Jianfei Zhu

From Beijing’s Palace to Africa’s Malindi: Fourteen Problematics between Forms and Politics

Series: Open School Event
Date: Monday 5 November 2018
Time: 10:00
Venue: AA Barrel Vault
Running time: 0 mins

This talk explores a series of ‘problematics’ – as issue and as method – that can be identified in the relations unfolding between political practice and formal construction. It is based on a book the speaker has published, Forms and Politics: An Approach to Thinking in Architecture(Shanghai: Tongji University Press, 2018) - a collection of essays over 20 years covering either generic topics or Chinese cases. Moving from micro to geopolitical operations, shifting between modes of practice as well as situations of engagement, this talk is both a book introduction and exploration of new agendas for studies and dialogues to come.

Jianfei Zhu, PhD (UCL), teaches and writes in Chinese and English. He is the author of Chinese Spatial Strategies(Routledge, 2004), Architecture of Modern China(Routledge, 2009), and Forms and Politics(Tongji University Press, 2018). His essays include‘A Celestial Battlefield’ (AA Files, 1994), ‘Criticality in between China and the West’ (Journal of Architecture, 2005), ‘Robin Evans in 1978’ (Journal of Architecture, 2011), and ‘Empire of Signs of Empire’ (Harvard Design Magazine, 2014). He pioneered the introduction of Foucault and social theories into architectural studies in/on China. Aiming to integrate political and formal concerns, he is working on a geopolitical narrative of modern architecture around a cluster of states.

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February 2020
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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.