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Moshe Safdie: On Invention and Fitness – Humanising Megascale

Adaptive Ecologies Evening Lecture Series

Date: Monday 11 March 2013
Time: 18:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 85 mins

Fitness to purpose, in the Darwinian sense, has long been an underlying theme for architecture. From the earliest human shelters to the sophisticated structures of ceremonial architecture, the search for perfect fitness has addressed issues of materiality, construction, climate and culture. The past century has introduced a new paradigm to this search: demographic realities of exploding population and increasing urban density. Environmental qualities previously taken for granted – sunlight, openness to view and nature, the integration of plant life with human habitation – are all under threat. New urban concepts, as well as architectural and urban design inventions, must be considered to maintain and enhance the fundamental aspirations so essential to the human spirit.

Moshe Safdie is an architect, urban planner, educator, theorist and author. Embracing a comprehensive and humane design philosophy, Safdie has been a visionary force in architecture and urban design for more than forty years. Some of his most notable works include Habitat '67 in Montreal, Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem, National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, Marina Bay Sands Integrated Resort in Singapore, and the United States Institute of Peace headquarters in Washington, DC.

Image: Portrait of Moshe Safdie by Stephen Kelly

This lecture is part of the Adaptive Ecologies Evening Lecture Series: Organised by Theodore Spyropoulos

All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.

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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.