Head of Technical Studies: Javier Castañón
Diploma Master: Javier Castañón
Intermediate Master: Kenneth Fraser
Department Staff: Xavier Aguiló, Francesco Anselmo, Simon Beames, Giles Bruce, Chris Davies, Laura de Azcaráte, Simon Dickens, Ian Duncombe, Lena Emanuelsen, Wolfgang Frese, Giulio Gianni, Evan Green, Pablo Gugel, Alan Harries, Elisa Hernández, Sho Ito, David Illingworth, Robert Knight, Angel Lara-Moreira, Alistair Lenczner, Ciaran Malik, Emanuele Marfisi, Nacho Marti, Patricia Mato-Mora, Nina McCallion, Anna Mestre, Jose Monfa, Anna Pla Catalá, Danae Polyviou, Ioannis Rizos, Camila Rock, Giancarlo Torpiano, Andrew Usher, Manja van de Worp, Anna Wai

The Technical Studies programme is a complete and coherent technical education delivered over a five-year period. Inviting a creative collaboration with the material demands of individual unit agendas, the programme continues to centre on a series of detailed discussions with lecturers drawn from architecture, engineering and leading research institutions. Engaging a wide range of disciplines and projects, these lectures cultivate a substantial knowledge base developed through critical case studies of contemporary fabrication processes, constructed artifacts and buildings processes that will accommodate critical refection and invite an experimentation with the ideas and techniques taught. Knowledge acquired in this way is inherently practical, generating a means or a set of principles capable of negotiating the technical requirements of construction in unforeseen futures and unpredictable contexts. The contents of the lecture courses are seen as a unique vehicle to prepare students for the two major technical projects that they have to execute in Third and Fifth Year.

Lecture courses form a portion of each year’s requirements (with a particular emphasis on the First, Second and Fourth Years). During these years students concentrate on critical case studies, analyses and material experimentations alongside a selection of required yearly courses ensuring that each individual student receives a complete and all-round experience of different structures, varied materials and diverse environments. Each course syllabus is updated annually to improve the content and delivery as well as speak to students’ output. Courses are increasingly a hands-on experience, each encompassing a deeper exploration of their eld of enquiry and facilitating a greater interaction with other areas of technical studies at large.

In the Third Year, lecture coursework, workshop experiments and technical ambitions are synthesised in a detailedTechnicalDesignProject (TS3). Students conduct design research and experiments to explore and resolve the technical issues of the main project of their unit portfolio, with the guidance of TS tutors. The aspect of experimentation in this project is emphasised because the ability to make design decisions in the context of the project is essential. Students are asked and helped to strike a balance be- tween problem solving and discovery through experimentation.

In the Fifth Year, students undertake a Technical Design Thesis (TS5), a substantial individual work that is developed under the guidance and tutorship of the Technical Studies staff. The thesis is contextualised as part of a broader dialogue in which the technical and the architectural agendas that arise within the unit are synthesised, and its critical development is pursued through case studies, material experiments and extensive research and consultation leading to informed design decisions that embody the aspirations and ideas of each individual student.

In both Third and Fifth Years an early and a later option is offered to the units whereby TS3 and TS5 Interim Juries take place in Week 6 of Term2 with the Final Document Submission Week 9 (early TS) or Interim Juries in Week 9 of Term 2 with the Final Document Submission in Week 1 of Term 3 (later TS). At the Interim Juries students make individual presentations of their TS3 work, unit by unit, where they get feedback from the TS design tutors and hand in the final document for assessment.

The aim is to integrate the TS3 and TS5 work with the unit agendas as much as possible, developing wherever possible the unit’s technical brief and supporting it with additional specialised information by means of seminars, lectures, visits,etc.The ambition of the technical design tutors is to offer each individual student the wherewithal to materialise the ideas, concepts and ambitions born in the intimacy of the unit. Technical Studies aims at reinforcing the plurality and variety of the units by adapting the requirements of TS3 and TS5 to each individual unit agenda. In order to achieve this, the syllabus of the Second and Fourth Years is purposefully loaded with more information in order to enable the students in the Third and Fifth Years to more freely apply acquired knowledge in their final year designs.

Full details of the programme will be found in the Complementary Studies course booklet, available at the beginning of the academic year.

Unit Staff

Javier Castañón has degrees from the University of Manchester (BA Hons), the AA (AADip) and the University of Granada (PhD). He started teaching at the AA in 1978 and has done so continuously since 2000. He has also taught at various UK schools and at the University of Pennsylvania. He is director of Castañón Associates (London) and Castañón Asociados (Madrid).

