Graduate School Prize for Research

Congratulations to Alvaro Arancibia, former Projective Cities student, for winning the inaugural AA Graduate School Prize for Research for his PhD Thesis ‘The Social Re-Signification of Housing: A Design Guide for Santiago de Chile (2017). The PhD developed from his MPhil studies in Projective Cities.  

AAPC Guest Seminar: Charles Rice

Date: 24/01/2017
Time: 14:00
Venue: 32FFB

Charles Rice joined Projective Cities for a seminar on his new book Interior Urbanism: Architecture, John Portman and Downtown America

Vast interior spaces have become ubiquitous in the contemporary city. The soaring atriums and concourses of mega-hotels, shopping malls and transport interchanges define an increasingly normal experience of being ‘inside’ in a city. Yet such spaces are also subject to intense criticism and claims that they can destroy the quality of a city’s authentic life ‘on the outside’.

Interior Urbanism explores the roots of this contemporary tension between inside and outside, identifying and analysing the concept of interior urbanism and tracing its history back to the works of John Portman and Associates in 1960s and 70s America. Portman – increasingly recognised as an influential yet understudied figure – was responsible for projects such as Peachtree Center in Atlanta and the Los Angeles Bonaventure Hotel, developments that employed vast internal atriums to define a world of possibilities not just for hotels and commercial spaces, but for the future of the American downtown amid the upheavals of the 1960s and 70s.

The book analyses Portman’s architecture in order to reconsider major contexts of debate in architecture and urbanism in this period, including the massive expansion of a commercial imperative in architecture, shifts in the governance and development of cities amid social and economic instability, the rise of postmodernism and critical urban studies, and the defence of the street and public space amid the continual upheavals of urban development.

In this way the book reconsiders the American city at a crucial time in its development, identifying lessons for how we consider the forces at work, and the spaces produced, in cities in the present.

John Portman and Associates, Peachtree Center, Atlanta, 1961–2009. Diagram showing major interior spaces, vertical cores and pedestrian connections. Darker shaded areas indicate skybridges above streets. Drawing by Alina McConnochie.

AAPC Guest Seminar: Tom Avermaete

Date: 27/4/2016
Time: 14:00
Venue: 37 FFF

The Infrastructure of Bare Life: Architectural Perspectives for and from the Global South


Michel Ecochard, The 8×8 Grid of Housing, Morocco, 1950s

“a continuous network of centers and lines of communication [in which] all parts of the settlement and all lines of communication will be interwoven into a meaningful organism.”[1]

This is how the Greek architect Constantinos Doxiadis described his city of the future. In 1972, Doxiadis published photographs of a spider’s web before and after the animal had been drugged with amphetamines. The distorted organization of the doped spider was equated with a map showing “the chaos of networks” in the urban Detroit area.[2] On the basis of this visual analogy Doxiadis argues that the role of the architect is no longer limited to a simple ‘form giver’ but also includes that of a coordinator of various infrastructural networks: “We must coordinate all of our Networks now. All networks, from roads to telephones.”[3] Doxiadis’ project for Detroit consequently is a negotiation between the existing chaotic arrangement and a well-structured regional geometry of underground infrastructural networks of transportation and utilities. His proposal for the Detroit area echoes earlier planning experiences in Africa and the Middle East, where Doxiadis established a profound expertise on the role of an architecture of infrastructure for future urban development.

This seminar is based on a double point of departure. First, it argues that much of the conceptions of infrastructure that we hold in architectural discourse remain largely based on Western experiences and categories. The majority of the reflections on the architecture-infrastructure nexus are firmly located in the urban experience of North America and Western Europe. They are part of a canonical tradition where new approaches are produced in the crucible of a few ‘great’ cities: historical cities such as Paris, Berlin and Vienna and modern metropoli such as New York and Chicago – cities inevitably located in Euro-America. However, this paper holds that it is time to rethink the list of ‘great’ cities. Urban development already lays elsewhere: in the megalopoli of the global South, in cities such as Karachi, Dakar and Casablanca. Can the experiences with infrastructure in these cities reconfigure the heartland of architectural and urban thinking?

