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MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities) in Architectural Association

The Architectural Association
The AA School of Architecture
London, England
United Kingdom
Urban Studies & City Planning
Overview

ARCHITECTURE OF COLLECTIVE LIVING

 

The MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities) is a 20-month, interdisciplinary research and design programme that examines multi-scalar questions arising at the intersection of architecture, urban design and planning. The programme is dedicated to systematic analysis, design experimentation, theoretical speculation and critical writing, all focusing on the contemporary city. Student projects combine new design and traditional forms of research, while challenging existing disciplinary boundaries and contributing to emerging spatial design practice and knowledge. The programme recognises the need for multidisciplinary knowledge and new, practice-led research training to meet the demands of contemporary architectural and urban practice.

 

Projective Cities proposes architectural design as a precondition to the conception, realisation and subversion of urban plans.

 

Projective Cities recognises architecture and the city as a collective form of knowledge, shaped by cultural, social, political and economic contexts.

 

Projective Cities has been highly successful in preparing its graduates for diverse careers in academia and practice.

 

Projective Cities is a critical forum to engage with questions of governance and development in the context of global challenges of urbanisation.

 

Projective Cities aims to respond to current urban, environmental and social crises by rethinking the agency of spatial design and development within specific political, economic, social and cultural contexts.

 

Projective Cities prepares its candidates for independent research through a framework of rigorous design and research methodologies.

 

Projective Cities seeks candidates with a desire to develop substantial and original research. It seeks exceptional thinkers, gifted designers and critical writers with an interest in the future of our cities.

 

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

 

Five terms of study are divided into two phases. Phase I, a three-term academic year (beginning each autumn), introduces key design and research methodologies through a comprehensive set of studio, seminar and academic writing modules. Specialised workshops and guest seminars are delivered alongside core teaching. Term 3 is dedicated to the development of an individual dissertation proposal. In Phase II, which begins the following autumn and concludes in May of the second academic year, candidates develop their individual dissertation dedicated to an independent research project.

 

PHASE I

 

Studio 1, Term 1 PARTS, UNITS AND GROUPS: ANALYSIS OF ARCHITECTURAL PRECEDENTS

 

Cristina Gamboa, Platon Issaias, Hamed Khosravi with Raül Avilla

 

In Studio 1, students will be given a series of case studies, both historic and contemporary. They must then define a preliminary research interest that will allow them to select other relevant examples of collective living. A number of related analytical studies and comparative analyses of architectural precedents frame individual students’ preliminary interests, informing their approach to the design of and research questions concerning collective living. The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the case study method and concepts of fundamental type and formative diagrams. It also develops the skills required to produce descriptive and analytical diagrams.

 

Seminar 1, Term 1

 

ARCHITECTURAL THEORIES, DESIGN AND DESIGN METHODS

 

Doreen Bernath, Platon Issaias, Hamed Khosravi and invited guest lecturers

 

The seminar course is focused on the architectural scale, and introduces a number of research and design methodologies, as well as theories or themes critical to the programme, such as type, typology, drawing and diagram. The seminar explores questions of a systematic understanding of disciplinary knowledge and methodical design in architecture, thereby examining a historiography of a modern reasoning of form. The aim of the module is two- fold: to give students a foundation of architectural theories in general and of design methods; and to provide a critical survey of the historiography and history of ideas framed by typological and typal reasoning, including the clarification of type as a form of reasoning that is traditionally distinguished as relating either to a design method or critical theory.

 

The aim of this module is to familiarise of students with architectural theories and theories of design methods. To provide a critical survey of the historiography and history of ideas framed by typological and typal reasoning, including the clarification of type as a form of reasoning that is traditionally distinguished as relating either to a design method or critical theory.

 

ACADEMIC WRITING 1, Term 1

 

Doreen Bernath

 

This course, which takes place once a week, introduces students to academic writing and is complementary to Seminar 1. The focus of these sessions will be individual tutorials to discuss student writing that is in development during the term (also available to Year 2 students). The aim of the module is to familiarise students with academic writing conventions, the importance of writing to formulate a research argument.

 

Studio 2, Term 2

 

SCALES: FROM ROOM TO THE CITY

 

Cristina Gamboa, Platon Issaias, Hamed Khosravi with Raül Avilla

 

The main focus of this module is a multi-scalar investigation into the interdisciplinary relations between architecture, urban design and urban planning. Studio 2 builds on the previously introduced concept of formative diagrams in relation to fundamental types as the basis from which to analyse models of collective living and forms of sharing, while the idea of type and typology is expanded to the study of the city. Studio 2 also introduces students to the conventions of urban planning, its parameters, processes and limits. The aim of this module is to familiarise students with the concepts of typological conflict and transformation, and introduce them to urban design and urban planning methodologies. It cultivates an understanding of the socio-political, economic, ecological, spatial and physical parameters or processes informing the development and formation of an urban plan.

