Why Architecture must never stand still

Series: Evening Lecture
Date: Thursday 20 November 2014
Time: 18:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 80 mins

DSDHA’s Studio is founded on a persistent search for new forms of beauty through active design, research and agency. As a practice, their projects span from macro-scaled urban strategies and infrastructure studies, such as the redesign of area of Camden's West End in which the AA sits (between Tottenham Court Road,  Gower Street, Warren Street and Shaftesbury Avenue) though to highly acclaimed individual crafted buildings which celebrate the act of making and materiality within architecture, such as Alex Monroe’s Studio in Snowsfields, London or their new Covert House – an uncompromisingly radical concrete cottage within a historic conservation area. These projects have evolved through a unique design methodology that deploys tactics developed through 15 years of parallel research in academia and on the ground, and which have been widely recognised as ground-breaking.

The lecture will focus on research carried out within the Studio, and as part of Deborah Saunt’s recently PhD at RMIT Europe, revealing not only the qualities and preoccupations found within the projects which engage with nature and contemporary conditions but also how architects must invariably demonstrate agency within the practice of architecture so that they insert themselves into the project, create impulses that propel the progress of design forward.

DSDHA is a design and research studio based in London, whose works spans across the boundaries between architecture, landscape and urbanism. DSDHA is best known for its innovative approach to urbanism, sustainability and public engagement. Their projects have been recognised with 12 RIBA Awards in the last decade, and they have twice been nominated for the European Uniion Mies Van Der Rohe Prize for Contemporary Architecture.

Recent projects range from a gateway building for London's Olympic Village, a flagship store in the West End and a new studio for writer and artist Edmund de Waal. In addition, DSDHA has been involved in significant urban design proposals including the redesign of Tottenham Court Road in London's West End, improvements to the public realm between The Albert Memorial and The Royal Albert Hall, as well as urban regeneration projects for Waterloo and Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens.

Deborah and David Hill also lead the studio's urban research, regularly writing and broadcasting on architecture, and have taught widely including at the AA, EPFL (Lausanne), University of Cambridge, RCA and currently The Cass School of Architecture.


Image : Edmund de Waal Studio and Gallery

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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 Certificate), 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.