Second, this seminar claims that the architectural thinking on infrastructure gained an unprecedented impetus in the decades after the Second World War. In the context of the international debates about development the notion of infrastructure became a label for the technical-political systems that were required for growth and modernization. This new understanding of infrastructure, during the so-called ‘development decade’, had also a profound impact on the discourse and practice of architects. I argue that the debates about development aid shifted attention from a technical concern with infrastructure towards one framed more in terms of the integrative capacities. Infrastructure came to be understood as the integrator of social, economical and cultural factors, but also of formal and constructive considerations. Moreover, housing and houses came to be looked upon as the most fundamental infrastructure off all; an “infrastructure of bare life”. The development decade saw the emergence of an understanding of the house as an infrastructural dispositive, with multiple social, cultural, economic and political meanings attached to it.

The seminar will look into the approaches to this ‘infrastructure of bare life’ in the work of three protagonists of this development decade. First, the German architect and planner Otto Koenigsberger, who wrote retrospectively for the Ford Foundation the book Infrastructure Problems of the Cities of Developing Countries.[4] Second, the French architect and urban planner Michel Ecochard, who developed with his approach of the ‘trame urbaine’ a way to minimally coordinate different infrastructural layers of the city in the figure of the house and applied this in various contexts in the Global South.[5] Third, the Greek architect and planner Constantinos Doxiadis, who conceived of infrastructure networks of housing as a ‘firm foundation’ for the multiple new towns he designed for the Middle East and Africa and who afterwards applied his approach in many places in the Global North –amongst others in a threefold study of Detroit that he developed for the Detroit Edison Company between 1964 and 1972.[6]

This seminar argues that the experiences of these three protagonists in the Global South offer a fertile basis to reconsider some of the prime characteristics and potentials of infrastructure in the domain of architecture. The discourse and practice of Koenigsberger, Ecochard and Doxiadis suggest an alternative threefold definition which conceives of infrastructure as:

  • a guide of urban growth, which is not a container but an active enabler of urban development;
  • a social armature, which regulates the balance between collective interest and self-reliance in the built environment;
  • a ‘commons’, understood as a resource to the city and its citizens that is co-produced and reproduced on an everyday basis.

In conclusion this seminar argues that these definitions have forged historically a particular conception of the relation between architecture and infrastructure, at the verge of questioning the limits between both. These conceptions for and from the Global South might offer today a fresh alley to rethink the possible characteristics and roles of the ‘infrastructure of bare life’.

[1] C. A. Doxiadis, Ecumenopolis: Towards a Universal Settlement, Document R-GA 305 (Athens: Athens Technological Institute, June 1963), 116.
[2] C. A. Doxiadis, “The Two-Headed Eagle: From the Past to the Future of Human Settlements,” Ekistics 33 (May 1972): 406–20.
[3] C. A. Doxiadis, “The Two-Headed Eagle,” 418.
[4] O. H. Koenigsberger, Infrastructure Problems of the Cities of Developing Countries (New York: International Urbanization Survey, Ford Foundation, 1971)
[5] M. Ecochard, Le Problème Des Plans Directeurs D’urbanisme Au Sénégal: Documents Présentés Au Conseil National De L’urbanisme, Dakar, Le 7 Octobre 1963 (Dakar: Secretariat d’Etat au plan et au développement, Aménagement du territoire, 1963
[6] C. A. Doxiadis. Emergence and Growth of an Urban Region: the Developing Urban Detroit Area; a Study. 1. Analysis (Detroit, Mich: Detroit Edison, 1966); C. A. Doxiadis. Emergence and Growth of an Urban Region: the Developing Urban Detroit Area; a Study. 2. Future Alternatives (Detroit, Mich: Detroit Edison, 1966) and C. A. Doxiadis. Emergence and Growth of an Urban Region: the Developing Urban Detroit Area; a Study. 3. A Concept for Future Development (Detroit, Mich: Detroit Edison, 1966).

Tom Avermaete is full professor of architecture at Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands. He has a special research interest in the public realm and the architecture of the city in Western and non-Western contexts. With the chair of Methods and Analysis he focuses on the changing roles, approaches and tools of architects. His research examines precedents -design attitudes, methods and instruments- with the explicit ambition to construct a critical base of design knowledge and to influence contemporary architectural thinking and practice.

Avermaete is the author of Another Modern: the Post-War Architecture and Urbanism of Candilis-Josic-Woods (2005), The Balcony (with Koolhaas, 2014) and Casablanca -Chandigarh: Reports on Modernity (with Casciato, 2014). He is a co-editor of Architectural Positions (with Havik and Teerds, 2009), Colonial Modern (with von Osten and Karakayali, 2010), Structuralism Reloaded (with Vrachliotis, 2011), Making a New World (with Heynickx, 2012), Architecture of the Welfare State (with Swenarton and Van den Heuvel, Routledge, 2014) and Casablanca-Chandigarh: Reports on Modernization (with Casciato, Park Books, 2015).

