects – one at undergraduate level and one at postgraduate level – to compete for the AJ Student Prize.

In early September, an expert jury consisting of Pippa Nissen of Nissen Richards Studio, Ed Fowles of Feilden Fowles Architects, Ken Okonkwo of Haworth Tompkins and Meredith Bowles of Mole Architects will have the task of choosing three winning projects with the winners will be announced later in the month.

Siong Yu-Hsiang Wang (AADipl 2019) has been nominated at postgraduate level for his project ‘The Cultural Odyssey: Towards an Atopian Museum’. The project seeks to negotiate post-colonial debates in museology about the centralisation of artefacts in the west, to break the loops within the current art world systems and to mobilise cultural artefacts as ‘relational objects’ (to use Lygia Clarke’s phrase) and to leak them into various social conditions. With today’s systems of digital preservation, museum artefacts can be transposed into new relationships, spaces and social scenarios through reproduction and the use.

Read more about Siong Yu-Hsiang Wang’s project on the AA Projects Review website

See the full list of nominated students on the AJ website

Date Submitted: 25/7/2019

Rotor is to be one of the speakers at the ‘The Architecture of Emergency’ event, which will be held at the Barbican Centre in September. Rotor (Diploma Unit Masters) have been invited to speak as part of the Architecture on Stage series, a collaboration between the Architecture Foundation and the Barbican. Other speakers include: Maria Smith Architect, engineer, London Mayoral Design Advocate; Monica von Schmalensee Swedish Government strategic advisor; Steve Tompkins Architects Declare member; Adrian Lahoud Dean of School of Architecture, Royal College of Art; Danielle Paffard Greenpeace campaigner and Heathrow 13 member; and Extinction Rebellion.

Lionel Devlieger and Maarten Gielen are among the founding members of Rotor (Brussels) and together with Aude-Line Duliere, who has been part of Rotor’s development team, are unit masters for the Diploma Unit Opalis, Developing the Market for Second Hand Building Components in the UK at the AA. Read more about the unit brief

‘The Architecture of Emergency’ will take place at 7pm on 19 September in the Theatre at the Barbican Centre. For more information and tickets, visit the Barbican website.

Date Submitted: 25/7/2019

Azure has revealed the 20 winners of the 2019 AZ Awards, chosen by a panel of judges as representations of exceptional work being created in global architecture and design today. The panel was made up of Thom Mayne, co-founder of both the architectural firm Morphosis and the leading architecture school SCI-Arc; Pat Hanson, architect and founding partner of Toronto firm gh3*; Matt Carr, vice president of design at Umbra; renowned interior designer Johnson Chou; and Stefano Pujatti, director of ElasticoSPA, an architecture studio with offices in Italy and Canada.

Federico Fauli (AADipl 2018) received a Merit with tutors Efrén Ga Grinda, Christina Diaz Moreno and Benjamin Reynolds for his project ‘Coscienza Intuitiva’ in the A+ Student Award category.

Gianni Botsford (AADipl 1996) won in the ‘Best in Single-Family Houses Winner’ category for his project ‘House in a Garden’.

Read more on the Azure website

Image: House in a Garden, Gianni Botsford Architects

Date Submitted: 24/7/2019

Forest of Theoretical Sex Toys, featured in this month’s Wallpaper* The Handmade Issue, is the product of a collaboration between the Architectural Association Digital Prototyping Lab and Douglas Coupland, a Canadian artist and novelist. Handmade X: With Love is the tenth edition of Wallpaper* Handmade, a project that pairs creatives with makers and manufacturers.

The ‘sex toys’ were designed by Douglas Coupland in response to Wallpaper*’s theme of ‘love’ and 3D printed at the Digital Prototyping Lab at the AA. In the interview featured in this month’s Wallpaper* issue Douglas says “The theme of love made me think about things that are about the body but not necessarily about your body. In the same way that Lawren Harris painted the phylum of trees on the island, I wanted the same ‘Qu’est-ce que c’est?’ to come out of the trees we made. That same sense of familiarity wrapped up in weirdness.” 

