AArchicture Call for Submissions

Published every term, AArchitecture journal is edited by and written for the AA Community. It interprets the different roles that research plays within architectural discourse.

Issue 37 seeks both written and visual material on the theme of recognition. Submit by Sunday 14 April to aarchitecture@aaschool.ac.uk

Date Submitted: 20/3/2019

TDAP Update to the School Community

At Eva’s State of the Association address last week she mentioned that we were preparing a short update for all of you on our Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) application. So here we go:

  • The AA submitted an application for TDAP to the Privy Council on 29th July 2015 and a decision on that application will be taken by the QAA’s Advisory Committee for Degree Awarding Powers (ACDAP) at their meeting on 9th May 2019. If successful, it is anticipated that the decision will be included on a Privy Council agenda before December 2019 for ratification of the Award.
  • Our final stages of preparation included a submission of evidence on 14th December 2018 and a Post-TDAP scenarios paper (focused on possible outcomes of the ACDAP decision, their implications, and recommended ways forward) that was presented to the School’s joint Academic Board and Academic Committee meeting on 28th November 2018 and to the AA Council AGM/OGM meeting on 21st January 2019. Its key contents include:
  • AA AS A TDAP INSTITUTION
    • Immediate Benefits
      • Strengthening the AA’s academic independence within the frameworks set by the Office for Students (OfS) and the QAA in their regulatory roles.
      • Being able to award UK government recognised academic degrees, which it is hoped to be at the end of the 2019/20 academic year.
      • Parity between AA students and those of other UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), including parity with Tier 4 visas rights.
      • Re-opening the AA's Foundation Course to international applicants as it will satisfy the condition of being an accredited offering.
      • Enabling internal management of our entire taught academic provision according to the School’s own academic regulations, policies and codes of practice.
    • Student-specific Benefits
      • All students: Greater ease when qualifying/validating their academic qualifications (including exit awards) internationally and demonstrating academic progression when applying for postgraduate courses.
      • Home and EU students: Continued access to student loans from the UK government.
      • International students: Permission to undertake work during studies and vacation periods; permission to sponsor dependents; greater access to international scholarships/loans; equal recognition with all UK university degree awards.
    •  Immediate Actions
      • To consolidate the existing provision by validating the Foundation Certificate, BA (Hons) and MArch degrees in time for graduating students in 2019/20 and to align with applications for the 2020/21 admissions cycle.
  • FAQs

    Q: Can TDAP be retrospective?
    A: Typically, Degree Awarding Powers are not issued retrospectively.

    Q: What will happen to the AA Diploma if we give out other qualifications?
    A: Instead of being only an internally recognised award, the AA Diploma will become an internationally-recognised and validated award (MArch).

    Q: What if the AA does not get TDAP?
    A: The immediate concerns are to consider the impact on 2020-2025 Strategic Plan; assess impact on student recruitment and financial management; address questions over the future regulation of private providers of higher education; and to consider the existing AA-OU partnership.

    Q: Will the AA be able to issue degree awards in any subject area?
    A: Yes. With the AA’s TDAP application there is no restriction of any future degree areas provided that we maintain robust validating and monitoring processes for all courses.

    Q: What have been the changes at the AA as a result of this process?
    A: The AA has established a robust academic and corporate governance structure with clear protocols, methods and procedures in line with UK HEI standards. This has involved producing essential documents, committees and practices for developing and delivering a more effective and higher-quality education. Along these lines, the AA is already considering the necessary steps to apply for Research Degree Awarding Powers (RDAP).

Our energies continue to be focused on a successful TDAP outcome and the implementation of all the opportunities that success in this process will bring to the AA. We’ll be back in touch as soon as we receive any further news. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Christopher Pierce, QA Facilitator, directly if you have any questions connected to TDAP. 

Watch the School Director's State of the Association presentation

Date Submitted: 5/3/2019

2019/20 AA Bursary Application Forms

Eligible students can sign up for a bursary application form from Sabrina Blakstad (36 Bedford Sq, 2nd floor) from Monday 4 March. Completed applications must be returned by the deadline:

1pm (GMT) Friday 17 May 2019. The following AA students are eligible to apply:

 

·         Current registered/year out Undergraduate students

·         Current PhD students who will be registered in the 2nd or 3rd Year in 2019/20 of their fulltime studies at full tuition fee rate

·         MPhil Projective Cities Year 2 students in 2019/20

 

The AA Bursary would be awarded on the understanding that the student is not in receipt of any other very substantial additional award. An AA Bursary is not deferrable.

