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Duncan Baker Brown

On the Circular Economy

Series: AAction Lunchtime Lectures
Date: Wednesday 6 May 2020
Time: 13:00
Venue: Zoom (see link below)
Running time: 0 mins

Architects have long shared an intrinsic relationship with carbon. Long in the history, the industry had been following a linear consumption module, which is based on a ‘take, make, and dispose’’ to operate. As our cities are growing, buildings are up in a flashy speed, our remaining resources are facing depletion. In recent years, material economies have risen to the forefront of discussions surrounding architecture's environmental footprint. However, in order to embrace both the ethos and practice of circular economies, architectural education needs to endeavor and confront the realities of its interface with the consumer market. 

Can we redesign the way we make, designing buildings for a circular economy? The resource on our planet is finite. As practicing and future architects, we are facing a transition that should and will happen. A collaborative effort needs to make to acquire a circular economy in which waste and pollution are eliminated while ecosystems are nurtured rather than exploited. 

A key lecture accompanied by a panel discussion will explore how the circular economy applies to the built environment and how architectural education can implement its principles, pushing for new and alternative means of production.

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

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Duncan Baker Brown is the architect and academic behind Europe's first public building made of material others through away. Duncan’s research tests the viability of a number of practices and materials, recognizing the potential of discarded “waste” as a valuable resource in the future of construction, as well as live projects as valuable teaching aids. Through his projects he fosters community development and regeneration, working with apprentice builders and students, informing young people of all ages as to their role in sustainable living. Duncan creates examples of community practice that, through the use of innovative techniques such as ‘resource mapping’ can redefine what local materials are and match them with local skills and trades.

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

May 2020
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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.