The MPhil in Architecture and Urban Design (Projective Cities) is an 18-month interdisciplinary research and design program that examines the multi-scalar issues that arise at the intersection of architecture, urban design and planning.
Projective Cities is an essential forum for addressing governance and development issues in the context of global urbanization challenges. Its aim is 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.
Each Projective Cities cohort examines a common theme as a starting point for individual research programs. The current theme is the architecture of collective life. The ambition is to investigate, through a comparative analysis, the different organizational, formal, programmatic and material particularities that define the Architecture of Collective Living in a series of historical and contemporary case studies.
The spatial organization of the Architecture of Collective Living reflects on a series of informal and formal relationships between subjects, between spaces, between structural and non-structural elements, between objects and protocols of use and occupation.
The Architecture of Collective Life therefore opens up a discussion of how the urban can be understood through specific architecture and its design, and how its effect as an urban armature is not only of spatial significance, but also organized by broader political and social discourses.
Projective Cities prepares its applicants for independent research through a framework of rigorous design and research methodologies. The first year of the program is taught, introducing students to research methods, academic writing, architectural and urban histories and theories, advanced analytical techniques, and computer design in preparation for a substantial thesis project. At the end of the first year, students submit a research proposal. This is developed in the second year, leading to an integrated design and a written dissertation.
Projective Cities seeks candidates willing to develop substantial and original research. It seeks exceptional thinkers, talented designers and critical writers who care about the future of our cities.
Recent and ongoing research projects internationally, in London, Athens, Barcelona, the Spanish countryside, Bangkok, Beijing, Wuhan, the Silesian region of Poland, Berlin, Jakarta, Shanghai and Harpin, among others. Collaborations with academic institutions, municipalities, collectives, cooperatives, multi and interdisciplinary practices. Program staff and students, in collaboration with the Municipality of Kaisariani, Athens, and the Department of Architecture, University of Cyprus, are working on an exhibition, publication and conference with the general title 1922-2022: Refugee neighborhoods. Sustainability and cultural heritage: the case of Kaisariani, which will take place between September and December 2022.
The Projective Cities public lecture and seminar series invites outstanding thinkers, practitioners, and educators to present their work and discuss new models of pedagogy and practice with MPhil candidates. Guests and critics include Nora Akawi, Arquitectos de Cabecera, Aristide Antonas, Autonomy UK, Neeraj Bhatia, David Burns, Alejandra Celedon, Cierto Estudio, DPR Barcelona, EDIT Collective, Silvia Franceschini, H Arquitectes, Lacol, Chris, among others Lee, MAIO, Michal Murawski, Zaida Muxí, Collectif POoR, Eva le Roi, Christoph Schmidt (ifau), Julian Siravo and Elias Zenghelis.
Program staff: Raul Avilla, Doreen Bernath, Roozbeh Elias-Azar, Cristina Gamboa, Platon Issaias, George Jepson, Hamed Khosravi, Daryan Knoblauch, Ioanna Piniara.
Student assistant: Clara Asperilla-Arias.
Scholarships and fellowships available.
More information on how to apply, here. You can find the video of the last virtual open day, here.
If in London or the UK, you can visit the school in January AA School Tour January 14. More information and registration here.