 

Seminar 2, Term 2

 

PROJECTS OF THE CITY

 

Doreen Bernath, Platon Issaias, Hamed Khosravi and invited guest lecturers

 

This seminar is divided into two distinctive parts. The first, explores the development of disciplinary knowledge about architecture and urbanism from the nineteenth century up until today. The second part presents scholarly research in a series of important contemporary case studies. This allows students to formulate their individual research propositions for Thesis-Studio in Term 3. The aim of the module is to provide students with a survey of theories that conceptualise the city, in particular the contemporary city, through its architecture and architectural projects. The seminar discusses theories of the city in relation to critical architectural practice.

 

ACADEMIC WRITING 2, Term 2

 

Doreen Bernath

 

This course, which takes place once a week, introduces students to academic writing and is complementary to Seminar 2. The focus of these sessions will be individual tutorials to discuss student writing that is in development during the term (also available to Year 2 students). The aim of this module is to provide information about the writing of literature reviews, to assess current knowledge and to position an individual student’s own writing.

 

Thesis-Studio, Term 3

 

REPRESENTATIONS, INVESTIGATIONS AND DIAGRAMS

 

Platon Issaias, Hamed Khosravi

 

The Thesis-Studio is a combined design and seminar course in which students develop their dissertation proposal and start the dissertation. Underlying the Thesis-Studio is the hypothesis that critical and speculative projects on the city, whether practice and/or theory oriented, manifest an ‘idea of the city’ that can be understood through corresponding typological and social diagrams. Some of these ideas and different historical, theoretical and epistemological perspectives of the city will be discussed in seminars through critical projects of the recent past: exemplary proposals, representations, theories, and reflections of and on the city. The seminar examines how diverse readings of the city promulgate specific ideas and define aspects of the city that are formative and fundamental. Most of these readings share a medium-specificity and have a clear methodological approach through which a critical urban thesis is related to its processes of conceptualisation and representation. Often speculative, many critical urban projects have remained in the realm of imagination, but have had an enduring effect on our (disciplinary) understanding and knowledge of the city. Therefore, the studio output is speculative, projective and open-ended in their possibilities, but consistent in their construction. The aim of the module is to familiarise students with the ‘idea of the city’ and the relationships of spatial and social diagrams. Development of a clear research inquiry and definition of the theoretical or physical context are required in the formulation of a dissertation proposal.

 

ACADEMIC WRITING 3, Term 3

 

Doreen Bernath

 

This course, which takes place once a week, introduces students to academic writing and is complementary to Thesis-Studio. The focus of these sessions will be individual tutorials to discuss student writing that is in development during the term (also available to Year 2 students). The aim of this module is to assist students in the development of academic abstract writing for a research thesis.

 

PHASE 2

 

DISSERTATION, Terms 4 and 5

 

Platon Issaias, Hamed Khosravi, Mark Campbell and guest advisors

 

The Dissertation must demonstrate proficiency and rigour in research, design methods and techniques, as well as knowledge of the subject context, literature and precedents. The Dissertation is the final and most substantial piece of work in the programme. It is started at the end of the first year and developed throughout the second year. While students conduct their independent research under the close guidance of their supervisor(s), they have access to other programme staff and specialist consultants as needed. Supervisors are there to assist in developing ideas and encourage critical and independent thinking. The Dissertation is the demonstration of a significant and comprehensive piece of independent research, including its planning and execution. The Dissertation consists of the development of a critical theoretical argument and a series of comprehensive design proposals.

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Admission Requirements

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

 

You are required to meet the minimum academic and reference requirements outlined below for your desired programme. Overseas applicants must also meet the English language qualifications requirements outlined below.

 

Successful applicants who are awaiting the outcome of future examination results will be issued a conditional offer. These conditions must be met by the date outlined on the offer letter in order to be eligible to enter the School.

 

Applicants who will not complete their degree until after June 2020 are encouraged to contact the Postgraduate Admissions Team prior to applying for the 2020/21 academic year.

 

Minimum Academic Requirements

 

Taught MPhil Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities) (20 months): Open to candidates with a minimum four-year degree in architecture, urban design or related discipline (BArch/Diploma equivalent).

 

English Language Requirements (All Applicants)

 

All applicants must be able to provide evidence of competency in both spoken and written English. The AA reserves the right to make a place in the School conditional on gaining a further English language qualification if deemed necessary.

