Around the Table with Liza Fior and the vacuum cleaner (James Leadbitter)

On celebrating ‘madness’

Series: Lunchtime Lecture
Date: Wednesday 21 November 2018
Time: 13:00
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 0 mins

How can negativity associated with mental health issues be channelled into new forms of creativity - turning a problem into a productive situation? This lecture will investigate the logic and structure of the ‘mad’ in relation to creative practice, not as a way to romanticise mental illness and the ‘artistic genius’ but more as a way to understand alternative methods to exist and cope. Bring your lunch to the lecture hall, and sit, listen and converse around the table! 

Working across forms including performance, installation and film, the vacuum cleaner (James Leadbitter) addresses challenging and taboo issues such as consumerism and mental health. From one man shows to large scale participatory actions, his approach is both subtle and extreme, but always candid, provocative and playful. the vacuum cleaner’s work has been exhibited throughout the UK, recent major commissions include Wellcome Collection, Broadmoor Hospital and FACT. International commissions include Festspiele /Gessnerallee (Zurich) and Vooruit/Dr Guislain Hospital Museum (Ghent). His films have been commissioned by BBC4 and Channel 4. He was a Tate Modern/Britain Artist in Residence 2016/17 and is an Artsadmin Artist. 

Liza Fior was born in London where she continues to practice as founding partner of muf architecture/art. The work of the practice has been internationally recognised, including the only UK winners of the European Prize for Public Space for projects that have mainly been focused in East London but not exclusively so. Their work in London includes the Olympic Fringe suite of projects from Hackney Wick to Whitechapel, Barking Town Square and Making Space in Dalston. The interest of the studio is to make shared public spaces for more than one (fragile) thing at a time.

Image: The Vacuum Cleaner and Hannah Hull's Madlove - Designer Asylum, 2016, Design by Christian and Koslowski. Image credit - Wellcome

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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.