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Xavier De Kestelier

Off-World Architecture

Series: MArch Keynote - Emergent Technologies
Date: Wednesday 8 January 2020
Time: 18:30
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 80 mins

In 2015 NASA set up the 3D Printing Centennial Challenge. This NASA competition sought perspectives from outside the traditional aerospace industry to explore how a human habitat could be designed and delivered on Mars using autonomous 3D printing technologies. Hassell’s entry for the competition took a slightly different angle to most of the other competitors as it was a design-led approach to an otherwise technical and engineering-focused task. For this, they collaborated with a wide range of experts and scientists such as Mars meteorologists, space system engineers, space anthropologists and radiation experts. They also partnered with Eckersley O’Callaghan to design the external shell which could be constructed entirely by autonomous robots using Mars’ natural regolith.


Xavier De Kestelier is Head of Design Technology and Innovation at international design practice, HASSELL, where he leads design technology across all disciplines and regions. In recent years, Xavier has built up a portfolio of space related architecture for clients such NASA, ESA and Virgin Galactic. The most recent is a 3D printed Mars Habitat concept for NASA. Xavier is also a Director of Smartgeometry, a non-profit educational organisation for computational design and digital fabrication.



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THE AA RECEIVES THE POWER TO AWARD ITS OWN DEGREES

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.

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