Organised by Mark Morris and Mark Cousins with Ben Nicholson

5 Conversations on Education: Edu-topia: the Space of Paradox versus the Space of Unadulterated Hypocrisy

Series: Lunchtime Lecture
Date: Wednesday 11 October 2017
Time: 13:00
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 61 mins

“Two major systems have within the past fifty years enjoyed a conspicuous success – those of the École des Beaux-Arts and of the Bauhaus. This simple statement is by no means to commend the results of either but merely to observe that both have possessed to a high degree a generating power, and that both have to some extent been able to endow their techniques with universal significance. Neither in the light of the present day appears completely adequate for our requirements.” So wrote Colin Rowe of the dominant types architectural education about fifty years ago. 


Could it be said that since that time a third system arose that has had a generating power and ability to endow its own techniques and methods of teaching across the globe? If that is so, how might the AA as a model of architectural education formulate its future in the midst of seeking taught degree-awarding powers and a new director? What potential trajectories should we consider? A series of lunchtime discussions will address the state of architectural education, the challenges and opportunities at hand, and the onus on the AA to lead the way in terms of innovation.  


Ben Nicholson is an educator, essayist, activist, and celebrated draughtsman. He was educated at the Architectural Association, the Cooper Union, and Cranbrook, and is Associate Professor at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Publications include Appliance House (MIT Press, 1990) and Thinking the Unthinkable House (Renaissance Society, 1997). He has exhibited at Foundation Cartier, the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Venice Biennale. 



All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.


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THE AA RECEIVES THE POWER TO AWARD ITS OWN DEGREES

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 Certificate), 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.

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