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Night School

How To Build An Office - Part 2

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Series: Night School
Date: Monday 20 May 2013
Time: 18:00
Venue: New Soft Room
Running time: 111 mins

Lecture date: 2013-05-20

How To Build An Office was conceived within our larger idea for the ‘professional practice’ element to Night School, to act as everything you didn’t learn in Part 3 and the realities of working in practice. The idea was to have six practices of different shapes and sizes discuss, over two sessions, how the nature of their practice has opened up, limited or defined their architecture.

Paul Finch chaired both discussions and noted that it was a rare opportunity to discuss the structures, formations and nature of practice in school but in fact its not actually discussed that much in practice either. However, the current model of architectural education is more based on structures of practice than we imagine. Finch elaborated on this theory by explaining schools employ people, they have programmes and have to produce a product – end of year shows, which are designs produced by people within the institution: ‘that fluidity between what we think of as exclusively education and exclusively practice on examination, there are tendrils of both extending into one another.’

The first presentation of the second session was made by Jim McKinney of Tony Fretton Architects who spoke of a meta-design discussion and meta-practice discussion as a way of talking about talking about what we do.

Joe Morris of Duggan Morris, a husband and wife partnership, presented next, Morris previously worked under Simon Allford at AHMM who told him, “Joe you know fuck all”, when he started his own practice! Contrary to this Morris presented his multi-award winning projects and gave us an insight into the practice’s structure, a classic pyramid with everyone at the bottom – directors, senior staff, cleaners, assistants, admin who are all working towards the cultural ambition of the practice.

Working on an entirely different scale, Jim Eyre of Wilkinson Eyre was the last practice to present. The practice is large and internationally prevalent. With over 30 years of experience, Eyre gave nuggets of advice which hadn’t been discussed previously. Firstly, avoid debt as much as possible, ideally keep 3 months turnover in the bank and you’re safe, although difficult in today’s climate.

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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.