Important COVID-19 / Coronavirus information and FAQs

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Congratulations to David Kohn Architects for winning the competition to design a new market development in Birmingham. The market is at the centre of Lendlease’s £1.5bn Smithfield regeneration project, which plays a key part of Birmingham’s Big City Plan launched in 2010.

David Kohn is a tutor at the AA, where he teaches Diploma 19, a unit concerned with theatricality and performance in architecture and the city. The unit considers the theatre and the playhouse, but also the marketplace and the public square. Diploma 19 works closely with Eastside Projects, an artist run multiverse based near to the Smithfield regeneration zone.

Date Submitted: 20/1/2020

The AA will be hosting a conference about archiving and collecting architectural material on 22—23 May 2020, in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain. The conference will discuss connections between architecture and archives, interrogating the current priorities of the archive, and examining how shifts in architectural technology will change our future archiving practices.

The project has just opened its call for papers which asks for contributions of 20 minute presentations, 2000 word papers or posters and exhibition stands for the conference in May. Contributions are encouraged from all perspectives: including historians, architects and practitioners to discuss questions such as: Who is represented in architectural collections and who is not?  What is the archive’s relevance to architectural practice? How does the agency of the collection shape architectural histories? 

Image courtesy of RIBA Collections, Proposals for the RIBA collections at the V&A, Wright & Wright / Peter Alan Hull

Date Submitted: 14/1/2020

Congratulations to friends of the school Emma Letizia Jones (MA History and Critical Thinking) and Timothy Ivison (London Consortium PhD) who have been Richard Rogers Fellowships for 2020. The fellowships are run by the Harvard GSD and include a three-month residency at Richard Rogers’ Wimbledon House in south west London which is grade II* listed and originally built as a home for Rogers’ parents. Six fellows are awarded residencies each year, using the house as a platform to research, accessing London archival collections and other resources.

Both Emma and Tim have taught History and Theory at the AA, and will use the fellowships to pursue their research work on 19th century Building Manuals and 1960s planning disputes respectively. In 2013 Tim took part in a panel on architectural education and office culture at the AA, which is still available in the AA video archive.

 

Image: Wimbledon House, photographed by Iwan Baan, courtesy of Harvard GSD.

Date Submitted: 14/1/2020

Former student and initiator of the AA XX 100 programme Yasmin Shariff, and co-curators of the programme Elizabeth Darling and Lynne Walker are taking part in an event at the RIBA to discuss the architectural legacies of key female architects within the modernist movement. The AA XX 100 programme included a conference, exhibition and a book commemorating 100 years of women studying at the AA. The women being discussed include Mary Crowley (Medd) and Margaret Justin Blanco White, both of whom studied at the Architectural Association during the interwar years.

The event is happening at RIBA on the 21 January, and is organised in partnership with Part W, an organisation campaigning for gender parity in construction, infrastructure, architecture and design. The event is part of the Beyond the Bauhaus exhibition, and tickets can be found on the RIBA website.

Image: Design for a New Crystal Palace, AA student Phyllis Brooke, 1937

Date Submitted: 9/1/2020

The AA would like to warmly congratulate several figures connected to the school who received recognition for their work in the New Years Honours list:

Jamie Fobert received a CBE for services to Architecture, his practice, James Fobert Architects are currently undertaking a redevelopment of the National Portrait Gallery and were shortlisted for the Stirling Prize for their extension to Tate St Ives. James was a unit tutor in the early 2000s, and also redesigned the AA canteen.

Sadie Morgan received an OBE for services to design advocacy as a founding director of Stirling Prize winning studio dRMM Architects. Professor Morgan taught a unit at the school in the 1990s, and served as the youngest ever president of the AA from 2013-2015.

Harry Paticas was awarded an MBE for services to the community in Bethnal Green, having designed the ‘Stairway to Heaven’ memorial which commemorated the deaths of 173 people during an air raid in 1943. Harry was awarded a bursary to study for his diploma at the AA, and now runs the design practice Arboreal.