Kenneth Fraser has taught at the AA since 2007 and is an architect and director of Kirkland Fraser Moor Architects. He has taught at Brighton, acted as an RIBA External Examiner at Manchester and was formerly Master at the AA Diploma 7 Unit (2007–11). He is currently Intermediate Master of Technical Studies and founded KFM Fraser, working with Renzo Piano on Rome Auditorium and Padre Pio Church.

Sho Ito graduated from the AA in 2016 where he obtained his AA Diploma. He has worked for Kuma Kengo & Associate, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partner and currently works at dRMM Architects across the residential and commercial sectors. He is a studio tutor at Nottingham Trent University teaching the MArch programme.

Elisa Hernandez Montero is an engineer in the façades team at Arup, where she applies her architectural design experience in projects such as V&A Dundee, Maggie's Centre at St. Bartholomew's Hospital and Television Centre in Wood Lane. She studied Civil Engineering with Architecture at the University of Glasgow and at Mackintosh School of Art. She is completing her chartership through the ICE.

Xavier Aguiló studied industrial engineering in Spain specializing in architectural structures. He teaches on Structures at the European University of Madrid and is a specialist in CFD analysis and wind modelling. Qualifying as a Master Engineer in 1999, he became an associate with BAC Barcelona in 2001, the Director in 2007, and is a member of the main board.

Francesco Anselmo holds a degree in architectural engineering and a PhD in environmental physics. He is senior lighting and interaction designer at Arup.

Simon Beames is an architect and director of Youmeheshe Architects. He has worked for Foster and Partners and Grimshaw Architects leading the design team for Battersea Power Station. He has been a Diploma Unit Master at the AA and University of East London schools of architecture.

Giles Bruce is an architect and director of A-Zero Architects. He graduated from the AA in 2007 with an MArch in Sustainable Environmental Design, and has worked both as architect and environmental designer on a wide range of educational, cultural and residential projects. He tutors and lectures extensively in the UK and abroad on passive design within architecture.

Chris Davies is a project manager at Transport for London and a structural engineer with a background in multi-disciplinary engineering. With over ten years experience working at both large and small structural engineering practices, Chris has recently worked on advanced timber projects with cross-laminated timber and glulaminated timber in the UK.

Laura de Azcárate is a designer and architect at BDP's Environmental Design Studio (London). She studied architecture at San Pablo CEU and music at the University of Madrid. She also holds an MSc in Environmental and Architectural Acoustics from London South Bank University. Laura is an architect and music teacher and pursues an international design career trying to merge architecture, acoustics, sustainability and research in design.

Simon Dickens has over 25 years of international experience, working for companies such as Grimshaw Architect and Gensler and co-founded Youmeheshe studio. He has worked in sustainable design and master planning for cultural museums, public, commercial and residential projects and a number of high-pro le projects including Bath Spa and the Britannia Airport, Simon leads Unit 10 at the Bartlett.

Ian Duncombe is a board director of the international engineering practice Chapman BDSP and has worked on environmentally engineered projects worldwide, including Zayed National Museum (Abu Dhabi), Century Tower (Tokyo) and Britam Tower (Nairobi). His UK work includes two winners of the RIBA Stirling Prize.

Lena Emanuelsen is a Norwegian architect who gained her diploma from the AA. She co-founded Becoming X, a design and research practice that works between the UK and Norway. She has taught at De Montfort University and the AA.

Wolfgang Frese is a furniture maker, studied architecture at the Arts Academy in Stuttgart and received an MArch from the Bartlett. He has worked for Atelier One Engineers and Alsop Architects on a number of award winning international and UK projects. He is now senior project architect at AHMM.

Giulio Gianni completed a MEng in Civil Engineering at UCL, and undertook an MSc in the AA's EmTech programme. He currently works as a structural engineering consultant and computational design specialist in the geometrics group of Price & Myers Consulting Engineers (London).

Evan Green is a Senior Acoustics Consultant at Sound Space Design. He holds a Master's degree in Acoustics from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton and an MA in Physics from the University of Bath.

Pablo Gugel studied architecture at the ETSAC, Spain, and Sustainable Environmental Design at the AA. He has worked as an architect at Grimshaw Architects and as an environmental consultant for the last ve years at Chapman BDSP and Atelier Ten.

Alan Harries is a Director at INTEGRATION building- services and environmental design consultancy. He has 15 years expertise of environmental building and low energy design. His projects include one of the first BREEAM buildings, The National Assembly of Wales and the rst BREEAM educational building, the London School of Economics Student Centre.

David Illingworth is a chartered structural engineer working at AKT-UK. He studied civil and structural engineering at the University of Sheffield.