 

Date Submitted: 28/2/2019

Library Week 11 and Easter Vacation Opening Hours

WEEK 11 LIBRARY OPENING HOURS

Monday 18 March to Thursday 21 March : open 10-9pm

Friday 22 March, Saturday 23 March, Sunday 24 March : open 10-6pm

 

EASTER VACATION LIBRARY OPENING HOURS / PROGRAMME BOOK LOANS

Monday 25 March to Wednesday 3 April: open daily 10-6pm

Programme book borrowing from 10am Thursday 28 March in person at the issue desk. Programme books must be returned by 12midday on Tuesday 23 April

AA Closure Thursday 4 April to Monday 22 April inclusive

Normal term-time hours resume Tuesday 23 April:

Monday to Friday 10-9pm, Saturday and Sunday 10-6pm

Date Submitted: 26/2/2019

Library closes 1-2pm on Friday 22 February

The library will close 1-2pm on Friday 22 February for the Director’s Annual Presentation to the School.

Date Submitted: 19/2/2019

State of the Association, 2019 – School Director's 2019 School Meeting

Friday 22 February, 13.00

Lecture Hall

All students and staff are invited to Eva Franch i Gilabert's mid-year 'State of the Association' presentation, made annually to the entire school. 

It will be relayed to the Barrel Vault, the Dining Room and live streamed to Hooke Park.  All members of the School Community are encouraged to attend. 


Please note - there should be no teaching whilst the presentation is in progress.  

Date Submitted: 19/2/2019

Workshop Assembly Room now open

The 'Workshop Assembly Room' is located in what was the old DPL space. It is now officially open for model making and fabrication work. 

Opening times.

Monday* 10:00 - 18:00 

Tuesday* 10:00 - 21:00

Wednesday* 10:00 - 21:00

Thursday* 10:00 - 21:00

Friday* 10:00 - 18:00 

Saturday* 10:00 - 17:00 

*closed 13:00–14:00 

Sunday closed all day

Date Submitted: 25/1/2019

AA Library is now open on Sundays

The Library has extended its opening hours and is now open on Sundays from 10:00-18:00.

The new term-time opening hours are:

Mon - Fri: 10:00 - 21:00 

Sat - Sun: 10:00 - 18:00

Date Submitted: 14/1/2019

DRL Phase II MArch Final Jury

Join us for the DRL reviews at the Lecture Hall on Thursday and Friday, January 10th-11th from 10am to 6pm. To view the recorded reviews next week sign up to receive your password.

Date Submitted: 10/1/2019

Info about School openings...

‘Tis with the spirit of Christmas we write to inform you that all of your student wishes are about to come true…

The AA Dining is now open as a working space between the hours of 12.15-10pm.  Don’t all rush at once but apparently it has great WIFI, heating and of course the ONLY microwave in the school. It’s quite an elderly machine but is due to be upgraded – it’s usage comes with a caveat - no glue, wax, tinfoil (etc) or non edible models.  They are hard to digest and will ruin the microwave.  There will be also be a 5 minute timer installed to stop people incinerating their food and themselves.  Can we also remind you that the floor and table tops are not receptacles for rubbish - there are bins for that purpose and that no glue and paint spray, or cutters – except for food- are to be employed in the area.  This is happening on a trial basis so treat the tables and the microwave with respect and there will be permanent access to one of the most desirable spaces in the AA.(nb The AA Dining Room has just made it to a book of unusual bars and restaurants of London ….  ) As if that weren’t enough for you the AA Bar is now offering decaf coffee, new wines and a machine accepting payment by credit and debit card.

And to top all of the exciting news above off - an absolute cherry on the cake - the AA Library will also be opening for the first time on Sundays from January 13th.  Hours will be 10-6pm.  Pinch yourselves it’s all true. 

Date Submitted: 14/12/2018

AA WINTER CLOSURE

The AA school premises will be closed from Saturday 15th December 2018 to Tuesday 1st January 2019 (Inclusive).