Contemporary Urban Design Education

Alvaro Arancibia Tagle, Cité Housing in Santiago de Chile (AA P

Alvaro Arancibia Tagle, Cité Housing in Santiago de Chile (Projective Cities, 2013)

Date: 10/2/2016
Time: 10:20 am to 6:30 pm
Venue: Lecture Hall

The symposium organised by the Projective Cities programme brings together urban educators to discuss how new practices and research have changed urban design conventions and disciplinary assumptions. This is a discussion not only important to urban researchers, but all architects involved in the different scales of designing the built environment.

While the term ‘urban design’ originates from a conference at the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1956, this was not the first time that the urban was defined as a problem arising between planning and design. Ildefons Cerdà already recognised this a century earlier when coining the term ‘urbanisation’. Also, rather than considering urban design as an academic field with practical orientation that operates between architecture, landscape architecture and planning as an inter-, intra, multi- or cross-disciplinary practice, what if its value is not a management of differences, but the instrumentalisation of conflicts?

The resurgence of urban design education and research is only partially explained by global urbanisation, or the failure of other design disciplines to make meaningful claims to ‘urbanism’. Contemporary urban research challenges the commonly held belief that the urban requires a homogenising intervention and process. The approach of unifying the urban through ideas of place-making, nostalgia for past public spaces, or the codification of ‘good’ urban form is no longer tenable. Instead, richer multi-scalar design research enquiries are emerging, which, for example, make a simultaneous consideration of domesticity, typology, morphology, infrastructure and territory possible. A particular strength of urban design hereby is a framing of abstract contexts such as policy, legal frameworks and planning through considerations of specific constituencies, urban plans, design frameworks, design proposals and physical implementation.

The symposium seeks to clarify how teaching and research methodologies can have a relevance and impact on urban practices and design.

10:20 am     Welcome (Sam Jacoby, AA Projective Cities)
10:30 am     ‘Representative Cities’, Ingrid Schröder (Cambridge University)
11:10 am     ‘Urban Design in China: Practice and Challenges’, Dr Fei Chen (University of Liverpool)
11:50 am     ‘The New Urban Professional’, Prof Diego Ramírez-Lovering (Monash University)
12:30 pm     Round table discussion (chair Prof Peter Bishop, UCL)

Lunch Break

2:00 pm     ‘Private Investigations’, Prof Alexander Lehnerer (ETH)
2:40 pm     ‘Propositions for Urban Design Research’, Dr Sam Jacoby (AA)
3:20 pm     ‘Architecture of Territory’, Prof Milica Topalovic (ETH)
4:00 pm     ‘Scales as Pedagogy’, Dr Adrian Lahoud (RCA) 
4:40 pm     ‘Linking the Physical to the Social’, Prof Ricky Burdett (LSE)
5:30 pm     Round table discussion (chair Tarsha Finney, UTS)


Peter Bisphop is an urban planner and urban designer. He is a director at Allies and Morrison and Professor of Urban Design at the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London. His interest lies in the strategies and approaches that can be employed to shape cities within the social, economic and political forces that operate. For over 20 years Peter was Planning director in four Central London Boroughs and worked on major projects including the Kings Cross railway land developments. In 2006, he was appointed as the first Director of Design for London, the Mayor’s architecture and design studio; and in 2008 as the Deputy Chief Executive at the London Development Agency.

Ricky Burdett is Professor of Urban Studies at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and director of LSE Cities and the Urban Age Programme. He is a member of the UK Government’s Independent Airports Commission and a member of Council of the Royal College of Art in London. Burdett was Visiting Professor in Urban Planning and Design at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University in 2014 and Global Distinguished Professor at New York University from 2010 to 2014. He has been involved in regeneration projects across Europe and was Chief Adviser on Architecture and Urbanism for the London 2012 Olympics and architectural adviser to the Mayor of London from 2001 to 2006. Burdett was also a member of the Urban Task Force which produced a major report for the UK government on the future of English cities. He is editor of The Endless City (2007), Living in the Endless City (2011) and Innovation in Europe’s Cities (2015). Burdett acts as an adviser to national, regional and local governments on urban issues, and has worked with private companies and architectural practices on the development and framing of urban projects.

