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.