Organised by José Alfredo Ramirez with Ed Wall and Tim Waterman; Fernanda Balata, David Powell, AAction Group, Lindsay Bremner, Adrienne Buller, Julian Siravo and Mathew Lawrence

Session 6: How do we confront a world on fire? - Design and The Green New Deal on a Warming Planet

Series: Open Seminar - Plan the Planet
Date: Monday 18 November 2019
Time: 18:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 120 mins

Given the climate and ecological emergency the world is facing, it is paramount to support a socially just re-structuration of the world we inhabit, intrinsically dependant on the health of the earth systems, and trigger, along the way, a radical transformation of the role designers can play in developing design proposals, mitigation strategies, advocacy initiatives and activism. One way to achieve this is by supporting a Green New Deal from those involved in designing landscapes (whether architects, landscape architects, artists, planners or engineers) and creative practices that critically engage with relations between people and the environments in which they interact (from green infrastructures to coastlines to cities). To coordinate these efforts, we need to get behind a project with the capacity to unite all the best intentions, preoccupations and existing proposals from the design community.  This project must be a Green New Deal and designers should contribute to shape it. Landscape/environmental designers’ expertise on visualization, mapping and spatial understanding of socio ecological systems are crucial to the project of a Green New Deal and the challenges it will bring ahead. This event will start the conversation with designers and GND supporters and will bring together the leading voices of the GND in the UK.

Fernanda Balata leads NEF’s work on coastal economies, which is aimed at reconciling social and economic prosperity for coastal communities with marine conservation. Fernanda has led the Blue New Deal Initiative since 2014, delivering two major reports and building a growing network to deliver a major action plan for the UK coast. Fernanda is frequently invited by a range of organisations, politicians and community groups to talk and debate about economic development, coastal issues and the environment.         

David Powell is Head of Environment & Green Transition at NEF, heading up the thinking, research and campaigning around issues such as healthy seas, climate change and clean energy. His past media appearances include Sky News, Radio 5 Live and ITV News.

AAction is an inquisitive, continuous and collective project formed by a group of AA students to promote education as the primary place to reflect on the urgency of climate and ecological breakdown. Being aware of the importance of the architectural profession in the context of climate change, the group works both within and outside the AA to challenge and address the necessary theoretical and practical challenges.

Lindsay Bremner is a Professor of Architecture in the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster and Director of Architectural Research (2012-2017). I am currently holder of Monsoon Assemblages, European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant no. 679873, investigating the confluence of changing monsoon weather and neoliberal agendas in south Asian cities. She holds a M. Arch and DSc. Arch degrees from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a B.Arch degree from the University of Cape Town.

Jose Alfredo Ramirez is an architect dDirector of Groundlab. He co-directs the Landscape Urbanism Graduate Programme and the Mexico Visiting School at the AA. Jose Alfredo has given workshops  and lectured on the topic of Landscape Urbanism and the work of Groundlab worldwide.

Adrienne Buller is Co-Director of Labour for a Green New Deal, and directs policy for the campaign. Labour for a Green New Deal is a grassroots organisation dedicated to driving radical, transformative action on climate in the Labour Party. In September 2019, they secured a radical Green New Deal, including an ambition of economy-wide decarbonisation by 2030, as Labour Party policy.

Julian Siravo is an architect and urban designer. He is part of Common Wealth think tank, leading the design for their Green New Deal City 2030. Julian is  also head of urban research at Autonomy, where he focuses on the spatial implications of new welfare and employment policies, on ageing populations and sustainable forms of leisure.

Mathew Lawrence has extensive experience in the design and advocacy of alternative models of ownership. Previously he was a senior research fellow working on IPPR's Commission on Economic Justice, and has collaborated with NEF and The Democracy Collaborative.

Selected readings:
On Fire: The Case for the Green New Deal by Naomi Klein
The Progress of this Storm: Nature and Society in a Warming World by Andreas Malm
Climate Leviathan: A Political Theory of our Planetary Future by Geoff Mann and Joel Wainwright
The Case for the Green New Deal by Ann Pettifor
The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

Image caption: Atlas of fossil fuel’s extraction areas subsidized by the UK government abroad. As a new form of ‘Green Colonialism’ UK is offsetting fossil fuel production outside its territory and pretending this is outside its territory and responsibility. Map by Rafael Caldera, Yasmina Yehia & Elena Suastegui from AA Landscape Urbanism

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

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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.