Fei Chen is a senior lecturer at the University of Liverpool. She was trained as an architect and urban designer at the University of Bath and Southeast University, China. She received her PhD on Chinese urbanism from the University of Strathclyde. Chen was previously a researcher working on the AHRC funded project ‘Sensory Urbanism’ in Strathclyde and is the co-founder and convenor of the ‘Urban Morphology and Representation Research Network’ under IAPS.

Tarsha Finney is an architect and urbanist, holding the position of senior lecturer at the University of Technology Sydney. Her research interests cross several areas: domesticity and the problem of multi-residential housing with specific knowledge of the cities of New York, Beijing and Sydney; architectural typology and notions of disciplinary specificity and autonomy; and the architectural urbanism of innovation in cities.

Sam Jacoby is a chartered architect with an AA Diploma and a doctorate from the Technical University of Berlin. Jacoby has worked for architectural and planning offices in the UK, USA and Malaysia. He has taught at the AA since 2002 and is currently the director of the Projective Cities programme.

Adrian Lahoud is an architect, researcher and educator. Prior to being appointed Dean of the School of Architecture and Head of the Architecture programme at the Royal College of Art, Adrian Lahoud was Director of the Urban Design Masters at The Bartlett School of Architecture and served as Director of the MA programme at the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths. He received his PhD from the University of Technology Sydney where he taught for a number of years while running an award winning architectural practice. His dissertation titled ‘The City, the Territory, the Planetary’ explores the way architecture structures problems through the concept of scale. He has written extensively on questions of climate change, spatial politics and urban conflict with a focus on the Arab world and Africa. 

Alex Lehnerer, an architect and urban designer, currently holds a position as assistant professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Prior to that he was based in Chicago, where he was a professor at the University of Illinois. He received his PhD from ETH Zurich, his MArch from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), is partner of the firm Kaisersrot in Zurich, and founded the Department of Urban Speculation (DeptUS) in Chicago. Together with Savvas Ciriacidis he is leading the architectural office Ciriacidis Lehnerer Architekten in Zurich.

Diego Ramírez-Lovering is Head of the Department of Architecture at Monash University. He has taught and practiced architecture in Australia, Italy and Mexico. His teaching and research examine the contributory role that architecture can play in addressing the significant challenges facing contemporary urban environments – climate change, resource limitations, rapid population growth and changing household demographics. His practice based PhD focused on these contemporary urban issues through the platform of affordable and sustainable housing. He is the co-founder of Monash Architecture Studio (MAS). This research unit undertakes design-based research from the scale of dwelling to the scale of the city/region around a range of contextual issues in collaboration with researchers from other universities, government and industry.

Ingrid Schröder is a practicing architect and the founding Director of the Cambridge Design Research Studio. She has taught at the University of Cambridge since 2001 as a Design Tutor and Lecturer on Urban Theory. She previously taught at the Architectural Association and ETH Zurich. She has been directing the MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design/RIBA Part II programme since 2011. Her current projects in teaching, research and practice focus on the relationship between political thought, civic space and urbanism.

Milica Topalovic is Assistant Professor of Architecture and Territorial Planning at the ETH Department of Architecture. From 2011-15 she held research professorship at the ETH Future Cities Laboratory in Singapore, studying the relationship between a city and its hinterland. In 2006 she joined the ETH as head of research at Studio Basel Contemporary City Institute and the professorial chairs held by Diener and Meili, where she taught research studios on cities and on territories such as Hong Kong and the Nile Valley. Milica graduated with distinction from the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade and received a Master’s degree from the Berlage Institute for her thesis on Belgrade’s post-socialist urban transformation. Since 2000, she worked on projects in different spatial scales and visual media. With Studio Basel she authored and edited Belgrade. Formal / Informal: A Research on Urban Transformation, and The Inevitable Specificity of Cities.

2015 Final Presentations

Date: 29/5/2015
Time: 10am-6pm
Venue: Second Rear Presentation Space (36 Bedford Square)

Presentations of the final dissertations from the Projective Cities programme, featuring a lecture by Senan Abdelqader at 2pm.

