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Diploma 10 Temporal Situational Pockets - Light Plan, Olivier Jauniaux, 2018–19

Direct Urbanism: Division and Engagement

Carlos Villanueva Brandt

Last year, DIP10 used Hawkmoor’s seven churches as starting points to scan different parts of the city. By reassessing their architectural, religious, social and political roles, we developed twelve new foci for London. We will now reverse the process and start by questioning how political and religious divisions influence the makeup of space. An initial workshop in Belfast will allow us to witness and work with an ongoing political and religious divide that has now come to a head, becoming the diplomatic, territorial and physical sticking point of the Brexit process. Learning from this discordant situation, we will concentrate on London where we will use a chosen division, an architectural focus and a borough to reassess the relationship that exists between physical structures and situations and to articulate the reciprocal nature of division and engagement.

In order to counteract the pitfalls of topicality, we will scan an arbitrary area of the city, identify the relevant physical and social variables, and create an abstraction of it in the form of a multilayered 3D construct. We will immerse ourselves in the real context of the city, work with its abstraction and experiment with alternative ways of inserting new interventions that will have a direct effect on the future of London. The emphasis will be on the making of spaces that exploit the intricacies identified in the scan.

Can we blur the distinction between the space of architecture and that of the city? What roles do division and engagement play in the construction, perception and experience of space?

Using the construct as a working tool, we will oscillate between the political and the social, between the territorial and the experiential, to carry out frequent spatial experiments, design a contemporary focus and devise strategies to influence the policies of the relevant borough.


Carlos Villanueva Brandt was awarded the RIBA President’s Silver Medal Tutor Prize 2000. The varied work of Carlos Villanueva Brandt Architecture, formed in 1984, has been published widely and exhibited internationally. He is a founder member of NATØ (Narrative Architecture Today), was a visiting Lecturer/Professor at the Royal College of Art and is currently a Visiting Professor at Tokyo University of the Arts. He has been a lecturer, critic and examiner at various schools in Britain, Europe, Latin America and Asia, has written numerous essays and his book, London +10, was published in 2010.

Architectural Association is approved by The Open University as an appropriate organisation to offer higher education programmes leading to Open University validated awards.

The Architectural Association (AA) has been granted the power to award its own degrees. Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) give UK higher education institutions the right to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. As of 1 October 2019, the AA has the right to establish new academic programmes and degree awards. Therefore, from September 2020 students admitted to the taught postgraduate programmes at the AA will be awarded AA degrees.

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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.