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Simos Yannas & Paula Cadima, Jorge Fiori & Lawrence Barth, Edmund Fowles, Madeleine Kessler and Jim Coleman


Series: Positions
Date: Monday 8 October 2018
Time: 18:30
Venue: Lecture Hall
Running time: 103 mins

“Recursive’ refers to a position that repeats over time. In architecture, it deals with the cycles of change that impact the design of spaces, cities and landscapes. From policies that shape projects to large-scale infrastructure, or sustainable strategies to vernacular building techniques, speakers will debate how each of these can be used recursively to impact our built environment.  

Following on from the What’s Next series that was a platform for AA graduates to present their unique forms of practice, this year a new series of five conversations on critical Positions will take place on Monday evenings. Each conversation will bring together leading voices from our alumni, graduate programme directors and a range of invited specialists from disciplines outside of architecture to debate their different approaches and methodologies while also discussing their common ground around a specific topic.

Paula Cadima is co-director of the MArch+MSc Sustainable Environmental Design, Supervisor of the AA PhD Programme and a Member of the AA Teaching Committee. She has been in architectural practice and environmental research for more than twenty-five years and has taught at the Faculty of Architecture at the Technical University of Lisbon, where she was Founding Director of the Bioclimatic Architecture MPhil Programme. She has worked for the European Commission in Brussels for five years, where she was involved in the management of projects promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy sources and world-class research in emerging fields. She chaired the Environment & Sustainable Architecture working group of the Architect's Council of Europe in 2009 and was the president of the International PLEA Network from 2011-2017.

Simos Yannas has led environmental design research and teaching at the AA since the late 1970’s. He has taken part in collaborative national and international research projects and his books and papers have been published in over a dozen languages. At the AA, he is responsible for the post-professional MSc and MArch programmes in Sustainable Environmental Design (AA SED) and the School’s PhD Programme. Outside the AA he has lectured in over thirty countries. Simos Yannas is a founding member and the permanent Secretary of PLEA, an international expert network on sustainable architecture and urban design started in 1981. He was awarded the PLEA Achievement Award in 2001.

Jorge Fiori directs the Housing & Urbanism programme. He is a sociologist specialising in housing and urban development. He studied in Chile and has worked in academic institutions there as well as in Brazil and England. He has been a visiting lecturer at several Latin American and European universities, and consultant to a number of international and national urban development agencies. He researches and publishes on urban development and social policy issues.

Lawrence Barth lectures on urbanism and political theory, and has written on the themes of politics and critical theory in relation to the urban. He is a consultant urbanist on large-scale strategic projects to architects, cities, and governments, and is engaged in research on urban intensification, innovation environments, and the transformation of workspace in the knowledge economy.

Madeleine Kessler is a project architect at Haptic Architects and co-founder of Studio mnm. She sits on the National Infrastructure Commission’s Young Professionals Panel and is a professional practice tutor at the AA. Madeleine trained at the AA and the University of Sheffield, where she studied Architecture and Structural Engineering. 

Edmund Fowles founded Feilden Fowles Architects with Fergus Feilden following his undergraduate studies at the University of Cambridge. Edmund was awarded the AA Diploma with Honours for his thesis on Food Urbanism and went on to gain professional experience at Hopkins Architects. He is currently leading on a wide range of projects, from a new food production campus for Charlie Bigham’s, educational and office facilities for The Ernest Cook Trust and a pair of new town houses in Notting Hill. He has taught and lectured widely, including at the RIBA, Cambridge University and currently leading a design studio at London Metropolitan University.

Jim Coleman is Director of Oxford Policy Management’s Global Urban Portfolio. A trained economist, he has over 20 years’ experience in international economic development and directing multi-disciplinary consultancy teams. He regularly provides expert advice to national governments, urban development companies, municipal authorities and international development agencies, including the World Bank. His focus is on the economic resilience of cities & urban green growth, urban competitiveness and economic specialisation, industrial and private sector development, urban revitalization, labour markets, skills & migration, infrastructure planning & investment, and the urban consequences of climate change. He is a specialist in the economics and planning of special economic zones (SEZs), innovation districts and large-scale economic infrastructure projects such as ports, airports and bridges. Jim has experience across numerous countries with diverse socio-economic circumstances – he has worked extensively in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Jim is also currently a Professor of Professional Practice in the School of Architecture and Cities, University of Westminster, where he advises on academic-industry engagement, urban studies curricula and teaches on courses covering the economics of cities and strategic spatial planning.

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.