SenanPhoto: Omar Abdelqader

Senan Abdelqader, architect and urban planner from Jerusalem talks about practicing in the occupied territories. He is principal of Senan Abdelqader Architects, established in 1995. Working on numerous private and public projects, he tries to influence and is influenced by social and political variables, and has created a public platform where the process of planning is considered to be a collective act and a space for civil practices. Senan started teaching at Tel-Aviv University in 1998 and founded the ‘in-formal’ unit at Bezalel Academy in 2006. In year 2011, he was a guest professor at the Dessau Institution of Architecture.

Reviewers: Pier Vittorio Aureli (AA), Peter Bishop (UCL), Oliver Domeisen (Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna), Peg Rawes (UCL), Francisco Sanin (Syracuse Architecture, London) and Peter Swinnen (51N4E)

AAPC Guest Seminar: Andrew Higgott

Andrew Higgott will talk about his book Camera Constructs: Photography, Architecture and the Modern City. The book on the one hand opposes the medium of photography and the materiality of construction, but on the other can be read as saying that the camera invariably constructs what it depicts. The photograph is not a simple representation of an external reality, but constructs its meaning and reconstructs its subject. The starting point of many of the authors in the book is to analyse this condition and illuminate its processes: the photographic practices of the artist, of the architect and of the documentarist are each seen to construct images highly specific in their context and meaning.


Date: 18/5/2015
Time: 14:00
Venue: 37 Bedford Square

Andrew Higgott has taught the history and theory of architecture for the past twenty five years, primarily at the Architectural Association and at the University of East London, where he co-ordinated architectural history and theory teaching and ran an MA course on architectural theory. Over the past year  he has lectured at Cornell University, the Bartlett School, Royal College of Art and elsewhere. 

He is the author of Mediating Modernism (2007) and co-edited Camera Constructs (2012). 

AAPC Guest Lecture: Alex Lehnerer

Professor Alex Lehnerer (ETH) will be giving a guest lecture:

Architecture’s Present Perfect

The present perfect blurs the gap between past and present. Everything is up to now—nothing is left behind. The present perfect stands for an expression of unfinished time. Unfinished time started in the past and continues into the present. There is no quarantine period between historical facts and contemporary truth. Architecture is a form of presence, yet its history always plays a key role in both its production and interpretation. At best its history is told in the present perfect tense by means of projective speculation to establish a strong, yet individual, and ad hoc connection between then and now.

Alex is looking for such strong – sometimes constructed – genealogical, idea-based, and conceptual connections between the past and the present by talking about a couple of his projects addressing collective form through the attempt of an alternative historical approach. Among them the project of the German Pavilion at the 14. International Architecture Biennale in Venice, his recently published book “The Western Town – A Theory of Aggregation”, and his work on Urban Rules.

Date: 12/3/2015, Time: 18:00, Venue: Lecture Hall

bungalow germania

Bungalow Germania by Alex Lehnerer and Savvas Ciriacidis, 14th Architecture Exhibitionat the Venice Biennale 2014

Alex Lehnerer, an architect and urban designer, currently holds a position as assistant professor at ETH Zurich in Switzerland. Prior to that he was based in Chicago, where he was a professor at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture. He received his PhD from ETH Zurich and his MArch from the University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA). Together with his partner Savvas Ciriacidis he is leading the Zurich based architecture practice CIRIACIDISLEHNERER. In 2014, the two were the general commissioners of the German pavilion at the 14. International Architecture Biennale in Venice. 

Type versus Typology

AA Projective Cities Symposium 2014
During the nineteenth century, a deliberate turn away from ideas of imitation and truth-to-nature towards concepts of abstraction or objectivity emerged and fundamentally altered the knowledge and practices of many disciplines. In architecture, this important shift resulted in theories of type and design methods based on typology, complementary concepts through which architecture as both a modern form of knowledge and knowledge of form was to be consolidated. In terms of architecture and its instrumentality, type and typology are unique as disciplinary frames through which broader socio-political, cultural and formal problems can be posed.

The one day symposium will bring together academics and practitioners to discuss the potential of type and typology and the problem of the historicity of disciplinary knowledge.

