The 21st International Congress of Aesthetics conference will take place between 22 – 26 July 2019 at The University of Belgrade, Serbia. The theme of the Congress is “Possible Worlds of Contemporary Aesthetics: Aesthetics Between History, Geography and Media”.

Nerma Cridge (AA Academic Staff and AAPhD 2012) will be presenting a paper on architecture of ex-Yugoslavia and North Korea entitled ‘Post-Communist Architectural Images’. Find out more on the University of Belgrade website

Date Submitted: 10/7/2019

Cloud Field rethinks what a solar farm can be by considering two parameters: energy production and people’s enjoyment. By raising the photovoltaic panels, the ground is freed and shading is created for people to enjoy. The clouds are formed by a pattern of irregular hexagons formed by computational design means and manufactured with inflatable ETFE cushions. The geometry of the clouds maximises surface area within a limited footprint while their curvature follows the sun path keeping sun rays normal to the surface. The areas that are more exposed to solar radiation are clad with organic flexible PV cells that can produce up to 90.000Kwh per year while creating different qualities in the shading.

The project will be exhibited in the 24th World Energy Congress at the Abu Dhabi Exhibition Centre from September 9 and featured in a hardcover Prestel art book publication.

Find out more on the LAGI 2019 website

Date Submitted: 10/7/2019

Alan Dempsey (Founding Director of Nex—) has announced that the practice has won the competition organised by Malcolm Reading Consultants for the renewal of Exeter College Oxford’s Grade II listed library.

Nex— was Inspired by the legacy of the college (one of the oldest within Oxford University), its esteemed alumni and the library’s stunning array of features and details, all painstakingly considered by the renowned architect George Gilbert Scott.

The proposal convinced the College’s Selection Committee with a top-scoring combination of innovative ideas, user understanding, outstanding team dynamics and construction strategy.

You can read more on the Nex— website Exeter College Library

Date Submitted: 4/7/2019

Opening on Friday 5 July in London, The Tide and The Prism are two projects that Neiheiser Argyros have been working on for several years. The Tide is a 5 kilometre long linear public park, partially elevated and partially at-grade, and the first 1 kilometre phase of the project is being opened to the public on Friday. The Tide was designed by Neiheiser Argyros in collaboration with lead designer Diller Scofidio + Renfro.

The Prism is a 14-meter tall sculptural enclosure around a London Underground vent shaft, containing a 10 meter wide media screen, a cafe, and public restrooms and was designed by Neiheiser Argyros. Both projects are located in North Greenwich adjacent to the O2 Arena, and open from Friday 5 July with a public opening party from 6-9pm.

More info can be found on the Neiheiser Argyros website and the Greenwich Peninsula website.

Date Submitted: 2/7/2019

In an interview by Michael Copper, John Makepeace speaks about the development of Hooke Park and says -

“It's a 350 acre forest in Dorset, England, which as director of the trust we purchased with the view to establishing a new campus within the woodland. It's now the practical base for the Architectural Association, a wonderful international school of architecture. And that was logical because we could bring so many good architects on the site. And so they were really excited by the whole idea that it could become a place for young architects, building new buildings.”

Read the full article on the Core 77 website

Date Submitted: 2/7/2019

Digital Blue Foam, a web-based tool to support early-stage building design and automate feasibility analysis, was unveiled at a global gathering of leading architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) companies.  Digital Blue Foam aims to provide a web-based, centralized, user-friendly platform that is accessible to and usable by designers and non-designers. It will integrate all sustainability considerations under one roof and allow for cross-platform integration.

Read more on the Architosh website

Date Submitted: 27/6/2019

Sadie Morgan, co-founder of Stirling Prize-winning practice dRMM has been honoured with AJ100 Contribution to the Profession award. As the chair of the independent design panel for High Speed 2 since 2015 and one of 10 National Infrastructure Commissioners, the AJ writes that Morgan is in a powerful position to promote the value of design to the highest level of government. She is currently in the early stages of setting up a Quality of Life Foundation to encourage developers to prioritise wellbeing in their projects. Morgan is also professor of professional practice at the University of Westminster, a non-executive director of both the Major Projects Association and developer U + I, and a Mayor of London design advocate. Back in 2013, she was the youngest ever president of the Architectural Association.

Read the full article of the Architects’ Journal website

Image: © Architects' Journal

Date Submitted: 27/6/2019

The Fielding Architecture: Feminist Practices for a Decolonised Pedagogy symposium took place at the University of Brighton on 24 & 25 June.

The interdisciplinary symposium explored and questioned the practice of teaching architectural history / theory primarily focused in the UK context though welcoming a debate through dialogues with other contexts from a feminist and critical perspective, asking: how is it constructed, from which positions, and from where its content derives; how can its construction be critiqued and informed by other disciplines such as feminist geographies, environmental psychology, cultural studies, technology and science studies, queer theory and urban geography amongst others; and, moreover, how should architectural histories and theories be constructed in the future.

Date Submitted: 27/6/2019

Done in collaboration with Tanya Lee-Monteiro, a current student of the Architectural Association, and Daniel Swan the exhibition is an insight into the lives of the most marginalised people of our society. Through paintings, prints, photography, and poetry, the stories of some of the most wonderful and vulnerable people on these streets are shared.

The exhibition is opening from Wednesday 12th June -  Sunday 23rd June, at The Painting Rooms,1-5 Flitcroft Street, London, WC2H 8DH

Find out more on the Daniel Swan website

Date Submitted: 11/6/2019

As the Parisian studio takes on the redesign of the Grand Palais, co-founder Umberto talks to Domus about tackling challenges of new scales, whether it is necessary to reconstruct Notre Dame and still feeling like an “outsider” after almost 20 years of practice.

