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The Moving to Mars exhibition at London's Design Museum, explores putting humans on the red planet as the final frontier for design. The show is structured into five parts: Imagining Mars, The Voyage, Survival, Mars Futures and Down to Earth. It explores themes including the role that design plays in keeping astronauts safe during the voyage to Mars, and what working with its limited resources could teach us about designing more sustainably on Earth.

How survival on Mars might become possible is explored through more than 200 exhibits. These consist of a combination of original artefacts from the likes of NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX, alongside new commissions and immersive installations by Konstantin Grcic and Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, AA Diploma 12 unit tutor.

Find out more on the Design Museum website

Date Submitted: 25/10/2019

Mario Cucinella architects and WASP, have begun the construction of TECLA — a prototype for a 3D-printed habitat. Currently under construction near bologna, Italy, the project responds to pressing societal issues such as exponential population increase and a lack of affordable accommodation. Created using entirely reusable, recyclable materials taken from the local terrain, TECLA is a new circular housing model described as ‘a step-change in the move towards eco-housing’.

The design was developed using research undertaken by the SOS — school of sustainability — an institution founded by Mario Cucinella. The research, conducted with the support of students from the MSc+MArch Sustainable Environmental Design Programme at the Architectural Association in London, explored the cause and effects of homelessness, based on case studies in locations with different climates. the result is a highly flexible envelope, designed to be resilient to any climate and energy-efficient in ways that traditional housing models are not. TECLA commenced printing in September 2019, and is expected to complete at the beginning of 2020.

Find out more on designboom

Date Submitted: 25/10/2019

Eleni Meladaki is an associate architect at London studio ACME. She explains her career progression and the difference between practising architecture in Greece and the UK for the Dezeen Jobs careers guide.

Meladaki's role as an associate involves running projects, preparing bids and overseeing practice-wide matters such as development opportunities.

Despite her senior role, she still has the opportunity to work on day-to-day design work and tasks: "we have a relatively flat hierarchy [at ACME], which means that I am still hands-on."

Meladaki moved to London to study at the Architectural Association, after initially completing her bachelor and masters at the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), and practising as a registered architect in Greece.

Read the interview on Dezeen

Date Submitted: 25/10/2019

Films by Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine are currently being shown at biennale’s worldwide. Bêka and Lemoine are Unit Masters with Gili Merin of the Diploma Unit 16: Homo Urbanus: Laboratory for Sensitive Observers.

The latest film by Ila Bêka & Louise Lemoine, BUTOHOUSE, is currently on show at Orléans Biennale of Architecture "Nos années de solitude" at FRAC Centre until 19/01/2020.

BUTOHOUSE is a brutalist portrait of Japanese architect-artist Keisuke Oka who has been building alone for the past 15 years his house in the center of Tokyo, just in front of a masterpiece by Kenzo Tange. Inspired by butoh dance, this concrete building follows the dynamic of an everyday total improvisation.


The long term project Homo Urbanus by Bêka & Lemoine, shot in 9 different cities (Bogotà, Saint-Petersburg, Tokyo, Kyoto, Shanghai, Doha, Rabat, Naples, Seoul), is now on show at: "Todo dia", 12th International Architecture Biennale in Sao Paolo (Brazil); "Un instant avant le monde", Biennale internationale d'art contemporain de Rabat (Morocco); "Amman Design Week" (Jordan)

Homo Urbanus is also the subject this year of Bêka & Lemoine's Diploma Unit program at the AA, within their "Laboratory for sensitive observers". More information on the unit.

Date Submitted: 17/10/2019

Nahmad-Bhooshan studio (AADRL) were invited to show their studio work into urban gamification and robotic fabrication during UK Construction Week. Their studio work was displayed as part of the construction innovation hub stand. The hot-wire cut furniture fabricated for the house display will be touring the UK for the next 3 months as part of the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE) initiative to involve young people in the design, manufacture and building of houses of the future.

Date Submitted: 16/10/2019

AA nanotourism Visiting School is exhibiting at this year’s Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019 (OAT) with case studies of nanotourism developed in three consecutive years, from 2014 to 2016, in Vitanje, Slovenia. The town of 800 inhabitants has seen a drastic increase in number of visitors since the construction of the building of KSEVT – Cultural Centre of European Space Technologies in 2012. The programme has addressed the new reality and aimed at establishing a deeper and meaningful relationship between the visitors of KSEVT and the local community of Vitanje.