Date: Friday 7/2/2014
Time: 10am-9pm
Venue: Lecture Hall, Architectural Association, 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES

Watch symposium online: Part 1 (Session 1+2) and Part 2 (Session 3)


Rafael Moneo. Photo: Alexander Furunes


10:00‐10:10     Welcome (Sam Jacoby)
10:10‐10:50     Sam Jacoby (AAPC): ‘Typal and Typological Reasoning’
10:50‐11:30     Lawrence Barth (AA)
11:30‐12:10     Hyungmin Pai (University of Seoul): ‘The Diagrammatic Construction of Type’
12:10‐12:40     Discussion: Chaired by Alvaro Arancibia (AA PhD) and Cyan Cheng (AAPC)
13:00‐14:00     Lunch Break

14:00‐14:40     Philip Steadman (UCL): ‘Building Types and How they Change over Time’
14:40‐15:20     Tarsha Finney (UTS): ‘The Typological Burden’
15:20‐16:00     Christopher Lee (Harvard GSD, Serie Architects): ‘The Fourth Typology’
16:00‐16:30     Discussion: Chaired by Naina Gupta (AAPC), Simon Goddard (AAPC), and Thiago Soveral (AA PhD)
17:00‐18:30     Coffee Break (Mark Cousins: Friday Lecture Series)

18:30‐19:10     Rafael Moneo (Harvard GSD): ‘Type, Iconography, Archaeology, and Practice’
19:10‐20:00     Concluding Round Table: All speakers; chaired by Adrian Lahoud (UCL)


Lawrence Barth lectures on urbanism in the AAs Graduate School and has written on the themes of politics and critical theory in relation to the urban. He practises as a consultant urbanist, most recently collaborating with Zaha Hadid Architects and s333 Architecture and Urbanism on large‐scale projects, and is engaged in research on urban intensification and innovation environments.

Tarsha Finney is an architect, urbanist and a senior lecturer in the School of Architecture at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS). She completed an M.A at the AA (Distinction 2002‐2003) and was recipient of the Michael Ventris Memorial Award (2003). From 2004‐2008 as part of the doctoral program at the AA, she was a participant in research seminars led by Lawrence Barth: Rethinking Architectural Urbanism 2006‐2007; Transformation and Urban Change 2007‐2008. She is completing her Doctorate at UTS, Domains of Reasoning/Fields of Effect: The Housing Project and the City. New York, 1960‐1980.

Sam Jacoby is a chartered architect who graduated from the AA, and received a doctorate from the TU Berlin. He teaches at the AA since 2002 and has taught at the University of Nottingham and Bartlett School of Architecture. He has directed Projective Cities since 2009.

Christopher Lee is the co‐founder and principal of Serie Architects London, Mumbai and Beijing. He is Associate Professor in Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Prior to that he was the Director of Projective Cities (2010‐12) and AA Unit Master (2002‐09). Lee graduated with the AA Diploma (Honours) and his Doctor of Philosophy from the Berlage Institute and TU Delft. Lee is the author of Common Frameworks: Rethinking the Developmental City in China, Part 1, Xiamen: The Megaplot, and Working in Series. He co‐authored Typological Formations: Renewable Building Types and the City, and ‘Typological Urbanism: Projective Cities’.

Rafael Moneo received undergraduate (1961) and doctoral (1965) degrees from the Madrid School of Architecture, worked (1960‐61) with Danish architect Jørn Utzon, and studied (1963‐65) at the Spanish Academy in Rome before opening (1965) his own practice in Madrid. Moneo, who founded (1968) Arquitectura Bis magazine, is also a noted theorist, critic, and teacher. He has taught in Spain and at such American institutions as Princeton and Harvard, where he was (1985‐90) head of the graduate architecture department and remains a professor. Among his many awards is the 1996 Pritzker Prize.

Hyungmin Pai graduated from Seoul National University and received his PhD from MIT. Twice a Fulbright Scholar, he is professor at the University of Seoul. He was visiting scholar at MIT and London Metropolitan University and has lectured at Harvard, Cornell and Tongji University. His books include The Portfolio and the Diagram (2006), Sensuous Plan: The Architecture of Seung HSang (2007), and The Key Concepts of Korean Architecture (2012). For the Venice Biennale, he was curator for the Korean Pavilion (2008) and a participant in the Common Pavilion project (2012). He was curator for the Kim Swoo Geun exhibition at Aedes Gallery, Berlin (2011) and was Head Curator for the 4th Gwangju Design Biennale (2011).

