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Paris Lee Alexander McQueen Photo Alexander McQueen label

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Post-McQueen Embryos, Les Arts Decoratifs

Monday 19 – Friday 30 March 2012

Alexander McQueen (1969–2010) was one of the most influential and provocative designers of his generation. His clothing challenged the generic and conventional parameters of fashion to express culture, politics and identity. McQueen went beyond the physical constraints of traditional clothing design by looking at its ideological and conceptual possibilities, addressing questions of race, gender, religion, sexuality and environment.

During our March workshop, McQueen’s evolutionary designs will act as prompts for generating embryos within the body of work that is [Fashion+Architecture]. In biology, an embryo is defined as a multicellular organism at its earliest stage of development, from the time of the first cell division until birth or egg-hatching. In the AA’s Paris Visiting School, a collective embryo-genesis will fuse McQueen’s DNA and legacy with a novel and crucial debate about fashion in the post-McQueen era. Over a ten-day gestation period A A embryos will grow and develop a consciousness informed by a set of social, contextual and operational issues ranging from mass production driven by capitalism to global temperature variations.

The post-McQueen agenda seeks to eradicate the non-responsiveness within clothing design by reviewing McQueen’s alienated proportions, aiming to bust fashion out of its commercial stranglehold. Central to the programme is the desire to grow the potential for meshing the parallel disciplines of fashion and architecture within a digital/ physical cross-over studio. Our overriding aim: to consolidate the emerging discipline of bodily architecture.

Debates and lectures will be held with invited experts on a daily basis. By placing fashion designers at the centre of the process, the workshop seeks to challenge much more than just clothing design.


The deadline for applications is 5 March 2012. All participants travelling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required. After payment of fees, the AA can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop. A portfolio or CV is not required, only the online application form and payment.


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £50 Digital Membership. If you are already a member, the total fee will be reduced automatically by £50 by the online payment system.
Fees are non refundable. Fees do not include flights or accommodation, but accommodation with local students can be arranged for visiting students.
Participants need to bring their own camera equipment and laptops with a current version of Rhino and Grasshopper readily installed. Please ensure this equipment is covered by your own insurance as the AA takes no responsibility for items lost or stolen at the workshop.

The workshop is open to architecture and design students and professionals worldwide.


Programme Director
Jorge Ayala

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

T +44 20 7887 4014
F +44 20 7414 0782

Links & Downloads

Publicity card


Visiting School Prospectus


The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

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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.