Projective Cities Jiyoon Gu, The Scholar's Garden as a Model of Spatial Governance: The New Administrative City of Sejong, 2016

Director: Sam Jacoby
Staff: Platon Issaias, Maria Shéhérazade Giudici, Mark Campbell

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 research and traditional forms of research while challenging existing disciplinary boundaries and contributing to emerging spatial design practice and knowledge. The programme recognises hereby the need for a new practice-led research training, as architectural and urban design practice is increasingly research-led, demanding from graduates a new multidisciplinary knowledge. Projective Cities 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 joining leading design offices.

Projective Cities prepares candidates for independent research through a framework of rigorous design and research methodologies. The first year of the programme is taught, introducing students to research methods, academic writing, architectural and urban histories and theories, advanced analytical techniques and computational design in preparation for a substantial dissertation project. At the end of the first year, students submit a research proposal. This is developed in the second year, leading to an integrated design and written dissertation. Projective Cities seeks candidates with a desire to develop substantial and original research. It seeks exceptional thinkers, gifted designers and critical writers with an interest in the future of our cities.

MPhil 20 months (five terms, including thesis work)


Sam Jacoby is a chartered architect with an AA Diploma and a PhD from the Technische Universität Berlin. He has worked in the UK, Germany, the US and Malaysia and has taught since 2002 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.

Maria Shéhérazade Giudici is a Unit Master of Diploma 14 at the AA, founder of the publishing and educational platform Black Square and the coordinator of the history and theory course at the School of Architecture of the RCA.

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

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

Programme site

Projects Review 2017


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Prospectus 2017-18
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