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Diploma 21

Perpetuum Mobile

Didier Fiúza Faustino, Anna Muzychak

DIP21 will focus on the notion of nomadism with respect to climate change, as well as the social, political and technological mutations that are occurring in the contemporary world.

Sedentarisation and power, historically, go hand in hand. When people settle they become productive, governed by the tacit regulations of participation in a collective society. In the fixed settlement, the construct of the state, the idea of the nation, the border and the homeland find their root. Within systems of capital, the sedentarisation of a given population therefore facilitates a collective increase in the accumulation of natural resources, the production of processed goods and the distribution of assets for economic gain.

Contemporary, globalised societies have coalesced around notions of economic deregulation and liberalism, pursuing the perpetual generation of capital under the promise of increasing flexibility and mobility for the individual. People and goods are supposed to move as freely and easily as one another – we can now move from country to country, rapidly change jobs as required and constantly modify our mechanisms of production. Some have been tempted to describe this condition as a new form of nomadism. But it has nothing to do with it.

Nomadism draws distinctions of territory that are uninscribed by the borders of the state, fundamentally relying on an ability to adapt in different environments. Nomadic people share a common ground and an interwoven history – they understand how to live in many different places and the subtleties of how to negotiate with other societies that they encounter. Nomads know how to live together. However, this form of moving settlement is rapidly disappearing, in tandem with the erosion of hospitality, togetherness and collective freedoms.

Our cities are not suited for fugacity and transitory passage without economic gain. Authorities cannot stand freedom of movement. So, how can we make room for nomadism? How can we, as architects, act to make cities welcoming and adaptable again? These issues go far beyond questions of shelter and provision – the ontological dimension of architecture and the nature of the human being is at stake. Architecture does not stand in relation to an economic system, but rather to the body, to space, to time, movement and territory. We advocate an architecture of instability, for the nomads of tomorrow.

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Didier Fiúza Faustino, is an architect, artist and designer. He is the founder of Mésarchitecture, based in Paris and Lisbon, a studio developing speculative work on the body, space and movement in their physical, social and political dimensions. He is currently working on exhibitions in France and elsewhere, and is the editor of the architectural collection entitled #arch_manifest.

Anna Muzychak is an AA graduate currently working on private commissions in Eastern Europe. She has previously taught at Cardiff University, the AA Summer School and in the AA Experimental Programme.

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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.