Eyal Weizman received an MBE for services to Architecture, particularly in his role as the founding director of the research agency Forensic Architecture. Professor Weizman graduated from the AA in 1998, and was interviewed last year as part of the AA Conversations series.

Image: Arboreal Architecture's 'Stairway to Heaven' Memorial, Bethnal Green, London

Date Submitted: 8/1/2020

AA Alumnus Adam Nathaniel Furman has created new chairs inspired by the body, exploring colour and queer aesthetics. The chairs play with ideas of intimacy and minimalism with a tongue-in-cheek tone. Furman describes them as "jubilant and adorable celebrations of the human body".

Furman co-directed the AA’s Saturated Space research group, which explored colour in architectural design, leading to a symposium at the AA, which is available to watch.

Read the full article on Dezeen.

Date Submitted: 8/1/2020

London- and Athens-based architects Neiheiser Argyros have transformed a tired, modest semi-detached house by extending it, adding lots of glazing and playing with the floor levels.

The house in Barnes, south-west London was a mere 80 sq m when architect Xristina Argyros started on it. By the time she had finished, it was 180 sq m. ‘As it was on a corner, we were able to extend at the side and rear and get a square footprint, rather than typical rectangular shape,’ she says. ‘Wherever we could, we extended to the full envelope of the house.’ The attic floor was also extended.

Read the full article on Wallpaper*

Xristina Agyros and Ryan Neiheiser are unit tutors for the Experimental 15 unit; City / Hall. Read more about the unit.

Date Submitted: 13/12/2019

Serie Architects, made up of Chris Lee (AADipl(Hons) 1998 and former Academic Staff),  Bolam Lee (AADipl 2008) and Martin Jameson (AADipl(Hons) 2008 and Diploma 1 Unit Master), have won the best Mixed-use Building at the World Architecture Festival Awards for Oasis Terraces, Singapore. Other finalists for the award included Zaha Hadid Architects, Ole Scheeren and AHMM.

Find out more about the winning project on the Serie Architects website or on the World Architecture Festival website.

Date Submitted: 12/12/2019

SMO Contemporary Art curates CONVERGENCE, an exhibition of recent works by Obi Okigbo, which explores the artist’s fascination with how belief systems, behavioural patterns, and aesthetic values have been shaped by ancient art and mythology from different cultures and eras.

Obiageli Annabel Zeinab Okigbo (b. 1964 Ibadan) grew up in Nigeria and studied architecture at Oxford Brooks University before pursuing diploma studies at the Architectural Association. She practiced architecture in London, Rome and Paris until 1995 when she moved to Brussels and became a full time studio artist. She has exhibited in Nigeria, United Kingdom, Dubai and Belgium including two major solo exhibitions in Lagos (2003) and London (2007).

The exhibition is on at the Wheatbaker, Lagos, from November 24, 2019 to February 16, 2020. Find out more on the SMO Contemporary Art website

Date Submitted: 5/12/2019

John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog, Diploma unit tutors, will hold the panel discussion "Oceans in Crisis" as part of Territorial Agency at the Royal Academy of Arts, London, held in collaboration with the exhibition Eco-Visionaries, curated by Gonzalo Herrero Delicado. The panel opens up a conversation across multiple fields of research, engaging with spatial, poetic, imaginative and scientific explorations, addressing the world’s oceans. The renowned paleobiologist and conservationist Jeremy B. C. Jackson, artists Anjalika Sagar (The Otolith Group) and Ayesha Hameed are invited to imagine alternative ecological futures for the oceans, in a discussion moderated by TBA21–Academy director Markus Reymann.

The panel discussion will take place on Friday 6 December, 6.30pm – 8.30pm, at The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts.

Find out more and book tickets on the Royal Academy of Arts website

Date Submitted: 5/12/2019

Thomas Faulkner, currently on his year out, has received the Serjeant Award for Excellence in Drawing for his project Common Fields: An Architecture in Response to the Digital Interface.

