Sean Gwee and friends

A Love Letter to the Lighthouse in the Expanded Field

Series: Mark Fisher Scholarship Event
Date: Friday 31 January 2020
Time: 18:30
Venue: Bedford Square

The lighthouse is more than a tool. It is a mediator between us the viewers and the landscape we inhabit. No longer tied to the maritime tradition by way of navigational function, the lighthouse is freed. The lighthouse which was once a beacon of welcome, then a beacon of warning can become a beacon of care that serves equally well in the expanded field as it does by the coast.

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Sean Gwee is a fifth year student at the AA (Diploma Unit 15) and the third recipient of the Mark Fisher Scholarship. Sean is interested in structures, hosting, pots, performance and process. He works informally, improvisationally but always rigorously with friends and whoever shows up.

The Mark Fisher Scholarship was established in memory of the late Mark Fisher (1947–2013), AA graduate and teacher, and initiated by James Fairorth and Tait Towers, who worked closely with Fisher on ground-breaking music performance events around the world. Combining his skill as an architect and designer with a passion for rock and roll, Fisher pioneered the modern stadium performance and with it reimagined what we understand as the architectural spectacle.

The scholarship awards equivalent of two full years’ school fees (for Fourth Year and Fifth Year)  in support of a student of exceptional talent and interest in the intersection of architecture, performance, media and engineering.

Image: Painted by Andrea Goh, Composed by Sean Gwee

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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.