Philip Steadman is Emeritus Professor of Urban and Built Form Studies in the Bartlett Faculty of Built Environment, University College London. He trained as an architect at Cambridge University, and has taught at Cambridge, the Open University and UCL. Much of his research has been on the forms of buildings, and he has published two previous books on the subject: The Geometry of Environment (1971) and Architectural Morphology (1983). His book on biological analogies in architecture, The Evolution of Designs, was published in 1979. His forthcoming book Building Types and Built Forms (2014) brings together several of these themes: architectural history, building geometry, and parallels with the analysis of form in biology.

Graduate Honours 2013 Exhibition

The thesis project by Alvaro Arancibia (PC 2011-2013) will be shown in the first annual exhibition representing the work of high-achieving graduates from the AA Graduate School.

Alvaro Arancibia Model Exhibition

Date: 18/1/2014 – 15/2/2014
Time: Monday to Friday 10:00–19:00, Saturday 10:00–15:00, unless otherwise stated.
Venue: Graduate Gallery (AA, 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES)

Projects Review 2013

Projective Cities is showing recently completed dissertation projects at the AA School Projects Review Exhibition 2013.

AA Projects Review 2013

Date22/6/2013 – 13/7/2013
Time: Monday to Friday 10am-7pm, Saturdays 10am-5pm
Venue: Architectural Association, 36 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3ES

PC Book 2013.indd


Click book to read.

AAPC Guest Seminar: Chris Lee

Dr Christopher Lee (Harvard, GSD), former director of Projective Cities, will be giving a guest seminar:

The Dominant Types in the Developmental City (Singapore)

Soutram Park, Singapore  1960

Date1/5/2013, Time: 17:00, Venue: 33 Groundfloor Back

As an alternative to the construction of the idea of the city based on the polis, the seminar discusses the rise of the idea of the city as a ‘Developmental City State’. A state, according to Manuel Castells, can be defined as developmental when it ‘…establishes as its principle of legitimacy its ability to promote and sustain development.’ The city in this instance is used as a pure developmental apparatus to manifest the state’s political project.

AAPC Guest Seminar: Jasper Cepl

Dr Jasper Cepl (TU Berlin) will be giving a guest seminar:

Oswald Mathias Ungers: Urban Theories and the Concept of Morphology

Ungers Cities within the city

The City in the City – Berlin: A Green Archipelago, by OM Ungers and R Koolhaas, P Riemann, H Kollhoff and A Ovaska (1977)

Date: 15/3/2013, Time: 14:00, Venue: 33 Groundfloor Back

Oswald Mathias Ungers (1926–2007) was one of the most influential architects of his generation. Especially the project for Berlin as a “green archipelago”, conceived with Rem Koolhaas in 1977, is considered one of the most inspiring visions of urbanity in the 20th century. It was the outcome of many years of research into new strategies of urban design, able to replace modernist doctrines with an image of the city that would acknowledge its complexity — comprising, among other things, both islands of conceivable architectural structure and formless areas of infrastructure. The seminar will discuss the development of Ungers’ urban theories, highlighting the influence of his earlier interests both in the morphology of architecture and in regional planning.

Jasper Cepl teaches architectural theory at the Technische Universität Berlin. He is the author of Oswald Mathias Ungers. Eine intellektuelle Biographie (2007). His research interests include: the influence of art history on modern architecture, images of the body in architecture, early modernism in Germany, and the discourse on “Stadtbaukunst”. He has published widely on the history and theory of architecture, including an edited monograph on the German architect Hans Kollhoff (2004) and an anthology of architectural theory, Quellentexte zur Architekturtheorie (with Fritz Neumeyer) in 2002.

AAPC Public Lecture: Harry Mallgrave

Projective Cities is hosting a lecture by Prof Harry Mallgrave (IIT):

Semper, Animism, and Embodied Simulation

Acropolis Athens Greece

Date: 7/2/2013, Time: 13:00, Venue: Lecture Hall

Gottfried Semper is today seen as one of the principal theorists and architects of the 19th century, and there are multiple dimensions in which his ideas can be pursued.  This talk will consider his remarks on reading of architectural form in animistic terms, the context in which his discussion took place, his influence on later theories of empathy (Einfühlung), and the resurgence of interest in the mechanisms of empathy in contemporary biology and neuroscience.  Our new understanding of emotion and embodied simulation (based on the discovery of mirror neurons) may have profound implications for contemporary design.

