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Theodore Spyropoulos


Series: MArch Keynote - Architecture and Urbanism (Design Research Laboratory)
Date: Thursday 9 January 2020
Time: 18:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 46 mins

In 1984 Andrea Juno and Valhalla Vale interviewed JG Ballard, who was asked his greatest fear about the future. He stated, ‘ I would sum up my fear of about the future in one word: boring. And that’s my one fear: that everything has happened; nothing exciting or new or interesting is ever going to happen again […] the future is just going to a be a vast conforming suburb of the soul’.  Carlo Rovelli would say that there is no such thing as future in physics. Marshall McLuhan would suggest that what we consider the future is actually our present because we find ourselves living in the past. Considering a future present we may agree ‘we live in an age where science fiction has become fact. Our contemporary age is as radical with change, latency and uncertainty becoming the new norm’.  As we prototype our collective present we may consider that there is no architecture without experimentation. In constructing the fundamental relationships of how we live and understand our world we need to examine methods that fundamentally see designing and acting in the world as intellectual enquires. Experimentation is not only necessary, it is fundamental to move beyond assertions of what things should be in order to see them for what they can be

Theodore Spyropoulos is the Director of the AA’s renowned Design Research Lab (AADRL), resident artist at Somerset House and is co-founder of the experimental art, architecture and design practice Minimaforms. Theodore has been a visiting Research Fellow at MIT’s Center for Advanced Visual Studies and professor of Architecture at The Städelschule in Frankfurt.

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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.