Luc Merx and Christian Holl

Opulent Decay: The contingency of design

Series: Evening Lecture
Date: Monday 14 March 2011
Time: 18:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 82 mins
Rococo Relevance is a research project that explores the potential of history as a reference for contemporary design. Merx and Holl are not searching for general historical rules but for the exceptions that question the existence of those rules, for that part of history that has been ignored until now. They use aversion as an indicator of habits and taboos that restrict our exploration of the possible.  

Since they don't believe in a 'truth out there' that can be found and discovered, they search for radical subjectivity and the potential of multiple meanings within the architectural discourse. In their research they reflect on today’s architectural practice, its restriction through myths or dogmas, and on personal relation to the world that surrounds us. 

Luc Merx is interested in the borders between architecture, design and art. He founded his practice, Gagat International, in Rotterdam in 1999. In 2003, a grant from the Netherlands Foundation BKVB provided him with the opportunity to study the parallels between late baroque architecture in Southern Germany and the influence of computers on modern architecture.

He has taught at several schools, including the Universities of Technology in Eindhoven and Darmstadt and is currently a professor at the University of Technology in Kaiserslautern as well as head of the Maastricht Building Academy.

Christian Holl studied art in Stuttgart and Münster and architecture in Aachen, Florence and Stuttgart. He was editor of db deutsche Bauzeitung 1997–2004. In 2004 he founded frei04 publizistik together with Ursula Baus and Klaus Siegele. He has published several books, and works as a freelance editor and critic. He was assistant professor at the Institute of Urbanism at University of Stuttgart 2005–10 in teaching and research. He is curator at the Weissenhof gallery for architecture in Stuttgart. Since 2010 he has been managing director of the association of German Architects BDA in Hessen

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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.