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The House of Politics

Monday 3 – Thursday 13 September 2018

The House of Politics 2018 is a 11-day research workshop in collaboration with the European Council and the Faculté d'Architecture La Cambre Horta (Université Libre de Bruxelles).
The program uses film as an analytical tool to address the role of architecture in representing and constructing political communities. In practical terms, we will produce short films looking at the architecture of political organizations that exceed the paradigms of the traditional nation-state.
The workshop is developed in Brussels, home of many supra-national political bodies such as Benelux, NATO and the EU. Our main case study is the European Union and, this year the focus will be on the European Council.
The 2018 edition of the workshop will contribute to a wider ongoing research that, in previous editions looked at at the EU Parliament and Commission. The aim of the project is to address the following questions:
How are the complex functions of supranational political bodies spatially articulated?
What spatial formations can represent the values of EU political community?
How does the architecture of EU headquarters relate to multimedia and transnational channels of audiovisual distribution in relationship to institutional communication strategies?
How can film reveal/produce a specific form of spatial knowledge?
An understanding of the ubiquitous importance of supranational political organizations is the starting point of our research. In particular, the EU study case has been chosen in order to address the uncertain continuous becoming of a European political project in a globalized world.
Recent political tendencies of both right and left parties actively question such a project by pointing toward an assumed lack of identification of the European citizens with its institutions. However, these voices are claiming for an identity construction in analogy to nation states, disregarding that the European project be build on non-national political constructs that require new and imaginative forms of identification.
Traditionally, architecture has a prominent role in visual culture and is crucial to the edification of collective imagination. Thus, what kind of role could architecture play in establishing new perspectives on transnational institutions and their diverse citizenship.
During the workshop we will analyse how the buildings of the EU institutions actively perform an arrangement of rituals, circulations and symbolic orders, with the objective of unveiling the poetics hidden in their, a priori, unappealing generic architecture.
The objective is to question the role of architecture in relationship to EU's visual identity strategies within a contemporary context where digital technologies are crucial to the construction of public image. Furthermore, to reveal with the media of film yet unknown conceptions of the EU and its transnational institutional architecture.

Extended information about the course, as well as previous editions, can be found on the The House of Politics website:

Prominent Features of the workshop/ skills developed

• Explore Brussels, capital of Europe, and the European quarter.
• Analyse and film inside the European Council premises.
• Learn the fundamentals of the grammar and practice of film as an architectural analytical tool
• Learn how to articulate a precise research question and synthesize a body of research.
• Produce a short film addressing the role of European Council architecture in the construction of EU public image.
• Participate in a collective discussion on the communication strategies of the EU in relationship with architecture and new audiovisual platforms.
• Expand your knowledge on the topic with a series of invited lecturers and teachers that will cover different aspects of the research.
• Present your film in a public event open to discussion with representatives of the European Council and the city of Brussels.
• The workshop will be divided in four parts: 1) introduction to the European Council, research & development of the filming project; 2) filming in the European Council; 3) editing and refinement of the thesis; 4) public presentation of the films.


Faculté d'Architecture La Cambre Horta (ULB).
Place Eugène Flagey 19
1050 Brussels 


1) You can make an application by completing the online application found under ‘Links and Downloads’ on the AA Visiting School page. If you are not able to make an online application, email. for instructions to pay by bank transfer. 

2) Once you complete the online application and make a full payment, you are registered to the programme.
The deadline for applications is 2 September 2018.
All participants traveling from abroad are responsible for securing any visa required, and are advised to contact their home embassy early. After payment of fees, the AA School can provide a letter confirming participation in the workshop.


The AA Visiting School requires a fee of £695 per participant, which includes a £60 Visiting membership fee. Should you wish to enhance your membership, a Subscribing Membership is available at an additional £70 (£130 in total), full details of which can be found at:

Fees do not include flights or accommodation. Please contact  for accommodation options.

Scholarship Programme

There are 6 partial scholarships available for the Brussels Visiting School and is supported by the City of Brussels and Universität der Künste (UdK) Berlin. Scholarships will be allocated on candidate’s merits.

3 half scholarships are available for Universität der Künste (UdK) applicants.

3 partial scholarships are available for La Cambre (ULB) applicants. 

To apply for a scholarship please send the following information to:

- CV (non-specific format)

- Letter of Intent (max. 350words)


The workshop is open to current architecture, design, cinema and related disciplines students, phd candidates and young professionals worldwide. 

Programme Head/Coordinator Bio

Pol Esteve is a practicing architect and teacher graduated from Escola Tècnica Superior d’Arquitectura de Barcelona in 2009. He holds Masters in History and Critical thinking by the Architectural Association and is a PhD candidate at The Bartlett (UCL). He has previously collaborated with studios like Cloud9 and R&Sie(n) and founded the practice GOIG in 2015. He is currently a studio master in the AA, where he has previously taught in the History and Theory department. . 

Dennis Pohl is a PhD candidate at the interdisciplinary research cluster “The Knowledge of the Arts” at the Universtiy of Arts Berlin (UdK). His PhD research, entitled “The Aesthetics of the EU: The role of Architecture and Infrastructure in European Governing” deals with political role of the Architecture of the European Institutions in Brussels, Strasbourg and Luxembourg. Pohl studied architecture at Leibniz University Hannover and Artesis Antwerp. Next to a degree in philosophy from the KU Leuven, he holds Masters in Architecture and Urban Research from the AdBK Nürnberg. He has previously taught lecture and seminar courses in architectural history and theory, as well as political philosophy in international contexts such as Sandberg Institute Amsterdam and the UdK Berlin. In the field of architecture, Pohl has collaborated with studios like Common Room, Dogma, LAb[au] and Nomad Concept.

Bernard Dubois is a Belgian practicing architect and curator graduated in L’École de la Cambre, Brussels in 2009. Based in Brussels, his studio produces projects in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Italy and China. He was co-curator of the Belgian Pavilion at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia.


Programme Head
Pol Esteve
Dennis Pohl

Programme Coordinator
Bernard Dubois

Head of Visiting School

Christopher Pierce

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

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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.