With more biennials, festivals, magazines and websites than ever before, it is easy for an architect today to spend their time thinking and talking only about the future of architecture. As a result, the practice of architecture can too frequently, and too easily, equate to an intellectualising of its representative images: in lieu of bricks, we paint broad brushstrokes to see the future, and we sacrifice our mortar to build with -ities -of suspect contemporary kinds – all those potentialities and monumentalities, criticalities and spectacularities about an architecture that ‘might yet be’ in a future ‘not yet here’. Admittedly, the architecture we teach at the AA School is not that which is known so much as it is the making of what it may become. And while the AA Book and 2016 Projects Review website seek to represent the ideas and learning that make up a year in the life of the Architectural Association School of Architecture, we remain as committed as ever to the notion that both are above all else, real and enduring things: materials.
You will find in the 2016 edition of AA Book a photographic exploration of architecture as raw material – the physical stuff that feeds into the AA and that our students deploy to imagine the kinds of architectural worlds. Similarly, pr2016.aaschool.ac.uk is an attempt to document both the physical and the intellectual pieces that make up the material universe of teaching and learning at the AA. The following pages present a vast array of work by this year’s Intermediate and Diploma units as well as students in Foundation, First Year and our graduate programmes.
Thank you to Max Creasy for his photographs, and to both the Print Studio and Digital Platforms for producing a book and website in real-time alongside the projects themselves. Thanks also to AA members for their continuous and ongoing support and, most of all, thank you to the students, teachers and staff for making this year a special one in the life of architecture, and of this Architectural Association.