Important COVID-19 / Coronavirus information and FAQs


Charlotte Johnson

Infrastructural communities

Series: Projective Cities Seminar
Date: Tuesday 9 June 2020
Time: 10:00
Venue: AA Lecture Hall Team

The scale of the climate crisis requires radical rethinking of urban life. As an anthropologist working on the relationship between the built environment and resource consumption, Charlotte Johnson's approach is to focus on everyday practices of care and alternative forms of exchange. She draws on the recent turn to material politics to look in particular how infrastructural connections enable alternative interpretations, forms of value and action.   The drive to retrofit the city with less resource intense living often includes a rescaling of infrastructure as policy makers hope to better align demand with locally available resources. This delineates groups of people who share key parts of the system, such as a secondary electricity substation or a drainage network. These urban neighbours may not know one another or hold values in common and yet their individual actions can be aggregated to provide system-level services. Thinking of these groups as residents who share a material connection that may or may not align with how they identify with location or interest-based groups provides a useful lens for both critique and intervention. In this talk, Johnson discusses a number of interdisciplinary projects that have worked with these ‘infrastructural communities’ to understand the possibilities for action on resource consumption through the built environment.

Charlotte Johnson is a Senior Research Associate in Urban resources & communities, Bartlett School for Environment, Energy & Resources (UCL). She is an anthropologist specialising in urban sustainability, with a focus on decentralised infrastructure and how it can produce transformative social action.  She is currently working with community energy groups trialling Peer-2-Peer electricity markets, and leads community co-design of water infrastructure on the NERC funded Community Water Management for a Liveable London (CAMELLIA) project.

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

May 2020
Su M Tu W Th F Sa


AA Photo Library has DVD copies of Public Programme lectures dating back to 1974


Online Lectures
Lecture Archive



For any issues with video playback please contact
AA Digital Platforms

The Architectural Association, Inc. is incorporated as a company limited by guarantee (No.171402) and registered as a charity (No. 311083). Registered office: 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES, 020 7887 4000

Click here to read the AA’s latest review report.

Click here to read the AA’s latest action plan.



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.