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Minsuk Cho

Before/After Canons

Series: New Canonical Histories
Date: Thursday 7 November 2019
Time: 18:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 70 mins

Mass Studies has operated as an architectural practice in Seoul, responding to a series of distinct geographic, social, and political conditions that are in constant flux. Consequently, each project has been developed from ideas extracted from their own highly specific condition, each with a set of multiple variables that include scale, speed, and economy, that are seemingly absent of apparent order. Mass Studies has been exploring the complexity of the urban environment with the idea of “systematic heterogeneity,” grounded in a constant curiosity of the diverse situations in which they operate, embracing the obscure and the unseen as an opportunity, yet with an ambition to create a larger constellation of ideas from these investigative actions. Each project is not merely concerned with the typical narrative of architecture as a goal, which follows a start-from-scratch beginning to the physical end result, but rather sees as a means, the conception-to-realization of a building as the in-between performance of a larger recursive process. Individual projects are seldom an isolated event but rather an interconnected assemblage of multiple ideas. The built and unbuilt projects of Mass Studies can be read as an on-going cartographic record of ideas over time.

Minsuk Cho is the founder of the Seoul-based Mass Studies and is committed to the discourse of architecture through socio-political, cultural, and urban research, through mostly built works. His curatorial works include his role as co-curator of the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale, and as commissioner and co-curator of the Korean Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, which was awarded the Gold Lion. The same year, Plateau, Samsung Museum of Art, Seoul, held their first-ever architecture exhibition, highlighting his works.

Image Caption: Danginri Podium and Promenade, 2018~ (Courtesy of Mass Studies)

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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.