Landscape Urbanism Atlas depicting all fossil fuel extraction areas, infrastructures, concessions and reserve fields currently supported and subsidised by the UK government abroad, Rafael Martinez Caldera, Elena Suastegui, Yasmina Yehia, 2018–19

LANDSCAPE URBANISM

Programme Heads: Alfredo Ramirez, Eduardo Rico
Design Tutor: Clara Oloriz Sanjuan
Tutors Claudio Campanile, Gustavo Romanillos, Teresa Stoppani

The Landscape Urbanism programme explores the role that designers (from architects and landscape architects to urban designers and planners) can play when confronted with policies and regulations that are currently shaping landscapes and territories across the globe (metropolises, cities, rural environments, infrastructural and productive landscapes, etc.). Such environments are today configured by economic policies, political decision-making, social and cultural structures, and engineering solutions. Design inputs are either left out entirely or placed at the fringes. Landscape Urbanism at the AA explores design not only as the source of aesthetic and performative proposals offering necessary alternatives to today’s acute urban and environmental problems, but also as a mechanism to orchestrate, choreograph and negotiate their implementation at large scales and over time.

Landscape Urbanism is constantly evolving and integrates critical thinking with diverse practices such as cartographic representation, scripted simulation and GIS mapping, all of which are widely utilised in geographical disciplines, but relatively untapped within the field of design.

DESIGN AND THE GREEN NEW DEAL (GND)
Given the climate and ecological emergency the world is facing, it is paramount importance that those involved in designing landscapes (whether architects, landscape architects, artists, planners or engineers) support a socially just re-structuring of the world we inhabit. This effort should be intrinsically dependant on the health of the earth systems and trigger, in turn, a radical transformation of the role we can collectively play in developing design proposals, mitigation strategies, advocacy initiatives and activism.

One way to achieve this is by supporting a Green New Deal (GND) – a viable initiative with the capacity to unite all of the best intentions, preoccupations and proposals of the design community at large. Landscape Urbanism will get behind this project and contributing to shaping its influence in the UK. We believe that expertise in visualisation, mapping and the spatial understanding of socioecological systems is crucial to such a project and the challenges it presents. Together, Landscape Urbanism will develop proposals for a GND in collaboration with the New Economics Foundation, through the exploration of different policies such as:

· The transformation of a Common Agricultural Policy in a post-Brexit scenario and the impact it could have in local communities.

• The rewilding of urban areas and the benefits this can have for the wellbeing of citizens in both urban and rural environments.

• A Just Transition towards a post-fossil fuel economy, the proposition of alternative economic models and the spatial impacts these will have for the design of urbanisation processes.

• The exploration of different land ownership schemes, beyond the existing privatised and individual models, to radically transform the UK landscape.

Landscape Urbanism will develop these policies with the from the perspective of the designer, using concepts, practices and principles such as:

· Exploring cartographic practices with the capacity to influence the public sphere and decision-making processes, such as interactive and participatory maps, built by local people with data gathered on site.

• Revisiting concepts such as the commons, public participation and platform cooperativism through the lens of design, analysing their implications for the construction of collective design frameworks and the management of shared resources that are neither public nor private.

• Implementing the latest technologies to simulate the behaviour of cities, landscapes and territories using software and scripts to foresee possible future scenarios with the help of partnered scientists and researchers.

• Understanding the use of public space in the UK and elsewhere, through diagramming and proposing new spatial configurations in direct response to 21st century challenges.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE
TERRITORIAL FORMATIONS, Terms 1 and 2
During Terms 1 and 2, Landscape Urbanism aims to thread together geomorphological processes, social structures and design intentions in forming an understanding of land and territorial formations. Students will explore such syntheses, imagining new forms of territory in which physical and social processes are transformed into new spatial conditions. The projects will acknowledge the capacity of landscapes to modulate the tension between physical/environmental and human forces within specific geographical/ geological points in space and time.

CARTOGENESIS, Term 2
The assemblages of geomorphological processes and social formations developed in Term 1 will be re-traced and re-described through various cartographic media. Students will lean about historical and contemporary forms of cartographic representation, informing the eventual production of an atlas charting territories across the UK that inscribe similar and relevant geographies to the issues initially identified by each project.

TECTONIC GROUNDS / TERRITORIAL DOCUMENTATION, Terms 3 and 4
During the final section of the course, students will explore different modes of documentation that extend beyond the fixity and stability of masterplanning, operating protectively and subversively. Following the development of an atlas in Term 2, each student will produce a territorial manual that describes the procedures and guidelines of their individual projects, extrapolating the principles defined to similar and relevant territories across Europe.

Staff

CLAUDIO CAMPANILE is an engineer and computational designer. After having worked in China and the UK, Claudio obtained his MSc in the Emergent Technologies and Design programme at the AA.

ALFREDO RAMIREZ is an architect and director of Groundlab, an international practice with which he has won several competitions and developed workshops, exhibitions and projects. He is the Director of the AA Visiting School in Mexico City and has taught workshops and lectured internationally on the topic of landscape urbanism and the work of Groundlab.

EDUARDO RICO studied civil engineering in Spain and graduated from the AA Landscape Urbanism programme. He has been a consultant and researcher in the fields of infrastructure and landscape in Spain and the UK, currently working within the Arup engineering team as well as being a member of Relational Urbanism. He has taught at the Harvard GSD and the Berlage Institute.

GUSTAVO ROMANILLOS is an architect and researcher interested in the spatial analysis of urban and territorial dynamics. He completed a degree in Architecture at the ETSAM and a Master in Geographic Information Technologies at the UCM. His research and teaching activities are being developed in different Spanish universities, in Nicaragua and the UK.

CLARA OLORIZ SANJUAN is a practising architect who received her PhD from the ETSA, Universidad de Navarra and the AA. She has worked for Foreign Office Architects, Cerouno, Plasma Studio and Groundlab. She is the author of the forthcoming book, Landscape as Territory – a reflection on recent Landscape Urbanism projects – and co-directs AA Groundlab, a newly established AA residency programme.

TERESA STOPPANI lectures in History and Theory Studies at the Architectural Association. She is an editor of The Journal of Architecture and the instigator and founder of the architecture research collective This Thing Called Theory. Her books include Paradigm Islands: Manhattan and Venice (2010) and the co-edited This Thing Called Theory (2016).

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

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Programme site

landscapeurbanism.aaschool.ac.uk


Projects Review 2019


Contact

Postgraduate Admissions Team AA School of Architecture
36 Bedford Square
London WC1B 3ES

T: 020 7887 4067 / 4007
postgraduateadmissions
@aaschool.ac.uk

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ONLINE POSTGRADUATE APPLICATION FORM 2020/21



Prospectus 2019-20
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THE AA RECEIVES THE POWER TO AWARD ITS OWN DEGREES

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 Certificate), 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.

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