Read the full article on the Wallpaper* website

The 3D printed collection of ‘sex toys’ will be auctioned in autumn to raise funds towards Scholarships and Bursaries for future generations of deserving students to have the opportunity to study at the AA School of Architecture. Be the first to find out about the auction by registering your interest

Date Submitted: 18/7/2019

Something Curated have highlighted nine AA student projects, from the recent AA Projects Review 2019 end of year show, that they believe “are exercises in the redefinition of the discipline of architecture, but more importantly our world and its future.”

Students featured in the list are: Jeanne Clerc, Lucas Wilson, Chanel Kuo, Chris Kokarev, Ryan Cook, Hangyul Jeong, Lukas Pauer, Voisin Isdahl. Read the full article with short descriptions of each student’s work on the Something Curated website

Image: Jeanne Clerc, A Home Truth on Childhood and Continuity, 2019

Date Submitted: 17/7/2019

Von X Chua (AADipl 2015) is co-founder of Pitch Your Concepts, an online platform to connect design professionals with property owners, which has now soft launched in the United Kingdom. The platform allows property owners, business owners and landowners to post their building project briefs online and at the same time, design professionals can showcase their portfolio and pitch to new clients via the online platform.

Pitch Your Concepts was a semi-finalist at the Mayor’s Entrepreneur Award 2019, organised by the Mayor of London and currently part of the NatWest Entrepreneurship’s Pre-Accelerator programme.

Find out more on Pitch Your Concepts website 

Image: Pitch Your Concepts at the National Homebuilding and Renovating Show 2019

Date Submitted: 17/7/2019

With the express intention of challenging traditional delineations of discipline and media in the artsm Fearghus Raftery (AADipl 2016) has co-curated 74 Years, an exhibition as part of the Other-Art Network’s summer exhibitions programme. Featuring new and existing work from 11 artists based in the UK, the theme of the exhibition references the time passed since the start of what some geologists refer to as ‘the Anthropocene’. The collective work incorporates performance, sculpture, film, poetry and installation and will come together on the Wednesday 17 August in an event featuring live performances from artists displaying as part of the show, set against the backdrop of the formal landscape gardens of Goodnestone Park near Canterbury in Kent. Exhibitors include Fearghus Raftery (AADipl 2016), Colin Priest (AADipl 2003), Kristina Kotov (AADipl 2006), Grace Adam, Greig Burgoyne, Jessica Ostrowicz, Tom Plumtre, Katherine Scott, Matthew Turner, Owen Vince, Other-Space.

The exhibition is open from 5 July to 30 August at Goodnestone Park Gardens, Kent, CT3 1PL. Find out more by visiting the Other-Art Network website

Date Submitted: 16/7/2019

Dugnad has underpinned the culture of care and responsibility Norwegians have had as neighbours, national and global citizens for 800 years, which continues on the periphery in co-housing, civic and municipal collaborations and more. However, as the country becomes more individualistic, citizens are losing Dugnad’s value. Dugnad is also reflected across cultures globally in various placemaking strategies, including architecture dedicated to a more equitable society.

Dugnad Days, a participatory design project selected for the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019, creates a story of commitment, shared learning and collective responsibility. Dugnad Days explores collective, bespoke processes of building resilience and the social sustainability of communities through participatory placemaking. By recalibrating the Dugnad tradition of collective work and mutual support with the local community of Sletteløkka, Oslo, with support from Bydel Bjerke, a process of co-production and co-creation with citizens is given agency to foster human and environmental wellbeing.

The project is led by architect Alexander Eriksson Furunes (former AA student), place strategist and founder of Urbanista.org Lucy Bullivant (AA Member), architect/photographer Mattias Josefsson and architects Maria Årthun and Sudarshan Khadka, with artist and graphic designer Gabriela Forjaz and Maria Cau Levy, architect and graphic designer Goma Oficina, sound artist Caroline Jinde and performance artist Tuoman Laitinen,

The Architecture of Degrowth, the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019 is a call to arms to build alternatives to the unsustainable and unfair paradigm of growth, because human and ecological flourishing matter the most. Dugnad Days is exhibited in the Triennale’s exhibition, The Library, at the National Museum, Oslo, 26 Sept-24 Nov 2019. 

Find out more about the project on the Urbanista website or more about the Oslo Architecture Triennalie 2019

Date Submitted: 10/7/2019
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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

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THE AA RECEIVES THE POWER TO AWARD ITS OWN DEGREES

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 Certificate), 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.

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