Shiqiao Li

The Empire of Figures

Series: Evening Lecture
Date: Monday 6 March 2017
Time: 18:30
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 81 mins

The Chinese writing system, through its unitary morphemic centralities rather than modular phonemic compositions, shapes far more than just a tool of human communication; it is a structural system of thought fundamentally different from the world of phono-centric intellectual frameworks. Here, meanings in the structuralist sense are made differently. This lecture presents an understanding of the Chinese city, among other features, as systematic processions of organized figures as morphemic units, leading to results that both parallel and deviate from their Western counterparts. The principles of these morphemic processions are to be found in the establishment of objects of value, hierarchical and poetic semantic distributions, and an immanent power structure that transforms the design of buildings into a state function.

Shiqiao Li (BA Tsinghua Beijing, AAGradDip, PhD AA/Birkbeck) is author of Understanding the Chinese City, Power and Virtue: Architecture and Intellectual Change in England 1650-1730, and editor, with Esther Lorenz, of Kowloon Cultural District. He is Weedon Professor at the University of Virginia, teaches architectural design and theory, and lectured worldwide. He practiced architecture in London and Hong Kong, and taught at AA, NUS, and CUHK.

Image: Pudong, Shanghai

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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.