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Madeleine Kessler (AADipl 2013), has been named as one of The Riba Journal’s rising stars in an article published in October. Extracts from the article -

“Kessler can certainly deliver projects – the British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale is next on her list – but just as impressive is her ambition to improve the human structures around them

‘Madeleine’s creativity is joined with an ability to plan,’ writes referee Scott Grady of Haptic Architects. These are essential skills when you are charged with delivering the next British Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, as Madeleine Kessler is.

Kessler is currently working at Haptic and has previously been at Studio Weave and Haworth Tompkins. But her most impressive work has been in parallel with practice. Judge Sarah Prichard pronounced Kessler a ‘force for good’ in the industry.”

Read the full article on the RIBAJ website

Date Submitted: 21/11/2019

Revolution Begins at Home, by Hamed Khosravi and Roozbeh Elias-Azar, with Nazgol Ansarinia, opens at the Sharjah Architecture Triennial, UAE. The project is a three-part installation that reflects on spatial imaginaries of domestic spaces in the city of Tehran. They reinterpret the codes and protocols of a typical apartment block through the fragmentation of its constituent parts and its reassembly – a process that looks to enable a continuous revolution that begins at home.

Prototype Units (2019) (image). Hamed Khosravi and Roozbeh Elias-Azar, (Mixed Materials: Timber, Acrylic, 3D Printed Polyamide, and Resin; 466 x 197 x 55 cm + base). A 1:18 scale dollhouse of a typical apartment block in Tehran. An urban cross section of two 5-story buildings with its spatial organization rearranged based on the everyday practices of the dwellers. The piece provides a setting for alternative imaginary domestic practices.

Domestic Resonance (2019) Hamed Khosravi and Roozbeh Elias-Azar, (Mixed Materials: Plated Steel, Fabric Panel; Sound Installation with 6 built-in speakers; Dimensions: 300 x 240 x 280 cm). A PeepBox transformed into an audio piece. Six 90-seconds audio clips of particular spatial practices selected from epic Iranian movies arranged around an everted small room. The installation aims to inform the relationship between the built environment and place imaginaries through removal of visuals.

Living Room (2005), Nazgol Ansarinia, (Video projection; colour; Duration: 6 min) ) is 1:1 projection of a seemingly blank wall within a domestic environment. The video reveals marks, cracks, and traces left on the wall by furniture and pictures that have been removed from the room. The work was born out of an experience that the artist had when she returned to Tehran in 2004 after few years of studying abroad. She noticed the walls of her childhood home after her family had moved out. In the Living Room the marks on the wall are no longer just marks but have become inseparable parts of the walls and carry the memory of a space once occupied and lived in.

Date Submitted: 21/11/2019

AA History and Theory Studies tutors Eleni Axioti, Nerma Cridge, William Orr, Stefan Cristian Popa, Ricardo Ruivo and Teresa Stoppani will present at the AHRA International Conference in Dundee, 21-23 November 2019.

Nerma Cridge is part of the panel on Feminist Approaches to Cities, Stefan Cristian Popa is part of the panel on Protest Transgression and Deviant Practices in Cities and Teresa Stoppani will chair Beyond History before Criticism: Architecture in (as) Conversation.

Eleni Axioti, William Orr and Ricardo Ruivo together with Charlotte Grace (CSM & Oxford Brookes) and Tilo Ahmoff (University of Brighton), will be presenting as part of panel on entitled Constructing the Collective: State Planning and the Public Sector.

The panel deals with notion of collective life, which appears today as part of a debate that, in the contemporary context of neoliberalism, prolonged austerity, and displaced populations, aims to recover a social and political engagement for architecture. The “collective” names an institutional ambiguity in architecture’s relation to the political sphere. Contributions to the panel will take up this problematic from various angles. Not only a set of critical challenges to contemporary discourse, the panel will also present historical research into tensions internal to social democratic building in the post-war era. In addition, it will suggest the difficult relationship between popular mobilisations and institutions. Overall, the panel aims to direct the discussion toward the challenges and the opportunities which can only be found within the material transformation of the collective world.

For more information visit the AHRA conference website.

Date Submitted: 21/11/2019

The anonymous competition, organised by Strelka KB on behalf of the Government of St Petersburg and endorsed by the International Union of Architects (UIA), invites both established and early career architects and landscape architects to compete for a major new park on Vatny Island overlooking the Neva River.