Term 2 will start on Monday 7th January 2019.

Date Submitted: 14/12/2018

2019 Michael Ventris Award for Architecture

The trustees of the Michael Ventris Memorial Fund would like to invite applications for the 2019 Michael Ventris Award for Architecture. One award in the field of architecture (for the amount of £2,500) will be given to a small, independent project with a clear outcome whose contribution to the field should be characterised by uniqueness and innovation for the field of architecture.

 

The Fund was set in 1956 in the memory of Michael Ventris – an AA graduate – who became world famous for deciphering the ancient Greek script of Linear B. Anyone from the field of architecture is eligible to apply (applicants may have first degree in architecture or subject related to project, and the award is open applicants from all countries). The award is intended to support an independent project rather than a continuing programme of study.

 

The project submitted for the award should be accompanied with a specific brief, an analysis of the expenses, and a clear objective (outcome, media, etc.) and they should also demonstrate what their contribution to the field of architecture would be. All applications should be in PDF format and must not exceed six single-sided A4 pages. In addition, two reference letters supporting the application should be sent directly from the referees.

 

Please email the application, with Michael Ventris Application in the subject line, to Roberta Jenkins: directorsoffice@aaschool.ac.uk by Friday, 1st March 2019. Applications received after this date will not be considered.

 

For further information, please contact Manolis Stavrakakis, AA Ph.D., recipient of the Michael Ventris Award for Architecture, 2011, and the academic coordinator of the award on behalf of the AA via email: stavrakakis@aaschool.ac.uk

 

 

The awards are made by a panel under the auspices of the Trustees of the Michael Ventris Awards in conjunction with the Architectural Association. Payment of awards will be made in a single instalment, payable after the announcement of the award (June 2019), and successful candidates will be required to submit a written report to the Advisory Committee on the work that the Award has enabled him/her to complete by 1st March 2020. The recipient may also be invited to make a public presentation of the results at the Architectural Association School of Architecture.

 

Date Submitted: 30/11/2018

Week 12 and Christmas Vacation Library Opening Hours / Programme Book Loans

Monday 10 December to Thursday 13 December: OPEN 10am-9pm

Friday 14 December: OPEN 10am-6pm

AA Closure: Saturday 15 December to Tuesday 1 January inclusive.

Wednesday 2 January to Saturday 5 January: OPEN 10am-6pm

Normal term-time hours resume Monday 7 January

Programme Books can be borrowed over the Christmas vacation from 10am Thursday 13 December

In person at the issue desk.    All programme books must be returned by 12midday Monday 7 January.

Date Submitted: 26/11/2018

Library closes at 5pm on Saturday 17 November

On Saturday 17 November, the library will be open 10-5pm, closing at 5pm for preparations for an AA event.

Date Submitted: 12/11/2018
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Welcome to 2019-20

Dear School Community,

The Architectural Association is a place where we forget our labels as architects, as artists, as economists, as writers, as poets, and we become citizens of the world – a world that we believe we can change, transform into something other, more interesting, more radical, more free, more equal, more us. The new academic year brings a series of important conversations to the forefront of architectural education and contemporary culture through new and familiar voices and projects. There are urgent tasks at hand. Our programmes throughout the school have accepted the challenge to address issues of climate and ethics. As architects we always speak on behalf of the other, but we also need to constantly ask ourselves, who has the right to speak, and on behalf of whom? How am I affecting the environment with my actions? How can I care more about others? 

This year I invite us all to practice radical empathy, to care about the planet, the other and the future. To listen, to ask, to share, to discuss, to debate, but ultimately to care. 

