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Student Shows 2012: Architectural Association, School of Architecture

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Merlin Fulcher explores the creative, speculative thinking on display at the Architectural Association

Characterise the school’s approach?

The AA maintains an experimental, critical approach to architectural education which today prides itself on a commitment to creating future, intelligent audiences for architectural discussion within and outside the profession. Renowned for its global cohort and ebullient west London setting, the school’s strong focus on discussion and experiential-learning harnesses its unique context for the development of students’ design personality – making it a formidable breeding ground for sensitive and ambitious future architects.

Highlights in the undergraduate school include Intermediate Unit 12’s thoughtful studies of architectural re-enactment and Intermediate Unit 13’s ghostly tributes to the importance of voids within the human experience of the city. In the diploma school, Unit 8 sampled business precincts to generate a booming architecture of mega corporatism while Unit 1 set out to reconcile the ‘real world’ with the information revolution taking place around it. Collectively, the work on display illustrated creative, speculative thinking at its height of relevance to wider society.

Standout unit

Diploma Unit 14 for its timely, ‘Edufactory’ analysis of higher education’s role in the knowledge economy and proposals exploring students’ role as consumers.

Standout student

William Gowland of Diploma Unit 6 for his poetic commentary on GPS’ impact on the politics of the arctic wilderness titled ‘Here be Dragons’.

In a word


AJ reviews of every student show in the UK will be published in a special issue of the magazine on 26 July. Students can subscribe to the AJ for just £82.50.

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