Towards a New Chapter of the Diagrammatic Project

Series: AA Tutor Lecture
Date: Thursday 4 February 2016
Time: 18:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 76 mins

Summarising several research projects on design systems, I revisit some of the most influential “diagrammatic” practices of the 1990’s – 2000’s – from OMA and SANAA to UN Studio and MVRDV. Considering the design methods, tools and techniques behind the revival of the design ‘infrastructures’ and frameworks, I focus on the diagram – its theoretical inflations and deflations, practical successes and failures. The case studies tackle key design tensions and inconsistencies – between abstract and concrete, analytical and projective, programmatic and formal - exposing both persistent problems and under-utilised potentials of the now-suspect diagrammatic approach. In contrast to return to the incomplete historical pursuit not its abandonment in the world after-the-diagram, I argue for the redirection and the next chapter of both contingent and consistent disciplinary project. Ultimately, lighter, looser and more “plastic” design approaches are a better fit for contemporary contexts and practices.

Maria Fedorchenko is a Diploma 8 Unit Master, and has been involved in HTS, Housing & Urbanism and the Visiting School Programmes at the AA since 2008. She runs a collaborative platform Plakat, co-directs Fedorchenko Studio and an urban consultancy. Her work has been exhibited and published internationally, including Architectural Theory Review and Journal of the Constructed Environment.

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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.