Around the Table with Thomas Curran

On Perfectionism

Series: Lunchtime Lecture
Date: Wednesday 7 November 2018
Time: 13:00
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 0 mins

What is perfectionism? It's a personality trait rather than a mental health disorder that arises out of pressure to meet increasingly high standards. Thomas Curran, Bath University's lead researcher on the subject, believes neo-liberalism is to blame for the rise of perfectionism, creating a competitive job market where applicants aim to outperform their peers through their list of achievements. As an independent and one of the oldest schools of Architecture in the country, the AA is known for its creativity and unique approach to thinking about architecture. Students often feel pressure to excel and push at the boundaries of what architecture is, while trying to discover how to be the 'perfect' student. In this talk, Thomas Curran will present data collected over 26 years, showing how perfectionism has increased substantially over time among young people. Against a backdrop of elevated metal ill-health, he will explore how and why perfectionism became today’s hidden epidemic and how one can combat or cope with perfectionism. Bring your lunch to the lecture hall, and sit, listen and converse around the table! 

Thomas Curran is an Assistant Professor in the Department for Health at the University of Bath. His area of expertise is the personality characteristic of perfectionism, how it develops, and how it impacts on mental health. He has published over 20 articles or book chapters on these or related issues. His most notable work to date centres on tracking generational changes in levels of perfectionism and mapping these changes onto sociocultural changes that have occurred across the past three decades.

Illustration: Harriet Lee Merrion/The Guardian

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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.