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Past Research Clusters

AA Research Clusters were year-long special projects, activities and events that brought together diverse groups of AA staff, students and outside partners – audiences, specialists, researchers – in order to realise a body of focused research. Originally conceived in 2005, Research Clusters were mechanisms for triggering and integrating discussion and exchange across the school. Operated as ‘vertical units’, they were intended as platforms through which to explore and enhance existing and new territories and modes of research. The clusters were intended to promote the culture of applied research in the school.

Urbanism and the Informal City

Launched by Jorge Fiori, Elena Pascolo and Alex Warnock-Smith

The aim of the cluster is to explore the concept of the ‘informal’ as a parallel modality that shapes the urban condition. The team is identifying unexplored themes and contradictions for designers, thinkers and practitioners to consider at a series of Unit ‘open-mike’ sessions, talk-shops and a symposium, leading to an international design workshop in 2011, followed by an exhibition and publication.
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Beyond Entropy: When Energy Becomes Form

Directed by Stefano Rabolli Pansera

The cluster attempts to fuse science, architecture and artistic collaboration in order to develop new ways of thinking about energy. The 12th International Exhibition in Venice marked the end of its first year and brought together work, research material and ideas for display and debate.

Concrete Geometries

Directed by Marianne Mueller and Olaf Kneer

The research investigates the intimate relationship between spatial form and human processes, whether social, aesthetic or material. An international call for submissions in January 2010 attracted 415 entries from the fields of art, architecture, design and the humanities. A symposium was held in October 2010 with invited guests, and from this an exhibition and publication are forthcoming.

City Cultures

Initiated by Marina Lathouri

The research seeks to develop new conceptual frameworks that redefine what historically has been constructed and institutionalised as the ‘city’. The ideas generated in a seminar in 2009 fed into a 2010 conference seeking new manifestos on the city.

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Paradise Lost

City Cultures

Concrete Geometries

Informal City

Saturated Space

Urban Prototypes

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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.