Common Fields

Consumed by the digital platform we live within an echo chamber, the world at our finger tips is different to the world in our neighbourhood. Surrounding the epicentre of disconnect, the project manipulates the existing six month migrant farming work patterns and constructs a family of inhabitable farming creatures that act as a spectacle to the surrounding communities. Through a high-jacking of existing machinery a social platform is created, a collective skin of creatures scaring the land of Lincolnshire forming a coterie on the prime meridian. Through a playful feed, the design explores how can architecture respond in a physical reality to form interaction in a community consumed by the digital interface?

Find out more Thomas Faulkner’s project on the Projects Review website

Date Submitted: 4/12/2019

The World Architecture Festival will take place between 4 – 6 December in Amsterdam. Eva Franch will deliver the INSIDE Keynote on 5 December. Other speakers and chairs include AA alumna Manon Mollard (AADipl 2014) and former vice-president of the AA Simon Allford.

Across two stages, the World Architecture Festival hosts an inspiring range of keynote talks, discussions and debates, led by world-renowned architects, looking at the most critical challenges facing the architecture and design industry.

Find out more about the World Architecture Festival

Date Submitted: 29/11/2019

His name was Sudan. And poignantly, he was the last of his kind, the last male northern white rhino. His final years were spent on a nature reserve in Kenya. Old and infirm, he was put to sleep in March, 2018. His death, at 45, made news headlines around the world.

But now, almost miraculously, Sudan is back and roaming again digitally. He's currently a star life-size exhibit at London's Royal Academy. The show is called "Eco-Visionaries" and is about how artists, designers, architects are responding to the climate emergency.

Ginsberg's six minute video installation is called "The Substitute" (2019). Sudan was re-created from zoo archive footage and computer models supplied by a London visual effects company, The Mill, while the way he moves is based on research by artificial intelligence company DeepMind.

Read the full article on CNN

"Eco-Visionaries" is at London's Royal Academy until Feb. 23, 2020.

Date Submitted: 29/11/2019

The duo, known for films including Koolhaas Houselife and Moriyama-San, have released a two-minute trailer for their latest movie. It contains recent footage showing the streets of Venice under water, including the whole of Piazza San Marco.

The Italian city was hit by its worst flood since 1966 on Tuesday 12 November. Water levels rose to 1.87 metres, leaving most of the city submerged. High waters have continued throughout the week, resulting in over €1 billion worth of damage.

"Being in Venice this week, we were in the foreground to observe the impact of this historical event," said Bêka & Lemoine.

Read the full article and watch the trailer on Dezeen

Date Submitted: 29/11/2019

Ibstock Brick has joined forces with the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) to look at the important role that brick plays in helping to create buildings and spaces that can transform communities and inspire people to work and live better.

The partnership between Ibstock and the AA will see Year 2 undergraduates that are working towards their ARB/RIBA Part 1 complete a module around ceramics in architecture titled ‘Digital Craft: Beyond Certainty and Risk’. Taught jointly by Dylan Wozniak O’Connor, and Patricia Mato-Mora the module gives students the opportunity to understand and appreciate the material qualities of brick.

As part of the programme, students will have the opportunity to design and manufacture ceramic dual-purpose building components through a hybrid approach of numeric and manual fabrication, with Ibstock clay materials being used in conjunction with innovative 3D printing tools, prototyping and robotics to create building elements such as arches, columns, domes and walls.

The combination of industrial robotics with the manual making processes will enable students to produce digitally manufactured building modules informed by the physical and haptic intimacy of clay to push the limits of the capabilities of the material.

Ben Gerry, commercial director at Ibstock Solutions said: “As a business at the heart of the building, we are extremely passionate about the role that brick plays in the development of UK’s built environment.

As part of the partnership, Ibstock’s South Holmwood factory in Dorking is donating over 300kg of clay materials to the AA for its students to carry out the practical elements of the module including the 3D printing.  Students will also have the chance to visit Ibstock’s brick manufacturing plant to see first-hand how bricks are manufactured from clay, including the preparation of clay, moulding, drying and firing.

For information on Ibstock Brick and Ibstock Kevington, visit www.ibstockbrick.co.uk

Read the full article on Builders Merchants Journal

Date Submitted: 29/11/2019
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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 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.

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