Carlos H Matos & Umberto Bellardi Ricci

Beton Machine

Series: What’s Next Lecture Series
Date: Monday 2 March 2015
Time: 18:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 59 mins

Umberto Bellardi Ricci and Carlos Matos will be talking about their journey from students at the AA through working in London and abroad and currently developing speculative practices in Mexico. They have set up an AA Visiting School in Las Pozas as an experimental concrete workshop set in the Mexican Jungle every August. It’s largely based inside Edward James’ Las Pozas Gardens in Xilitla but also includes travels across Mexico for research purposes.

On the grounds of minimalist sculpture, pre-hispanic monumentalism and geometric abstraction, this year’s workshop was concluded with a number of concrete pieces and fragments that were developed through a thorough study of James’ intricate wooden formworks, defragmenting and collaging molds and casts, experimenting with local aggregates and incorporating contemporary techniques.

The recent exhibition of pieces that were produced in last year’s workshop have been shown in an exhibition in MARSO Galleria in Mexico City and will travel to an exhibition in New York’s Pioneer Works Center for Art and Innovation next year.

Bio: Umberto Bellardi Ricci is Studio Master in the Foundation Course at the Architectural Association and Director of the AA Visiting School in Las Pozas, Mexico. He currently also runs his practice in London, which ranges from residential projects to product design. Prior to completing his Diploma at the AA, he holds degrees in Social Anthropology and International Relations from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London and has worked in various fields such as human rights and journalism. He currently also co-organises the Architecture Exchange, a platform fostering debate between architecture and philosophy.

Carlos H Matos is an architect and artist based in Mexico City. He graduated from the Architectural Association in London and received his Diploma in 2011. He is founder of nomadic architecture practice TZONTL,. After graduating Carlos worked for David Chipperfield Architects in projects in Istanbul and London. He also has experience working for art production institutions such as Media Lab Prado in Madrid, working across a range of projects between installation art and architecture. 

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.