Read the full article on the Domus website

Date Submitted: 7/6/2019

‘Manifestos: Architecture for a New Generation’ is a collaboration between London Festival of Architecture and the Design Museum, highlighting work by an emerging generation of voices in architecture who are shaping a new future for London.

The challenges that London poses to young people are shaping the boundaries of architecture and what it means to be an architect in this city. Migration, the housing crisis, a constrained jobs market, precarious working conditions, cuts to public services and facilities, racial discrimination and gang violence are just some of the defining challenges facing young people today. In London, they present urgent and complex spatial challenges for the city.

Responding to these conditions, a new generation of architecture voices are proposing alternative visions for London’s urban landscape. These manifestos prioritise collaboration, dialogue, learning and action in response to the real material and social conditions of a city in flux. They are often steered by collectives over individuals focused on public organisation and democratisation.

This event brings a group of emerging voices in architecture that are expanding the parameters of what architecture can be, who London is for and what its future holds. They include: Alpa Depani, Stephanie Edwards (AADipl 2010), Joseph Henry, Chris Hildrey, RESOLVE, Neba Sere (AA Professional Practice Student), Holy Fool Studio (Patricia de Souza Leão Müller (AADipl 2018)), Pricegore, Space Popular (AA Unit Masters Lara Lesmes (AADipl 2011) and Fredrik Hellberg (AADipl(Hons)2011)) and Part W.

Find out more on the Design Museum website

Date Submitted: 7/6/2019

Theresa May has directly appointed Nabeel Hamdi (AADipl 1970), a professor in housing and planning, to sit alongside the head of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry panel

May’s decision to widen the panel for the technical phase of the inquiry follows pressure from survivors and families of victims – a call backed by a 156,000-strong petition.

Nabeel Hamd, worked on housing at the Greater London Council and was previously associate professor of housing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He has consulted on housing, participatory action planning and upgrading of slums in cities to all major international development agencies, charities and NGOs.

Read the full article on the Architects’ Journal website

Date Submitted: 7/6/2019

This year’s LFA symposium at the Royal Academy offers a rich exploration of the role and application of boundaries in architecture and placemaking.

Boundaries have always been a fundamental aspect of the human world. Life in cities is governed by both physical and perceived boundaries. We are constrained, ordered and defined by borders, fences and walls, which can either make us feel comfortable or constrained. Yet for spatial practitioners, boundaries are more than a mundane fact of everyday life: they are something to explore and challenge. Thresholds or barriers? brings together prominent architects, academics and commentators to explore the ongoing impact of boundaries on the development of a place.

The symposium will explore connections between architecture and boundaries through two expert panels and a keynote in conversation. Building on specific case studies ranging from the North London Eruv Perimeter to the divided contexts of Northern Ireland, the first panel will debate the impact of tangible boundaries on our day-to-day physical experience of the city. Then, a second panel will delve into the role of intangible boundaries in our understanding of the built environment and spaces around us, examining everything from role the Dayton Peace Agreement played in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s built environment, to the future of architectural heritage in the age of digital technologies.

The event will conclude with a keynote in conversation between Farshid Moussavi (Former AA Academic Staff) and Eyal Weizman (Diploma 3 Contributor). This conversation will be moderated by Shumi Bose (AA MA History and Theory 2010).

The event will take place on Friday 14 June, 7.30pm at The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly.

Find out more on the RA website

Date Submitted: 7/6/2019

The Quintessential English Garden: What does it mean to be native?  is based on the design of Stourhead. Lily Jencks Studio’s temporary landscape features typical trees, shrubs and other plants found in this iconic garden — many of which are non-native, having been introduced during times of colonial expansion. The installation challenges visitors to reflect and discuss questions driving identity politics around the globe; ‘what does it mean to be local, rooted and originating in a place?’  Stourhead typifies the English Picturesque, seemingly allowing nature to flow naturally, and people to wander from one idea to the next. In the human-made environs of Canary Wharf, this miniature Stourhead provides a communal space to gather and learn about the heritage of our political and environmental concepts and language, while enjoying a small urban landscape.

Lily Jencks currently teaches at the Architectural Association as Intermediate 13 Unit Master

The Quintessential English Garden: What does it mean to be native? is on display from Monday 10 June – Fridaty 12 July in Cabot Square, Canary Wharf, E14

Date Submitted: 7/6/2019

Inspired by Sir John Soane’s Museum, one of the world’s great architectural laboratories, this pop-up exhibition presents work by students from Intermediate Unit 13: Crude Hints Towards an Architectural Academy of the Future.  The exhibition includes an ‘exquisite corpse’ model of the Soane Museum, which reinterprets each room through the lens of a particular architectural effect that is both spatial and experiential. Interactive 4-D drawings of the Museum elaborate on the building’s playful performance. Speculative designs for pavilions for Lincoln’s Inn Fields aim to engage the public and develop architectural languages with rich atmospheres, juxtaposed narratives and choreographed sequences.  

The exhibited final projects offer proposals for new architectural academies around London. Following Soane’s description of his house-museum as an ‘academy of architecture’, the students’ designs include spaces for discourse and debate, exhibition space and a private residence. Each project responds in its own way to the question: how can the architecture academy of the future act to engage the city and allow the city to influence pedagogy?

The pop-up exhibition will be on show from 5 - 9 June in the Sir John Soane's Museum and the private view is from 6-8pm on 5 June. Find out more by visiting the Sir John Soane's Museum website

Date Submitted: 31/5/2019


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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 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.