AA nanotourism responded to the Triennale’s theme of ‘degrowth’ and questioned how tourism might work in a degrowth society.

Nanotourism is a creative critique of conventional tourism through design of interactive experiences. It proposes strategies for integrated tourism based around mutual interaction between providers and users.

The OAT exhibits two projects of AA nanotourism: ‘KSEVT hotel’, a site-specific experience of 3D sleeping in a precisely-engineered ‘levitation suit’, allowing individual visitors overnight stays in KSEVT suspended in mid-air. ‘Gravity: A User’s Manual’ is a wine-tasting experience based around a wearable ‘glass’ of wine, where visitors must engage themselves in a custom-designed suit through series of choreographed movements in order to air and taste the wine.

Both projects as well as an extensive catalogue of past AA nanotourism case studies are part of the main collection of ‘The Library’ at the National Museum of Architecture in Oslo and will be on show until 24th November 2019.

Find out more about the AA nanotourism Visiting School or about the Oslo Architecture Triennale 2019

Date Submitted: 11/10/2019

Led by the British Council, in partnership with ATÖLYE and Abdullah Gül University in Turkey, Bios in Greece and Nova Iskra in Serbia, Connect for Creativity announced the participants for the Art and Technology Residency Programme that will take place simultaneously in Athens, Belgrade, and Istanbul between 7 October – 16 November 2019.

The Art and Technology Residency Programme will bring together artists from Turkey, the UK, Greece, and Serbia with a focus on the intercultural collaborative experience. The resident designers for the project’s Art and Technology Residency Program was selected from a variety of disciplines such as Architecture, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Design, Literature, Music, Sound, and Video, Film, and New Media.

Held simultaneously in Athens, Belgrade, and Istanbul, the residency will host four artists in each city from the four participating countries, for a total of 12 participants in the programme. Throughout the immersive six-week programme, participants will explore how a networked culture can develop cohesion to deal with the uncertainty and change that pervades modern life.

Over 250 artists applied for the open call from a variety of disciplines Over 250 applications were assessed by the project team of representatives from the British Council, ATÖLYE, Nova Iskra, and Bios. The evaluating team shortlisted the most exceptional artists to be reviewed by the project’s UK curatorial team, Furtherfield, who then selected the 12 artists and designers from the four participating countries to be accepted to the program.

Ioana Man graduated from the AA in 2019 from Diploma Unit 12 with Inigo Minns and Manijeh Verghese. View Ioana’s final project on the Projects Review 2019 website.

Date Submitted: 11/10/2019

Hamed Khosravi, Unit Master in Diploma Unit Fluid Territories: The North Sea and Projective Cities staff, publishes multiple journals and papers with Humboldt Books, Mousse Publishing, the Journal of Architecture and Culture, and the Journal of Urban Planning.

‘Aesthetics and Politics of Logistics’ edited by Hamed Khosravi, Taneha Kuzniecow Bacchin, and Filippo LaFleur is published by Humboldt Books.

The architecture of logistics is profoundly political. It measures, maps, and modulates the terrain through its projection of power-relations onto the topography. It creates spatial networks that are constituted through the circulation of capital and calibrated to meet the requirements for security and risk management. Such a direct translation of risk factors and economic values into a spatial configuration inevitably produces a territory that is alienated from both the natural topography and forms of labour. The book is an inquiry into the nature of changing paradigms in logistics. It aims to offer a cross-disciplinary platform for an exchange of ideas among artists, architects, historians, philosophers, engineers, and planners. We believe that it is only through cultivating a common imaginary that we will be able to know, resist, and effectively work against and from within the logistical system that shapes our lives, territories, and cities.


‘Tehran’ by Hamed Khosravi and Giovanna Silva is published by Mousse Publishing.

In 2018, Italian photographer Giovanna Silva photographed the streets of Tehran and collected archival documents from the infamous American embassy in the capital of the Islamic Republic. The image-based work is part of a multi-layered narrative that encounters the words of architect, researcher and educator Hamed Khosravi. His contribution to the book is part of an ongoing research on social movements and their relationship with architecture. He traces the historical relevance of writer Maryam Firouz, architect Noureddin Kianouri, and their involvement in the progressive journal Bidari-e Ma (Our Awakening).


The paper ‘Sealand and the Architecture of the Sea: From Counter-Space to Counter-Culture’ by Hamed Khosravi is published in the Journal of Architecture and Culture.

