Projective Cities Housing and Care Cooperatives in the Netherlands, Gianna Bottema, 2018–19

PROJECTIVE CITIES

Programme Head: Platon Issaias
Course Masters: Doreen Bernath, Cristina Gamboa, Hamed Khosravi
Thesis Advisor: Mark Campbell
Workshop Tutor: Raül Avilla

ARCHITECTURE OF COLLECTIVE LIVING
The MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities) is a 20-month, 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 systematic analysis, design experimentation, theoretical speculation and critical writing, all focusing on 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 multidisciplinary knowledge and new, practice-led research training to meet the demands of contemporary architectural and urban practice.

Projective Cities proposes architectural design as a precondition to the conception, realisation and subversion of urban plans.

Projective Cities recognises architecture and the city as a collective form of knowledge, shaped by cultural, social, political and economic contexts.

Projective Cities has been highly successful in preparing its graduates for diverse careers in academia and practice.

Projective Cities is a critical forum to engage with questions of governance and development in the context of global challenges of urbanisation.

Projective Cities aims 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.

Projective Cities prepares its candidates for independent research through a framework of rigorous design and research methodologies.

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.

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE
Five terms of study are divided into two phases. Phase I, a three-term academic year (beginning each autumn), introduces key design and research methodologies through a comprehensive set of studio, seminar and academic writing modules. Specialised workshops and guest seminars are delivered alongside core teaching. Term 3 is dedicated to the development of an individual dissertation proposal. In Phase II, which begins the following autumn and concludes in May of the second academic year, candidates develop their individual dissertation dedicated to an independent research project.

PHASE I
Studio 1, Term 1 PARTS, UNITS AND GROUPS: ANALYSIS OF ARCHITECTURAL PRECEDENTS
Cristina Gamboa, Platon Issaias, Hamed Khosravi with Raül Avilla
In Studio 1, students will be given a series of case studies, both historic and contemporary. They must then define a preliminary research interest that will allow them to select other relevant examples of collective living. A number of related analytical studies and comparative analyses of architectural precedents frame individual students’ preliminary interests, informing their approach to the design of and research questions concerning collective living. The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the case study method and concepts of fundamental type and formative diagrams. It also develops the skills required to produce descriptive and analytical diagrams.

Seminar 1, Term 1
ARCHITECTURAL THEORIES, DESIGN AND DESIGN METHODS
Doreen Bernath, Platon Issaias, Hamed Khosravi and invited guest lecturers
The seminar course is focused on the architectural scale, and introduces a number of research and design methodologies, as well as theories or themes critical to the programme, such as type, typology, drawing and diagram. The seminar explores questions of a systematic understanding of disciplinary knowledge and methodical design in architecture, thereby examining a historiography of a modern reasoning of form. The aim of the module is two- fold: to give students a foundation of architectural theories in general and of design methods; and to provide a critical survey of the historiography and history of ideas framed by typological and typal reasoning, including the clarification of type as a form of reasoning that is traditionally distinguished as relating either to a design method or critical theory.

The aim of this module is to familiarise of students with architectural theories and theories of design methods. To provide a critical survey of the historiography and history of ideas framed by typological and typal reasoning, including the clarification of type as a form of reasoning that is traditionally distinguished as relating either to a design method or critical theory.

ACADEMIC WRITING 1, Term 1
Doreen Bernath
This course, which takes place once a week, introduces students to academic writing and is complementary to Seminar 1. The focus of these sessions will be individual tutorials to discuss student writing that is in development during the term (also available to Year 2 students). The aim of the module is to familiarise students with academic writing conventions, the importance of writing to formulate a research argument.

Studio 2, Term 2
SCALES: FROM ROOM TO THE CITY
Cristina Gamboa, Platon Issaias, Hamed Khosravi with Raül Avilla
The main focus of this module is a multi-scalar investigation into the interdisciplinary relations between architecture, urban design and urban planning. Studio 2 builds on the previously introduced concept of formative diagrams in relation to fundamental types as the basis from which to analyse models of collective living and forms of sharing, while the idea of type and typology is expanded to the study of the city. Studio 2 also introduces students to the conventions of urban planning, its parameters, processes and limits. The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the concepts of typological conflict and transformation, and introduce them to urban design and urban planning methodologies. It cultivates an understanding of the socio-political, economic, ecological, spatial and physical parameters or processes informing the development and formation of an urban plan.

Seminar 2, Term 2
PROJECTS OF THE CITY
Doreen Bernath, Platon Issaias, Hamed Khosravi and invited guest lecturers
This seminar is divided into two distinctive parts. The first, explores the development of disciplinary knowledge about architecture and urbanism from the nineteenth century up until today. The second part presents scholarly research in a series of important contemporary case studies. This allows students to formulate their individual research propositions for Thesis-Studio in Term 3. The aim of the module is to provide students with a survey of theories that conceptualise the city, in particular the contemporary city, through its architecture and architectural projects. The seminar discusses theories of the city in relation to critical architectural practice.

