Part 1:Paul Crosby
Part 2:Theo Lorenz
Coordinator: Rachel Sim

Specific courses are run for Third Year and Fifth Year students to develop an understanding of architectural practice. A Professional Studies Advisor is available for year-out students and post-Part 2 students to help with work experience. Developing practice experience is essential preparation for the final Part 3 examination that may be taken after several years’ office experience working on building projects.

Paul Crosby

This course prepares Third Year students for their year out, a time for practical training taken after completion of RIBA Part 1. It aims to provide students with an idea of what working in an architectural practice involves and demands. Students will learn how to ‘make themselves useful’ in an office with the intent that the sooner they are perceived to be valuable the sooner they will become part of the action and the more they will bene t from the experience as a whole.

Theo Lorenz

This course develops and deepens the professional practice themes introduced in the Intermediate School to integrate with design considerations encountered in their year-out work experience. The course is delivered through a series of lectures and seminars on key issues relating to the professional contexts of design and construction and will explore strategies for conventional and unconventional models of practice in preparation for the next stages of work experience and professional qualification.

Students are exposed to a broad spectrum of ideas over the course of their five years at the AA. Through work undertaken both in units and outside the school, students are encouraged to be leaders, entrepreneurs and to set their own critical and practical agenda. From the British novelist Thomas Hardy, to the inventor of the modern rock stage, Mark Fisher, from product designer Ron Arad to the Michelin-starred chef Fergus Henderson, and including paradigm-shifting architects like Bernard Tschumi, Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid, the list of AA graduates who have gone on to lead remarkable lives in architecture and numerous other fields of the arts, culture and sciences is seemingly endless. Students at the AA have sought to reinvent and extend the scope of architecture, developing, as a result, an alternative professional practice as a challenge to the status quo. But between unit work, crits, tables and their Complementary Studies course load, it can be difficult to make time to think about how you might translate your ideas into their professional future and this is all the truer within the final year of the Diploma School.

The Alternative Professional Practice course gives students both that time and the frame- work to formulate clear ideas and strategies for what they want to do – how to archive their work and plan for the future once they receive their diploma in June. Each student will be asked to present and submit a business plan laying out their own individual practice, which starts the day after graduation. Supporting this work will be a tranche of references, case studies and stories relevant to the student’s ideas. The format of the submission depends entirely on the approach of the individual and should be in itself an example of their active form of practice. The process will be framed by a series of seminars and lectures showing various forms of practice, networks and business models.

Unit Staff

Paul Crosby studied at the Polytechnic of Central London (University of Westminster). He has extensive, international experience having set up an office in Germany and holding senior positions in the offices of Zaha Hadid, David Chipper eld and Martha Schwartz. He is a consultant for small upcoming design studios on practice-related matters and has a particular research interest in the nature of future practice.

Theo Lorenz is an architect, painter and media artist. Traversing the line between art and architecture, his interests lie at the convergence of digital and physical space. He has taught at the AA since 2000 and has directed the AA Interprofessional Studio since 2008.


AA School of Architecture Admissions (Undergraduate)
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F: +44 (0)20 7414 0779

Links & Downloads

More Information


Prospectus 2018-19
AA Prospectus

Special Programmes Course Booklet
Special Programmes Course Booklet

Undergraduate Course Booklet
Undergraduate Course Booklet


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