Angel Lara-Moreira is an architect and researcher currently working at the AA's Digital Prototyping Laboratory. He studied architecture at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalunya.

Alistair Lenczner, director at Expedition, is a highly experienced architectural and engineering designer. He has worked for Arup and as partner at Foster + Partners. His many varied past projects include Wembley Stadium and Millau Viaduct. He is currently on the HS2 Design Panel.

Cíaran Malik is a structural engineer, teacher and illustrator. He studied engineering at the University of Cambridge and trained as a teacher at the University of Buckingham. He teaches manufacturing techniques and has been involved in water projects in Thailand, improving the seismic resistance of structures in Nepal and developing shelter guidelines with Shelter Centre.

Patricia Mato-Mora studied architecture at the AA, materials at the RCA, and now works alongside artists and architects to realise large- scale projects employing various craftsmanship methods, while practising independently as an artist. She specializes in ceramics and is working towards her PhD.

Emanuele Marfisi is a structural engineer with a degree from the University of Florence, a PhD from the University of Cambridge and ten years work experience in engineering design. He has worked with Foster + Partners, Grimshaw, Zaha Hadid, Hopkins, Ron Arad, Christian de Portzamparc and Frank Gehry. He works as project director for Setec Batiment (Paris).

Nacho Martí graduated from Elisava School of Design in Barcelona and the AA. He founded his design studio in 2004 and its projects have been exhibited, published and awarded internationally. He is First Year studio Course Master, lecturer in Technical Studies and director of the Amazon Visiting School.

Nina McCallion trained as an architect and structural engineer at the University of Eindhoven, holds a MRes degree in the Built Environment from the University of Cambridge and is a chartered member of the IStructE and ICE. She is a senior structural engineering for Arup and is most proud of her contribution to the London Aquatics Centre.

Anna Mestre graduated from the School of Architecture at the Polytechnic University of Barcelona and holds an MA in Project Management in Building and Urban Planning from the Professional Association of Technical Architects of Barcelona. She has worked at BOMA (Barcelona and Madrid offices) and teaches Structural Types, Calculation and Mathematics in Art and Architecture in the IE School of Architecture and Design (Madrid).

Anna Pla holds an MSc in Advanced Architectural Design and Planning from the AA and Preservation (MScAAD-GSAPP) from Columbia University. She worked at Foster + Partners and Eisenman Architects before establishing her own private practice in Barcelona.

Danae Polyviou has studied at the University of Bath and has completed an MA on membrane structures in Germany. She has worked as a structural engineer in Stuttgart and Berlin prior to joining Atelier One (London).

Ioannis Rizos is a chartered engineer and trades as a senior environmental design consultant at Atelier Ten. He is a board member of the International Building Performance Association and has been involved in the development of energy and daylight simulation tools applied to several landmark buildings including the Olympic Velodrome in Queen Elizabeth's Olympic Park and the Natural History Museum's grounds redevelopment programme.

Camila Rock graduated from the University of Talca (Chile) and the EmTech and Design MArch at the AA. She works at Grimshaw Architects London, focusing on material systems and the use of computational processes as an instrument for architectural design.

Giancarlo Torpiano studied architecture and structural engineering at the University of Malta before completing a MArch at the AA. He works as a structural engineer in a multi-disciplinary team at Arup.

Andrew Usher is an associate principal at Grimshaw Architects where he has been responsible for the design and delivery of major projects in the aviation, infrastructure, energy, commercial and education sectors. He studied at the Kent School of Architecture in Canterbury, the Bartlett and is also a member of the RIBA Validation Panel.

Manja van de Worp is an architect and structural engineer trained at the Technical University of Eindhoven and at the AA. With over ten years of experience in the construction industry, she has worked for Arup and is now the Principal of NOUS Engineering, London. She teaches at the RCA, IAAC Barcelona and runs international workshops.

Anna Wai obtained a Civil & Architectural Engineering degree at the University of Bath and is a structural engineer working at Price Myers. She has taught structures at London Metropolitan University and the University of East London.

José Monfá is currently Head of Architecture for Manchester Airport Group. He previously worked for Grimshaw and Zaha Hadid Architects. He graduated from the ETSAUN and obtained an MA (Distinction) at the AA in History & Critical Thinking. Jose is currently working towards an MBA.

Dan Cash is a mechanical engineer with an interest in the interfaces that exist in the building. This starts with the building as an interface between people and the external climate providing comfort, security and welfare. As the design develops the interfaces become more and more focused between design disciplines and it is at these points, where details are honed and simplified, that successful projects are defined.


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