Judges will include city architect Vladimir Grigoriev; Russian architectural historian Boris Kirikov; Oleg Romanov, president of the St. Petersburg Union of Architects; and Martin Rein-Cano, landscape architect at Germany’s Topotek 1. Alternate jurors include Lawrence Barth, Co-Head of Housing & Urbanism at the Architectural Association, and Irene Djao-Rakitine of Paris and London-based Djao-Rakitine.

Find out more on the AJ website

Date Submitted: 21/11/2019

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 Dip 1 Unit Master), have won the Best Public Building at the Blueprint Awards for their NUS School of Design. Other finalists for the award included David Chipperfield Architects, RSHP, Zaha Hadid Architects and Stephen Holl. Find out more on the Blue Print Awards website or on the Serie Architects website


Date Submitted: 14/11/2019

Extracts from the exhibition catalogue:

Norah Aiton (1903−88) and Betty Scott (1904−83) met at the Architectural Association in 1929 and became one of the first practices of women architects in Britain. Influenced by the Dutch design school de Stijl, their approach considered modernism as a more stylistic concern. They completed a number of commissions, including a print works and private houses.

Mary Crowley (Medd) (1907−2005) trained at the Architectural Association and was influenced by Scandinavian architecture in her formative years. Working alongside her husband David Medd, her impact on school design and planning in Britain was significant, maintaining always the central idea of child-centred education. She was awarded the OBE in 1963.

Margaret Justin Blanco White (1911−2001) completed a small number of private housing projects during the 1930s following her graduation from the Architectural Association. She worked in Middlesbrough during the war as consultant on plans for the city’s redevelopment before moving to the Scottish Department of Health to research new housing types and building methods.

Beyond Bauhaus, Modernism in Britain 1933–66, Architecture Gallery, RIBA, 66 Portland Place, London, W1B 1AD, 1 October 2019 – 1 February 2020, FREE ENTRY

Find out more on the RIBA website

Beyond Bauhaus Exhibition images © Edmund Sumner

Date Submitted: 8/11/2019

The Opinion piece, entitled Fungal houses, anyone? addresses presentations by AA students and graduates which focussed on themes of population growth and impact of the built environment on the natural world. Finch writes about Bálint Bakos’ (Sustainable Environmental Design) project about the issue of population growth in Lagos, Abhinav Chaudhary, Miguel Escallon and Neil Deep Singh Grewal’s (EmTech) project about post-earthquake Kathmandu, and Ryan Cook’s (Diploma Unit 9) proposal for an Environmental Defence Agency.

Read the full piece on the Architects’ Journal website

Image: Abhinav Chaudhary, Miguel Escallon and Neil Deep Singh Grewal

Date Submitted: 7/11/2019

British curator Beatrice Galilee has launched a new architecture forum that will kick-off as a conference in New York next year, with speakers including Elizabeth Diller and Shohei Shigematsu.

The all-day series of talks, set to take place on Saturday 25 January 2020 at the Renzo Piano-designed The Times Center in New York.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro co-founder Elizabeth Diller and OMA New York's Shohei Shigematsu are among 20 speakers that Galilee has selected for the day-long event. Also on the roster are Japanese architect Junya Ishigami, MoMA's senior curator of architecture and design Paola Antonelli and Architectural Association director Eva Franch i Gilabert.

Read the full article on Dezeen

Date Submitted: 7/11/2019

The project for the Venice Biennale investigates Polish rurality, forms of dwelling, and forms of production from the past, present and future. The research aims to look at the countryside through the lens of the radical attempt of the socialist state to collectivise living and labour in the rural context during the second half of the 20th century. Moreover, problems like the regress of the post-socialist city, internal migration towards the countryside, growing spatial chaos and ongoing climate crisis make the investigation towards the countryside relevant.

Read the official announcement

Date Submitted: 7/11/2019

Eduardo Rico-Carranza (Co-Head of Landscape Urbanism) gave a lecture at IAAC as part of MaCT Theory of Cities Master Class on the 6th November. The lecture entitled “Territorial Praxis” showcased the work carried out as part of the Landscape Urbanism course as well as personal research in digital interfaces for public participation.

Find out more about Landscape Urbanism

Image: Wanxin Li and Yuxi Tong, Urban Edible Landscape, AA Landscape Urbanism

Date Submitted: 7/11/2019

Roberta Marcaccio (AA History and Theory tutor and AA alumna) with chair Judi Loach and Italian architect Angelo Lunati will reflect on Ernesto Rogers’ work and re-evaluate his role in Italian architecture and the wider context.

Ernesto Nathan Rogers is among the key figures of the modern movement in Italy. Born in Trieste and educated in Milan, Rogers was also one of the figures behind BBPR, best known for work on the Torre Velasca in the historic centre of Milan.

