Elements of Venice

Series: Evening Lecture
Date: Tuesday 18 November 2014
Time: 18:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 65 mins

Giulia Foscari, AA DRL 2007

From the AA, via Hong Kong and Buenos Aires, back to Europe.

Following a brief excursus on projects developed between 2007 and 2013 in Hong Kong and in Latin America, the talk will focus on “Elements of Venice”. Conceived as a mean to test and apply Rem Koolhaas’ dissection strategy into fundamental architectural elements (set forth in "Elements of Architecture”), the research isolates Venetian façades, walls, stairs, ceilings, etc with the joint ambition of presenting each as the product of political and cultural shifts that occurred since Venice’s foundation to date, and of demystifying the notion that the city has remained unchanged throughout its history.

Since her graduation cum laude in Italy and the completion of the AA DRL MArch (in 2007), Giulia Foscari worked as architect, curator and assistant professor, based in Hong Kong and Buenos Aires. In Asia, she taught at Hong Kong University, and, after a year at Foster and Partners, she was the first person on the ground for the OMA Hong Kong office. In parallel, Giulia curated two Collateral Events at the Venice Biennale (in 2008, “Palladio and Contemporary Architects: Zaha Hadid and Patrick Schumacher”, and the “Hong Kong Pavilion”, in 2010, with Juan Du). In South America, Giulia was responsible for a small OMA platform which focused on research and design projects in the region. Since 2013, Giulia shifted her focus back to her hometown, Venice, by being part of AMO Biennale team and by publishing “Elements of Venice”, a book which was developed as a parallel research to Rem Koolhaas’ “Elements of Architecture”.

Giulia Foscari's book 'Elements of Venice' available for sale after the lecture:

Details of the book:

 The metamorphic nature of Venice, a city in which most buildings underwent throughout the centuries substantial volumetric and formal transformations informed by political and cultural shifts, is revealed in Elements of Venice through the analysis of single architectural elements. Developed as a parallel research project of Fundamentals--the 14th Venice Architecture Biennale curated by Rem Koolhaas--the book offers insights on Venetian facades, stairs, corridors, floors, ramps, ceilings, doors, hearths, windows, balconies and walls. "Product not [only] of the mind but of societal organization" the elements are isolated from their picture-perfect context and from the postcard view of Venice that is impressed in our retinas, introducing the reader--through a combination of collages, drawings, photographs, paintings, film stills and quotes--to a radically new way of seeing Venice. Like a camera obscura photograph cuts through the often irrelevant embellishments of architecture to reveal the underlying skeleton of a building (i.e. its elements), this guide will allow the reader to better understand the fundamental transformations that have shaped Venice during the past ten centuries. This city, which for many is--architecturally speaking--permanently frozen in time, has in fact often been at the forefront of challenging the architectural conventions, both during the days of the Republic (until 1797), in which gothic and renaissance styles were seen as carriers of political and ideological meanings, and in the past two centuries when, despite the introduction of the dooming motto "Com'era, dov'era" ("As it was, where it was"), Venice underwent an unprecedented urban transformation.

Baden 2014, 16.7x12 cm, fully illustrated, 560pp. Paperback

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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.