Department Head: Mark Cousins
Department Staff: Andrea Bagnato, Doreen Bernath, Edward Bottoms, Susan Chai, Mark Cousins, Nerma Cridge, Ema Hana Kačar, So a Krimizi, Joaquim Moreno, Mark Morris, Ricardo Ruivo, Manolis Stavrakakis, Teresa Stoppani, Silvie Taher, Ines Weizman Teaching Assistants Nerma Cridge, Tatjana Crossley, Francesca Dell'Aglio, Giorgos Eftaxiopoulos, Merce Rodrigo Garcia, Konstantinos Kizis, So a Krimizi, Roberta Marcaccio, Gili Merin, William Orr, Dorette Panagiotopoulou, Anna Pintara, Klaus Platzgummer, Claire Potter, Ricardo Ruivo, Alexandra Vougia, Katerina Zacharopolou

History & Theory Studies is a strand of architectural education that runs throughout the five years of academic study at the AA. It introduces students to a more general perspective on architecture than that of the unit: the nature of architecture. The course prompts students to study how architecture relates to politics, history and professional organisation. To be an architect in a contemporary sense requires that the student establishes a relation to architecture’s past as well as its future. It also requires that the student understands the nature of architecture as a profession. In HTS, these concerns have all been looked at from the point of view of writing. The course emphasises that the major supplement to design in architecture is written description, analyses and argument. Understanding that, indeed, writing, together with all its attendant skills, is now a condition of the student acquiring a critical and independent position as an architect. For every current student who feels that their time is best spent on design there is an ex-student who regrets that they didn’t spend more time on their History & Theory Studies. This is a continuing problem which both students and staff face, and the analysis of this problem is itself a valuable task.

The first three years of HTS aims to provide a framework for understanding architecture on a number of different levels. First Year students meet categories and concepts that are central to the work of design. Intellectually, work undertaken in the second and third years (Intermediate School) relates what students learn or use in their design to broader questions of architecture through a combination of lectures, seminars and personal tutorials. The Intermediate School facilitates student confidence and competence to develop an arena of study and to produce a coherent argument from it. Students further develop their writing during Fourth and Fifth Year (Diploma School). All students are encouraged to submit work for the annual Writing Prize held in Term 3 which advocates a combination of writing with drawing or model-making.

Taken together, all courses represent the formal and timetabled courses of HTS, but they only make sense when linked to other activities in the school – the Public Programme, the Events timetable for Open Jury Weeks and a panoply of discussions, workshops and symposia constitute an invaluable dimension of the students’ education.

Unit Staff

Pier Vittorio Aureli is an architect and educator. His research and projects focus on the relationship between architectural form, political theory and urban history. He is Louis Kahn Visiting Professor at the School of Architecture, Yale University, and the author of The Possibility of an Absolute Architecture (2011) and The Project of Autonomy: Politics and Architecture Within and Against Architecture (2008). He is co-founder of Dogma, an architectural studio based in Brussels.

Eleni Axioti holds an MA in History & Theory of Architecture from the AA and a MEng Diploma with Honours from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. She is currently a PhD candidate at the AA and is a practising designer, writer and editor in London.

Andrea Bagnato studied at TU Delft and Goldsmiths. He has edited the books SQM: The Quantified Home (2014) and A Moving Border: Alpine Cartographies of Climate Change (2019), and runs a longstanding research project about architecture and epidemiology.

Doreen Bernath graduated from Cambridge University as an architect and completed her PhD at the AA. She has taught the Universities of Plymouth and Leeds and the AA.

Edward Bottoms studied history at the University of Exeter and holds an MA from the University of East Anglia. He runs the AA Archives and has published on a range of subjects including art collecting, portraiture, architectural museums and the history of architectural education.

Mark Campbell
holds a PhD from Princeton University and has taught histories and theories at the AA since 2005. He is a visiting professor at Southeast University, Nanjing and has previously taught at the Cooper Union, Princeton University and Auckland University. He is the author of Paradise Lost (AA Publications).

