BALL, Benjamin

Fast Cheap & In Control

Series: Evening Lecture
Date: Tuesday 22 November 2011
Time: 18:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 87 mins

Benjamin Ball will discuss the work of Ball Nogues Studio, an integrated design and fabrication practice operating in the territory between architecture, art and industrial design. Essential to each of their projects is the 'design' of the production process itself. They devise proprietary systems of construction, create new fabrication devices, develop custom digital tools, and invent materials with the aim of expanding the potential of the physically constructed world. They share an enthusiasm for the fabrication process as it relates to the built world both physically and poetically by letting the properties, limitations, and economic scenarios associated with a process guide a structure’s ultimate form while developing methods to extend the intertwined boundaries of aesthetics, physical performance and lifecycle.

Speculation and execution are inexorably linked in the work; each project demands tight control over design and production. As young practitioners, this requires a do-it-yourself ethos. Consequently, the practice has 'designed' the work in order to be able to exploit opportunities to build that are outside the constraints of the conventional architectural milieu. Although the projects are experimental with respect to production, they are far more than prototypes; each directly addresses human occupation by enhancing and celebrating social interaction through sensation, spectacle and physical engagement.

Ball-Nogues has exhibited at major institutions throughout the world, including the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles;  the Guggenheim Museum; PS1; arc en rêve centre d'architecture + Musée d'Art Contemporain de Bordeaux; the Venice Biennale, the Hong Kong | Shenzhen Biennale; and the Beijing Biennale. They have received numerous honours including three AIA Design Awards, United States Artists Target Fellowships and a grant from the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts. In 2007 the Studio was the winner of the Museum of Modern Arts PS1 Young Architects Program Competition. Their work is in the permanent collection of MoMA. In 2011 they were one of the Architectural League of New York's Emerging Voices. The partners have taught in the graduate architecture programmes at universities in the USA. Their work has appeared in a variety of publications worldwide.

BENJAMIN BALL grew up in Colorado and Iowa where his mother’s involvement in theatre proved influential. While studying for his degree at the Southern California Institute of Architecture, Ball logged stints at Gehry Partners and Shirdel Zago Kipnis. Upon graduation, he sought work as a set and production designer for films (including the Matrix series) as well as music videos and commercials with directors including Mark Romanek and Tony Scott. His experience ranges from work on the Disney Concert Hall and small residential commissions for boutique firms to complex medical structures and event design.

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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.