Dr. Amara Thornton

“Supply[ing] a third dimension”: Architects (Re) Constructing Archaeology, 1900s-1960s

Series: AA Collections Talks
Date: Tuesday 25 April 2017
Time: 18:30
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 75 mins

Architect-archaeologist and Architectural Association graduate Seton Lloyd wrote his memoirs in the 1980s.  He reflected on his own route into archaeology – through architecture – stating that what architects brought to the table (literally) was the ability to “supply a third dimension”.  Reconstructing the past has always been of utmost importance to archaeology, but how much of this vision was actually the work of architects? 

This talk will present an overview of some key architects in archaeology (several of them former AA students) and the vision they brought to interpreting the past – both technical and artistic.  It will draw on research into the lives and work of these architect-archaeologists to explore how their practice and experiences shaped the way that archaeology was presented both on and off the page, from technical surveys and site plans to exhibition displays, films and children’s books.

Amara Thornton is an Honorary Research Associate at the UCL Institute of Archaeology.  She specialises in the history of archaeology, with a focus on British archaeologists working in the Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  She is coordinator of the History of Archaeology Network at the Institute, and Principal Investigator of Filming Antiquity, a project digitising and researching excavation films from the early-mid 20th century.  She blogs on her research at http://www.readingroomnotes.com.

Image: copyright UCL Institute of Archaeology

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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.