Diploma 8 Alessandro Magliani, Objects against the Canon, Diploma 8, 2017–18


Maria Fedorchenko, Bozar Ben-Zeev

The unit will focus its project on the European city, exploiting its conflicts and collisions in order to advance a new generation of urban architecture. With a post-dialectic and opportunistic approach towards clashes between history and modernity, we will dissect the problems of preservation and renewal, monumentality and efficiency, identity and globalisation to develop individual design briefs that respond to multiple levels and scales of transitions. With the challenge to sustain increasingly more complex and dynamic ‘mega-’ and ‘meta-elements’ we will test new alignments and hybrids of archetypes and typologies, and, once again, put architecture at the core of the transformation of the city.

Following targeted diagnostics of the most symptomatic tension points – with immanent departures, clashes and hijacks of current structures and logics – we will explore their alternative futures as sites of radical displacement. As our visionary provocations would build upon earlier condensers and ‘multipliers’ of urban content we will stress the connections between the project and its contexts – urban and disciplinary – making crucial links between contemporary dilemmas and long-standing pursuits of gure/ ground, diagram/programme, element/frame- work. Our theoretical and practical arsenal will rely on an awareness of contemporary reality and knowledge of architectural history.

Between strategic engagement with social and spatial conditions and intense experimentation with design tools and processes, we will animate the project beyond its early triggers. It will unfold through an exciting intellectual and creative journey – through catalytic encounters with architectures past and present, leaps between diverse methods and techniques, and exchanges between dissenting voices, personal canons and provisional histories that underlie our architectural culture. Ending up with rich catalogues of urban concepts and design prototypes – as complex junctions and transfers as well as intricate morphologies – we will then integrate the year-long projects in curated displays of synthetic representations and well-edited publications. Combined outputs may demonstrate how our transitional elements perform in multiple domains – built and imagined, concrete and abstract – changing the ways we think about and work within the city of the future.

Extended Brief

Unit Staff

Maria Fedorchenko has been an AA Unit Master since 2010, and has taught in History & Theory Studies, Housing & Urbanism and the Visiting School. She taught at UC Berkeley, UCLA and California College of the Arts. Primarily an educator and theorist, she is also a co-founder of Plakat Platform, an urban consultant and a co-director of Fedorchenko Studio.

Bozar Ben-Zeev is a practicing architect with experience in offices such as MAD and OMA. He holds a Diploma from AA, andaBScin Architecture (Hons) from the TU Delft; he has also acted as both a visiting critic and guest tutor at the AA.

Diploma School


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Projects Review 2018

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Undergraduate Course Booklet


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