Focusing on the small state of Sealand, a platform built off the English Essex coast to carry anti-aircraft guns during the Second World War, this article posits the North Sea as a particular geopolitical condition based on its status as a “state of exception.” The article formulates its reading by considering the architectural legacy of the pirates, privateers and hackers who have been the principle rulers of the terrain. Their spatial strategies are understood not only in terms of physical constructions that accommodate exceptional functions, but also as a conceptual apparatus that facilitates extraterritorial juridical practices. The spatio-juridical characteristics of the “architecture of the sea” are seen to offer new possibilities for ordering the distribution of goods, capital and information, and for alternative forms of living.


The paper ‘CIAM Goes East: The Inception of Tehran’s Typical Housing Unit’ is published in the Journal of Urban Planning.

The aftermath of WWII not only marked the beginning of a new geopolitical order but also once again brought discourses of architecture and planning back to the frontline of the confrontations between the West and the Soviet blocs. Although the immediate need for post-war reconstruction left almost no time for contextual theoretical development in architectural and planning principles, the “occupied” and “liberated” territories became laboratories in which the new concepts of urban form, domestic architecture, and forms of life were tested. During 1945–1967 Tehran became one these experimental grounds in which these planning principles were tested and implemented; a battleground where the socialist and the capitalist ideologies met. The key to this urban development project was an ideologically charged repercussion of the CIAM (Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne) discourse, specifically on Existenzminimum (1929) and Rationelle Bebauungsweisen (1930). While the CIAM’s agenda had already found its way to Iran through one of its founding members, Gabriel Guevrekian, it became operative through the activities of the Association of Iranian Architects who were in charge of major housing developments in Tehran since 1945. Thus, CIAM guidelines were translated into building codes, regulations, and protocols that had the fundamental role in shaping the Middle East’s first modern metropolis. New housing models were developed and proposed by the Association of Iranian Architects that cut ties with the traditional typologies and proposed a radically new urban form, architecture, and forms of life. This project at large, of course, was not politically neutral. This article reviews the role of two protagonists in introducing and revisiting the CIAM discourse in shaping the post-war neighbourhoods and housing typologies in Tehran.

Date Submitted: 11/10/2019

AA alumni Maria Radjenovic (AADipl2015), Eleni Tzavellou Gavala (AADipl(Hons)2015) and Fortuné Penniman (AADipl(Hons)2015), in collaboration with Hatem Hatem, made the final shortlist in the open call competition for the National Pavilion of the United Arab Emirates at the Venice Biennale.

Their submitted project re-evaluated the coastal architecture of the UAE through an environmental lens. Redirecting the focus from narratives of sensational development in the Gulf: beyond the 70 years of city-building towards the 7000 years of landscape-shifting. To contextualise change and the nation’s coexistence with its environment it suggests to return to and learn from the inter-tidal buffer-zone between sand and sea, the salt-flats that predate nationhood, the Sabkha.

Find out more about their project on the Sabkha Project website or about the announcement of finalists for the UAE pavilion on e-flux.

Date Submitted: 11/10/2019

Maria Cheung, who graduated from the Diploma Programme in 2001, has spoken to Dezeen about her path to becoming the head of interior design at Squire and Partners for the Dezeen Jobs careers guide.

Maria studied under Shin Egashira and David Greene in her fourth year at the AA, and under Mark Prizeman, Peter Thomas and Kevin Shepherd in her fifth year. She set up practice almost immediately after graduating, which she led for six years before going to work at Squire and Partners.

Read the full interview on the Dezeen website.

Date Submitted: 11/10/2019

Neri Oxman who studied in the Diploma Programme at the AA from 2002 to 2004 has been featured in the second series of Netflix’s Abstract: The Art of Design. The second episode, Neri Oxman: Bio-Architecture, shows Neri’s work as being at the intersection of art, design and biology. Neri currently heads the Mediated Matter Group, one of the best-known departments at MIT Media Lab.

Find out more on the Dezeen website

Image: Neri Oxman, 2002-2003, Diploma Unit 4 with Ludo Grooteman and Michael Hensel

Date Submitted: 11/10/2019

The RIBA Wren Insurance Association Scholarships were established in March 2013 following a donation by The Wren Insurance Association Limited.