Harry Francis Mallgrave has enjoyed a distinguished career as an award-winning scholar, translator, and editor, and is presently a professor of architectural history and theory at Illinois Institute of Technology.  He has authored more than a dozen books, including Empathy, Form & Space (1994),  Gottfried Semper: Architect of the Nineteenth Century (1996),  and The Architect’s Brain (2011).  His latest study, Architecture and Embodiment: The Implications of the New Sciences and Humanities for Design, is scheduled to appear with Routledge in March 2013.

AAPC Public Lecture: Pavlos Philippou

Projective Cities is hosting a seminar and lecture by Dr Pavlos Philippou:

Cultural Buildings’ Genealogy of Originality: The Individual, the Unique and the Singular

Guggenheim, Neue Staatsgallerie, MASP, Southbank Centre

Date: 23/11/2012, Time: 13:00, Venue: Lecture Hall

In recent years cultural buildings have proliferated widely as keystones within strategies of urban development and regeneration. From both an historical and performative dimension, there is a consistent attempt to problematise these buildings as unique, distinctive and novel. Through a series of case studies, this lecture proposes to investigate the continuities but also the dynamism and differentiation that architecture brings to the urban field.

Pavlos Philippou is an architect involved in practice, teaching and research. He has taught at the AA, while his work has been published and exhibited internationally. Apart from his PhD, Pavlos has completed both his Diploma and MA (Housing & Urbanism, Distinction) at the AA.

AAPC Public Lecture: Alexander d’Hooghe and Luk Peeters

The Projective Cities programme is hosting a lecture by Alexander d’Hooghe and Luk Peeters.

Suburban Formology: Forms to Organise Infrastructural Logistics

Alexander-dHooghe and Luk Peeters Suburban Formology

Date: 28/2/2012, Time: 18:00:00, Venue: Lecture Hall

The lecture will focus on the re-activation of late-modernist templates about architectural interventions on infrastructure. Since the Second World War many of these templates have been ambitious statements on behalf of society, which nevertheless were either forgotten or ridiculed. Today, however, the field possesses the means and insights to upgrade and realise some of these concepts, such as the open platform-building, the megastructure, the monumental grouping. The practice seeks to learn from failed attempts historically, but nevertheless, in cannibalising history, aims to insert a sense of continuity into the modernist project.

D’Hooghe and Peeters are partners in the Organization for Permanent Modernity, an architectural and urban design firm comprised of an academic group at MIT in Boston and a professional practice stationed in both Boston and Brussels. The formalisation and objectification of infrastructural elements is central in their current work. Projects include a masterplan for the slaughterhouse district in Brussels (including a 25,000-square-metre market building); a series of public facilities and town centres around Brussels; a plan for the protection and expansion of the coastline between France and The Netherlands (2009); and a competition-winning entry for a large landfill in South Korea (2008).

AD Typological Urbanism: Projective Cities

Guest-edited by Christopher Lee and Sam Jacoby

For the launch of the Architectural Design AD magazine Typological Urbanism: Projective Cities, Pier Vittorio Aureli, Marina Lathouri, and David Grahame Shane will present their contributions followed by a table discussion with the editors Christopher Lee and Sam Jacoby.

The magazine asks: How can architecture today be simultaneously relevant to its urban context and at the very forefront of design? For a decade or so, iconic architecture has been fuelled by the market economy and an insatiable appetite for the novel and different. The relentless speed and scale of urbanisation, with its ruptured, decentralised, and fast-changing context, however, demands a rethink of the role of the designer and the function of architecture.

This title of AD therefore confronts and questions the inability of the profession and academia to confidently and comprehensively describe, conceptualise, theorise, and ultimately project new ideas of architecture for the city. In so doing, it provides a potent alternative for projective cities: Typological Urbanism. This pursues and develops the strategies of typological reasoning in order to re-engage architecture with the city in both a critical and speculative manner. Architecture and urbanism are no longer seen as separate domains, or subservient to each other, but as synthesising disciplines and processes that allow integrating and controlling effect on both the city and its built environment.

The magazine includes contributions from architects and thinkers: Peter Carl, Michael Hensel, Marina Lathouri, Martino Tattara and Pier Vittorio Aureli. Featured architects include: Ben van Berkel & Caroline Bos of UNStudio, DOGMA, Toyo Ito & Associates, l’AUC, OMA, SANAA and Serie Architects.

Date: 23.02.2010
Time: 18:00
Launch Venue: Architectural Association, Lecture Hall

View video of launch event.

AD Typological Urbanism Projective Cities

Read introduction by clicking image.