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Experimental 17 Magnetonic Lively Changes Beyond Form, Kevin Ka Yu Chan, 2018–19

The Object of Ecology

‘Strictly speaking, at the moment of design, architectural discourse is not and has never been theory or history at all’ – Jeffrey Kipnis, Forms of Irrationality, 1988

Contemporary practises of ecological architecture and urbanism tend increasingly and autocratically towards performance targets, systemic design, organic integration and hyper-engineering. EX17 would like to disrupt this trend and focus instead on spatial sensibilities, physical experiences and architectural theatricality, encouraging students to formulate and test precise new objects and objectives for the field of ecology in a fast-moving, culturally complex and technologically advanced context.

The unit will question what our role is as citizens of a global-local living ecology, how the built environment influences the way we live today and how architecture as an ecological construct might offer new forms of urban development. Together we will investigate, analyse and reformulate speculative, progressive futures for ecological architecture.

EX17 is a design-oriented unit – we encourage architectural experimentation through physical constructs, drawings and digital design processes. Students will learn to develop their own repertoire of design skills, employing highly specific technologies, tectonics, construction techniques and formal strategies to move beyond limitations of current ecological discourse and develop experiential architectural projects in both the domestic environment and the public, cultural domain.

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Unit Staff

Andrew Yau, Jonas Lundberg are members of Urban Future Organization, an international architectural practice and design research collaborative. Urban Future has won a number of international competitions and exhibited its work globally. Currently they are working on micro to macro-scale urban and architectural projects in Europe and the Far East.

Experimental School


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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.