 

More info at: https://www.aaschool.ac.uk/APPLY/ADMISSIONS/postgradApp.php

 

Application Procedure

 

The AA is a private institution. Anyone interested in applying to the AA must:

 

a.- Complete the online application form; https://applications.aaschool.ac.uk/postgraduate/login.php

 

b.- Pay the relevant application fee: £50 for early applications, £75 for late applications; and

 

c.- Submit a digital portfolio of design work (all applicants with the exception of History and Critical Thinking and PhD in Research)

 

The application procedure is the same for all applicants, regardless of where you are applying form.

 

Prior to completing the form applicants should carefully read the entry requirements for their chosen programme. The AA will not accept multiple applications and applicants cannot change their programme of study once the application has been received, assessed and a decision has been made. Therefore, it is crucial that you apply for the programme most suited to your experience.

 

Applications will not be processed until the online form has been completed, all required supporting documents have been provided. Failure to provide the information requested will delay the processing of your application. It is therefore advisable that you start preparing this documentation now.

 

If there is any change in your circumstances after you submit your application (i.e. you will not be completing your current year of study), you must inform us as soon as possible. The AA reserves the right to withdraw an offer of a place if you fail to inform us of significant changes in your circumstances.

 

Deadlines for 2020/21 Academic Year

 

– Optional early-offer applications for 2020/21 close: Friday 22 November 2019*.

 

– Early (Winter) application deadlines for 2020/21 close: Friday 24 January 2020* (last deadline for bursary applications)

 

– Late (Spring) application deadlines for 2020/21 close: Friday 6 March 2020.

 

Both your online application, and your portfolio, must arrive by the dates listed above.

 

Applications received after the dates above may be accepted at the discretion of the School.

 

* In order to be eligible to apply for a bursary, applicants must submit their application and portfolio (if applicable) no later than 24 January 2020, stating their interest in an AA bursary in the ‘Finances and Funding’ section. Applicants who require an English language examination must also have booked and passed one of the approved English language examinations listed on the AA website by 24 January 2020 in order to be eligible for a bursary. The bursary application procedure will be explained once applicants receive an official offer.

 

Online form

 

You will need to register to gain access to the online application form

 

Please ensure you complete all sections of the online form carefully. You can save the form and return to complete sections multiple times using your original registration password.

 

Please be aware that applications will not be processed until the online form has been completed, all required supporting documents have been provided. Failure to provide the information requested will delay the processing of your application.

 

Applicants who submit an incomplete application will be contacted by email to request the outstanding documentation. The AA will send applicants a maximum of 2 reminders to follow up documentation. If no response is received, the application with be automatically rejected by the AA.

 

Upon signing the application form applicants certify that the work submitted is entirely their own. Plagiarism is unacceptable in the academic setting. Students are subject to penalties including dismissal from the course if they commit an act of plagiarism.

 

Certificates and Transcripts

 

You must submit scanned copies of your academic records or transcripts which include a detailed list of subjects taken and marks attained.

 

If you have completed your degree, please upload both the degree certificate and your transcripts (covering all years of study). If you have not completed your degree, please upload all academic transcripts to date.

 

Applicants who will not complete their degree until after June 2020 are encouraged to contact the Postgraduate Admissions Team prior to applying for the 2020/21 academic year.

 

Overseas applicants must provide documents in English. The AA can only accept official translations bearing the stamp and signature of the translator. Please also include scanned copies of the un-translated certificates and transcripts.

 

References

 

Applicants must submit two references with the online application form: one related to work experience, the other academic. If the applicant has no work experience two academic references are required. References must be on headed paper and signed. No application will be considered before two references have been received.

 

Referees who would prefer to send the reference to us directly can do so by post to:

 

Postgraduate Admissions, No. 36 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3ES.

 

Referees can also email us directly to postgraduateadmissions@aaschool.ac.uk However, the reference must be on official headed paper, be signed and scanned as a PDF, and emailed directly from the referees official school or university email address. Emails received from personal email addresses will not be accepted.

 

Submit Your Portfolio

 

With the exception of History and Critical Thinking and PhD Research, all applicants must submit a digital portfolio of design work, showing a combination of both academic and professional work. The Portfolio should contain 20 – 30 pages (drawings/project synopsis/samples of work) combined into a single PDF format (Max file size 40MB).

 

The portfolio should be clearly labelled including your full name and programme of application.

 

ASSESSMENT

 

All applications will only be acknowledged by email. Decisions on applications are normally given within six to eight weeks of receiving the application. Applicants who need to meet funding deadlines should submit their application as early as possible. Please indicate the funding deadline in your application and the AA will make every effort to ensure that you are notified of the decision as soon as possible.

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General information
Length
20 monts full time
Language
English
Director
Platon Issaias
Fee
Not Confirmed
Email
postgraduateadmissions@aaschool.ac.uk
Telephone
+44 (0)20 7887 4067
Address
36 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3ES
Website
Campus Location
The information of this Master's Degree was extracted from the Official Website of the program.
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