Susan Chai graduated at the AA and is currently practising in London and Canada as an architect and freelance translator. She works for the Forum of Contemporary Architectural Theories, a collaborative project between the AA and Southeast University in Nanjing, China since 2009. Susan is currently developing a documentary project for a MPhil in Media Practice.

Tatjana Crossley is currently a PhD candidate at the AA focusing on the psychological and philosophical construction of body image as it relates to immersive environments. Tatjana completed her MA in architecture at GSD Harvard University, and her BA at Rice University and has worked for architecture studios Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (San Francisco).

Mark Cousins is Head of History & Theory Studies at the AA. He was educated at the University of Oxford and the Warburg Institute. He has been visiting professor at Columbia University and is now guest professor at Southeast University in Nanjing, China.

Nerma Cridge grew up in Sarajevo and studied architecture at the University of Birmingham, the Bartlett and the AA. She runs the design practice Drawing Agency and has worked for practitioners including Thomas Heatherwick and art2architecture. Nerma's current research revolves around architectural drawing, post- Communist monuments and abstraction. She is the author of Drawing the Unbuildable (Routledge, 2015) and is now working on the forthcoming publication, Restless: Drawn by Zaha Hadid.

Francesca Romana Dell'Aglio is an architect, writer and educator. She holds an MA in History and Critical Theory (the AA) and studied at Istituto Universitario di Architettura di Venezia (IUAV). Francesca is a unit tutor at IUAV and Oxford Brookes University, and is currently a teaching assistant in History & Theory Studies both at Central St Martins and the AA. She has collaboratively worked on exhibitions including Venice Biennale of Architecture (2014) and has been an editor of the Venice-based academic journal Engramma. Her writing has appeared in Lobby, STUDIO magazine and Engramma.

Ryan Dillon holds an MA from the AA's History & Theory of Architecture programme and has been Unit Master of Intermediate 5 since 2013. He currently teaches on AA's History & Theory and DRL courses. He has taught at the University of Brighton and previously worked at Moshe Safdie Architects.

Georgios Eftaxiopoulos graduated at the AA and is pursuing his PhD in Architectural Design. He teaches at the AA and RCA, Berlage Institute and the University of Navarra. He has previously practised in Belgium and Switzerland.

William Firebrace
was an architecture professor at Stuttgart Academy of Fine Arts and is author of various articles and books, including Marseille Mix (2010), Memo for Nemo (2014) and Star Theatre (2017). Currently he is working on a book on miniature worlds.

Ema Hana Kačar is a London- based architect and designer who graduated with an AA Diploma in 2018. Ka?ar has trained at the offices of Diller Sco dio + Renfro (New York), B-architecten (Antwerp) and Bevk Perovic arhitekti (Ljubljana). She has been a guest critic and tutor at the AA and at Pratt Institute (New York).

Costandis Kizis holds a PhD from the AA, where he teaches History & Theory and First Year Studio. He has studied at Columbia University and at NTU Athens and practises with Kizis Architects.

Sofia Krimizi
studied architecture at the NTU Athens and at Columbia University. She has taught design studios and research seminars at the Cooper Union, Cornell University, University of Pennsylvania, Pratt Institute and the Bartlett. She is currently a PhD candidate at the AA.

Roberta Marcaccio studied at Politecnico di Milano and at the AA. She teaches History and Theory of Architecture at the AA and works for DSDHA architects, where she was awarded a two-year research fellowship by the Royal Commission for The Exhibition of 1851 (2016) to investigate cycling and transport infrastructure in London. Her writings have appeared in AA Files and Blueprint Magazine.

Gili Merin graduated with an MA in History & Critical Thinking at the AA and is now a PhD student working on aspects of Jerusalem. She has taught in the History & Theory of Architecture programme and has worked for OMA.

Joaquim Moreno is an architect, historian and curator. He holds a PhD in Architecture History and Theory from Princeton University, a MArch from Polytechnic University (Catalonia) and a degree in architecture from Porto School of Architecture. He teaches Architecture History & Theory at Lisbon's ICSTE-IUL, and has taught at GSAPP Columbia and Porto School of Architecture. He curated Out Here: Disquieted Architecture, Venice Biennale of Architecture (2008) and The University Is Now on Air: Broadcasting Modern Architecture, exhibition at The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in 2018.