The scholarships aim to support outstanding Part 2 students who have the potential to make a significant contribution in the field of architecture. Recipients receive £6,000 each and the opportunity to be mentored by an architect member of the Wren.

The 2019 scholars are: Shawn Adams – Royal College of Art; Laura Keay – The Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL; Dor Schindler – Architectural Association School of Architecture; Declan Wagstaff – University of Edinburgh; Rosa Whiteley – Royal College of Art

The 2019 judging panel consisted of: Aleksandrina Rizova (ALEKSA studio), Nicholas Szczepaniak (Nicholas Szczepaniak Architects), David Hills (DSDHA), Suzette Vela Burkett (Aukett Swanke), and David Gloster (Director of Education at the RIBA).

Find out more on the RIBA website

Image: No ball games, 4th Year Diploma Project, under Shin Egashira

Date Submitted: 2/10/2019

Lara Lesmes and Fredrik Hellberg (AA Unit Masters and directors of Space Popular) have recently opened Gate of Bright Lights at Deoksugung Palace in Seoul, South Korea, as part of the exhibition Architecture and Heritage: Unearthing Future presented by the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. The Gate of Bright Lights is a site specific video installation exploring how digital interfaces have replaced physical elements –such as doors and walls– as the portals between us and what we desire. The exhibition is open until 5th of April 2020.

Find out more about the exhibition on the National Museum of Contemporary Art website

Lesmes and Hellberg have also unveiled The Venn Room as one of eight exhibitors of Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2019. The Venn Room depicts a series of possible scenarios of cohabitation in which issues of integration, interface, exposure, overlap, representation, storage and ownership in the augmented future for our domestic environments are put into perspective through everyday narratives. The Biennale, entitled “Beauty Matters” is curated by Yael Reisner and is open until the 17th of November 2019.

Find out more about the Tallinn Architecture Biennale 2019

Find out more about Space Popular or the Diploma Unit, The Civic Programme, that Lara and Fredrik are teaching at the AA this year.

Date Submitted: 2/10/2019

A section of work from 2018–19 Diploma Unit 18 Opalis, Developing the Market for Second Hand Building Components in the UK, taught by Lionel Devlieger, Maarten Gielen and Aude-Line Duliere, has been included in the 'Beazley Designs of the Year 2019' exhibition at the London Design Museum. Opalis is an online directory for contactors, architects and owners who wish to source reusable building materials.

In the same year that RIBA declared a climate emergency, it was announced that the production of cement for use in construction and infrastructure works was responsible for up to eight per cent of global of CO2 emissions.

Rotor identified a gap in the market for a bridge between second-hand dealers of building materials or scrap merchants and the architects or contractors who could use those materials to reduce costs and carbon emissions in their projects.

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 Salvage: Exploring, Designing and Building with Reused Materials at the AA.  Read more about the unit brief.

Find out more about Opalis in the Beazley Designs of the Year exhibition on the London Design Museum website

Date Submitted: 2/10/2019

Artist Carey Young has chosen 19 artists for Bow Arts’ annual Open Show, with a call for works that respond to “our current political moment”.

Choosing from some of the charity’s near 500 studio holders, many of whom are showing new pieces, the result is a selection of works which engage with varied political themes including migration, gender identity, borders and climate change; poignantly and critically addressing some of today’s most pressing cultural conversations. Young, whose own practice has developed from a cross-fertilisation of disciplines including law, politics and business, has selected work that explores these themes in varied and often witty ways, including painting, ceramic, print, moving image and installation.

The Bow Open Show is the only exhibition in the Nunnery’s programme to present Bow Arts studio artists exclusively, and is highly anticipated for presenting some of London’s most exciting recent artwork.

Exhibiting artists: Miraj Ahmed, Helen Bermingham, Victoria Burgher, Bernie Clarkson, Hun Kyu Kim, Minjoo Kim, Robyn Litchfield, Anita McCullough, Lindsey McLean, Melitta Nemeth, Marcus Orlandi, Kaveh Ossia, Sam Parsons, Lorna Pridmore, Almudena Romero, Nye Thompson, Antonietta Torsiello, Tai Tran and Fleur Yearsley.

The exhibition is open from 27 September – 15 December 2019 at Nunnery Gallery 181 Bow Road, London E3 2SJ. The private view is on Thursday 26 September from 6pm - 9pm. RSVP or find out more on the Nunnery Gallery website.  


Date Submitted: 25/9/2019


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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.