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Organised by the History & Critical Thinking MA

Words and Voices

Series: Symposium
Date: Friday 11 May 2018
Time: 15:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 200 mins

The problem of writing: writers, as Proust says, invent a new language within language, a foreign language, as it were. They bring to light new grammatical or syntactic powers. They force language outside its customary furrows, they make it delirious [délirer]. (Gilles Deleuze)

If the act of writing by ceaselessly shattering common usage and perceptions of language brings to light ‘a new language’ and the yet ‘un-thought’, so does the practice of reading. We propose an afternoon of reading to trigger and stage encounters within and across a variety of voices in architecture, art, literature and philosophy. A series of readings and conversations will revive a practice where the voice becomes continuous with what it reads, and, at the same time, confronts it, producing a space of exchange and knowledge to be shared. 


Introduction by Marina Lathouri and Caroline Rabourdin

Yve Lomax | Visual artist and writer | Nearness, demand
Lucie Mercier | Researcher in Philosophy | Geometry of the Incommunicable
Smadar Dreyfus | Artist | Voices and Reverberations in Contested Public Space
Shumon Basar | Writer and cultural critic | LOL History
Hélène Frichot | Professor of Cultural Studies and Gender Theory in Architecture | Composing a Transversal Cut: Voices, Things, Situations

Round Table Discussion

Drinks Reception

Shumon Basar is a writer, thinker and cultural critic. He is co-author of The Age of Earthquakes: A Guide to the Extreme Present with Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist. His edited books include Translated By, Did Someone Say Participate?, Cities from Zero, The World of Madelon Vriesendorp and Hans Ulrich Obrist Interviews Volume 2. He is Commissioner of the Global Art Forum in Dubai, Editor-at-Large of Tank magazine and Contributing Editor at Bidoun magazine, Director of the Format program at the AA School, a member of Fondazione Prada’s “Thought Council” and Art Jameel’s Curatorial Council. 

Smadar Dreyfus was born in Tel Aviv and has been based in London since 1990. Examining a socio-political context and how it reverberates in everyday life, Dreyfus' practice investigates the role of the voice in the constitution of contested public spaces, its function as a mediator between the individual and the collective. Re-listening to the place she comes from, she uses real-life recordings gathered over long periods of research, restaged as 3D sonic environments of translated, disembodied voices inside architectural enclosures, designed to implicate viewers in a scene. Dreyfus’s selected solo exhibitions include: Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin 2014, Magasin III, Stockholm 2009, Extra City, Antwerpen 2008, IKON Birmingham 2005 and Victoria Miro, London 2006. Selected group exhibitions include the 2011 Folkestone Triennial, S.M.A.K. Gent 2010, Mediations Biennial, Poznan 2010, ArTLV Biennale, Tel Aviv 2009, MUSAC Leon, Spain 2006, and the 9th Istanbul Biennial, 2005.  Upcoming: ‘Turbulence', Caixa Forum, Barcelona. The 2018 Busan Biennale, South-Korea.

Dr Hélène Frichot is Professor of Critical Studies and Gender Theory in Architecture in the School of Architecture, KTH Stockholm. She is the director of Critical Studies in Architecture, well known for its critical feminist approach to the practices and theories of architecture. Her research is further located in the transdisciplinary field between architecture and philosophy. In 2017 she was the recipient of a Riksbankens Jubileumsfond sabbatical grant, one outcome of which is a forthcoming book with Bloomsbury called Creative Ecologies (2018). She is a co-editor of Architecture and Feminisms: Ecologies, Economies, Technologies (Routledge 2017); Deleuze and the City (EUP 2016); and Deleuze and Architecture (EUP 2013) and the author of How to Make Yourself a Feminist Design Power Tool (AADR 2016).

Yve Lomax is a visual artist and writer. Her major publications include: Figure, calling (2017), Pure Means: Writing, Photographs and an Insurrection of Being ( 2013), Passionate Being: Language, Singularity and Perseverance ( 2010) and Writing the Image: An Adventure with Art and Theory (2000). She is also a commissioning editor for Copy Press and director of its Reader’s Union. ( 

Lucie Mercier is a postdoctoral researcher in philosophy at the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP), Kingston University, London. Her current research tackles the 'geopolitics of philosophy', looking at the field of tension between philosophy, race and postcoloniality. She is specialised in the philosophy of translation, postcolonial theory, 1960s French structuralism and epistemology, and German critical theory. She has published in Theory, Culture and Society, the Palgrave Encyclopaedia of Imperialism and Anti-Imperialism, and she is an editor of Radical Philosophy.

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.