Mark Morris is Head of Teaching and Learning at the AA and works on diverse curricular objectives across the AA as well as teaching History & Theory Studies. He completed his MArch at Ohio State University where he received the AIA Henry Adams medal, and holds a PhD from London Consortium supported by the RIBA Research Trust. Mark previously taught Architectural Theory and Design at Cornell University where he served as Co-ordinator of Post-professional Degree programmes, Director of Graduate Studies, and Director of Exhibitions.

Will Orr is a writer and theorist. He studied architecture at the University of Toronto and is a PhD candidate at the AA.

Dorette Panagiotopoulou studied architecture at the AA and holds an MA in Cultural and Intellectual History from the Warburg Institute. She has worked at Forensic Architecture (Goldsmiths College) and at Hopkins Architects in London.

Ioanna Piniara is an architect, researcher and PhD candidate for Architectural Design at the AA, where she teaches Intermediate History & Theory Studies. She holds her Diploma in architecture from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and graduated from University of Thessaly with a MSc in Architectural Design. Her research focuses on the architectural resolution of the private in relation to domestic space in the neoliberal context.

Klaus Platzgummer holds an MArch from the ETH Zurich and an MA in History & Critical Thinking from the AA. He is a teaching and research associate at the department of Architectural Theory at TU Berlin.

Claire Potter is author of three poetry books. She holds degrees in psychoanalysis and literature from Université Paris VII Denis Diderot and University of New South Wales.

Mercedes Rodrigo Garcias is an architect and co-founder of OrNamenT. She is a PhD candidate at Birkbeck College and holds a MArch in Research Architecture (Goldsmiths University). She has been a fellow at the Tokyo Institute of Technology working on Saharan Studies. She runs the Unscale Sahara Visiting School at the AA.

Ricardo Ruivo holds a PhD from the AA. His research addresses the relationship between architectural form and political content in architectural discourse and historiography as ideological production.

Manolis Stavrakakis studied architecture at NTU Athens, Columbia University and the AA. He holds a PhD in History & Theory of Architecture from the AA and has been teaching architecture in Athens and in London since 2005.

Teresa Stoppani is an architect and theorist. She is the author of Paradigm Islands: Manhattan and Venice (Routledge, 2010) and Unorthodox Ways to Think Architecture and the City (Routledge, 2018) and co-editor of This Thing Called Theory (Routledge, 2016). She is the instigator of the architecture research collective ThisThingCalledTheory, and an editor of Architectural Histories (EAHN) and The Journal of Architecture.

Sylvie Taher is a writer and architect based in London. She studied at the AA, where she wrote her thesis titled Architects versus the City, or the Problem of Chaos (2011), and has written for Publica, The Architectural Review and Blueprint.

Alexandra Vougia studied architecture in Thessaloniki, Greece, and holds an MSc in Advanced Architectural Design from GSAPP Columbia. She holds a PhD from the AA where she has taught since 2012, and has worked as an architect in New York and Athens.

Ines Weizman (PhD) is professor of architectural theory and director of the Bauhaus-Institute for History and Theory of architecture and planning at the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar. In 2015 she founded the Centre for Documentary Architecture (CDA) in Weimer and has exhibited installations Repeat Yourself and Loos, Law and the Culture of the Copy, the latter presented at the Venice Biennale of Architecture (2012).

Katerina Zacharopoulou studied Architecture in Thessaloniki (Greece) and holds an MA in History & Critical Thinking from the AA. Her research explores the use of humour as a design tool, and she is the first architect to have spoken at the International Society for Humor Studies conference.

Zaynab Dena Ziari completed her postgraduate studies in History & Theory of Architecture at the AA. She has written about architecture and has a research interest in the intersection of urbanism, the digital and its psychological outputs.


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Prospectus 2018-19
AA Prospectus

Special Programmes Course Booklet
Special Programmes Course Booklet

Undergraduate Course Booklet
Undergraduate Course Booklet


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