Projective Cities is a globally unique postgraduate programme at the Architectural Association School of Architecture (AA) in London leading to a Master of Philosophy degree in Architecture and Urban Design. Founded in 2010, the programme has been highly successful in preparing students for diverse careers in practice and academia.
Projective Cities is dedicated to a systematic analysis of, design experimentation for, theoretical speculation on, and critical writing about contemporary cities. At the core of its research enquiries are multi-scalar and interdisciplinary questions arising at the intersection of architecture, urban design, and planning, but also the possibilities between design research and traditional modes of research. The programme’s aim is to challenge existing disciplinary boundaries and contribute to new architectural practices.
Projective Cities is a critical forum to study ideas of governance as a spatial design problem through the conception and formation of the city within diverse political, economic, social, and cultural contexts. Its objective is to respond to contemporary political, social, and economic crises and challenges by rethinking what ‘political’ means in terms of spatial design.
Projective Cities invites graduates and practitioners with a desire to develop substantial and original pieces of individual research, and seeks exceptional thinkers, gifted designers, and critical writers with an interest in the future of our cities.
Projective Cities prepares students for independent research through its taught programme and supports their enquiries by providing a framework of rigorous design and research methodologies. The programme acknowledges the need for a new type of graduate and practice-led research training, as architectural and urban design practice is increasingly research-led, demanding multidisciplinary knowledge. Although conceived as a stand-alone degree, Projective Cities’s focus on research and design methods in the context of a supervised individual and substantial dissertation project offers students also a structured way into a PhD.