A controversial and seminal project of its time, Torre Velasca is a prime example of Rogers’ ability to reconcile environmental factors with historic references. While remaining true to a focus on function and modernist construction methods, the tower also refers to its historic context.

No account of Rogers’ contribution would be complete without a mention of his work as an architectural theorist and critic. His ideas, expressed in writing as much as in buildings, were central to discussions taking place in Italy and beyond during the post-war period. They were broadcast prominently through his editorship of the Casabella magazine and work as an educator.

Rogers’ work remained relevant for generations of architects to follow and is often seen as laying the groundwork for Postmodernism.

The conversation will take place on Monday 4 November at the Royal Academy. Book on the Royal Academy website

Date Submitted: 30/10/2019

Field research by Diploma Unit 18: Salvage: Exploring, Designing and Building with Reused Materials and Rotor’s research into the online directory, Opalis, which aims to facilitate the recirculation of building components, has been presented at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences during the UN SDSN Vatican Youth Symposium.

UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) mobilises global scientific and technological expertise to promote practical problem solving for sustainable development, including the design and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at local, national and global scales. The Pontifical Academy of Sciences ensures that science works to advance of the human and moral dimension of man; furthering participation in the benefits of science and technology by the greatest number of peoples while promoting education and the public’s understanding of science.

Opalis has been featured as part of the Sustainable Cities and Communities session which addressed sustainable development from an urban perspective.

AA members contributing to the Opalis project are Samuel John Little, Arvind Roy, Lydia Liu, Selin Arisal, Marion Delaporte, Sarah deVries, Chi Tou Lam, Caterina Miralles Tagliabue, Ananya Nevatia, Xuecheng Wang, Cuicheng Zhang, Sihyun Kim, Seunghun Lee, Shidi Fu, Shreya Kochatta, Sorana Mazilu, Nicole Ng, Joyce Ng, Ele Mun, Clara Schwarz, Ke Yang, Connie Lynn, Alice Nobel, Andrew Robertson and Maarten Gielen, Lionel Devlieger, Aude-Line Dulière and James Westcott. 

Find out more about Opalis and Diploma Unit 18

Image caption: Diploma Unit 18 and Opalis field research presented at the Aula Magna of the Casina Pio IV

Date Submitted: 30/10/2019

Rotor is a cooperative design practice that investigates the organisation of the material environment. Lionel Devlieger and Maarten Gielen are founding members of Rotor, Aude-Line Duliere is been part of Rotor’s development team. Together with James Westcott, they also run Diploma Unit 18: Salvage: Exploring, Designing and Building with Reused Materials.

Life under a cherry tree is Rotor’s first public exhibition in Brussels and opens on November 6th. Find out more on the La Loge website

Date Submitted: 30/10/2019

Ioana Man will run an event at the Wellcome Collection on 31 October. Microbial Space is a design drama that will take us on a microbial journey through the Reading Room at the Wellcome Collection.

The design drama uses the Reading Room as a portal into the microscopic world, where we will embark on a collaborative, performative tour across biospheres hidden in plain sight. Through the many different stories read by voices in the audience, we will uncover links between how we design, furnish and inhabit spaces - directly engaging the health of the microbiome within. We will encounter the incessant buzz of the biosphere and hear from microbes, cleaners and regulators. Together, we will make jumps across scale and species to hear the many perspectives within this more-than-human world.

Reading Room at the Wellcome Collection, 31st October, 7pm. RSVP HERE

Ioana has also been appointed as a Young Trustee at the Architecture Foundation. The Architecture Foundation has appointed six new young trustees. The new board will lead the AF Young Network organising independent events and supporting the foundation to expand its reach and develop its network of volunteers.

Read more on the Architecture Foundation website

Date Submitted: 30/10/2019

Gustav Düsing (AADipl 2011) has recently been granted a prestigious fellowship at the German Academy in Rome, Villa Massimo, which includes a 10 month stay in Rome starting next September.

Gustav’s research focus ranges from the global distribution of building materials and associated spatial, cultural and social changes, to cycles of destruction and reconstruction and the associated landscape changes using the example of rubble mountains.

Through the unique architectural and archaeological environment of Rome, Gustav will investigate the role of architecture in the transformation of the earth's surface from ancient times to the present. The main focus will be on testing and presenting spatial-structural material systems on a 1: 1 scale.

Find out more about Villa Massimo

Date Submitted: 30/10/2019


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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 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.