Metropolitics: Critical Theory, Collectivity and the Right to the City

Date: Monday 16 March 2009
Time: 00:00
Running time: 83 mins
The extraordinary global reality of contemporary urbanization has apparently given new life to Marxs belief that enormous cities might constitute one key condition of a social collectivity and spatial concentration in which some new social classs strength could grow and it could feel that strength more. The argument of this paper, however, is that many recent attempts to theorize and imagine such a politics have been limited by virtue of an anachronistic recourse to spatial and philosophical models of the polis in efforts to articulate, conceptually, emergent forms of social collectivity today. Specifically, it will be argued, these reflect a failure to confront the reality of the metropolis as a fundamentally abstract new kind of urban form, born of nineteenth-century industrial capitalism. Critically engaging with the recent work of urban theorists, this argument is given specific focus by a consideration of the extraordinary political and theoretical afterlife of Henri Lefebvres notoriously enigmatic notion of a right to the city, arguing that if this is not to be reduced to a merely romantic anti-capitalist gesture, such an idea needs to be re-inscribed as a properly modern right to the metropolis. David Cunningham is Principal Lecturer at the University of Westminster and an editor of the journal Radical Philosophy. He has published widely on architectural and urban theory, as well as on modernism and the avant-garde across the arts.

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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.