Paula Cadima, Mark Cousins, Maria Shéhérazade Giudici, Marina Lathouri, Michael Weinstock, Simos Yannas, chaired by Mark Morris

What is PhD by Design?

Series: PhD by Design event
Date: Friday 26 January 2018
Time: 14:00
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 140 mins

Across fields, doctoral research conventionally culminates in the format of a text-based dissertation. Within the architectural discourse, a variety of institutions have started to acknowledge the relevance of integrating non-written components into doctoral dissertations in architectural design. A new kind of doctoral programme is therefore in development – often called a PhD by Design. Within the AA, doctoral students can pursue their research either through the traditional route of the written dissertation or combine writing with design research for the studio-based PhD in architectural design. However, there is presently a lack of consensus within the AA regarding what a PhD by Design actually means. The convoluted understanding of the non-written component necessitates an open conversation between doctoral supervisors and students. How can one find common ground in comparing different approaches to a PhD by Design?

Chaired by Mark Morris, Head of Teaching and Learning at the AA, the event seeks to mirror a student’s initial entry into doctoral research itself: in response to a given topic formulated as a PhD by Design proposal, doctoral supervisors are asked to submit a research proposal comprising 500 words and non-written components (ie, two to three images) – to be included in a publication following the symposium – and present and discuss their individual. This format can allow for a comparative overview of different approaches to a PhD by design.

The invited speakers will respond to the following topic and subject matter:

An ever widening range of political, economic or ecological causes for displacement have forced humankind to rethink the notion of social integration and permanence in the built environment. In any way imaginable, the research proposal shall frame and deal with the problematic and relevance of the relation between the built environment and different the protagonists of displacement; commuters, expats, migrants and refugees.

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

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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.