Pedro Ignacio Alonso & Hugo Palmarola

Flying Panels: How Concrete Panels Changed the World

Series: New Canonical Histories
Date: Thursday 10 October 2019
Time: 18:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 0 mins

Housing millions of people, apartment blocks made of prefabricated concrete panels are one of the most common buildings in the world. Flying Panels – How Concrete Panels Changed the World tells of the time when a concrete panel soaring across the sky symbolised the future and embodied dreams of a better world. In the grip of a housing supply crisis, by looking at how a building technology became a powerful tool for the construction of a new society, this lecture will rethink the concrete panel as it was once considered an innovation that heralded a new, rational future for society at a global scale.

This lecture accompanies Flying Panels: How Concrete Panels Changed the World, exhibition curated by Pedro Ignacio Alonso and Hugo Palmarola at the ArkDes – The Swedish Centre for Architecture and Design in Stockholm (18th October 2019 to 1st March 2020).

Pedro Ignacio Alonso is an architect with an MSc from the Catholic University of Chile and a PhD in architecture from the Architectural Association in London. His 2014 Chile Pavilion exhibition ‘Monolith Controversies’, co-curated with Hugo Palmarola, was awarded a Silver Lion during the 14th Venice Architecture Biennial. Alonso is associate professor and director of research in the School of Architecture at the Catholic University of Chile, and was Princeton-Mellon Fellow 2015–2016 at Princeton University.

Hugo Palmarola is a designer who graduated from the Catholic University of Chile (2004) and holds a PhD in Latin American Studies from the UNAM (2018). His Chile Pavilion exhibition ‘Monolith Controversies’, co-curated with Pedro Ignacio Alonso, was awarded a Silver Lion during the 14th Venice Architecture Biennial (2014). Palmarola obtained the Student Essay Prize from the Design History Society (2018). He teaches at the School of Design of the Catholic University of Chile.

Image: Gerbert Rappaport, Cherry Town (Cheryomushki), 1963, Film still, Lenfilm, Soviet Union

All lectures are open to members of the public, staff and students unless otherwise stated.

February 2020
Su M Tu W Th F Sa


AA Photo Library has DVD copies of Public Programme lectures dating back to 1974


Online Lectures
Lecture Archive



For any issues with video playback please contact
AA Digital Platforms

The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.



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.