Save the Monument

Today, on the 5th of July 2017, Sofia Municipality has begun the destruction of an emblematic late socialist monument in the centre of Bulgaria's capital. Turns out that 30 years after the fall of communism, politicians can still attack art for popularity and political PR. Help us bring this problem outside of our country. We believe this monument, controversial as it is, is unique not only on a national, but also on a global scale. 

The formal reason for dismantling the monument are repairs of the National Palace of Culture in Sofia and its surrounding public areas which will be the seat of Bulgaria’s first Presidency of the Council of EU starting in January 2018. Artistic and experts’ organizations in Bulgaria have reacted strongly against, however, their voice has been ignored. Until this moment there is no specific project what will replace the monument.

The monument was built in 1981 to celebrate 1300 years of the foundation of the Bulgarian State. Its sculptor is professor Valentin Startchev. The monument was planned as part of the urban ensemble including the National Palace of Culture and is a peculiar part-brutalist part-deconstructivist structure, lacking in fact any communist symbols. An aesthetically bold composition, it has been marked with almost general public disapproval both before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall (1989). It is usually defined as “ugly”, mostly due to its visual abstractness and the quick disintegration for lack of municipal care.Yet it’s current state of half-decay makes it even more interesting as a symbol of our turbulent post-socialist history. 

We want to show the reality in our country and ask the world for help to stop this demolition. Coming soon is a documentary film about the whole history of the monument and it's current state of being. If you need any more information, please, do not hesitate to contact us. Help us by supporting our cause to prove that art is stronger than politics.

Date Submitted: 5/7/2017

AA Members discount available for the BFI's 'Architecture on TV' Series: 8 - 26 June 2017

AA Members and Students can enjoy exclusive BFI Members' rates on tickets to the BFI's This Was Tomorrow: Broadcasting the arts - Architecture on TV June series.

Simply quote ARCHITECTURE17 when booking.

This instalment of Broadcasting the Arts explores the rise and fall of Britain’s post-war spatial imagination, as seen through the BFI’s television archive. It features films that document the lost futures of the 1960s, critique the vilification of modernist tower blocks, and draw intimate portraits of the key thinkers, designers and writers that have shaped our experience of cities. The season reveals contrasting sides of the same story: it celebrates the experimental spirit and ambition behind the modern movement, and considers its reverse – the contested legacy of postwar city planning and the people who were left behind. This is an investigation into visionaries and their interpreters, from principle figures of the architectural modernism like Le Corbusier and Buckminster Fuller, to its most imaginative critics: Jonathan Meades, Stuart Hall and John Berger.

Date Submitted: 7/6/2017

The WCCA Drawing Prize 2017, The Jonathan and Victoria Ball Award 
Closing Date 16th June 2017 @ 5pm

The Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects is offering drawing prizes to students from the London Schools of Architecture. The aim is to encourage excellence in traditional drawing, but computer generated images will also be considered.
Schools are invited to submit one drawing for RIBA Part 1 and one for RIBA Part 2. The first prize is £300, with a runner up of £150, in each category.

Drawings should be reduced to A3 and mounted on foam board and submitted with a brief description of the project or existing building/location, as well as a note on the media used, on A4 paper and a PDF copy of the drawing on CD or memory stick, which can be returned.The student’s details, including home address and e-mail address, printed on School headed paper, should be placed in a sealed envelope, labeled Part 1 or Part 2, to be taped, firmly, to the back of the board.  

NB: There should be no indication of the student identity or school on the outside of the envelope or on the drawing itself.

Submission: To the Director’s Office.

Closing Date: Friday, 16th June 2017 @ 5pm 

Exhibition:  All entries will be exhibited at the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects’ Election Court Dinner at RIBA Headquarters, 66 Portland Place on 5th July 2017

John Bushell:
Hannah Probert:

Date Submitted: 30/5/2017

Volunteers needed for Beyond Borders exhibition as part of the London Festival of Architecture 2017

Dates: 7 June - 25 June
Location: 53-55 East Street
Contact: Eira Szadurski / 020 7307 3694

Currently looking for a small team of enthusiastic volunteers to help look after our Beyond Borders exhibition at East Street, Elephant and Castle as part of the London Architecture Festival during June 2017. We are seeking friendly and approachable people to welcome visitors and answer general enquiries, help to provide security for the installation during opening hours and record visitor numbers and feedback. Volunteer expenses will be reimbursed up to £10.00 per day and we are looking for volunteers to join on a sign-up basis, depending on their availability.