Like every year, new appointments and initiatives will expand both our academic and institutional horizons. Academic voices joining us are: filmmakers Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine, whose work focuses on experimental narratives and cinematographic forms in relation to contemporary architecture and the urban environment; Berlin-based architect Sam Chermayeff (AA Alumni), founder of the practice June 14; Didier Fiúza Faustino (AA Tutor 2010-16), an architect and artist working on the relationship between the body and space; Gabu Heindl, an architect and urban planner who is the head of GABU Heindl Architektur in Vienna, an interdisciplinary studio specialising in public interventions, cultural and social buildings; David Kohn, London-based architect and founder of David Kohn Architects working internationally on arts, education and residential projects; Viviana Muscettola, an associate director at Zaha Hadid Architects and an executive member of the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat; OMMX, a London-based practice led by Hikaru Nissanke and Jon Lopez; OFIS, an international architecture office based in Ljubljana and led by Špela Videčnik and Rok Oman (both AA Alumni); Superpool, an international research-based architecture practice located in Istanbul and led by Selva Gürdoğan and Gregers Tang Thomsen; and Bostjan Vuga (AA Alumni), architect and founder of SADAR+VUGA. Other people joining us include Eleanor Dodman, Liza Fior, Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg, Lizy Huyghe, Guan Lee,  Melodie Leung, Gili Merin, Ivan Morrison, Anna Muzychak, Bushra Mohamed, Jonathan Robinson, Alvaro Velasco Perez and James Westcott. This diversity of new voices, will add to the units and programmes and will continue the multiplicity of agendas that the AA is known for. 

Every course, programme and unit throughout the school operates under a highly specific and idiosyncratic methodology, which offers every student a myriad of options and possibilities. More about the overall academic offerings can be found here. More about Experimental Programme units and staff can be found here; Diploma Programme units and staff can be found here and information about the unit selection process can be found here.

After more than a decade at the helm of the PhD Programme, Simos Yannas has stepped away to focus on the Sustainability and Environmental Design (SED) Programme that he leads at the school. The new Head of the PhD Programme, Pier Vittorio Aureli will shape the programme in the years to come. Elif Erdine will be the new Head of Emergent Technologies and Design (EmTech) after Mike Weinstock stepped down; however, he will continue to teach within the programme as Founding Director. 

Print Studio is transforming with a new Head of Publications, Maria S. Giudici who will – in addition to being the editor of AA Files – oversee new publications that continue to position the AA at the forefront of critical discussions through printed matter. Ryan Dillon is our new Head of Academic Communications, and will edit the annual AA Book, lead the relaunch of the AA Radio/Podcast, and oversee the content of the new website amongst other platforms to enable and facilitate all imaginable forms of communication and engagement within the AA School Community. In addition, Rory Sherlock, is joining us as Assistant Editor. 

These new voices join our renowned academic and administrative staff, who together, will surely provide for relevant discussions and debates throughout the entire school as we continue our journey into the future. As part of this, and our continued commitment to achieving Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) (a final decision on our application is expected this autumn), we have gone through a process of internal validation, adjusting nomenclature to reflect who we are and what we do, and to make sure our programmes maintain their identity. Former Complementary Studies is now Core Studies; Technical Studies is now Environmental and Technical Studies (ETS), Media Studies is now Communication and Media Studies (CMS), First Year and Intermediate School (years 2-3) is now the Experimental Programme, and Diploma School (years 4-5) is now the Diploma Programme.

The AA is committed to experimental methods in teaching and learning and this can be seen in the many initiatives being launched. In Term 3 Speculative Studies, a series of interdisciplinary seminars over five weeks, will present courses on politics, law, philosophy, ethics, art history, poetry, dance, gastronomy, social technology and microbiology. Other topics and courses will be added from proposals put forward by students in an Open Forum to be held in Term 1. These courses will introduce new areas of expertise and methodologies to our collective culture.

A four-day symposium titled Experimental Methods will bring our community together for a discussion and debate on what experimentation is and can be at the AA, which will take place during Open Week in both Terms 1 and 2. Tutors from across the school will lecture on their particular academic approach as well as their own professional practice and research. Each day will end with a keynote speaker and a round table discussion, and the week will culminate with an Open Jury in which students can present their work to a panel of invited critics. 

For the first time in the history of the school, Diploma students and Postgraduate students will be able to take joint classes as part of an expanded pool of Electives. These advanced seminars will be provided by our ten Postgraduate Programmes in areas of technology, criticism, sustainability, material culture, computation and more, allowing us to push the boundaries of architectural education and to have more dialogue across all parts of the school.  

This year we will continue with the Open Seminars; on Mondays, Plan the Planet, brings together experts across different disciplines to discuss the current ecological crisis in order to articulate new strategies, policies, relationships and spaces; on Tuesdays, Evidentiary Aesthetics investigates the technologies and politics of the body; and on Wednesdays, we will be able to study the Origins of Capitalist Urban Space.