ACADEMIC WRITING 2, Term 2
Doreen Bernath
This course, which takes place once a week, introduces students to academic writing and is complementary to Seminar 2. The focus of these sessions will be individual tutorials to discuss student writing that is in development during the term (also available to Year 2 students). The aim of this module is to provide information about the writing of literature reviews, to assess current knowledge and to position an individual student’s own writing.

Thesis-Studio, Term 3
REPRESENTATIONS, INVESTIGATIONS AND DIAGRAMS
Platon Issaias, Hamed Khosravi
The Thesis-Studio is a combined design and seminar course in which students develop their dissertation proposal and start the dissertation. Underlying the Thesis-Studio is the hypothesis that critical and speculative projects on the city, whether practice and/or theory oriented, manifest an ‘idea of the city’ that can be understood through corresponding typological and social diagrams. Some of these ideas and different historical, theoretical and epistemological perspectives of the city will be discussed in seminars through critical projects of the recent past: exemplary proposals, representations, theories, and reflections of and on the city. The seminar examines how diverse readings of the city promulgate specific ideas and define aspects of the city that are formative and fundamental. Most of these readings share a medium-specificity and have a clear methodological approach through which a critical urban thesis is related to its processes of conceptualisation and representation. Often speculative, many critical urban projects have remained in the realm of imagination, but have had an enduring effect on our (disciplinary) understanding and knowledge of the city. Therefore, the studio output is speculative, projective and open-ended in their possibilities, but consistent in their construction. The aim of the module is to familiarise students with the ‘idea of the city’ and the relationships of spatial and social diagrams. Development of a clear research inquiry and definition of the theoretical or physical context are required in the formulation of a dissertation proposal.

ACADEMIC WRITING 3, Term 3
Doreen Bernath
This course, which takes place once a week, introduces students to academic writing and is complementary to Thesis-Studio. The focus of these sessions will be individual tutorials to discuss student writing that is in development during the term (also available to Year 2 students). The aim of this module is to assist students in the development of academic abstract writing for a research thesis.

PHASE 2
DISSERTATION, Terms 4 and 5
Platon Issaias, Hamed Khosravi, Mark Campbell and guest advisors
The Dissertation must demonstrate proficiency and rigour in research, design methods and techniques, as well as knowledge of the subject context, literature and precedents. The Dissertation is the final and most substantial piece of work in the programme. It is started at the end of the first year and developed throughout the second year. While students conduct their independent research under the close guidance of their supervisor(s), they have access to other programme staff and specialist consultants as needed. Supervisors are there to assist in developing ideas and encourage critical and independent thinking. The Dissertation is the demonstration of a significant and comprehensive piece of independent research, including its planning and execution. The Dissertation consists of the development of a critical theoretical argument and a series of comprehensive design proposals.

Staff

RAÜL AVILLA-ROYO is an architect and researcher. He studied architecture in Barcelona School of Architecture (ETSAB-UPC) and in the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio (AAM-USI), after which he pursued a Taught MPhil at the AA. He is currently a PhD candidate at the Royal College of Art in London. Apart from running his own practice, Raül is also a member of the collective Arquitectos de Cabecera in Barcelona.

DOREEN BERNATH trained at Cambridge and the AA, and is an editor of RIBA’s The Journal of Architecture, co-director of AAVS Budapest 'The Uncommon Walk', leader of MArch design unit 'Cinematic Commons' at Leeds School of Architecture, co-founder of DEZACT and ThisThingCalledTheory.

MARK CAMPBELL currently teaches on the PhD programme and the Diploma History and Theory Studies programmes at the AA. He received his PhD and MA from Princeton University as a Fulbright Graduate Scholar and Princeton Honorific Scholar. He is an editor of RIBA’s The Journal of Architecture, an External Examiner at the Welsh School of Architecture and Royal College of Art, where he is currently a Senior Research Tutor.

CRISTINA GAMBOA is a chartered architect and teacher. She studied at the Barcelona School of Architecture ETSAB / UPC, and the Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning / University of Stuttgart. She is co-founder of Lacol, a cooperative of architects established in 2014 in Barcelona, with a focus on researching participative approaches to design and developing cooperative housing and policies.

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 teaches AA Diploma Unit 7 with Hamed Khosravi. He has taught at the Berlage Institute (Netherlands), in the MArch Urban Design programme at the Bartlett, the RCA, Syracuse University and the University of Cyprus.

HAMED KHOSRAVI is an architect, writer, and educator. He has taught at the Berlage Institute, Oxford Brookes University and TU Delft Faculty of Architecture. He teaches AA Diploma Unit 7 with Platon Issaias. His research and projects focus on the history and theory of architecture and urban form in relation to territorial organisations and political decisions.

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

Regulations for validated awards of the Open University
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Programme site

projectivecities.aaschool.ac.uk


Projects Review 2019


Contact

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

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

Links & Downloads

Prospectus 2019-20
AA Prospectus


Graduate Prospectus
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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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