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San Rocco: Book of Copies


AA Gallery 5/10/2013 - 2/11/2013

Exhibitions are open Monday to Friday 10:00-19:00, Saturday 10:00-15:00, unless otherwise stated.


Books of copies contain pictures that can be copied to produce architecture.
Books of copies are comprised of a packet of black-and-white A4 photocopies.
Books of copies are stored in a web archive and are downloadable for free.
Each book has a title naming a class of buildings that could be produced by copying the figures contained in the book. For example, a book of copies entitled Book of Houses would contain various images that could be employed to produce houses; a book of copies entitled Book of Prisons would contain images that could be employed to produce prisons; and a book of copies entitled Palaces for the Tyrant would contain images that could be employed to produce palaces for tyrants.
Books of copies do not have a fixed number of pages.
These books of copies do not follow a strict typological order. A book entitled Book of Houses is not necessarily comprised of pictures of houses, and a book entitled Book of Prisons is not necessarily comprised of pictures of prisons.
Everything can be included in books of copies except nature (after all, one can copy a toy, but one cannot copy a mountain).
Copies should not be confused with quotations. Copies do not establish any link to the lost virtue of ancient civilizations. Copies do not testify to any particular erudition, and copies do not affiliate the copying architects with the great masters of the past. Copies are humbler and less refined than direct citations. Copies simply re-employ knowledge that is already available and public.
The only reason to include a picture in a book of copies is its intimate beauty. Books of copies define the provisional set of objects that deserve to be copied; they are a tentative corpus iuris of architectural beauty.
Books of copies do not present an exhaustive taxonomy. Books of copies simply contain a collection of examples, a tentative index of a collective architectural knowledge.
The number of books of copies to be produced is not fixed.
The action that produces books of copies is that of selection: the recognition of beauty (not just actual beauty, but potential beauty as well - the fragile, incomplete beauty of so many clumsy buildings of the past that are begging for completion and plenitude in the architecture of the future).
The production of books of copies relies on the existence of a collective knowledge (provisionally named Architecture). Books of copies depend on and, at the same time, redefine this collective knowledge.


Books of copies have been produced by:
Noura Al Sayeh, Amale Andraos, Eugene Asse, Ido Avissar, Ludovic Balland, Leopold Banchini, Pedro Bandeira, Francesca Benedetto, Anne-Julchen Bernhardt, Stefano Boeri, Michele Bonino, Giovanna Borasi, Shumi Bose, Andrea Branzi, Marianne Burkhalter and Christian Sumi, Matilde Cassani, Emanuel Christ, Irina Davidovici, Olivia De Oliveira, Jan De Vylder, Susanne Eliasson, Tom Emerson, Ambra Fabi, Pascal Flammer, Job Floris, Eva Franch, Christoph Gantenbein, Andreas Garkisch, Francesco Garofalo, Reto Geiser, Xaveer de Geyter, Urtzi Grau and Cristina Goberna, Go Hasegawa, Juan Herreros, Michael Hofstätter, Anne Holtrop, Wonne Ickx, Kumiko Inui, Johanna Irander, Jean Paul Jaccaud, Bijoy Jain, Amr Abdel Kawi, Adam Khan, Djamel Klouche, David Knight and Christina Monteiro, Wilfried Kuehn, Jimenez Lai, Éric Lapierre, Giovanni La Varra, Francesco Librizzi, Diogo Lopes and Patricia Barbas, Oliver Lütjens, Patrick Lynch, Simona Malvezzi, Johnston Marklee, Gabriele Mastrigli, Michael Meredith and Hillary Sample, Quintus Miller, Enrico Molteni, Elli Mosayebi and Theres Hollenstein, Subhash Mukerjee, Ryue Nishizawa, OMA - Office for Metropolitan Architecture, Thomas Padmanabhan, Wolfgang Pauzenberger, Freek Persyn, Saverio Pesapane, Daniele Pisani, Annamaria Prandi and Andrea Vescovini, Joana Rafael and Paul Pieroni, Saša Randić, Thomas Raynaud, Renato Rizzi, Marianna Rentzou and Konstantinos Pantazis, Robbrecht en Daem architecten, François Roche, Marc Ryan, Alessandro Scandurra, Valter Scelsi, Denise Scott Brown, Jonathan Sergison and Stephen Bates, Peter Swinnen, Martino Tattara, André Tavares, Milica Topalovic, Philip Ursprung, Peter Veenstra, Robert Venturi, Inge Vinck and Jo Taillieu, Georg Vrachliotis, Oliver Wainwright, Peter Wilson, Ellis Woodman, Daniel Zamarbide, Mirko Zardini, Raphael Zuber.

Curated by: 
Sam Jacob 
Giovanni Piovene 
Pier Paolo Tamburelli 

Exhibition Design: 
PIOVENEFABI: Ambra Fabi, Giovanni Piovene with Carlotta Capobianco and Andrea Zucchi


Book Design: 
Francesca Pellicciari


Veronica Caprino 
Chiara Carpenter 



Saturday Members Talk (Non-Members Welcome): Saturday 5 October, 11am, AA Gallery
Public Seminar: On Copies, Tuesday 29 October, 6pm, Lecture Theatre
Night School Edition - Book of Copies, Wednesday 30 October, 7pm, AA Gallery

Photos: Sue Barr

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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.