The exhibition includes works by large to small practices and students, responding to ideas of how architecture can stretch Beyond Borders. 

If you enjoy interacting with public, work well as part of the team and have passion for architecture please send a short CV and covering note, outlining why you are interesting in volunteering with us and your availability to Eira Szadurski before Tuesday 30 May.

We will hold an introductory briefing meeting on Friday 2 June at the RIBA, 66 Portland Place, W1B 1AD

Date Submitted: 25/5/2017



Monday 26 June – Friday 28 July : open 10-6 Mon-Sat
Closed Saturday 29 July – Monday 28 August inclusive
Tuesday 29 August – Saturday 23 September : open 10-6 Mon – Sat
Normal term-time hours resume from Monday 25 September
M-F 10-9, Saturday 10-6

The Photo Library and Cinema may not be useable at times this summer because of noise from building works.

Closed from the Wednesday 26 July - Monday 23 September

Date Submitted: 22/5/2017

The Roca One Day Design Challenge

One Day Design Challenge is Roca's design competition that will take place at it's flagship showroom in Roca London Gallery on 17th June 2017. 

The design brief of the competition will be announced the same day, and the contestants will have until 4.30pm to submit theirs designs. The registration is open for students and professionals under 30 years old. 

Participants can win three prizes worth up to £2,000 and their designs will be seen by a prestigious jury of leading architects and designers. Woody Yao (Director Zaha Hadid Design), Sam Jacob (Director, Sam Jacob Studio Ltd) and Yasuyuki Sakurai and Risa Sano from Mentsen will critique all work entered and select three winners. 

Please see website for further details: 

Date Submitted: 17/5/2017

Bamboo U: Build and Design Course, Bali: June 02 - 13 


The Kul Kul Farm

The Kul Kul Farm at Green School Bali

The Kul Kul Farm, Jalan Raya Sibang Kaja, Banjar Saren, Abiansemal, Sibang Kaja, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80352

BambooU(niversity) was an idea originally conceived to help teach professionals about the potential of bamboo as a green building material. In its current form it is a design and bamboo building workshop in Bali hosted by the Kul Kul Farm at the Green School; facilitated in collaboration with the bamboo design firm, IBUKU. Bamboo U is a unique opportunity to design and build with bamboo alongside some of the architects, designers and craftsmen who built Green School. The group will investigate the available sites and hear from Elora Hardy and her team at IBUKU, the design firm that designed many of the classrooms at Green School and all the houses at Green Village, and benefit from honoured guest, master builder and carpenter Jorg Stamm.

Participants will engage in a series of on-site workshops and the group will experience first-hand the potential of bamboo. A couple of days will be spent modeling and the bulk remainder of the time will be given over to building 1:1 structures with guidance from skilled local craftsman. Interspersed will be talks/discussions about the approach to sustainability by the Bamboo U team and guest bamboo experts from different parts of the world. Participants will leave with an expanded, cutting edge view of bamboo architecture. They will understand the life cycle of bamboo from being a seedling to a home, and will gain key insights into the gifts and challenges of what it takes to build in bamboo. Finally participants will have the opportunity to contribute to the expansion of Bamboo U.

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed
• Engage with engineers and scientists about the potential and limitations of bamboo
• Workshops on making with bamboo and large scale prototyping
• Critical theoretical knowledge about bamboo
• Design and making skills
• Understanding the design process from conception to construction
• Engineering principles
• Hands on experience building a bamboo structure
• Exploring The Green school as an exemplar for bamboo structures

Date Submitted: 17/5/2017

Simon Conder - Small Works Book Launch and Exhibition Private View 14 June


1-30 June Exhibition - Monday to Saturday 

14 June 6 - 9:30pm Private View launch of a second monograph on our work, titled ‘Simon Conder : Small Works’ by the UK publisher Artifice

Date Submitted: 17/5/2017

RIBAJ - "Eye Line":  annual international drawing competition. Deadline June 12

Already an annual tradition, our Eye Line drawing competition is now in its fifth year and is once again partnered by architectural visualisation expert AVR. This is the prize that celebrates the art of the architectural drawing, not the project.

Deadline June 12. 

Visit website for more info.

