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Javier Castañón

From Now On

Series: AAction Lunchtime Lecture
Date: Wednesday 12 February 2020
Time: 13:00
Venue: AA Lecture Hall
Running time: 56 mins

The time for action is now. All of us living on this earth must contribute as best we can to looking after it. But as architects and engineers, designers and facilitators, our contribution is a very direct one. For our contribution to be positive and decisive there has to be a radical and profound change in the way we approach design. We are no better than our forefathers but it is clear that up until now we have been designing in a manner that has often been irresponsible. FROM NOW ON is about drawing a line: up to now we have done it this way, from now on we need to design in a radically different way. Therefore it is about the knowledge and discernment needed to get it right this time. Better knowledge of materials is not enough. To fit in with the ways of Nature is good but also not enough. We are Nature. We are the most rational part of nature. The radical change that is needed now comes from this awareness. 

AAction Lunchtime lectures convene critical thoughts from within the Architectural Association and beyond, spurring discussion around issues central to a climatologically relevant pedagogy.

Javier Castañón is Head of Environmental and Technical Studies at the AA. He has degrees from Manchester (BArch) Architectural Association (AA Dip) and Universidad de Granada, Spain (PhD), and has taught at the AA since 1978 as well as at other schools in the UK and abroad. He is a practising architect in private practice as director of Castanon Associates (London) and Castañón Asociados (Madrid). His interests are innovation and invention in the process of the architectural project, reticulated and folding structures and reinforced ceramics.

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

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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.