Projective Cities Ricardo Palma Prieto, Community-led Housing in London: The Case of St Art, 2017&ndsah;18


Directors: Sam Jacoby, Platon Issaias
Staff: Mark Campbell, Spyros Efthymiou, Hamed Khosravi

The MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities) is an interdisciplinary research and design programme that examines multi-scalar questions arising at the intersection of architecture, urban design and planning.

The programme is dedicated to a systematic analysis of, design experimentation for, theoretical speculation on, and critical writing about the contemporary city. Student projects combine new design and traditional forms of research, while challenging existing disciplinary boundaries and contributing to emerging spatial design practice and knowledge. The programme recognises the need for new practice-led research training – as architectural and urban design practice become increasingly research-led – and demands a multidisciplinary skillset from its students.

Projective Cities is also a critical forum honed to engage questions of governance and development in the context of global challenges for urbanisation. Its objective is to respond to current urban, environmental and social crises by rethinking the agency of spatial design and development within specific political, economic, social and cultural contexts. The first year of the programme is taught, preparing its candidates for independent research through a framework of rigorous design and research methodologies. Introducing students to research methods, academic writing, architectural and urban histories, theories, advanced analytical techniques and computational design in preparation for a substantial dissertation project, the first year results in the submission of a research proposal. This proposal is then developed in the second year, leading to an integrated design and written dissertation.

The programme has been highly successful in preparing its graduates for diverse careers in academia and practice, with graduate destinations including PhD programmes, academic or research careers and leading design offices. It seeks candidates with a desire to develop substantial and original research; exceptional thinkers, gifted designers and critical writers with an interest in the future of our cities.


Sam Jacoby is a chartered architect with an AA Diploma and a PhD from the TU Berlin. He has worked in the UK, Germany, USA and Malaysia and has taught at the AA (co-founding Projective Cities in 2009) as well as at the University of Nottingham, the Bartlett, Staatliche Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart and the RCA.

Platon Issaias is an architect, researcher and teacher. He studied architecture in Thessaloniki, Greece, holds an MSc from Columbia University and a PhD from TU Delft. He is currently a teacher at the RCA. He has also taught at the Berlage Institute (Netherlands), in the MArch Urban Design programme at the Bartlett, at Syracuse University and at the University of Cyprus.

Mark Campbell
directs the MPhil in Media Practices at the AA (London) and has taught at Cooper Union, Princeton University and the University of Auckland and is the author of Paradise Lost (AA Publications).

Spyros Efthymiou is an architectural engineer, researcher and educator. He is a computational designer (AKT II team) at Parametric Applied Research, London and teaches computational design research methodologies in the UK and abroad. He holds a degree in Architectural Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), and an MSc in Emergent Technologies and Design from the AA.

Hamed Khosravi is an architect, researcher and educator. He graduated from the University of Tehran and holds an MA in Urbanism from TU Delft and IUAV (Venice). He completed his PhD at TU Delft and the Berlage Institute, and has taught at TU Delft, the Berlage Institute and Oxford Brookes University.

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Projects Review 2018


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