Date Submitted: 15/5/2017

Robotic Assembly - an introduction to robotic control by DPL

Dates: 17-18 May 2017

Join us at the DPL Robot Room for an exciting 2 day introductory workshop involving robotic control using different pick and place operations. Some Rhino/Grasshopper experience is required. To secure a place email to Workshop is limited to 8 participants. 

Date Submitted: 11/5/2017

The Royal Institute of British Architects is now welcoming applications and submissions for Research Fund and Awards for Research

Supporting research:
The 2017 RIBA Research Fund is now welcoming applications for grants of up to £10,000 each from practitioners and academics interested in conducting independent research. All ideas will be considered as long as the research end-product contributes to the progress of architecture and the professional development of architects.

The deadline for applying is 5pm (GMT) on Monday 5 June 2017. For further information, visit the RIBA website or contact

Rewarding research:
The 2017 RIBA President’s Awards for Research are now welcoming submissions of research work completed between 1 July 2016 and 31 May 2017 in the following categories:
 - History and Theory
 - Design and Technical
 - Cities and Community
 - This year’s annual theme: ‘Housing’

Awards will be made from three shortlisted entries in each category. All shortlisted papers will be published by the RIBA with the winners of each category being published in a special edition of The Journal of Architecture.

The submission deadline is midnight (GMT) on Wednesday 31 May 2017. For further information, visit the RIBA website or contact

Date Submitted: 10/5/2017

2017 Nicholas Boas Scholarship

We are delighted to announce the reinstatement of the Nicholas Boas Scholarship. This travel scholarship, established in memory of former AA student Nicholas Boas (1975-1998) allows AA students to spend three weeks in Rome in July 2017. The recipients will be based at the British School at Rome, where generations of artists and scholars have researched the history, art and architecture of Italy. All expenses for the trip are generously taken care of by the Nicholas Boas Trust and any current AA registered student may apply by emailing a short written paragraph stating why they wish to travel to Rome and what interest they intend to pursue whilst they are there.

The deadline for applications is 1pm on Thursday 18  May 2017 by email to Sabrina Blakstad ( and must contain the name, email address, telephone number, year/programme of study of the applicant.

A shortlist of applicants will be asked to attend an informal interview to discuss their current work and their ideas for a Rome visit. The successful candidate is expected to produce a small body of work as a result of their visit; sketches, photographs or the basis of a project. For further information please contact Sabrina Blakstad at the email address above.

Date Submitted: 10/5/2017

AA Writing Prize Winners 2017

Date Submitted: 4/5/2017

School Community Meeting - CALLING NOTICE

This notice is circulated to all current members of the AA School Community. 

Further to the inclusion of the ‘School Community’ in the By-laws of the Architectural Association (Incorporated), supported by 94.3% of those who voted on 23rd March 2017, notice is hereby given of a School Community Meeting to take place on Thursday 11th May 2017 at 12.30pm in the Lecture Hall.  This School Community Meeting is convened to present and seek approval for the following definitions:

  • Composition of the School Community
  • Role of the School Community
  • Constitution, Rules and Meeting Procedures of the School Community

The proposals are presented by the School Community Joint Working Group* first convened in March 2016 to undertake review of the membership, role and standing of the School Community as part of the AA’s application for Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) and in anticipation of the inclusion of the School Community in the By-laws of the AA (Inc.).  The Joint Working Group has provided regular update to the AA Council and the Academic Board. 

 With this Calling Notice, which provides the requisite seven days notice and with the requisite number of signatures (10 members of the School Community), the following is provided in accordance with current procedural requirements:

Proposed Agenda inclusive of voting proposals: Appendix B

Please review the full content of APPENDIX B.  Notice of any  amendments to the Agenda/voting proposals must be sent to no later than 12noon Monday 8th May (at least three clear days prior to the meeting).

The Agenda for this School Community Meeting also makes provision for update from representatives of the Search Committee for a new Director of the AA School for information purposes.

Kind regards,  

Belinda Flaherty

School Registrar

* School Community Joint Working Group members:

Oliver Domeisen                                 Ordinary Member AA Council

Belinda Flaherty                                  School Registrar

Samantha Hardingham                       Chair UMC

Hugo Hinsley                                      Co-Director, Housing & Urbanism

Christopher Pierce                              QA Facilitator

Rory Sherlock                                    Ordinary Member AA Council

Date Submitted: 4/5/2017


The AA School in realtime


The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.


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.



Eva Franch i Gilabert
AA School of Architecture