Amnesty International

Urbicide in Syria - Use of explosive weapons in urban environments, and how to deal with the consequences

Series: AA X Amnesty International
Date: Wednesday 29 May 2019
Time: 18:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 73 mins

The use of explosive weapons in urban areas can have devastating consequences, turning entire neighbourhoods into rubble, destroying the familiar and reshaping the urban, social and cultural fabric of cities.
Exploring the emerging relations between the urban past and present as citizens struggle to survive, to sustain lives and to envision a future. In Homs, Syria’s third city, despite the mass destruction and displacement, local architects, urbanists and residents are showing incredible levels of resilience; rehabilitating their partially damaged homes and providing shelter to the internally displaced population.
Memories of the pre-war Homs, and the surviving parts of the city, have become imagined and material places of refuge for many Homsis in the work of remembering, reflecting and seeking to reconstruct a vanished past—but also might be used to rethink the city, and to imagine its future. 


Ammar Azzouz is an architect at Ove Arup & Partners International Ltd, London. He studied architecture in Homs, Syria, and completed his PhD in architecture at the University of Bath, UK. Current research focuses on local and international responses to destruction and displacement in Syria and the politics of reconstruction. His recent article ‘A tale of a Syrian city at war: Destruction, resilience and memory in Homs’, was published at CITY in 2019.


Anna de Courcy Wheeler is an Advisor for Article 36, a UK-based not-for-profit organisation working to prevent the unintended, unnecessary or unacceptable harm caused by certain weapons, and member of the International Network on Explosive Weapons (INEW). Anna’s previously worked on conflict prevention at the International Crisis Group, the Freedom Fund, Columbia’s School of International Political Affairs and NYU’s Law School. She began her career in Rwanda, investigating and documenting crimes committed during the 1994 genocide, and working on post-genocide access to justice.


Caption: Destruction in Homs, Syria
Credit:   © private



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THE AA RECEIVES THE POWER TO AWARD ITS OWN DEGREES

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 Certificate), 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.

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