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Course options

  • Qualification

    MArch - Master of Architecture

  • Location

    Architectural Association School Of Architecture

  • Study mode

    Full time

  • Start date

    20-SEP-21

  • Duration

    16 months

Course summary

Housing and Urbanism (HU) focuses on the key issues driving urban transformation and the role that architecture can play in enacting critical change. Each year, the programme addresses the most pressing issues confronting cities, which provide the starting points for our studio, lecture courses and student research. While design learning and investigation form the core of our programme, a complementary aim of the work is to deepen students’ grasp of the politics and practicalities shaping today’s cities. Our primary interest is in specific projects that are strong enough to initiate or further the positive transformation of urban areas. The programme works across multiple scales, from detailed plans of contemporary housing to the mobility infrastructure of the regional metropolis. While many courses in urbanism grasp the broad overview of cities and regions, HU investigates the way design reasoning enables actors and decision-makers to take the essential next steps in generating change. Offered as a 12-month MA or a 16-month MArch, the programme’s curriculum centres on design research that leads to an individual thesis. A collaborative Design Workshop forms the central element of the coursework, and during the first three terms lectures and seminars inform students’ design work, broadening their scholarly understanding of urban trends and histories. The final term is devoted entirely to the individual design thesis development and its completion.

Each year, HU focuses on a set of research themes that organises the workshops and international collaborations. This year, we will be investigating the foundations of urban resilience in the face of global uncertainties. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated many pre-existing patterns of change in our cities: our cultures of work and residential life are shifting; our expectations of health services are changing; and our mobility patterns and shopping habits are evolving. Taken together, the pandemic has strengthened calls for a new urban localism as a critical response to the failures of centrally planned government policies. We will be examining the leadership, responsibility and innovation that may emerge from the current situation of uncertainty, and the role that architects and urbanists can play in encouraging a higher level of ambition among our political actors and civic leaders. We will be working with a range of international universities and political and civic organisations within cities to compare and assess the situated urban responses across the globe. Above all, we will aim to define the projects that encourage future resilience in our cities around the world.

Tuition fees

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University information

Architectural Association School Of Architecture

  • Campus address

    Architectural Association School Of Architecture, 36 Bedford Square, Camden, London, Greater London, WC1B 3ES, England

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