An Evolutionary Architecture Reassessed

Series: DRL Keynote Lecture 1
Date: Thursday 22 January 2015
Time: 18:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 72 mins

This lecture celebrates the 20th Anniversary of the Evolutionary Architecture exhibition opening on 26 January 1995 and the book of the same name and the 25th Anniversary of the founding of the Morphogenesis Unit (Dip 11 1989-1996) at the AA. The Evolutionary Digital Design Process advanced by the unit became internationally recognized and established the AA as the leader in this field. The background of the 60s, 70s and 80s at the AA will be described out of which this work emerged, the work of the unit between 1989 up to the establishment of DRL in 1997 and subsequent developments of the Evolutionary Digital Design theory which went on to become a theory recognized not just in architecture but in science, engineering, politics, philosophy and even law. The specific technique of Evolutionary Digital Design is now being interpreted as the basis for a more generalizable new theory of architecture.

John Frazer is acknowledged as the originator of the Evolutionary Digital Design Process and world leader of the field of Generative Design. He was Head of three International Design Schools and Chairman of the award winning Autographics Software company that pioneered microcomputer based design systems. His research embraces intelligent and interactive design, tangible interfaces, participatory and co-operative design and computer generated design. As Unit Master of the AA Diploma 11 Morphogenesis Unit (1989-96) he explored advanced experimental computational techniques in design with his students leading to an exhibition and a seminal book An Evolutionary Architecture (1995) that established the reputation of AA in this field. 

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

February 2020
Su M Tu W Th F Sa


AA Photo Library has DVD copies of Public Programme lectures dating back to 1974


Online Lectures
Lecture Archive



For any issues with video playback please contact
AA Digital Platforms

The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.



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.