Will Jennings

The English Landscape and the Neoliberal City

Series: AA Landscape Urbanism History & Theory Seminar
Date: Wednesday 27 November 2019
Time: 18:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 95 mins
The natural landscape and developed city are often spoken of as oppositionary spaces, but there are ways of reading the two in a more entangled fashion which can perhaps help explore why elements of London and other modern cities are shaped as they are. Richard Wilson painted nature wrapping Rome's ancient ruins, Walter Benjamin spoke of the urban forest, the Situationists discussed Haussmann’s boulevards in the shadow of Le Nôtre’s landscapes, and we are currently "greening" our cities with projects such as the London National Park City.

Using English landscape and associated ideas around the picturesque, this talk will follow a trajectory from how we read and commodified natural landscapes, slowly it to human ideals. When the industrial revolution saw economic and political power shift from rural to urban, these ideas of landscape were taken into the metropolitan centres to provide answers not only to parks and recreation but also to the shaping of the city itself, and this talk will explore how some of the principles of English landscape design have been folded into the design of industrial, postwar and now neoliberal cities.

Will Jennings is a visual artist and writer based in London. He is interested in the intersections between cities, history, politics and culture. www.willjennings.info

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

January 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.