Throughout the year, the Directions Series offers an open forum for conversations between AA Students, Academic and Administrative Staff and the AA Director. These events offer a platform to communicate and discuss the direction of the school. The first event of the Directions Series will take place on Monday 30 September at 7pm in the Lecture Hall when we can start raising questions and propose new agendas as we all work towards our future and jointly develop the AA 2020-25 Strategic Plan.

To broaden and strengthen our academic resources additional initiatives have been set up. The new Writing Centre aims to assist students with their essays and written work; the Student Care Centre is to provide mental health support; and the Student Affairs Office will provide students with logistical support during their time here at the AA, and advice in career placement and work opportunities in London and around the world for their year out and after graduation. 

To conclude the academic year we aim to introduce a new way of transmitting and disseminating the work of our fifth year students at the AA Forum/Final Presentation. Over two days after tables, all graduating students will present their project in an open format to a wide group of tutors, guest jurors, curators, press, friends and colleagues, making their last presentation at the AA a real moment for celebration and dialogue. The AA Forum/Final Presentation will be open to all students to attend, and will take place in any imaginable space throughout the school. 

This autumn we launch the AA Residence, a cultural platform exploring and studying new ideas and forms of practice at the intersection of architecture, art, technology, policy and design. It is composed of a series of independent labs that consist of an interdisciplinary cohort of resident fellows including architects, artists, policy makers, engineers, scientists and creative entrepreneurs that are all researching and producing experimental work. The AA Residence will work as an incubator in a shared workspace and professional development programme, providing architects and entrepreneurs the tools required to build new practices and initiate projects that impact, promote and amplify culture, and contribute to the re-imagination of the future. The 2019-20 labs will be announced in October. 

Last year’s Projects Review 2019 was produced with the goal to achieve zero waste, and has left us with some new pieces of furniture that we hope to enjoy throughout the year. As part of this exhibition, the first edition of the Press and Practices Preview took place the day before the opening, and proved to be a success. Fifth year students and those with scholarships and bursaries had the opportunity to explain their unit agendas and project aims to invited guests. They did this alongside volunteers who provided an introduction to the sometimes complex issues that the school and its programmes address. Thank you to all tutors, students and volunteers that committed time to this effort. The Projects Review exhibition received great press coverage and many positive responses. To continue this momentum the AA Book, together with a series of podcasts with staff and students, will be launched in the autumn.

Over the last year we have recognised and celebrated the amazing diversity of the Architectural Association, that consists of students and staff from 81 different nationalities. In an attempt to build on this great cultural resource we will launch Architecture in Translation, a project that celebrates the wealth embedded in the use of different languages as part of the production and dissemination of ideas, discourse and debate about architecture. This project will work across many areas within the school. Within HTS, Mark Cousins has produced a series of seminars that will explore the theoretical questions and opportunities of translation in architecture. In addition to this, juries in different languages will take place throughout the year and will be used to identify terms, concepts and values inherent to different linguistic and cultural contexts in order to produce a ‘multilingual dictionary of architectural terms’ for the twenty-first century. 

Last but not least, to start the year, a different kind of tradition is being introduced entitled, Plant a Tree, which will take place during Introduction Week and invites all new students and staff to Hooke Park, the AA rural campus in Dorset. While on-site, we will learn about the facilities and then ceremonially, each and every one of the 300 new voices joining the school, will plant a tree to contribute to the forest, offset carbon emissions, and take part in a dialogue of ideas about the future as responsible members of the AA and of this planet. Plant a Tree is more than a symbolic act, it is the commitment to a future that is ours to build.

As new and returning students and staff wander throughout the school, its spaces and places and within the corridors that build our intellectual home, you will find on the walls images of projects that each of the 779 students of the last academic year produced. With these drawings up on the walls, now is the time for identifying new debates and engagements. For those knocking on my door, and I encourage all of you to do so, you will see next to the Expanding Horizons poster – in a circular frame – what I suspect will be the most important image for many of you this year: this is of course an invitation to visit and share some of your ideas. 

I am looking forward to seeing all of you during Introduction Week and throughout the year ahead to discuss in detail the initiatives outlined above, and the ones that we will create together.

 

Yours,

Eva Franch i Gilabert
Director
AA School of Architecture

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